|Hazelnuts headed to the oven.|
I'm buying raw hazelnuts and toasting them. Conveniently, the skin of the nut mostly falls off when you toast them. Way easier than blanching...and who has time to blanch? Not me. In addition to a ton of hazelnuts, we've piled a bunch of dried Mission figs into this loaf. Now, while we do have a Mission fig tree here on the bakery grounds, these figs are from Trader Joe's, not my backyard. Maybe next year.
Full disclosure: I do not like nuts and fruit in bread. I really do not like fruit and nuts in bread. No foodstuff is less appealing to me than a fruitcake. I'm not just hating on fruitcake because it's cool to not like fruitcake. I really dislike it. It's a little like cilantro, which tastes like soap to me. Just like cilantro, I'm genetically predisposed to dislike fruitcake. But I like this loaf. It's not too fruity, and the nuts are pretty subtle. I wish they still had the crunch to them that they had when they're fresh toasted. I cut into a still-warm loaf and buttered it. Coupled with some crispy hash browns and scrambled eggs with smoked spare rib meat, it was part of one of the best breakfasts I've made in a long time.
|Could not resist sharing this example of how you might want to use your loaf this week.|
We went for a nice hike up below San Bernardino peak yesterday, and took a couple of sandwiches made with this bread. We sliced it relatively thin then piled on some thinly-sliced leftover grilled chicken, added a bit of salt and pepper and just a little bit of mayo. Not surprisingly, it made a delicious sandwich. So this bread is not a one-trick pony; if you use your imagination, you'll find things to do with it besides eating it with butter,but I still highly recommend eating it with butter. It was an amazing day in the mountains yesterday. I had only my phone with me for still photos, and i haven't configured the new phone yet, so i think the HDR effect was on when I took this photo yesterday, but the picture still does a nice job of conveying what it was like around 9,500 feet up there yesterday.
|Clouds over Yucaipa Ridge from San Bernardino Peak's Southern Flanks|
The week will be an ongoing experiment with this loaf, actually, so Monday's loaf may look nothing like Fridays, but all should be quite tasty. This was the loaf that I started working on last week, fresh from the oven on Saturday morning.
|Hazelnut Fig Levain|
And here's the crumb. You can see that the crumb wasn't ready to be sliced.
|Hazelnut Fig Levain Crumb, loaded with figs and nuts.|
June through September are prime months for getting stuff done, and my days might get too packed to maintain the bread share for three out of every four weeks. As I said, I'll keep my fingers crossed, as I have a bunch of ideas that I would like to try, mixed in with a few weeks of the old reliable loaves.
Ingredients in this week's loaf:
Toasted Hazelnut and Mission Fig Levain
Fresh milled whole hard red wheat, wheat flour, water, toasted hazelnut, mission figs, sea salt, natural levain
This is my "I hope I break even" loaf. Ha! If my math is right, the ingredients to make the loaf cost almost what I'm charging for it. That's not much of a business model... :)