Hazelnut Blanching

Blanching hazelnuts with baking soda.

This is for both of us.

I don't want to forget what I just learned and you should know it too.

Blanching a hazelnut is critical for good tasting baked goods. The old school method has you sticking them in the oven, putting them in tea-towel and giving them a good rub, getting frustrated and doing it all over again a few times, peeling them with your fingernails and cursing the recipe which calls for them.

Forget about that!

Bring a sturdy pot of water to a boil. Drop in a tablespoon of baking soda and the hazelnuts. Have a slotted spoon handy and a clean tea-towel which you will sacrifice, because it will stain. Don't even try with paper towels. That's just silly.

After one minute of boiling take one nut out, put it in the towel, fold the towel over and rub it. Does the skin come off quickly and easily? No, drop it back in the boiling water for 30 seconds longer. Does it work now? If so scoop all the nuts out into your tea-towel and vigorously rub.

Pick the nuts out of the skin detritus. I suggest you roast them at this point because a roasted nut tastes better. That's 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

You're welcome.