Chocolate and hazelnut is a classic flavor combination in desserts and pastries, but can it work so well as a chocolate hazelnut bread? I myself was not sure about this when I started developing this recipe. But having tried some different combinations of doughs I have settled on this really great recipe for a very interesting slightly indulgent hazelnut sourdough chocolate swirl bread.
Just to be clear on one thing here, this is a recipe for real bread. It is not a cake recipe, having lived in the USA for 4 years I came across many “breads”, such as banana bread, that I would refer to as cake, in that they are sweet and not leavened with yeast or sourdough. Anyway, this hazelnut sourdough chocolate swirl bread is as delicious as a cake but is definitely a bread.
So back to the subject of this post…. how to make this hazelnut chocolate swirl bread. For the hazelnut dough I use a sourdough made with whole dinkel flour, honey and loaded with roasted whole hazelnuts. For the chocolate yeast dough its a simple yeast dough, richly flavored with dark cocoa, only slightly sweetened and with bittersweet chocolate chips mixed through it. It may seem a little odd to combine a wholegrain sourdough with an enriched yeast dough, but it really does work, its this combination of sour flavored chewy nut bread and soft rich chocolate yeast dough that makes this bread so special to eat, just spread with butter. Furthermore, if you are looking for new breakfast ideas this hazelnut chocolate swirl bread with its fancy looking swirl is made for a special weekend breakfast. This recipe may seem a little complicated and like all sourdoughs you do need to start 3 days ahead of time . With a sample schedule and lots of my own pictures I will show you exactly how to make a hazelnut chocolate swirl bread that is to die for.
Day 1; 8:00 mix the sourdough starter for the hazelnut dough.
Day 2; 19:00 combine and knead the sourdough, proof cold
Day 3: 8:00 make the chocolate yeast dough. 10:00 add the hazelnuts to the sourdough, the chocchips to the choco dough, assemble the swirl bread. 13:00; Bake.
Hazelnut sourdough chocolate swirl bread recipe
Ingredients for 2 large loaves
For the hazelnut sourdough
200g whole spelt flour
200g warm water
30g wheat sourdough starter (recently refreshed and active)
your entire starter sourdough (minus the 20g you will hold back and store)
350g warm water
2g instant dried yeast
305g strong bread flour (german 550 flour)
275g whole spelt flour
35g dark honey
250g whole natural hazelnuts
For the chocolate yeast dough
385g warm water
7g instant dried yeast
600g strong bread flour
1 large egg yolk
15g butter, at room temp
75g bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Mix all the ingredients for the sourdough starter until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment for ~20h, or until the sourdough starter is bubbly and clearly active
2. Starting with the sourdough starter and then the water, add all the ingredients except for the hazelnuts into a large mixing bowl and combine. Then knead, either using the dough hook of your electric mixer or by hand for 10 minutes. Finish off the kneading by hand and include some vigorous stretches and folds to really strengthen the dough.
3. Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment overnight (or for 8 hours) in the fridge.
4. The next morning while the sourdough is still in the fridge start on the chocolate yeast dough. First combine the flour, cocoa, sugar and yeast. Then add the water, salt, egg yolk and butter and combine everything really well. Then, knead, either using the dough hook of your electric mixer or by hand for 10 minutes, until the dough has changed from wet and sticky to smooth and silky, try not to add too much (if any at all) flour whilst kneading.
5. Place the chocolate dough into a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. During this time, remove the sourdough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Also, use this time to roast some hazelnuts briefly in a dry frying pan.
6. Now, after your chocolate dough has nicely risen and your cold prooved sourdough has come up to room temperature you have 2 different doughs at at the same point in the bread baking process.
7. Add the chocolate chips to the chocolate dough and mix through, whilst in the bowl, to distribute the chocolate chips through out the dough.
8. Turn out the sourdough onto the work surface and use a dough cutter to break up its surface a little. Then spread the roasted hazelnuts over the surface of the dough and press in slightly
9. Its a little more tricky to get the hazelnuts evenly distributled than the chocolate chips were so here you should fold the dough in on itself 2-3 times, then re-flatten and repeat until you end up with a nice hazelnut sourdough.
10. on a floured work surface. Divide each dough into 2 equally sized portions and using your hands, a rolling pin or combination of both and form into even sized rectangles, with the chocolate ones being a little smaller than the hazelnut.
11. Lay the smaller chocolate slabs of dough onto the hazelnut sourdough pieces.
12. Now you are going to create that lovely swirl in the final hazelnut chocolate swirl bread. You need to have well floured handing here and rollup your 2 pieces of dough, making sure you keep the chocolate dough tucked in as you go.
13. Once nicely and neatly rolled up into a log, you can either place into a loaf tin to bake a sandwich loaf or an oval shaped prooving basket for a free form loaf.
14. Allow to proove and re-rise at room temperature for ~1-1.5 hours or until almost doubled in size. Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees.
15. When your loaves are ready to bake, place a roasting tray of water on the oven floor to create steam in your oven. Then bake your chocolate hazelnut bread for 10 minutes at 250 degrees and then for a further 35-40 minutes are 200 degrees. Baking this bread fills your kitchen with wonderful chocolatey, nutty aroma. Enjoy.