Cherry-Hazelnut (Yeast) Bread

By • November 30, 2013 • 22 Comments

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Author Notes: This bread is inspired by and adapted from Joanne Chang's fabulous raisin-pecan rolls at Flour Bakery in Boston, a recipe for which is in her first cookbook. They're lightly sweet and absolutely jam-packed with fruits and nuts. I particularly like the combination of cherries and hazelnuts and think this bread makes amazing toast for breakfast. It's amazing with gjetost (Norwegian goat cheese).fiveandspice

Makes 2 8-inch loaves

Cherry hazelnut bread

  • 1 1/4 cups (300 grams) lukewarm water
  • 3 3/4 cups (540 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) bread sponge (below) OR recently fed sourdough starter
  • 1/4 cup (85 grams) honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup (100 grams) chopped, toasted hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup (120 grams) dried tart cherries
  • medium-coarse yellow cornmeal for the baking sheet, if using
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook, stir together the water and flour just until they are mixed together into a shaggy mess. Cover the bowl and let it stand for 10-20 minutes (this is called an autolyse).
  2. Add the honey, salt, and sponge/sourdough starter, and mix on medium-low speed for 3-4 minutes, until smooth. At this point, if you pinch the dough it should feel supple but still somewhat sticky - a bit like wallpaper paste. If it seems too stiff add a few Tbs. of water, if too sticky add a few Tbs. flour. Add the hazelnuts and cherries and mix on low speed for 4-5 minutes, stopping to pull the dough off the hook as needed. (If kneading by hand, knead on a floured surface for 4-5 minutes before adding the nuts and cherries, then 5-6 minutes after). Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turn the dough to coat, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen cloth.
  3. Let the dough rise in a warm place (around 80F is ideal) for 2-3 hours. The dough will rise only a small amount and should feel loose and still somewhat sticky. At this point, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into two equal portions. Shape each half into a ball and flour their surfaces well. At this point, transfer the two loaves to bannetons or onto a baking sheet sprinkled with a good amount of cornmeal for rising. (At this point you can also refrigerate the loaves overnight and then take them out the next day for the second rise and baking.)
  4. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow them to rise at room temperature for another 3 hours (they still won't puff up much, but they will seem like the dough has relaxed).
  5. Heat your oven to 450F and place a Dutch oven with a lid in the oven to heat with it. When the oven has heated, remove the Dutch oven and transfer one of the loaves into it, cover and place in the oven. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove the cover and continue to bake until deeply brown and crusty, 20-30 minutes more. Remove from the oven and repeat to bake the second loaf.
  6. Alternatively, heat your oven to 450F with a heat proof non-breakable baking dish on the lowest rack. Place the baking sheet with the loaves into the oven and throw 2 cups of water into the pre-heated baking pan, then quickly shut the oven door to keep the steam in. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the loaves are deeply golden brown on top. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
  7. Loaves freeze well wrapped tightly. Then just let them defrost and you'll be ready for slicing and toasting.

Bread sponge

  • 3/4 cup (180 g) water
  • 1 1/4 cups (175 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  1. Stir together 1 cup of the flour (140 g) with the water and yeast until well mixed. Cover and leave at room temperature for 4-8 hours. Then stir in the remaining flour. Cover again and leave in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Jump to Comments (22)

Comments (22) Questions (0)

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3 months ago Aileen

Is there any way of substituting some of the flour for whole wheat flour? Or would the dough become too dense and tough?

Sausage2

3 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I'm guessing you could sub up to about half of the flour with whole wheat and still get good results, especially if you use something like a white whole wheat that's a little less heavy. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

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9 months ago Bee671

So delicious!! Had to restrain myself and husband from eating an entire loaf in one sitting. I substituted dark chocolate for the hazelnuts...yummy! Next time I'd add a touch more salt, otherwise perfection! Thanks for the great recipe.

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

So glad! And dark chocolate? Yum!!!!

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9 months ago bluejeangourmet

my entire family is enjoying slices of the warm first loaf as the second one cooks in the oven! fabulous crust and crumb, and really easy to do--with a snow day on Friday, this made the perfect weekend project.

Sausage2

9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

:)

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11 months ago barcelona

If using the spong, you don't need extra yeast in the loaf? All purpose so around 11.5% protein? Looks so damn good! I am going to make this for Christmas :)

Sausage2

11 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yup. The sponge is enough!

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11 months ago Mother Daniel

Some cast iron dutch ovens do have a pattern in the bottom as the bread shos here. There are bread proofing baskets or banneton(s) that are constructed of reeds (some are made of wood pulp) that leave coil makings on the bread, too. They come oblong, oval, and round.

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11 months ago KimmyV

I think the design is from the proofing of the bread. It looks like design of a basket that the bread rose in and then when you flip it out into the oven It is on top. Cooking the bread in the Dutch oven doesn't give it the design but rather allows the bread to cook in a steamy environment which gives it such a great crust. Correct me if I am wrong!

Sausage2

11 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

You're right!

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11 months ago Shannon

This might be a silly question, but I don't own a Dutch oven. Is the cool circular design on the top of the bread just from the lid of the Dutch oven? Or is there some other way to make that design (please share!)

Sausage2

11 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yes, Kimmy is right. The design is from a bread proofing basket - aka a banneton or brotform. I actually just got it fairly recently and it has made bread baking soooo much easier. The dough rises nicely in the basket and keeps a round shape, and then you turn it out and it comes out nicely without sticking unlike all my experiences with a towel lined bowl where the dough always seems to stick no matter how much flour I use!

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11 months ago Shannon

Despite having made a lot of bread I've never heard of this before but since I also have that problem with towel lined bowls I think I'll put it on my holiday wish list! The bread is beautiful - thanks for sharing :)

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11 months ago ghainskom

Made this recipe yesterday, substituting the cherries for cranberries. A winner, a keeper. The bread is so good it doesn't even need butter! Will have to remember to be more patient next time and let the Dutch oven really heat up for the first loaf, the crust of the second one was of much better quality!

Sausage2

11 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

So glad you liked it! It does pay to have patience heating the Dutch oven! :)

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11 months ago cristinasciarra

Cherries, hazelnuts, goat cheese--sold!

Sausage2

11 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

That's how I feel!

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11 months ago Midge

I am so making this. Thanks for another keeper!

Sausage2

11 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Peggy!

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11 months ago KimmyV

Wow this bread looks amazing. I live in the inland northwest so i have both local hazelnuts and dried cherries on hand. I'll be making the bread spong tonight!

Sausage2

11 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Wow! Local hazelnuts and cherries would be perfection!