Hazelnut Bread, Snow and Shooting Stars

IMG_4230One of my many vocations is teaching cookery. My ‘student’ is off to work in a French Chalet for the coming 2013/2014 Ski Season! Nice one John….

So, together, we plan classes that go through all basic cooking techniques  and baking. Each week we prepare a vegetable dish, starter or soup, then a main course and a dessert or a bake. It’s blistering hot at this time of year, but we ‘have’ to cook hearty wholesome foods each week, in make-belief of the blizzard outside. So, August in full swing and we are making Duck a l’Orange, Creamy Garlic Mushrooms, Farmhouse Mashed Potatoes and a fantastic Hazelnut cinnamon Butter Bread.

IMG_4202Kneading bread for 10 minutes, then leaving it to rise. IT’s so much quicker to prove bread than in winter. It only takes 30 minutes and it’s time to knock the dough back. Then I shape it and prove it once more, glaze and bake. I looooove making bread. Even in Summer. And as usual Pickles (the cat) watches…..IMG_4204

My house smells of Christmas but feels like the execution of St Lawrence!

Did you know? In August we celebrate the tears of St Lawrence between the 9th and the 14th. The sky is clustered with shooting stars. Magic…All you need is a dark sport by the sea, a comfy towel to lay on and a bottle of very cold white wine, and the stars shine even brighter.

And… we also celebrate the feast of St Lawrence on August 10th. in the little village on the far North West of the Island, named also St Lawrence, after the saint.  Here is a little insight of what went on then.

The Saint was tied on top of an iron grill over a slow fire that roasted his flesh little by little, but Lawrence was burning with so muchIMG_4215 love of God that he almost did not feel the flames. In fact, God gave him so much strength and joy that he even joked. "Turn me over," he said to the judge. "I'm done on this side!" And just before he died, he said, "It's cooked enough now."

It suddenly feels cool in the kitchen…… 

Claire Borg



Hazelnut Bread, Snow and Shooting Stars

By 21st August 2013



In a large bowl, mix the caraway seeds, salt, cinnamon and sifted flour. Stir the sugar into the warm water and dissolve the yeast in it. Rub in the butter into the flour mix, then add the yeasted water. Bring the dough together, turn onto a clean surface. Knead for ten minutes, until the dough in smooth and shiny. Place in a clean bowl, cover and rest in a warm place until it doubles in size (about an hour).
Meanwhile mix all the ingredients for the hazelnut filling and set aside.
Knock the dough and turn onto a clean surface. Using a rolling pin, open the dough into a large rectangle. Spread the hazelnut mix all over the dough. Roll sideways to form a long roll. Slit open from the middle starting with a single cut at the top and ending at the bottom. Twist these two pieces around each other. Place the plait on a baking tray and cover. Rest in a warm place for about 40 minutes. Lightly brush with milk and bake in a hot oven set on 200 degrees until golden (about 45 minutes) or better, until sounding hollow when tapped. Towards the end of the baking, in a small pan, boil together 4 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of water. Brush the bread with the sugar mix and return back to the oven for the last 2 minutes of baking to create a final wash that will give shine and a sweet taste to the bread.
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