Actually there is, reader Jen. Reader Bibi supplied me with this technique a few years ago and in all that time I still haven’t put up a tutorial to demonstrate it, mostly because I can buy pre-peeled hazelnuts at my local whole foods! Still I’m keen to try it. Here you go:
Joe, Included below is a piece on husking hazelnuts that I wrote for a cookbook. The baking soda method is much easier and produces really skinless nuts without the hassle and the mess. I also don’t think think it affects the flavor. This method is recommended by Julia Child originally comes from Julia Child, I believe. On tasting.com, they recommend letting the hazelnuts cool for an hour before rubbing the skins off. I have not tried that trick, but the Julia blanch in baking soda method works like a charm. My note for the cookbook is included below:
Husking hazelnuts can be frustrating. The traditional way to do it is to roast them in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes until the nuts themselves are golden brown (the skins will be considerably darker). Then, wrap them in a dish towel and let them steam for 10-15 minutes, then rub them with a towel until the skins fall off. Not all of the skin will come off, which is okay.
The second way involves blanching them in boiling water.
1. For ½ C of nuts, bring 1½ cups of water to a boil.
2. Add 2 T of baking soda and the nuts and boil them for 3 minutes. The water will turn black from the nut skins. Rinse the nuts well under cold running water
3. Use your fingers to remove the skins. The skins slip right off.
4. Put the nuts on a kitchen towel, rubbing them dry
5. Roast the nuts in a 350oF oven for 10 minutes. If you care about perfectly white hazelnuts, use this method, if you don’t just toast them and be happy that your kitchen smells like heaven and your dish towel is blackened from hazel nut dye.