Out of the Painfog and back to bread-making…

It’s great to have home-made bread again, and I’ve really got to break out of this rut I’ve got into (been pushed into by events beyond my control, rather), and bake at least once a week. This should be easier now my pain is under control.

First step is to order some of my favourite specialist flours from Shipton Mill (these guys do some really great flours; good people too), like spelt, emmer, and Khorason, as well as rye. That way my 50% loaf, as well as being half wholemeal (the other half white, of course), can be something more interesting.

Until this past week, when my new pain meds have come to their maximum effect, I hadn’t really appreciated Continue reading

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A hidden cost of disability and illness, plus assorted foodie ramblings…

In my case, a quite substantial cost is in wasted food, simply because I am all too often too ill to cook. When I am able, I get maximum benefit from it by cooking for the freezer – cooking on a daily basis, one meal at a time, is simply out of the question.

Yesterday, in the hope I’d be up to it today, I defrosted some braising steak. It was a vain hope and, unless things change as the day goes on Continue reading

Kenwood Premier Silver Chef…

I’ve just bought one of those, and that “Silver” matters, as the basic Premier Chef, sans glass blender and Flexible Beater, and also without the Silver appellation, is distributed only through Argos.

Anyway, one of the problems with my previous Chef Classic, aside from a battery of ominous noises, is that it vibrates dreadfully. The new one doesn’t.

It is, though, by virtue of its Continue reading

100% Emmer Bread…

A year or more ago I promised I’d make 100% Emmer bread – and never did.

Emmer is a primitive form of wheat that, like Spelt, Einkorn, and Khorason, dates back to when god was in short pants, and it makes very nice bread mixed 50-50 with white bread flour so, based on the fact that Italy allegedly has a thriving 100% Emmer bread industry, I thought I check it out – finally got round to it this week.

First problem Continue reading

Khorason bread…

Last Wednesday I made my weekly bread with 50% wholemeal Khorason flour instead of the normal 50% wholemeal, and it was a seriously strange experience.

Khorason, by the way, is an ancient strain of wheat that has remained unchanged for thousands of years – its origins are unknown, but it seems certain that it predates the Pharaohs. It is though to be a variant of Emmer which, itself, has been dated back to 7,000 years BC. The grain for my flour comes from the Khorason region of Iran, from which it takes it’s name (not Iraq as I might have said  in an earlier post or Tweet).

Khorason is grown commercially in the US under the Continue reading

Random food noodlings – bread flours, plus pickling chillies and ginger…

Right, then. Last year I was sold 5 kilos of something rather special. No, not drugs, something better – Swedish Spring Wheat Flour. Most of it has now been used, experimenting with it in various combinations with other flours and, on its own, in makes amazingly good rolls, with a surprisingly yellow crumb. One thing I failed to do, while I had plenty, was make a loaf using it alone.

Now, I have just one kilo left, and it’s pretty much too late.

Well, OK, I could make one loaf, but the problem is that I want to make a couple of loaves, but a kilo just isn’t enough for a couple of 2lb loaves, so I need to pad it out with something which will either have little effect on its character, or, perhaps, complement it.

I’ve a couple of white flours to choose from, both my Continue reading

Bread-making with a new fan oven…

15 years ago, when I moved to my current building, an elderly fridge and cooker came as part of the deal. Last year, as they were all getting a bit long in the tooth (about 30 years old), the management company “gifted” them to the tenants – by which I mean saddled us with the inevitable replacement and removal costs!

I never used the fridge, it was Continue reading

Keeping home-made bread fresh in summer…

And the rest of the year, of course, but summer is particularly problematic.

My home-made bread is, as I might have mentioned previously, excellent. It has a downside though – the keeping qualities of a Cameron  pre-election promise. Not a defect, except in Cameron, but I hate waste.

A loaf will last me a week, but by day three, especially in warm weather, it’s starting to smell a bit ripe, and by day five it’s furry and in the bin.

OK, not unexpected, as it’s Continue reading

More thoughts about breadmaking…

I started making bread seriously something over a year ago, from – as I’ve mentioned previously – a position of minimal knowledge. I knew the basics, but there was still a learning curve. As with most things worth doing, that shows no sign of abating and, between then and now, I’ve read a hell of a lot – just not recipes – I might pick up ideas from books, but I almost never use anyone else’s recipes, whether for bread or food in general. And, the more I read, the more I realise that every writer believes Continue reading