Set aside a few hours this holiday season to bake up a sparkling hazelnut twist bread! Baked in partnership with Red Star Yeast, this sweet yeasted bread features swirls of rich spiced hazelnut filling, a drizzle of irresistible hazelnut glaze, and shimmering gold sprinkles.

Hazelnut Twist Bread

Based on a traditional sweet bread from Germany (Nusszopf), this bread makes for a delightful breakfast or treat to slice off along with afternoon tea. This also happens to be the perfect pastry to share with holiday guests for Christmas brunch – assemble the bread a day in advance, and bake the following morning.

Hazelnut Twist Bread

Hazelnut Twist Bread

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Hazelnut Twist Bread

  • Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups (490 g) flour, divided
  • 1 package Red Star PLATINUM Yeast
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

Filling

  • 1 cup (125 g) blanched and roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup (96 g) sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp (45 g) low-fat milk

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp (14 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp hazelnut liqueur (or substitute milk)
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Gold glitter sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine 2 cups (280 g) flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixer bowl; mix on low speed until incorporated. Heat milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until very warm (120-130°F). Add warm milk, butter, and egg to flour mixture and mix until combined; mix in remaining 1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour. Switch out the flat beater for a dough hook, and knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough is ready when it feels tacky but doesn’t stick to your fingers (if necessary, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time while kneading).
  2. Place dough in a large bowl coated with nonstick spray and cover with plastic. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. To check if dough has doubled, lightly flour two fingers and press them down into center of dough. If indentations remain, dough has risen enough. When the dough is ready, gently press down dough; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  3. While the dough rests, prepare the filling. Place hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; add vanilla, melted butter, and milk, and stir mixture until spreadable.
  4. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board and roll into an 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Dollop filling over dough and use an offset spatula to spread into an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll dough up into a tight log and use a sharp serrated knife to cut dough in half, lengthwise down the middle. Carefully transfer each half to prepared baking sheet and turn each half so that the filling faces up. Twist the two strands from the middle out to the ends, like a rope. Tuck ends under, cover loosely with plastic and let rise 25 minutes. (Prepare ahead: After bread rests, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature – this takes about two hours – before baking)
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake bread until golden brown, about 35 minutes (cover with foil after 25 minutes to prevent over browning). Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before glazing. For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, salt, melted butter, hazelnut liqueur, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over bread, top with gold sprinkles, and let set before serving.

Notes

Hazelnuts: To easily blanch and skin the hazelnuts, I followed this helpful tutorial from Will Cook For Friends, and then roasted the hazelnuts at 350°F for 12 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Make ahead: After the bead completes the second rise, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature – this takes about two hours – before baking. Once baked and fully cooled, the unglazed bread can be wrapped well and frozen up to 1 month.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 250
  • Carbohydrates: 36

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Disclosure: I was compensated by Red Star Yeast for the development of this recipe. All opinions expressed are my own.

19 comments

  1. I have both almond and pecan flour and am hoping I could use this in place of the hazelnuts. Would you have any idea what a cup of whole nuts would amount to once ground?

    1. Hi Karen, I pulsed the hazelnuts with sugar in the filling, but the texture of the nuts once ground was not like a nut flour (in fact, the texture is closer to a homemade almond paste). If you don’t have access to hazelnuts, then I’d substitute a different nut, but I don’t advise using a nut flour – I think the texture would be completely off. Hope that helps! 🙂

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