Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread

This is a lightly sweet and hearty hazelnut studded seed bread that makes wonderful breakfast toast and a great addition to any meal. It has molasses and honey and just a light tang from the sourdough.

I made this recipe to take to Corvalis Oregon for a football game at Oregon State so I thought I'd be a bit cheeky and make it shaped and scored to look like a football. What do you think? Success?

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread

Look at those big chunks of hazelnut sticking out. Yum!

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread

Putting the dough together is simple in a stand mixer. Add the butter and all of the dry ingredients except the hazelnuts to the mixing bowl and run the mixer with the dough hook attachment just to get them mixed. Then add the molasses, honey and sourdough all at once and begin to mix them together. As this starts to combine, start drizzling in the warm water until you have used about 1 cup. If the dough seems too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together and then let the mixer continue to run for 7-8 minutes to knead the dough and get the gluten working.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board with a spatula. Flour your hands and then knead the dough just a few times by folding it over itself one direction and then the other. Gather the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl that has a tablespoon of oil in it and roll it around so it's lightly covered with the oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it somewhere warm to rise for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size. The more you bake in your house and the warmer it is, the faster your bread will rise. The extra yeasts in the air and some warmth will do amazing things!

After an hour or so the bread should double in size and be ready to form into loaves for the second rise. Turn the dough out onto the floured board and with floured hands pat it out into a disc and top it with the chopped hazelnuts. Stretch and fold the dough over itself then turn the dough and stretch and fold again. Repeat until the nuts have been incorporated into the dough then roll the bread up newspaper fashion creating surface tension as you roll until you have created an oval football shape.

You could put this loaf into a large oval proofing basket at this point to rise again and bake as one loaf but in this case I was preparing to make two loves. One medium sized football shaped loaf for the Stanford at Oregon State football game we were attending in a few days and a small round loaf for that nights dinner.

I cut the loaf into two pieces as shown in the pictures below and continued to form them into a small football shaped oval and a smaller round loaf.

Sourdough Molasses Hazelnut bread proofing

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread Proofing

I floured the two bannetons I was using and added the newly formed loves seam side up then covered them with the banneton covers.

These bread baskets are awesome. I do live a two hours away from any serious kitchen supply store so I do much of my shopping on Amazon. I have been very pleased with the items I use and those displayed on my website. I highly recommend using bannetons if you want to make quality bread at home easily. I have worked in fine dinning restaurants and I see so much value in purchasing restaurant or bakery quality kitchen products. They are time saving and really make things so much easier to prepare. If you love cooking and do a lot of it, quality items are worth the investment.

Sourdough Molasses Hazelnut Bread Proofing

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread Proofing

After covering the bread for it's second proofing I start my oven heating with my dutch ovens inside. One for each loaf of bread. I used a large oval shaped dutch oven for the football loaf and a smaller round one for the little round loaf this time.

Place the dutch oven(s) inside of your kitchen oven and turn the temperature up to 450 degrees for this bread. After placing the bread in the oven later, turn it down to 425 degrees to bake for 30-40 minutes

Sourdough Molasses Hazelnut Bread after proofing

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread After Proofing

This is the part I love! This is where I get to be creative and hopefully create something beautiful as well as tasty.

First, take the dutch oven(s) out and set them on top of the range very carefully using big oven mitts. They are obviously VERY hot.

Place a piece of parchment paper on the cutting board and sprinkle it with polenta or semolina flour. Roll the loaf you are baking out of its banneton onto the parchment paper then score it using a very sharp straight edged blade or knife making several slashes quite deep and quickly into the bread. For this oval I thought I'd dress it up with what I thought looked like the laces of a football since we were headed for the game soon.

For a more complete description and great pictures of the baking process using a dutch oven click on the dutch oven category at the top of this post for more bread recipes or check out my recipe for Rosemary Garlic Sourdough Bread.

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread

After scoring the bread, remove the lid of the dutch oven you will be baking in with an oven mitt and set it aside someplace secure. Now lift up the bread with parchment paper and placed it directly into the dutch oven, paper and all, replace the lid and put it into the oven. Now turn the temperature of the oven down from 450 degrees to 425 degrees.

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread

Next I repeated the process with the small round loaf making a simple cross of the loaf and placing it it the smaller dutch oven then into the main oven. Using the dutch ovens inside your large oven helps to simulate a real bakery oven with it's steam injection and strong even heat and it will give you a beautiful crust!