Chocolate, roasted hazelnut and cranberry brioche
This recipe takes buttery brioche to a new level with crunchy roasted hazelnuts and cranberries and turns it into something almost festive. If you chose to make a loaf rather than individual rolls, then try using slices of it my French toast recipe for a great alternative to regular brioche.
Yield (makes): one loaf or 12 individual brioche rolls
Prep time: 3 ½ hours
Cooking time: 15 minutes
½ cup (85 g) roasted hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
½ cup (75 g) dried cranberries
1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk
5 cups (500 g) Strong white bread flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried yeast
6 large free range eggs, at room temperature
2 sticks (225 g) unsalted Butter
1/3 cup (75 g) white sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk, to glaze
Special equipment: electric mixer with bread hook.
1. Melt the chocolate in a pan over a bowl of simmering water, once fully melted remove from the heat but keep the bowl over the pan to keep it warm until needed.
2. Mix the flour with the yeast and ½ teaspoon salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, attach a bread hook to the machine and set it on its lowest speed.
3. Break the eggs into a jug and beat lightly. Gradually add the eggs in batches to the flour.
4. Add the chocolate mixture, hazelnuts and cranberries and continue to mix until well incorporated
5. In another bowl, using a wooden spoon, beat the soft butter with the sugar until creamy, add the butter mixture to the dough a little at a time. Knead the dough in the machine for a further 5 minutes.
6. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size - about 2 hours.
7. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for one minute, if making a loaf roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle then tightly roll it up. Pinch together the seam on the bottom of the bread and transfer to a lined baking sheet making sure the seam is on the bottom of the loaf, the loaf should be a long sausage shape.
8. If making individual brioche, butter a 12-hole muffin tray and divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
9. To shape the brioche, pinch off a small nut sized ball of dough from each portion and roll into a smooth ball. Shape the rest of the portion into a neat ball and gently drop into the muffin tray. Flour your index finger and push it into the center of the ball of dough in the tray then place the smaller ball over this hole. Repeat with the remaining portions.
10. Cover the loaf or rolls loosely with cling film/plastic wrap and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size , approximately 1 hour
11. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400F. Uncover the brioche and brush with milk to glaze. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until firm. Leave to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
12. To check if the bread is cooked pick it up and tap the bottom of the loaf if it makes a hollow sound its done, if the sound is more dense then the chances are that it’s not fully cooked so return it to the oven for a few minutes to finish it off.
If you want to make a traditional brioche simply leave out the melted dark chocolate, nuts and cranberries and add 1tsp of vanilla essence.