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?

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

What do you think? Football bread? This made terrific hearty morning toast! The dinner loaf was fabulous with just butter after had cooled completely. There are so many crunchy good things in this loaf and the touch of molasses gave it a wonderful sweetness and added color. It's a great bread for the autumn and winter seasons I hope you will try.

Happy Baking!

~Melisa

Hazelnut Molasses Sourdough Bread

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 whole wheat flour

1/2 bread flour 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast 1 1/2 tsp salt 2 Tbsp Molasses 1 tablespoons Honey

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flax seeds

3 tablespoons Millet

2 tablespoons roasted unsalted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts

3/4 cup sourdough starter 1 to 1 1/4 cup warm water ( about 110 degrees)

(start with 1 cup and add a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together)

Olive Oil

Cornmeal or Semolina Flour

Method

1. Add the flours, butter, salt and yeast to a stand mixer ( I don't sift) and mix on low speed with the hook attachment to somewhat combine.

2. Add the molasses, honey and sourdough starter all at once and mix again on low speed to somewhat combine.

3. Begin to drizzle in the liquid very slowly with the machine running on low speed until you have used a little more than 1 cup.

4. Allow the machine to continue to work the dough until it begins to pull away from the sides of the mixer adding more liquid tablespoon by tablespoon if it seems too dry. If you go too fast and the dough gets too wet add more bread flour a few tablespoons at a time. The dough should become just slightly sticky and be very soft in about 5 minutes. Let the machine knead a few minutes after it comes together maybe 7-8 minutes total. The dough should be just tacky now and still very soft.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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!

8. When your bread has risen until you can still see your fingerprint when you poke it gently and it doesn't immediately spring back then it's time to form your loaf!

9. Roll it back out onto a floured board and degassed the dough by folding it over on itself 3-4 times, then started rolling it up like a newspaper fairly tightly. You want to get some decent surface tension going on the outside of the loaf you are forming.

10. I put it in a floured proofing basket called a banneton to do its second rise. Cover it with the cover that often comes with your banneton or very loosely with plastic wrap that you've sprayed with oil.

Tip - You can make a proofing basket out of a bread basket or pan lined with towels but it's not nearly as convenient if you make bread regularly.

11. Put a cast iron dutch oven in your oven and begin heating it to 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes.

12. After 30 minutes, very carefully remove the preheated dutch oven to your stove top leaving the lid on.

13. Roll your loaf out of the basket and onto a piece of super handy parchment paper sprinkled with polenta or semolina flour and score as shown above or in the pattern of your choice.

14. Remove the lid from the dutch oven with an oven mitt and gently transfer your loaf by lifting the parchment paper and setting the whole thing in the pot paper and all. Replace the lid using an oven mitt and put the whole dutch oven back into your oven.

15. Turn down the temperature on the oven to 425 at this point and bake for 30 minutes. If you would like a darker crust you may want to keep it on a higher temperature but it should be done within 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Please let this cool at least an hour before slicing. It will make all the difference in the texture of this bread. If placed in a plastic bag after completely cooled the crust will soften and become more chewy.

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Copywrite © 2019 by Melisa Smith