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Hazelnut Streusel Bread

This bread is a hazelnut lover’s dream: a tender, nutty texture studded with melty chocolate chips and a thick layer of crunchy hazelnut streusel on top.

Ingredients:

For the streusel:

  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) hazelnuts, toasted, peeled and roughly
      chopped

For the batter:

  • 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
  • 2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • Scant 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room
      temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) miniature semisweet chocolate chips or
      chunks (optional)

Directions:

To make the streusel, in a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter and process until crumbly. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts. Set aside.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan.

To make the batter, in the food processor, process the 1/3 cup whole hazelnuts and half of the granulated sugar until finely ground. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and process to combine. Transfer to a large bowl.

In the food processor, process the butter and the remaining granulated sugar until light and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and vanilla and process until fully combined. Add the sour cream and process until combined. Scrape into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir together. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scrape about half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with about half of the streusel. Dollop the rest of the batter over the streusel and spread it evenly in the pan, then top with the remaining streusel.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and let cool completely on the rack. Cut into slices to serve. Makes 1 large loaf.

Baker’s note: If you can find them, purchase already-peeled hazelnuts. Otherwise, spread them on a baking sheet and toast in a 325°F (165°C) oven for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Then pour the warm nuts into a kitchen towel and rub them together to remove the skins. Don’t worry about removing all the skins—the bread will still taste great.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2011).