Forever Foraging: Hazelnut and Buckwheat Crackers (Gluten and Dairy Free)

“Have nuts and be nuts.” Criss Jami

Hazelnuts are important nut for foragers because of their quick maturing, high yields and their widespread wild growth (can tolerate most soils), they can be found practically everywhere. Encountering hazelnuts in the wild almost certainly limited to the fresh and green: the squirrels don’t generally miss wild nuts for long enough for them to ripen. Hazelnuts can be picked by hand, easily cracked and eaten both fresh or dried, but they’re definitely worth eating green. To become the brown-skinned nuts most of the people know they have to grow to full maturity and dry out slightly, and that means a entering a real competition with the squirrels…

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One-nil for the squirrels…only left empty shells…

Throughout Europe hazel has long been revered, not just as a source of food, but also for its magical properties. According to ancient plant lore, hazel was one of the preferred woods used to craft magical staffs or wands as it is said to be an excellent energy conductor. To this day it is used to fashion dowsing rods, which are employed to trace hidden sources of water, earth energies and even hidden objects…

“The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale…” Vera Nazarian

Hazelnuts are very versatile. They are equally suitable for both sweet and savoury dishes and can be incorporated into all kinds of imaginative recipes.

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Ingredients
90 g light buckwheat flour
60 g hazelnut meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon chilli spice mix
2-3 tbsp hazelnut oil
110-120 ml water

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Method
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the other ingredients and knead till the dough is smooth. Form a disc and wrap it in cling wrap. Let rest for at least 30 minutes (and up to 8 hours) in the fridge. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out the dough evenly and as thin as possible. Remove top baking sheet. Cut the dough into desired shapes. Gently transfer onto baking sheet with palette knife. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until they turn dark golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

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“I have to crack a nut in order to enjoy it.” Donna Lynn Hope

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