So it is week 3 of the GBBO and also my bake along linky : GBBOBloggers2016 and week 3 means bread week, and in a moment I will be sharing my Cherry & Chocolate Bakewell Nusszopf with you. It appeared that many of the GBBO bakers tonight had trouble with their Signature Bakes as many were still raw inside!
Anyway, this week the themes were:
Signature: Chocolate Bread
Technical : Dampfnudel
Showstopper: Savoury Plaited Centre Piece
The trouble with baking ahead of each week’s episode, is I am always second guessing slightly at what the bakes will be each week. Therefore, my sweet bread is not a chocolate one – it does contain a small amount of chocolate, so hopefully you will allow me to still enter it into my bread into my bake off linky 😉
So believing the Signature Bake to be a twisted sweet dough bread this week, I googled this and I discovered Nusszopf. I have no idea how to pronounce that by the way! Apparently a Nusszopf is the archetypal bake of southern Germany, and as it is a sweet dough and it is twisted, I decided to have a go at making one. I opted to make my own version and add some British flavours, hence my Cherry and Chocolate Bakewell flavoured Nusszopf was born.
It did take a loooooong time to make and while it was easy enough to follow each step, it was time consuming and meant I could not go anywhere all afternoon!
However, I was pleased that despite my lack lustre twist (it was my first attempt at making a twisted loaf). there was a lovely swirl of filling running all the way through.
It was really delicious and I am pleased about that seeing as though it took so darn long to make. PLUS great news and Paul would have been happy because there was no undercooked parts, it was all cooked all the way through!
Here is my recipe for Cherry and Chocolate Bakewell Nusszopf . (The recipe stated honey but as I did not have any I used golden syrup instead, which did to appear to alter the bread in anyway).
- *FOR THE DOUGH*
- 300g strong white bread flour
- 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 100ml milk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp golden syrup
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
- *FOR THE FILLING*
- 100g ground almonds
- 25g desiccated coconut
- 100g caster sugar
- 125g sweet crumbs (I used a mix of 80g breadcrumbs and 44g (2 packets) of chocolate animal biscuits)
- 1 medium egg
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 8 glace cherries
- 2 tsp chocolate spread
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- *FOR THE DECORATION*
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- cold water
- flaked almonds
- desiccated coconut
- glace cherries
- *FOR THE DOUGH*
- To make the starter, sift 150g flour into a bowl and stir in the dried yeast. Add the milk, MUST be room temperature and golden syrup and mix together with a spatula, and then use your hands to shape the dough into a smooth ball.
- Cover with clingfilm, or a large carrier bag in my case (!) and leave for 1½-2 hours at room temperature, until it doubles in size.
- Add the remaining flour and a small pinch of salt, plus all the remaining dough ingredients, and bring together into a rough dough. I kneaded mine in my Kenwood mixer fitted with a dough hook (but you could do it by hand) for 3-5 minutes on a medium speed
- Return the dough to the bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size again
- *FOR THE FILLING*
- Using a food processor make your bread and biscuit crumbs, then add the ground almonds, cherries, chocolate spread, egg and almond extract and whizz to make a thick paste. Then add enough milk to make a smooth consistency - not too runny , but just smooth enough to make it spreadable.
- When the dough has risen to twice its size, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rough 40cm square. Remember to lift the dough up regularly and turning it 180°. Dust with a little more flour as and when.
- Spread the nutty filling evenly over the dough, leaving approx 3cm clear at the end nearest you and a slight border all the way around. Pick up the end of the dough furthest away from you and roll it towards you into a long sausage. Rest it on its seam; it should be about 40cm long. Transfer to a large baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Using a small, sharp serrated knife, cut the dough in half, lengthways down the middle. With the lengths of dough lying next to each other, showing their innards, pick up the ends of the lengths and start twisting from the middle, twisting them towards you so it looks like a rope. Repeat the twist with the other two ends so that you are left with one long rope-like twist. Or as close as you are able in my case!
- Cover loosely with a sheet of clingfilm/carrier bag to prevent a skin forming. Leave to prove for at least 45 minutes, until it has nearly doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ fan 160°C, gas 4, and place a small heatproof dish with 100ml water in the bottom, this is to make a steamy environment in the oven which will hopefully keeps the outside of the loaf soft as it expands, allowing the bread to rise further for a lighter texture.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the plait is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. *TIP* you may need to loosely cover the bread with foil halfway through baking to prevent it from getting too dark. I should have done this a little sooner i think!
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly while you make the icing.
- Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually stir in 1 tablespoon cold water approx, until you have an icing that is suitable for drizzling. Using a spoon, drizzle it over the bread in irregular lines. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds, cherries and coconut.
- Leave to cool slightly before serving warm.
If you would like to bake along with me for the new series of the Great British Bake Off, then the rules are here and you can grab my badge on my homepage and on the rules page. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and remember that at the end of the bake off, I will be holding my prize draw which has been kindly sponsored by Tesco (thank you!) who are also sponsoring some of the bloggers who link up with some vouchers to purchase ingredients. In the finals an independent judge will choose his or hers 3 favourite bakes from the final bake along (week 10).