3 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 Tsp salt
1 tbsp instant yeast
3 large eggs*
1/4 cup milk
10 Tbsp butter, softened
*You can save the white of a 4th egg to brush on the buns if you plan to top them with sugar
1 piece of parchment paper + 1 cookie sheet or pizza dish
1 medium-large jar of Nutella
1) In a mixer or bread machine (programmed for dough), mix together 3 cups of flour and the rest of the ingredients to form a smooth dough. It will be sticky at first and may require the extra 1/2 cup flour to make the dough come together if the conditions in your kitchen differ (temperature, humidity, etc). Remove from mixer and knead with your hands until silky smooth.
2) Form the dough into a ball. Place it in a greased bowl and let rise for ~1-1.5 hrs--it will become quite puffy. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour (until chilled), or as long as overnight. This will slow the fermentation process and will make the dough easier to braid/shape.
3) To achieve this particular flower shape, I took the dough out of the refrigerator and divided it into 4 even pieces.
The video below is in Italian (all you have to do is watch the technique), and you can skip through some of the first parts where she describes how to make the brioche--I have provided a recipe above. You can shape the dough just as she does shown in the video below. NOTE: I DO recommend refrigerating the dough once more for 15-20 minutes BEFORE making the 16 cuts. If the dough (full of butter) begins to get warm and melt as you work, it will be more difficult to cut...and messy.
4) Let your finished, braided product rest on top of the parchment paper in the pizza dish/cookie sheet for about 30 minutes (it will puff a little more).
5) Preheat the oven to 375F. Right before the bread is cooked, you can brush it the egg white of a 4th egg.
6) Place cookie sheet or pizza pan in oven and bake for about 30-35min. NOTE: watch the bread. Every oven cooks differently. The buttery dough should a golden brown on all of the petals and center when done.
7) Remove from oven and let cool for about 15min. Carefully transfer to rack for cooling. You can sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top for an added effect, but it will still look beautiful without it.
NOTE: Due to lack of preservatives in the dough, the bread tastes the best within the first few hours of baking. I would recommend freezing it if you plan to eat it more than one day after baking, as it will rapidly become stale.