The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hazelnut Bread or Why The Squirrels And I Are Waiting

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Hazelnut Bread or Why The Squirrels And I Are Waiting



Hazel

Little Nut

In 2008 I stuck some fresh hazelnuts in the ground at different places in our yard. I also gave some to our friend Tamara for her gorgeous garden. In spring 2009 I checked for weeks the planting sites, but nothing showed, only some more weeds.

I don't bother too much about those, and when my husband complains about our untidy lawn, I say: "Green is green!" This motto was already an annoyance to my neighbors when I was living in Germany. My eco-friendly garden was a fertile breeding ground for dandelion and burning nettle seeds, and other horticultural threats that law abiding, Round-Up toting garden owners abhor.

Last year I looked at some puny rhubarbs planted many years ago along the fence before cedars and maples blocked the sun. I noticed a seedling with round, serrated leaves that seemed familiar. After almost two years a hazelnut had sprouted! Though I scanned every centimeter of our yard for more, it was the only one. But Tamara gave me another nut-ling, she got several of them.

My two little hazelnuts cheerfully grew more leaves, while I watched them like a hawk, knowing my Richard's merciless efficiency with the lawnmower. They survived last winter, buried by tons of snow, and outgrew their yogurt container collars (protection from certain people to who believe that nature should be "beaten into submission").

With some luck, and if some people - I name no names - keep their greedy weed whackers off them, "Hazel" and "Little Nut" will grow into nice, big bushes, providing us with an abundance of delicious nuts. Unless our fat squirrels eat them first!

And this is it why I need hazelnuts:

The photo shows a pecan version of the delicious Hazelnut Mini Bread. Both recipes you find here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/23952/karin039s-pecan-mini-breads

 

 

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

What lovely little breads.  Would you mind if I featured the recipe (other post) on the home page for a bit?

Hazelnuts are one of Oregon's largest exports (some folks call them "filberts" but they mean the same commercial variety of nut).  They are delicious indeed!

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Floyd, I'm honored!

Karin

Syd's picture
Syd

Lovely write up and lovely looking breads, too.  How long are you going to have to wait for that hazelnut tree to reach maturity and start to produce nuts?  Hope it is not too long. :)

Best,

Syd

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm glad you find it entertaining (and you should try the breads). Hazelnuts are shrubs, about 6 m/10 feet high. I planted some hazelnut cuttings in my garden in Germany, and they grew really fast into attractive round bushes. So, maybe in about 5 years, if the wind does it's job pollinating them.

I just heard from my cousin in Germany that her squirrels snobbishly refuse to eat walnuts, peanuts or pecans from overseas - they stuff themselves only with German hazelnuts. So there is a slim chance that American squirrels don't like German hazelnuts, and we are left with some nuts.

Karin

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Hi Karin

To get hazelnuts I go to a specialist store for an occasional expensive treat, so to my surprise while at a greengrocer's the other day I found a small 'onion' bag of hazelnuts in their shell, at a comparatively reasonable price ($10/kg). I bought them hoping when I got back to the car and my reading glasses that the label would say product of NZ, seeing as it was late autumn here - it did, so I'm hoping in the future they won't be so hard to come by. I popped them in the freezer as I'm currently not at home. I like to use them in salads, but this time I'll use some to make the formula you have so temptingly introduced. Thank you.

Robyn

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Around Christmas our supermarket sells unshelled hazelnuts, but if you need more than a few kernels, it's a bit of a pain to crack so many (and sometimes they are empty). Fortunately our local natural food store sells them in good quality and halfways reasonable price. I keep my hazelnuts always in the fridge, so that they can't get rancid.

And I love them in salads (spinach with goat cheese, golden raisins and hazelnuts - mmh!), too.

Please let me know how your breads turn out,

Karin

EvaB's picture
EvaB

we ahve one growing int he backyard, and this year it has nuts. The deer didn't manage to browse it off first thing and take the nut growing tips! We just went out into the wild and dug up the bush, its taken over 10 years to get nuts, although its had blooms for a number of years, the deer have always managed to nip them off before the nuts form. I have picked wild nuts here, and not on any bush either, these were trees, it really depends on where you find them here, in the open they are shrubs, but in the edge of the treeline they become trees themselves and some of the ones I picked many years ago, were well over 10 feet tall, and single stems. The one in the back yard is a shrub and about 4 feet tall this year. There is nothing nicer than fresh self picked hazel nuts and you know they are fresh! LOL

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I have never seen one here, neither in the wild, nor growing in a garden. Mine seem to do well, and I cross my fingers that they survive. Even without nuts they are quite pretty to look at.

In Germany they grow just as you describe, Eva, the "mother" of mine looked more like a small tree.

Karin

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I would have been around 17 or 18 and I didn't know they grew here at all, but they do, but not all over only in select areas, so maybe its the same there, they grow wild but if you aren't in the right place you wouldn't know they did. Do you have access to a book or website on the natural growing things in your area, or state, we have a book on things that grow in Canada, and ones in the stores show different things that grow in specific provinces or sections of the country. Things grow here on the coast that don't grow inland, and we do have some things that grow here that grow in places in Ontario and Manitoba, and some things grow there that just don't grow here unless they are transplants, like sugar maples, and you have to have just the right conditions to get them to grow and so forth.

I've always been interested in wild plants as we always picked wild berries and stuff like that, and did a lot of camping out, I think the book I have is from the Queen's Printer in Victoria, they call it something different now, but that used to be the government of the province's printing office, they did all the things like that, including things on different laws etc, that you might need to run a business or for mining, or driving information etc.