Cherry and Hazelnut Knots


Sometimes when I'm photographing my baking, it feels like I'm back at University. Have you ever experienced going to an exam fully prepared and confident that you'll do really well, but for some reason you barely manage to scrape through it; and then, all of a sudden, you pass with flying colours and get that feeling of blissful satisfaction?  

That whole experience mirrors here; sometimes when I make something - even by my standards - exceptionally good, I struggle to take a decent photo. Like with these knots. I uploaded the pictures and I couldn't see what I wanted to see, or more specifically taste; I tried and tried endlessly to get a picture that would tell you straight away, without reading the recipe, how lovely they are. I was really patient in the beginning... different spots, lighting, time of the day, nope.. the more I tried, the more disappointed I got and eventually in a state of great frustration I admitted defeat and decided to quit.  These are the shots I ended up with; the last one has a glimpse of what I wanted to achieve as it reveals the lovely texture and colour they have.

But, on the bright side I remembered an old rule - the next time I bake something less satisfying, I expect my camera to be more generous to me than my oven. And don't expect me to confess here and give you a clue whether that happened on these pages before - it is not going to happen!. 
In case you decide to trust my word more then my photography skills and can imagine how dry cherries and roast hazelnuts taste in combination with cinnamon, follow this recipe :

Cherry and Hazelnut Knots

225g strong bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
30g cold diced butter
1 1/2 fast action yeast
30g caster sugar
100g dried cherries
70g toasted chopped hazelnuts
1tsp cunnamon
1 egg
100ml warm milk
3  crushed sugar cubes

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5
Mix all the dry ingredients together and add the beaten egg and milk,then knead to get a smooth, soft dough. Leave to rest until doubled in size.
Knock it back on a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. roll each piece into a 20 cm long rope, then tie each one into a knot. Cover and leave to rise again non a greased baking sheet for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
brush them with a little milk  and sprinkle with crushed sugar cubes before putting into oven. Bake for 15 -20 minutes, and serve warm or cold.

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