The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Caramelized Hazelnut Squares

CaptainBatard's picture

Caramelized Hazelnut Squares

When you have a lot of time on your hands and want to test yourself....this a good bread to try. I originally saw this bread posted at Wild Yeast when Susan was having a giveaway for the SFBI book Advanced Bread and Pastry. I was very taken by those beautiful pictures of Caramelized Hazelnut Squares. I entered the giveaway (twice) and counted the days till I would have the book in hand to start those beautiful hazelnut know the ending...I did not win....but Susan was nice enough to send me a lengthy excel sheet with the formula and a few mixing notes. I had no idea what I was getting into! I started with the preferments which consisted of 2 stiff levain and 2 stiff sponges that eventually got added to a very wet dough....I was totally over my head on this one! I did not have the detailed instructions that were in the book but I proceeded to work my may through her excel sheet and put it together following her advise "think of it as  ciabata with nuts". After several folds with wet hands and a scraper and lots of flour on the bench...I managed to get it off the bench and into the oven...what you can not see is the part that oozed off the hearth and formed on the oven rack!

When I finally pulled them from the oven, a smile came to my face and patted myself on the back! The flour encrusted loaves reminded me of the snow that had just dusted the ground. I have to be honest...I could not wait for them to cool...The first taste I had was with a smear of Nutella ummmm. It does not get much better than that...except for the second tasting which was a slice of brie on the still warm bread. I have to add...I  just broke down and ordered the book today to see what the recipe really said...


dmsnyder's picture


Jeremy's picture

Tasty Captain B!

Farine's picture

...we made at SFBI using the same formula weren't any better looking than these ones!!! You did a fantastic job and I love the pictures too. I can't think of anything I'd like better just now than a slice of this bread with runny French brie. Hmm!...

ehanner's picture

Capt. B,

You out did yourself. That looks great. I was looking at the recipe a few days ago and I take my hat off to you for the procedure is complicated. Very nice.


CaptainBatard's picture


I was amazed that it went so you is a tricky one...


utahcpalady's picture

So, you ordered the book, are you happy with it? It is an investment, so I am curious as to your opinion.