Hazelnut Yeast Twists
These hazelnut twists were inspired by the Slovak nut roll called Orechovnik. I prefer twists to one large roll because the twists are prettier to give away than slices, and also neater and more practical for freezing.
- Serves: 32 persons
- 1cup lukewarm milk, or more as needed
- 2(.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 5cups whole wheat flour
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔cup white sugar
- ¼teaspoon salt
- 2¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened and cubed
- 4large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 4½ cups finely ground hazelnuts
- ½cup white sugar
- 3tablespoons rum
- 1tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1pinch ground cinnamon
- 1pinch ground cloves
- ½cup milk
- 3large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3large egg whites
- 2large Egg, yolk, raw, fresh
- 2tablespoons milk for brushing
- coarse sugar for sprinkling as needed
Step 1Combine 1 cup milk and yeast in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
Step 2Mix whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour with sugar and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add yeast mixture, butter, and egg yolks. Knead into a smooth, elastic dough using the kneading attachment until the dough detaches from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place.
Step 3Mix hazelnuts, sugar, rum, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl for the filling. Add 1/2 cup milk and stir until evenly moistened.
Step 4Beat egg whites in a glass, metal, or ceramic bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold stiff egg whites into the hazelnut mixture.
Step 5Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
Step 6Punch the dough down and divide into 2 equal parts. Cover 1 part with a clean dish towel and turn out the other part onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 24x12-inch rectangle and spread 1/2 of the filling on top. Fold dough in half lengthwise to create a 24×6-inch rectangle. Pinch all the edges to seal and gently press down the dough to remove any air pockets.
Step 7Using a ruler for even spacing, cut the rectangle into 1 1/2-inch strips with a sharp chef's knife. Make sure to cut all the way down to the bottom layer, but don't drag the knife. Twist each strip around itself 3 to 4 times. Place the strips on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches of space between them.
Step 8Proceed the same way with the remaining dough.
Step 9Cover the twists with clean dish towels and let them proof in a warm place until visibly risen, about 30 minutes.
Step 10Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Step 11Beat 2 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Brush the twists with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Step 12Bake hazelnut twists in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer hazelnut twists to wire racks and let cool completely.