Whole-Wheat Bread with Hazelnuts and Currants

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Dough Yield: About


    loaves at 1.5 lb each

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

This Tasty Variation on Whole-Wheat Bread incorporates two ingredients—roasted hazelnuts and dried currants—whose flavors provide both a contrast and a complement, not only to each other, but to the overall flavor of the bread as well. The hazelnuts can be left whole or chopped slightly before being added to the dough. The hazelnuts can be increased to 20% of the flour weight for a fuller-tasting bread.

Pre-Fermented Flour: 25%


Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Whole-Wheat Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb 50 %
Bread Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb 50 %
Water 14.6 lb 7.3 kg 1 lb 7.4 oz 73 %
Salt .4 lb .2 kg .6 oz 2 %
Yeast .25 lb fresh .125 kg, fresh .13 oz, instant dry 1.25 %
Honey .6 lb .3 kg 1 oz 3 %
Hazelnuts, Roasted and Skinned 3.2 lb 1.6 kg 5.1 oz 16 %
Dried Currants 3.2 lb 1.6 kg 5.1 oz 16 %
Total Yield 42.25 lb 21.125 kg 4 lb 3.3 oz 211.25 %

Pâte Fermentée

Bread Flour 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz ( cups) 100 %
Water 3.25 lb 1.625 kg 5.2 oz ( cup) 65 %
Salt .1 lb .05 kg .2 oz (1 tsp) 2 %
Yeast .01 lb fresh .005 kg, fresh ( tsp, instant dry) .2%
Total 8.36 lb 4.18 kg 13.4 oz

Final Dough

Whole-Wheat Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb (3⅝ cups)
Bread Flour 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz ( cups)
Water 11.35 lb 5.675 kg 1 lb 2.2 oz ( cups)
Salt .3 lb .15 kg .4 oz (2 tsp)
Yeast .24 lb fresh .12 kg, fresh .13 oz, instant dry ( tsp)
Honey .6 lb .3 kg 1 oz (1 T + 1 tsp)
PâTe Fermentée 8.36 lb 4.18 kg 13.4 oz (all of above)
Hazelnuts, Roasted And Skinned 3.2 lb 1.6 kg 5.1 oz (1⅛ cups)
Dried Currants 3.2 lb 1.6 kg 5.1 oz (1 cup, packed)
Total 42.25 lb 21.125 kg 4 lb 3.3 oz


  1. Preparing the Hazelnuts and Currants: Roast the hazelnuts in a medium oven, about 375°F, shaking the pan back and forth once or twice, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the nuts have turned light brown. Let cool. Rub the nuts vigorously between your hands to skin them, and set aside. Break up the currants so they are separated. If they are very moist, toss them with a small amount of flour in order to keep them separated.
  2. Pâte Fermentée: Disperse the yeast in the water, add the flour and salt, and mix until just smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for 12 to 16 hours at about 70°F. Alternatively, remove a portion from a previous mix for use as pâte fermentée. In this case, refer to “Preparing the Pre-Ferment,”, for correct handling of the pre-ferment.
  3. Mixing: Add all the ingredients except the pâte fermentée, hazelnuts, and currants to the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients. As the dough is coming together, add the pâte fermentée in chunks. If necessary, correct the hydration by adding water or flour in small amounts. The dough will firm up a bit once the nuts and currants are added, so be sure it is slightly loose at the early stages of mixing. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for 3 minutes. The dough should be supple and somewhat loose, and the gluten should be moderately developed. Now add the hazelnuts and currants all at once, and mix on first speed just until they are evenly incorporated. In a spiral mixer, the reverse function of the bowl can be used to encourage speedy incorporation. Desired dough temperature: 75°F.
  4. Bulk Fermentation: 2 hours.
  5. Folding: Fold the dough after 1 hour of bulk fermentation.
  6. Dividing and Shaping: Divide the dough into 1.5-pound pieces. Preshape lightly into rounds and place on a lightly floured work surface, seams up. Cover the rounds with plastic. When the dough has relaxed sufficiently (10 to 15 minutes), shape into round or oval loaves, place them either into floured bannetons or between folds of lightly floured baker’s linen, and cover with plastic. Very nice rolls can also be made with the dough. If you are making just a few loaves, take a few moments and pick out the currants on the surface. This prevents them from overbaking and becoming bitter. This is not practical for large production.
  7. Final Fermentation: Approximately 1 to 1½ hours at 75°F.
  8. Baking: Transfer the risen loaves onto the loading conveyor or peel. A simple scoring pattern is best, as the blade will be running into hazelnuts and currants as you slash the surface. Presteam the oven, load the bread, and steam again. Bake at 450°F. Lower the oven temperature by 10° to 20°F after about 20 minutes to prevent the extra sugars in the dough from coloring the bread too quickly. Open the oven vents after the loaves show color, in order to finish the bake in a drying oven. Loaves scaled at 1.5 pounds will bake in approximately 40 minutes.