Monday, June 14, 2010

Hazelnut chocolate swirl bread

Lately I've been thinking about food a lot. Well, that's not really surprising. But I've been having serious conversations with myself about it. Ugh, that sounds weird. Let's start again. Lately I've been having deep, elaborate thoughts about cooking, baking and food itself. About how what I put in my mouth affects my moods, my body and my health. That's more like it. 

I look back a couple years ago and realize I've changed a lot the way I eat. I've never been one for packaged stuff like Ding-dongs or Twinkies, in fact I find them really gross. Nor am I miss butter-y girl either. I don't cook with butter and I try to reduce amounts of it in baked goods. You could say I don't like greasy stuff, even if I really enjoy well made fries. But still, a year ago, you could find me devouring, quite often, all the baked goods that my roommate brought from the bakery she worked at. Indeed they were fine pastries, cakes and cookies, but the sugar levels were sort of scary.

I'm done with sugar comas. I enjoy dried fruits more than I enjoy candy (although I do eat gummy bears every so often), I like raw sugar much better than the refined one and I'm definitely not into buttercream frosting. I also use and abuse whole grains on a daily basis and try to stay away from anything pre-made or pre-packaged, even the bread. Call me a freak if you wish.

This bread is the result of those two years of changes. Of how much I enjoy a freshly baked loaf of home made bread, be it sweet or not. This bread has the perfect amount of sweetness, the creaminess of the chocolate and the crunch from the hazelnuts. The  hard crust prevents it from drying and keeps all the flavor inside. A great substitute for those of you who could die for a toast with nutella. The perfect sunday morning breakfast.

I baked this one along with a cinnamon swirl bread soon to come. I plan on baking many more breads in the future, I'm even toying with the idea of a 'one bread a week' sort of thing. I'm also moving towards more elaborate pastries, cookies and others. I feel like I need to use more with fruits in season in my baked goods, along with almonds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, honey and other natural sources of flavor. Stay tuned folks, nothing bad can come out of this!

The recipe is a remake from the cinnamon swirl raisin bread from the Bread Baker's apprentice. I left the same basic dough but took out the cinnamon and added chopped hazelnuts and chocolate. I also changed instant yeast for active dry yeast. Since the recipe yields two loaves, I made another one braided and with cinnamon, no raisins. Coming soon!

This bread was sent to the Bread Baking Day event of this month, breads with nuts! You can find it here

Print this recipe

3 1/2 cups bread flour (16 oz)
4 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 large egg beaten
2 tablespoons butter melted
1/2 cup buttermilk (you can substitute for whole milk)
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Dissolve the yeast in the 3/4 cups of water and add a teaspoon of the sugar. Let it sit until the yeast 'wakes up' and doubles in volume. In the meantime, combine flour and sugar in a bowl and separately, melt the butter. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast, mix until combined. Add the egg, buttermilk and butter and mix until the ingredients come together to form a ball. Place the ball in a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and let it rise overnight in the fridge or for about 2 hr at room temperature (proofing in the fridge gives depth of flavor).

Once doubled, split the dough in half. Roll each ball into a rectangle about half an inch thick. Spread the hazelnuts and chocolate and roll the dough like a swiss roll. Starting on the longest side of the rectangle. Tuck the ends of the dough underneath the rest and place it in a loaf pan. Let it rise for an hour. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with more hazelnuts.

Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes rotating the pan half way through the baking time. The bread is done when it makes a hollow sound if thumped.


Maria said...

Nenaaaa ets una freak d'una healthy diet, però estic completament amb tu, dues freaks, jejeje!!

Aquest pa ha estat esperat i desitjat, m'encantaaaaa, t'ha quedat molt xulo, i que sapigues que em mataràs publicant aquests pans en aquesta hora, estic morint-me de gana!

La cuina vermella said...

Estimada nina bonica!!! Ja imagino aquest pa amb la seva crosta gruixuida que amaga el seu sabor preciós dins seu. Quin plaer!!! Molts petons guapa.

Gabriela, clavo y canela said...

Hii!!This bread looks really delicious. Your blog is awesome. Regards,

Adriana from Bittersweet Baker said...

Hi Adriana!

Your bread looks delicious!
I have something waiting for you on my blog towards the end of my last post.

zorra said...

Wow, the loaf and the filling looks awesome! I would like to taste a slice right now! Thank you for participating in BBD.

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