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Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate Challah

Valentine's Day is just a few short days away!

What will you be making for your sweetheart? I'll be making this challah filled with dark chocolate and hazelnuts.

YIELD: 1 large challah loaf or 2 small challah loaves

1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast

1 Cup warm water

½ cup brown sugar

4 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 Teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup canola oil

4-5 Cups all purpose flour

1/4 Cup dark chocolate (70%), chopped roughly

1/3 Cup hazelnuts, chopped roughly

Whisk together the yeast, sugars, and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes until yeast starts to bubble.

Beat in the eggs, oil, and salt.

Using a strong spatula (or the dough hook of your mixer) mix in flour one cup at a time to yeast mixture. When you see that the flour is almost fully incorporated, add in the chocolate and nuts.

Once the dough is fully mixed, turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Grease a large bowl with spray oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and put in the oven to proof. (Make sure the oven is off!) Proof until the dough is doubled in size about 45 minutes-1 hour.

Once proofed, turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 3 equal portions. Shape each of the three portions into a long rope. Using your palm, press the three ropes together at the top and begin to braid the dough. Once finished braiding, tuck each of the ends under to create a more finished/clean look. Let proof for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating beat one egg with a splash of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the loaves. Bake the loaves for 40-45 minutes for 1 large challah (if you are making 2 small challahs, bake for 30-35 minutes).

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