"This is a great recipe for the freezer but also a good one to bring to a friends' house for brunch. I love making bread and this is a nice, sweet twist. The banana adds softness while the nuts and chocolate chips add texture" - Stephen Chisholm

Yield: 1 Large Loaf

Ingredients

  • 100g blanched hazelnuts 
  • 1 large banana, about 100g approx
  • 30g honey
  • 250-300ml water 
  • 500g strong white flour 
  • 60g cocoa powder 
  • 10g salt
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 50g milk chocolate chips
  • Rolled oats, to decorate 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180℃/gas mark 4. Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for 15mins, turning once. Leave to cool before chopping roughly. 
  2. In a large jug, mash the banana using your hands. Whisk in the honey, then add 250ml of cool water, whisking until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the cocoa powder. Add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to another. Pour in the wet mixture until a soft dough forms, at this point you may add the remaining water if it feels a little stiff.
  3. Knead on a worktop for a good eight minutes, by which point the dough will start to look smooth and shiny. Add the hazelnuts and chocolate chips and knead for a further two minutes. Leave to rise in the bowl until doubled in size, about 1.5 to two hours.
  4. Take the risen dough from the bowl and gently shape into a tight sausage. Either place into a 450g loaf tin or leave free-form to rise until it has doubled in size, about one hour at room temperature or you can place in the fridge for 8-12hrs (perfect to bake for breakfast the next day).
  5. Preheat the oven to 210℃/gas mark 7. Wet the risen loaf with a little water, then sprinkle over the oats. Score the loaf lengthways before placing into the hot oven, toss in some cold water to make steam. Bake for 10mins, then reduce the oven temperature by 20℃ for a further 25mins.
  6. Try to cool for 60mins before digging in. 

TIP: When kneading the dough, try not to add any extra flour or oil to the surface. Elbow grease is best.