Chocolate Hazelnut Bread

There’s something about making a loaf of yeast bread that gives me a totally satisfying experience, when it turns out great of course.  This is one of those times.   The soft fluffy texture, the crisp sweet crust, big bites of bittersweet chocolate and toasted hazelnuts – yes … totally satisfying and easy too!

The only thing difficult about this bread is trying to decide if you eat it for breakfast or dessert.  Save yourself the trouble and don’t decide ;)
Don’t cut corners and use chocolate chips.  The hand chopped bittersweet chocolate chunks melt into the fiber of the bread giving you bursts of rich chocolate flavor.  The Nutella doesn’t hurt either!
Don’t count on this being around the house for a long time, it disappears like magic!  Good thing it’s so easy to make.
Chocolate Hazelnut Bread

Chocolate Hazelnut Bread
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed tightly
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3/4 cup evaporated milk
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 heaping cup)
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, rough chopped
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, if desired
Nutella spread (optional)

In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, the brown sugar, yeast, salt and coffee powder.  Set aside.

In a small saucepan combine the evaporated milk, butter and 1/4 cup of water.  Heat until the butter is almost melted and the mixture reaches 120-130 degrees on an instant read thermometer.  Add the warm milk mixture to the flour mixture and add one of the eggs.  Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.  Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.  This will be a very sticky, shaggy dough.  Stir in the chopped chocolate and hazelnuts.

Now add some of the remaining flour stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough is soft, but still sticky.  I used the remaining 1 1/2 cups, but no more.  Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 1 hour).

Grease a 2-quart square baking dish.  Punch down the dough and transfer it to the prepared pan.  Cover and let the dough rise again in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water until blended.  Brush the egg mixture on the top of the bread then sprinkle with the turbinado (or coarse) sugar.

Bake for 50 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped.  Cover the bread with foil after the first twenty minutes of baking to prevent over browning.  Cool in the dish for about 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Serve with Nutella if desired.

(recipe adapted from a recipe in the Better Home and Gardens Special Interest Publication (chocolate) January 2012)

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It’s hard to believe Memorial Day is here already.  I often think about our military and those that have died while serving our Country.  I am humbled by their ultimate sacrifice.  I’m glad we, as a Country, take the time to honor our veterans on Veteran’s Day and those that were lost on Memorial Day.  I hope we never lose sight of the significant role they play in all our lives.

Memorial Day also serves as the unofficial start of summer.  Are you cooking out today and spending it with family and friends?  Maybe doing some yard work, spreading mulch, trimming bushes?  I need to do all that but first I’m going to fold another load of clothes and spend some time on the treadmill.  I didn’t plan a big BBQ but am making homemade pizza sauce and a thin crust pizza to post later this week.

I do want to say Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter Allie!  Allie is getting married in a few weeks and I’m already getting weepy.  Our baby will be 25 years old tomorrow.  It’s hard to believe how fast these years have flown by.

Thanks so much for stopping by and hope you have a great week!

Tricia

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15 Comments

  1. says

    I do not need to tell you this is my kind of bread, Tricia! It looks great and it must taste even better. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter! I wish her a magical wedding day and a long lifetime of happiness!

  2. says

    I have never made a sweet yeast bread (generally chicken of yeast) but that is going to change with this recipe. I like the idea of the texture of a yeast bread with the chocolate chips and sweetness that I would think of with a quick bread. Yum. :)<br />I also have a 25 year old daughter (May birthday). I don't know where the years have gone and how they possibly could have slipped by so

  3. says

    Oh my goodness. This looks AMAZING. Then you had to go and put Nutella on top? I have to say, I recently made plain, unadulterated, roasted hazelnut butter, and I liked it even better than the chocolate version. [Gasp!] Of course, now I need some bread to spread it on…

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