Monday, 19 November 2012

Porcini & Roasted Hazelnut Bread

I have just shared the last slice of this delicious bread, toasted for breakfast with my Italian friend Nali, I did send a loaf home with my daughter at the weekend but really I should have baked more.

For this bread you will need:

for the ferment,
1 tablespoon of starter from the fridge
200g of strong white flour
200g of water

For the main dough,
600g of Strong white flour
350g of water
100g of Roasted Hazelnuts
30g of dried Porcini Mushrooms (plus a little oil for frying)
1 tablespoon of Hazelnut Oil
12g of salt.

Begin by creating the ferment, this will happily sit a bowl for the whole day until last thing at night before you go to bed. Mix all the ingredients to form a very thick batter, leave covered at room temperature. If your home is very warm, lucky you but apart from that, reduce the time this process takes to accommodate the activity of the wild yeast. Keep an eye on the ferment, it is ready to use when there is healthy bubbly activity.

Prepare the porcini mushroom by rehydrating in 2 tablespoons of boiling water, after a few minutes of saoking, chop up the mushrooms and fry in a little oil for a minute or two, add the saoking water and continue cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed. Allow to cool completely

Last thing before going to bed, in a large bowl (I use my Kenwood mixer) mix all the remaining ingredients apart from the salt. Leave covered overnight.
In the morning, add the salt and mix thoroughly to incorporate. Stretch and fold the soft dough every hour over the following four hours, being careful to avoid knocking out as much of the air as possible. I find this easier if the dough remains in the bowl, then any rogue hazelnuts that pop out easily become re-incorporated.

For the dough into two boule loaves and place seam side down on a well floured linen cloth. Leave in a draft free place for 2 hours until risen, transfer carefully onto a baking stone before slashing and baking in a hot oven 220 degrees C, for 30 - 35 minutes.

The addition of the small amount of Hazelnut oil does make a difference to the texture of the bread, as well as enhancing the flavour of the Hazelnuts in the bread; it makes the crumb more tender and the crust easier to cut. If hazelnut oil is not available though, the bread is still good.


  1. Another amazing loaf of bread. Once we get summer over and done with I am definately going to reconstitute "Herman" and see if I can't get some serious sourdough activity going on. We have a 4 burner wood burning stove that goes all winter long and is perfect for baking bread. I wasn't happy with how Herman was performing so perhaps I should divide him up and mess about with him. Cheers for the prompt to reanimate Herman...I am sure he has been thinking about what he didn't do while he has been languishing dehydrated on my pantry shelf :)

  2. I do think having a starter is worthwhile and rewarding despite occasionally looking at it in the fridge and finding it looking rather defeated. I find it's relatively straightforward to breathe new life into it. I would love of course to be baking bread on a daily basis and having the thing live in the kitchen with me, being fed, divided and used on a daily basis, but now I'm on my own a loaf lasts me three days. I will now give some serious thought to finding a name for my starter, it's been with me since the end of the last century, so something senior I think. Happy Baking, Tôbi.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you for that, I do hope you make this bread, not for every day use perhaps, but a really delicious loaf all the same.


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