The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Caramalized Hazelnut Squares

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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

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!

Comments

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Nice looking bread txfarmer. And, well presented.


Eric

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Eric! :)

noonesperfect's picture
noonesperfect

I think the trick for you will be to try the formula both with and without the entire range of preferments called for, and then (of course) let us know if you can tell the difference.


I wrote and posed your question to one of the instructors at the SFBI (the school founded by the author of the book).  He replied that the sponge adds sweetness to the dough that offsets the acidity that comes from the white flour and rye starters.  The starters and the sponge also have different effects on the performance and feel of the dough, as well as on the flavor and texture.


 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

What he said about the sweetness vs. acidity is very interesting. YOu are right, the only way to be sure is to try both ways. One thing to note is that my liquid starter is not that sour, that might be why I didn't think the white sponge was necessary.

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Those look pretty amazing!


I was wondering if you might be able to share your shaping technique. I was thinking of creating some mini-loaves that would fit into my tiny toaster wonderfully!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

At one pound per loaf, it's not exactly mini, so you might need to shrink the size. It's sort of rustic, not much shaping involoved. Just like ciabatta, pour out the dough, divide, tug into rough squres, proof smooth side down, flip over, score and bake.

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Ahaha, I guess my eyes are bigger than my stomach! A nice 1lb. breakfast! Thanks