Every January, one of my baking resolutions is to bake more bread. I tend to make it much more in the Summer, where I have more time and when the kitchen is warmer making the proving quicker. Autumn comes, followed by Winter and other bakes take centre stage – but something about this time of year makes me want to take stock and embrace the slowness of bread baking. This cinnamon and hazelnut swirl rye bread combines seasonal flavours with just enough sweetness, and nuttiness from the rye. It only takes one prove, so allows me a little kitchen mindfulness, without the risk of growing impatience waiting for two proves! To make a loaf of cinnamon and hazelnut swirl rye bread, you will need:
120g semi-skimmed or almond milk
300g strong white flour
120g wholemeal rye flour
1 tsp sea salt flakes
7g fast-action dried yeast
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
2 eggs, plus one beaten egg for glazing.
For the filling:
3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
70g butter, softened
80g toasted skinned hazelnuts, finely chopped.
Grease and line a loaf tin with a strip of parchment (for ease of removal). Melt the butter in a small pan, then take it off the heat and add the milk. Mix the flours, salt and yeast in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the honey or maple syrup, if using, along with the butter mixture and two eggs. Mix to form a stiff but sticky dough (I used my stand mixer). Knead for five mins in a mixer (10 mins by hand).
Make the dough into a ball. If it bounces back when prodded it’s sufficiently kneaded. Roll out into a rectangle about 18 x 45 cm, making sure the width is no longer than the longest side of your loaf tin. If it springs back, leave for a few minutes to relax. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon. Spread the butter all over the dough, right to the edges then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and hazelnuts.
With the shorter side facing you, roll the dough up and away from you to form a large, taut sausage shape about 18 x 10cm. Tuck either end under and place the loaf seam-side down in the prepared tin. Cover and allow to prove in a warm place for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 200C/ Fan 180C/ Gas 6 and brush the top of the loaf with beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/ Fan 160C/ Gas 4. Bake for another 20 – 25 minutes, or until the loaf is well risen and golden brown. To check it is baked, tip out of the tin and knock on the bottom – it should sound hollow.
Allow to cool, or if you can’t wait then serve still warm with melted butter. Lovely toasted the next day too – and it would make an extra lovely bread and butter pud!
Recipe via Lorraine Pascale’s Bake. What are you baking this January weekend?