In Honour of Autumn Travelers: Hedgehog Bread

“The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.” Archilochus

Hedgehogs…they are a visual treat of autumn, cute, sweet and remind people strolling through their gardens:  Autumn has arrived! They  hibernate throughout the winter, although they may wake up several times. Their nest is about 50 cm in diameter, cosy and social,made of leaves, grass and various other plants. Hedgehogs sometimes also nest in a pile of logs. Hedgehogs, however, will often wake up during hibernation and move to another nest, possibly built by themselves or by another hedgehog as one hedgehog will often build more than one nest. It is not uncommon to find a hedgehog nest not containing a hedgehog. Hedgehogs are nocturnal nomads, travelling between one and two miles a night to forage for food. They are cheeky, adventurous, exciting and fun to look at. Like the bread shaped and named after them…
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Ingredients:

250 g whole-wheat flour
250 g  bread flour
2 eggs
30 g fresh yeast
50 g butter, melted and cooled
100 g cheese
200 ml lukewarm milk
5 tbsp oil
Spice of choice possibly including red, hot chilli, wild mushroom powder
Milk, for brushing
Nigella seeds
Melted butter, for brushing

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Method:
In a large bowl mix the flour, the mushroom powder and the butter. Mix for 5 minutes by hand. Add the eggs and mix for a further 5 minutes. Let the yeast dissolve in the warm milk with a teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl then incorporate the mixture, little by little, to the flour and mix for other 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth. Shape it into a ball. Let rest for at least an hour up to a couple of hours.
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Take the ball out of the oven and divide into 3 equal parts. Roll each portion flat into a rectangular shape, brush some oil and spices on top, optionally scatter cheese on it and finally roll into a cylinder. Divide each cylinder into 3-4 parts. Take each part and slice thinly about 1/2 cm wide. Pinch the ends together and fold backwards (or under) to form a ball shape. Place on parchment paper and leave to rise for another 30 minutes, cover with a clean, damp cloth. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Brush milk on top and sprinkle with Nigella seeds. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until tops are golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven, brush with melted butter.
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Best eaten on the day they are made…before they decide to hibernate!

4 thoughts on “In Honour of Autumn Travelers: Hedgehog Bread

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