Richard Bertinet’s chocolate and hazelnut sharing loaf

This chocolate and hazelnut loaf, from renowned baker Richard Bertinet, is the perfect dessert for dinner party guests to tear and share.

250g whole milk
15g fresh or 7g fast-action dried yeast
70g unsalted butter, softened
500g strong bread flour, plus extra
10g salt
50g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
For the filling

200g whole hazelnuts
80g mixed peel
Zest 1 orange
150g milk chocolate chips
For the egg wash

1 free-range egg, beaten

Warm the milk in a small pan over a low heat to blood temperature. In a large mixing bowl, rub the fresh yeast into the flour (or stir in if you’re using dried), rub in the butter, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough using the Bertinet method [see] until it starts to feel elastic. Keep working it until it comes cleanly away from the work surface and is silky and smooth (10-15 minutes).
Dust the work surface again with flour and shape the dough into a ball by folding each edge in turn into the centre and pressing down with your thumb, rotating the ball as you go. Turn the ball over and stretch and tuck the edges under. Put into a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave for 1 hour in a draught-free place until roughly doubled in size. (See make ahead.)
While the dough is rising, make the filling. Gently toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan. Tip out into a sturdy bowl and allow to cool, then crush with the end of a rolling pin. Add the mixed peel, zest and chocolate chips to the crushed hazelnuts and mix together.
Turn out the dough onto the work surface with the smooth side facing down and open it up gently so you can add the filling. Push the filling into the dough, then roll the dough onto itself to mix in the filling so it’s evenly distributed. Form the dough into a ball, return to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Divide the dough into 12 roughly equal pieces and shape into small balls. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place 6 balls on the paper in a circular, flower petal arrangement, then surround with the remaining All the balls should be touching a couple of the others so as they bake they meld together into a tear-and-share loaf. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove for 30 minutes or until puffed.
For the egg wash, mix the beaten egg with a pinch of salt, then brush a thin layer over the loaf. Repeat, then bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before sharing.
delicious. tips

Banana monkey bread

Monkey bread is made by stacking small dough balls into a loaf tin and layering them with banana and cinnamon syrup. A decadent breakfast hailing from America.

40g unsalted butter, softened
225ml lukewarm whole milk
50ml lukewarm water
35g caster sugar
20g light brown soft sugar
7g sachet dried active yeast
550g plain flour
1½ tsp fine sea salt
2 ripe bananas, sliced
For the syrup

200g unsalted butter
200g light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Melt half the 40g butter, then put it in a bowl with the milk, water, sugars and yeast. Leave to froth.
Put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl) and make a well in the centre. Sprinkle the salt around the edge. Pour the frothy yeast mixture into the well and mix, using a dough hook attachment (or with a wooden spoon), until incorporated. Knead using a dough hook (or with your hands on a clean surface), adding the rest of the softened butter. Work until the dough starts to come away from the bowl (or surface). Transfer to a clean large bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for around 1 hour or until doubled in size.
To make the syrup, melt the 200g butter with the light brown sugar in a saucepan, stirring, then add the cinnamon. Allow to cool slightly, then pour a third of the syrup into a 2 litre loaf tin and add a few of the banana slices.
Punch down the risen dough to knock out the air, then divide into small balls (about golf ball size) and stack them up in the tin, layering with the remaining banana slices and the remaining syrup, in drizzles.
Cover the loaf with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 45 minutes or until risen by half. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/ gas 6 with a baking sheet on the middle shelf. 6. Bake the loaf, covered with foil, for 30-35 minutes or until risen and golden. Leave to cool in the tin slightly, then turn out on to a wire rack. Warm up any extra syrup to pour over (see tip).
delicious. tips

Cinnamon and raisin fruit loaf

A fruity loaf recipe that makes a beautiful breakfast or afternoon treat. It can be frozen too, just pop it in the toaster when you fancy a slice.

30g dried cherries
125g mixed golden sultanas and raisins
50g dried apricots, finely chopped
250ml strong Lady Grey tea, cold
400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7g sachet (2 tsp) active dried yeast
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
Grated zest of 1 orange
55g butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus a little extra for brushing
1 medium free-range egg, beaten
150ml full-fat milk, warmed
Oil, for greasing

Place the cherries, sultanas, raisins and apricots in a large bowl, pour over the tea and leave to steep for a couple of hours before draining well.
Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the yeast, cinnamon, sugar, salt and orange zest, and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, egg and milk, then pour into the well in the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix to a soft dough. When the dough has nearly come together, add the fruit and combine.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic and smooth, adding a little extra flour if it’s too sticky. Place the dough in a large, well-oiled bowl, cover with well-oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Knock back the dough by punching it gently, then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into an oblong or round and place in a lightly greased and floured 900g loaf tin. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Brush the top of the bread with melted butter and scatter with a little sugar. Bake in the oven
for about 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the loaf makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.
delicious. tips


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