Wet and Dry Methods for Peeling Hazelnuts | Bakepedia Tips

Wet and Dry Methods for Peeling Hazelnuts

skinned and peeled hazelnuts

Hazelnuts can be purchased with their skin off (left) or on (right), but the peeled ones are usually a bit pricey. Sometimes they are a time saver and it’s good to know they are available, but if you are more of the DIY sort, there are two methods for getting that clingy skin off – a dry method and a wet method.

The dry technique will skin and toast hazelnuts all at once. If you don’t want them toasted, then you cannot use this technique. Spread nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet pan and toast at 350°F until they begin to give off an aroma, the skins have turned dark brown and have split – usually less than 10 minutes. Shake the pan once or twice during toasting to encourage even browning. Remove from the oven and cool briefly on a rack, then take clean kitchen towels and rub the nuts vigorously between them. With a little work, the skins will come off.  Bits of papery skin will be everywhere. We like to do this over a large, wide bowl to catch the skins with another smaller bowl nearby to place the skinned nuts as you go. Sometimes a few hazelnuts retain a tiny bit of extra-stubborn skin on them; that’s okay.

For the wet method, place a clean kitchen towel on a rimmed baking sheet pan; set aside. Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil over medium-high heat and add ¼ cup baking soda. Dump in 2 cups of hazelnuts and boil for 4 minutes. Fish a couple of nuts out with a slotted spoon and see if the skins are slipping off easily (if they aren’t, keep boiling in 30-second increments). When ready, drain immediately and pour nuts out onto prepared pan with towel. Rub vigorously until the skins come off. Warning: the water turns a very odd shade of purple/black and may stain your towels, so don’t use anything fancy. No matter, you will have nice skinned hazelnuts. Rub them with a clean towel to dry as thoroughly as possible. If you want to dry them out further, or toast them, place them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet pan and bake at 350°F until fragrant and very light golden brown, typically less than 10 minutes.

Image: Peter Muka

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