I’m beginning to experiment more and more with rye flour. I only use a little bit in this recipe – a 100 per cent rye loaf can be scrumptious, but also super dense and therefore not the best consistency for this enriched loaf. For me there is only one way to serve this recipe: warm, with lashings of butter that melts as it sits on top of the bread. Even the thought of the sheer indulgence is putting a smile on my face!
Spray the loaf tin with oil and set aside.
Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave and then take it off the heat, add the milk and set aside.
Mix the flours, salt and yeast in a large bowl using a wooden spoon, and then make a well in the centre of the bowl and add the honey or maple syrup, if using along with the melted butter and milk mix and two of the eggs. Mix this together to form a soft, but quite sticky ball of dough.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. This should take about 10 minutes by hand and 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
To check that the dough has been kneaded enough, pick the dough up and then fold the outer edges of it underneath to make a ball with a nice taut top. Then cover your finger with flour and prod the side of the dough, making an indent, about 1cm deep – the dough should spring back all the way if it has been kneaded enough. This shows that the gluten in the dough has been worked enough and is nice and stretchy and ready for the next stage. If it is not quite ready, knead the dough for a few more minutes.
Roll out the dough on the work surface into a rectangle that is about 18 x 45cm in size, making sure that the width is no wider than the longest side of the loaf tin. If the dough keeps springing back on you, just leave it for a few moments so that the gluten can relax and it will become easier to roll.
Once the dough is rolled out to the correct size you can prepare the filling. Mix the sugar in a small bowl with the cinnamon and set aside. Spread the butter all over the dough, right out to the edges, and then sprinkle over an even layer of the sugar mixture followed by the hazelnuts.
With the shorter side facing you, carefully roll the dough up and away from you to form a large taut sausage shape, about 18 x 10cm in size.
Tuck either end of the loaf under a little bit and then place the loaf seam-side down into the prepared tin. Spray the top with a little oil and then cover the loaf with cling film, making sure it is airtight, but that there is still plenty of room for the bread to rise. Leave the dough in a warm place for about an hour.
To check that the bread has risen enough, simply prod the side with a floured finger, as before – the bread should spring back halfway, meaning that it is ready to bake.
Remove the cinnamon and hazelnut swirl bread from the oven and leave to cool ... Or get impatient like I do, and slice it up while it is still warm and spread thickly with butter!
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.