Why are walnuts the add-in of choice when baking a nut bread? Its true that walnuts have the perfect soft bite and strong flavor for baking into bread and cakes, but I thought it was about time I baked and tested some hazelnut breads. With their uniform rounded shape, crack-crunchy bite and subtle flavor, hazelnuts are perhaps the most quintessential of all nuts. As written in the below recipe for hazelnut sourdough bread you should always roast briefly to intensify their flavor before adding to the bread dough. If you are using natural whole hazelnuts you will find that many of the dark skins will come off during the roasting, I simply add all the bits of skins into the dough along with the hazelnuts, as I like the lovely rustic speckly brown color this gives to the finished bread. Here I am posting my hazelnut sourdough bread recipe, made with an active wheat sourdough, wholewheat flour and dark honey. The combination of wholewheat flour, honey and hazelnuts is a classic mix of flavors which works beautifully in this bread especially with the additional slight tang from the sourdough.
Hazelnut sourdough bread recipe
200g whole spelt flour
200g warm water
30g wheat sourdough starter (recently refreshed and active)
your entire starter sourdough (minus the 20g you will hold back and store)
350g warm water
2g instant dried yeast
305g strong bread flour (german 550 flour)
275g whole spelt flour
35g dark honey
250g whole natural hazelnuts
1. Mix all the ingredients for the sourdough starter until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment for ~20h, or until the sourdough starter is bubbly and clearly active.
2. Starting with the sourdough starter and then the water, add all the ingredients except for the hazelnuts into a large mixing bowl and combine. Then knead, either using the dough hook of your electric mixer or by hand for 10 minutes. Finish off the kneading by hand and include some vigorous stretches and folds to really strengthen the dough.
3. Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to ferment overnight (or for 8 hours) in the fridge.
4. The next morning, bring the dough to room temperature. In the meantime roast the hazelnuts by adding to a dry non stick pan and heat gently for 5 minutes whilst shaking the nuts around regularly (they will burn very quickly if left unattended or not moved around the pan.).
Cost for 1 large, 2kg loaf of artisan hazelnut sourdough loaf as made above; 4.00 Eur.
cost per Kg; 2.00 Eur (compared to a loaf of similarly high quality from an artisan bakery, this is a bargain!!)