The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens last night and I'm sure this new season will bring more cake scandal, more baking delights and more baking tears. Bake Off 2015 finalist Luis Troyano has launched his new book, Bake it Great, packed with tips and tricks on everything from cakes, bakes, sweet doughs, tarts and even a taste of Spain. Hairy Biker Dave Myers said that Luis’ new book “has serious yum factor”.
I've had a sneaky preview and was wowed by some of the recipes, including this one for Chocolate Hazelnut Star Bread. I love the presentation and definitely want to try this one out when we get back from holiday and visiting the family. It's bound to get a warm reception from the Nutella-lovers in the family, but I like the sound of the pesto and feta one too.
|Photo by Clare Winfield|
Chocolate Hazelnut Star Bread
A stunning, delicious chocolate and hazelnut tear and share loaf. If you don’t have a jar of chocolate hazelnut spread handy, you could use jam or marmalade. You can even make a savoury version with a pesto and feta cheese filling. In fact, you can fill it with anything you like as long as it’s not too wet. It looks complicated but is actually very easy to do. I would usually make the dough and prove it overnight in the fridge for improved flavour, before finishing the loaf the next day. But you can make it all in one day if you prefer.
Makes 1 star bread
Time required: 60 minutes preparation and two proves
Baking time: 20–25 minutes
Optimum oven position and setting: centre and no fan, with a baking stone
A kitchen mixer fitted with a dough hook
A baking sheet; mine is aluminium and measures 38 x 32cm.
Non-stick baking parchment
A large bag to put the baking sheet into for proving
135ml boiling water
135ml whole milk
500g strong white bread flour
14g instant yeast
1 tsp fine salt
2 medium eggs
100g soft unsalted butter
rapeseed oil, for greasing
2 tbsp smooth apricot jam
For the filling :
200g chocolate hazelnut spread
finely grated zest of 1 orange
75g chopped roasted hazelnuts
Add the boiling water to the milk to give you a warm liquid. Place the flour, yeast, salt and eggs in the bowl of a kitchen mixer fitted with a dough hook. When adding the yeast and salt, place them at opposite sides of the bowl. Add two-thirds of the liquid and begin to mix it all together. Add more liquid gradually until all the dry ingredients are picked up and you have a soft dough. You may not need all of the liquid.
Mix for about 8 minutes. You will work through the wet stage and eventually end up with a smooth, soft, silky dough. With the mixer still on, gradually add the butter in thumb-size pieces until it is all incorporated and the dough is smooth and shiny.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover it with clingfilm or a shower cap and leave it on one side until doubled in size. Depending on your room temperature, this can take 1 hour, but it’ll be fine for 2 hours.
Find the largest round plate you have that will fit completely on your baking sheet.
When the dough has proved, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface (I use rice flour). Fold the dough over on itself several times to knock the air out of it. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll out one half of the dough on a piece of non-stick baking parchment into a circle just a little larger than your plate. Place the plate on the dough and trim around it with a knife.
To make the filling, place the chocolate spread in a heatproof bowl. Warm it gently in a microwave to make it runny. Using a palette knife, spread it evenly over the dough, leaving about 1cm bare all around the edge. Sprinkle over the orange zest and 50g of the chopped hazelnuts.
(You could also sprinkle any other finely chopped nuts or dried fruit of your choice.)
Roll out the other half of the dough on a lightly floured surface and trim to the same size circle. Carefully place it over the chocolate-covered dough and press to seal around the edges.
Get a small bowl with a diameter of about 12cm and make a light imprint in the centre of the dough circle. Using a sharp knife, cut 16 equally spaced slices up to the circle imprint. The easy way to do that is to cut four evenly spaced, then another four in between those and so on. Gently lift each slice, spin over twice and lay back down. This will give you the amazing pattern. Twisting in one direction only will give you the pattern depicted in the photograph on page 110. Twisting each alternate section in opposite directions will give you the pattern depicted on page 111. (Sorry, you'll have to buy the book to see the pictures !)
Slide the whole thing onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet inside a large bag to prove. Make sure the bag doesn’t touch the dough. Prove again for about an hour until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/ 390°F/gas 7. Place your rack just below the centre of the oven. Bake the bread for about 20–25 minutes until golden.
Warm the apricot jam and brush it over the hot bread to glaze it. Sprinkle some chopped hazelnuts in the centre circle of the loaf – use a pastry cutter to sprinkle into and get a perfect circle of nuts. Eat warm or cold.
Luis Troyano’s new book Bake it Great, published by Pavilion, is out on 20th August