This twisted cinnamon and hazelnut bread is made with incredibly soft and fluffy dough, filled with fragrant cinnamon butter and toasted hazelnuts. The finished knot is dusted with some icing sugar, making it a perfect centrepiece at any festive table!
Why this recipe works
Since my Twisted Cinnamon Buns have been such a hit with you guys, I've decided to make an adaptation of that recipe, but on a larger scale.
Imagine soft, fluffy and super moreish dough with fragrant cinnamon butter and toasted hazelnuts, shaped into very impressive, but easy to make knot. That's exactly what you will get with this recipe.
This twisted cinnamon bread puffs up wonderfully and tall, and is super soft all the way through. It has tender and airy texture, that just melts in your mouth with each bite.
The dough is based on my trusted and tested recipe, which you guys seem to be loving too. The filling of sweet and fragrant cinnamon butter goes wonderfully well with toasted, crunchy hazelnuts.
Last, but not least, this is actually a really easy recipe. It requires a little bit of effort, but the recipe and the technique is very easy and fun to make.
How to roll and shape the dough for twisted cinnamon bread
Once your dough have doubled in size, you are ready to roll. Transfer it into a lightly floured surface and gently press the air out of it. Use your hands to shape it into a small, rough rectangle.
Now, start rolling it into a large rectangle, using rolling pin. You don't have to be super precise here, you are aiming for roughly 35 x 50 cm rectangle. It's OK if it's a bit smaller or a bit larger than that, so don't stress over the size of it too much.
Spread the cinnamon butter all over the top surface of the dough and sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts in the even layer. After that, it's time to roll the dough into a log/ spiral. Start with the longer edge facing you, and simply roll the dough into a tight log.
Next step is optional, but I HIGHLY recommend adding it into the preparation of your twisted cinnamon bread. Once the log is rolled, transfer it into a large baking tray/ sheet lined with some baking paper and put it in the fridge for an hour.
This will help the dough and the butter to firm up, making it much easier to twist and shape later.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and place it onto a lightly dusted surface. Use a very sharp knife to slice your log in half, lengthways, but leave a small section at one end in tact.
All that's left is to cross each half in a simple twisting pattern, all the way down. Cross both ends of the twist together, and tuck the ends underneath. Transfer into the round baking tin, cover and allow it to prove for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Why to toast the hazelnuts
Before you start chopping your hazelnuts, make sure to toast them. Not only it brings out and intensifies that lovely, nutty flavour, but it also adds an extra crunch to them. Extra step that is 100% worth taking, I promise!
You can use blanched hazelnuts, or the ones that still have the skin on. Once they're toasted, most of the skin will come off. I personally don't mind the skins, but some people find their taste too bitter, so do whatever suits you.
Simply add the nuts into a hot, clean frying pan over the medium-high heat. Allow them to fry for couple of minutes, until fragrant and darker in appearance. Remove them from the pan onto a clean kitchen towel. Roll them into the towel to remove any excess skins and chop.
Can this bread be made ahead?
You can make this twisted cinnamon bread on the day, or a day ahead. If making it on the same day, simply allow it to prove as per the instructions in the recipe card.
If you want to make it ahead, prepare the bread up to step 9. Cover it and keep it in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to bake it the next morning, take it out of the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Brush it with egg wash and bake in the oven as per the instructions in step 9.
Extra tips for success
- Make sure the yeast you are using is the right type- It's important, because depending on the type, the yeast may need to be activated before you use it. Also, make sure it's still in date!
- Use the round baking tin/ skillet/ ovenproof dish- When baking this twisted bread, it's important it sits in a deeper dish, like a baking tin or a skillet. This will prevent the butter filling from leaking out, and will help the bread stay in shape.
- For extra shine and more sweetness, use some sugar syrup- This is totally optional step, but I like brushing my bakes with sugar syrup for that extra shine. Simply boil 50 ml of water with 2 Tbsp of caster sugar, then brush this syrup all over the bread while it's still warm, shortly after taking it out of the oven.
How to store twisted cinnamon bread
This bread tastes best when it's still fresh and warm. With any leftovers, cover it with some plastic wrap or clingfilm and store it at room temperature for up to 2 days.
It will become dry after that time, but it will still taste delicious, especially with a warm cup of tea or coffee. It can also be used to make THE BEST French toast ever, just saying...
As always, thanks for tuning in to today's post. If you try this, or any other of my recipes, I would LOVE to hear your feedback!
Twisted cinnamon and hazelnut bread
- freestanding electric mixer
- mixing bowl
- small saucepan
- baking paper
- 10' (25 cm) round baking tin (skillet or ovenproof dish will also work)
- large baking tray
- sharp knife
For the dough:
- 250 ml milk any
- 60 g unsalted butter cubed
- 500 g strong white bread flour
- 8 g fast-action dried yeast
- 100 g white caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
For the filling:
- 125 g unsalted butter softened and cubed
- 100 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 100 g hazelnuts toasted and chopped
- 2 tbsp icing sugar for dusting
- 1 large egg beaten
- Place the milk in a small saucepan and heat up until it is lukewarm. Add cubed butter and take of the heat. Swirl the saucepan few times, to encourage the butter to melt. Set aside and allow all the butter to melt.
- In a large bowl of a freestanding electric mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Make a well in the middle, and add lukewarm milk and melted butter and large egg. With mixer running on low speed, combine these ingredients together for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium- high and mix for further 6-8 minutes until you have smooth and elastic dough, that no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, and using your hands shape it into a ball.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with some olive oil, then place the dough in the bowl and cover with clean kitchen towel, cling film or shower cup. Set aside (ideally, somewhere warm), and let it rise for 2 hours or until double in size.
- To make the filling, place the softened, cubed butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Line the 10' round baking tin or dish with baking paper and set aside. Line the large baking tray with baking paper and set aside too.
- Remove the dough from the bowl into a lightly floured surface. Using your fingertips, gently knock the air out of the dough and stretch it into a small, rectangular shape. Using the rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 35 x 50 cm. With the longer edge of the rectangle facing you, spread the cinnamon butter over the whole surface of the dough. Top with chopped, toasted hazelnuts.
- Starting from the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a tight log. Transfer the log into a large baking tray lined up with baking paper and place it in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough log in half, lengthwise, leaving a small section in tact/ still attached at one end. Turn the halves carefully, filling side up. Cross the dough halves over each other, repeating until you have a long, twisted piece of dough.
- Cross one end of the twist over the other, tucking the ends underneath and forming a knot. Transfer the knot into the lined up round baking tin/ dish, cover with clean kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 45 minutes- 1 hour.
- Pre heat the oven to 180 C (170C fan). Brush the dough with egg wash and bake for 45- 55 minutes, until golden brown. If the top starts to brown up too much, cover it with some kitchen foil for the last 10 minutes of the bake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve while still warm, enjoy!
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