How to make a Brioche and Hazelnut

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Variation with Brioche and Hazelnut

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    Cut the butter into small diced cubes. Spread out onto a plate and put the cubes in the freezer until they become very hard but not quite frozen.
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    Proof the yeast by mixing together the yeast, lukewarm water and pinch of sugar. Leave until the yeast turns foamy.
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    In a large bowl, or in the bowl of your food processor, mix together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar and salt.

    • Add the butter cubes, and if using a food processor, pulse until the flour mixture becomes grainy.
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    • If mixing by hand, mix together with your hands by grabbing and rubbing until it becomes rather grainy. (You can also use a pastry blender for this, but hands work best.)
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    In a separate bowl, mix together the proofed yeast, beaten eggs, and milk or cream.

    • Add in batches to the flour mixture while the food processor is running (or if by hand, mix vigorously with a wooden spoon.)
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    • When you’re done you’ll have a rather shaggy looking ball of dough.
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    Put the bowl in the refrigerator, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
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    Take out the bowl, and turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead it rapidly, pushing and turning, adding sprinkles of flour if needed, until you have a fairly smooth ball.
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    Put the kneaded dough into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a plate, and leave to rise for about an hour.
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    Punch down the dough ball, and put the ball into a plastic bag that’s big enough to allow the ball to expand to at least three times its original size. Suck as much air out of the bag as you can, seal tightly and then put the whole thing into another plastic bag, and place in the refrigerator.

    • Leave it there for at least 4-5 hours, preferably overnight or more. Making the dough up to this point the day ahead of when you want to bake it makes the most sense. You can leave it refrigerated for a maximum of 3 days. During this time, you will find that the dough will rise and almost burst the bag open, so you will need to periodically take a look at it and punch it down. This is why double-bagging is a good idea, since you may accidentally puncture the bag while punching it too hard.
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    About 90 minutes before you want to bake the bread, take the dough out and shape and fill it as you wish. Roll out the dough into a long flat sausage and filled it with the chocolate and nuts.
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    Seal it closed.
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    Shape it into a ring.
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    After you’ve shaped the dough to your liking, place it on a parchment or silicon pad lined baking sheet. Make several slits around the dough with a pair of kitchen scissors, to form a sort of flower shape. Leave in a warm place until about doubled in bulk. Twenty minutes before you intend to start baking, switch on the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
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    Brush the top of the dough with an egg wash (a mixture of beaten egg and a little milk).
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    Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes – a longer time if you are baking 2 at once, shorter if you have a convection oven. Start checking at around 40 minutes; it should look dark golden brown and a bit crispy.
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    Take out, let cool, and enjoy.

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