On our recent trip to the Netherlands I picked up one of my favourite Dutch specialities, hagelslag.
Hagelslag was invented in the Netherlands in 1935, and are still used as a popular filling for sandwiches. They also make a pretty outstanding toast topping (it all melts, it's heavenly, oh god I miss it....)
These small pieces of confectionery are pretty much the same as the chocolate sprinkles you would find in the baking aisle. The Dutch enjoy a variety of flavours, from different types of chocolate to the more acquired aniseed sprinkles.
Having bought a packet home, I decided that instead of using them atop some bread, I would invert things a little and experiment with baking them into the bread.
After all, at Christmas everything, including bread, needs to be at least 10X more decadent! This loaf is oozing with chocolate, which is molten and gorgeous when straight out of the oven. The mixed nuts add bite and texture and the nutmeg seals everything in a warm Christmas glow.
I would alike it to christmas brioche, stuffed with chocolate and laden with nuts.
Simply put, this stuff is dangerously tempting, especially as an afternoon snack. But hey, sometimes you deserve a treat after a serious present wrapping/Christmas decorating session, right?!
Please feel free to add more/different fillings to this recipe, dried fruit would prove a worthy addition, as would the combination of white chocolate and cranberries.
(N.B I made this in a breadmaker, however it would also work if made by hand)
200ml warm water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp ground nutmeg
500g strong white bread flour
1 sachet dried yeast (1 1/2 tsp fast action yeast)
100g hagelslag (or grated chocolate)
100g chopped mixed nuts
1 egg to glaze
1. Put all wet ingredients in the bottom of the bread maker pan and then top with dry
2. Set breadmaker to dough cycle and leave it to work its magic! If baking by hand, Paul Hollywood has a pretty good methodology on the BBC Recipe website
3. Once the cycle has finished, roll out the dough into an oblong shape, with the short end roughly matching the length of your loaf pan
4. Top your rolled out dough evenly with the mixed nuts and hagelslag/grated chocolate and begin rolling from one short end, making sure everything is tightly packed as you go.
5. Placed your roll into a loaf tin and glaze the top with a beaten egg
Bake for 35 minutes at 180C, then leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto the rack
Slice and enjoy with a cup of tea (or go the whole hog and have a hot chocolate - after all, it's Christmas!)