Isabelle’s braided hazelnut bread
Last week Sam shared with you his winning chocolate macaron recipe from last year’s Dunedin office bake-off. Today we bring you the second place getter, a beautiful, sweet braided bread made by Isabelle, one of our engineering team leaders. Isabelle is Swiss French and this recipe is one that holds special memories of her childhood. It could not be more perfect for autumn – warm, fresh from the oven and filled with apples, ground hazelnuts and apricot jam.
“Growing up, baking was kept for when we had guests, and even then it had to be quick and simple. Most of the effort was reserved for the main meal. I have such fond memories of Dad around the cooker having in-depth conversations about which was the best spice to add. And of course, while eating the meal around the family table the conversation would without fail turn to how we might improve on our efforts and what we might make next time.
“I think most sweet recipes contained apples and hazelnuts – two flavours I never tire of. Now living on the other side of the world in New Zealand, this bread brings me back to crisp, sunny, winter Sundays when lunch was a feast and dessert a well-deserved pick-me-up after a morning filled with winter chores; stacking firewood and clearing the paths of snow.
“This bread was traditionally cut into short cylinders and packed side-by-side in a round tin to bake into a cake, but I think the extra effort of braiding it makes it look just as beautiful as it tastes!”