Caramalized Hazelnut Squares
So I finally bit the bullet and bought "Advanced Bread and Pastry" by Michel Suas. I tried to be good and thrify, I really did. I used to borrow baking books from library, but then I couldn't let them go, wanting to keep them around in case I wanted to bake something from the books, which means I often had to pay hefty late fees and got to keep nothing. Now I just buy them. Amazon loves me, I think I will buy every book on bread baking sooner or later.:P
Now back to "Advanced Bread and Pastry" , it a wonderful book with overwhelming amount of information not just on breads, but on all kinds of baking. Besides great recipes like this Caramalized Hazelnut Squares, there are also valuable technical knowledges, which I intend to read from cover to cover. It will take me years I am sure, so in the mean time, I will bake from the book to fuel my learning! ;) Oh yearh, the book is hella heavy, so I am convinced by holding it, I am getting good strength training too!
The formula calls for no less than 4 preferments - 2 sourdough ones, and 2 commercial yeast ones. Along with making the caramalized hazelnuts, it's not a quick bread to make. However, it's not difficult either. Sticking to the formula, the bread came together pretty easily. It's a wet dough, but not as wet as ciabatta. It is however indeed shaped as ciabatta - rustic squares with no preshaping. The formula does not call for scoring, but I did anyway to one of the squres since I like the look better.
Very open crumb, studded with delicious caramalized hazelnuts, a decadent treat. I, however, am not convinced that we need all 4 preferments. I can see the rye starter preferment providing some sourness, the whole wheat sponge probably adds some earthy ww tastes, but the white flour starter preferment and the white flour sponge virtually do the same thing, do we really need both?
Highly recommend the bread, as well as the book!