Freshly baked bread puts just about everyone in a good mood. Add a bit of chocolate to the bread, and it becomes a legendary loaf fit to serve the person you “knead” the most—your mom, of course! This loaf is just as fun to make for adult bakers as it is for small hands—let them measure, roll, and lick the Nutella spoon for a moment of pure bliss. Little in life is more precious than a child serving his or her favorite person Mother’s Day breakfast-in-bed. A cup of coffee, sliced strawberries, and a hunk of this delicious, made from scratch, easy, sweet bread makes for memory making at its finest. The most difficult, and the most fun, part of making this bread is trying to figure out how to get the braid just right. The directions below create a stunning, show stopper of a loaf that may take a few tries to get just right. It is also possible, however, to take a short cut. Simply complete steps 1 and 2 of the “To Braid the Bread” directions below. In step 3, place the two wide braid strips side by side and braid as if you were braiding hair. When the loaf is braided top to bottom, simply take one end and roll it up as if making a cinnamon roll (tuck the ends under), proceed with the egg wash, and bake as directed. With any luck, you will be able to take a photograph before your family slices the warm bread and half of it disappears while you have gone to change over the laundry (see photograph).
The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight. —M.F.K. Fisher