Daddy bread

I love bread… Who doesn’t? Wonderful stuff! There’s a lot of fuss at the minute about how wheat is not necessarily the best for us, as it is so refined. Not sure about that, but I know there are a lot of people who struggle with wheat – but really miss good bread (let’s face it, most of the gluten-free stuff is not great). A little while back, I started making bread with spelt flour instead of wheat. Spelt is related to wheat, but is apparently a much more primitive and less refined grain. While it does contain gluten and is therefore of no use to coeliacs (sorry guys!), it is apparently more easily digestible and therefore some people who struggle with wheat can cope with spelt. And you know what? I reckon it’s the best bread anyway – as does Iris, who refers to it as Daddy Bread (hence the title of this post). In fact, she’ll be having a sandwich made from it in her lunch tomorrow as I’ve just finished baking a loaf! One of the major benefits for me is that it is best baked on the ‘quick loaf’ setting on your bread maker – so with mine, it is cooked literally in an hour! Fantastic. Anyway, here’s the basic recipe with some variations underneath:

450g spelt flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of yeast (one of those sachets is a teaspoon but if you are going to do this regularly getting a tin of yeast is so much easier)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 tablespoon of oil (olive works well, but sunflower/ rapeseed gives a better texture and it stays fresher longer)

400ml of warm water (try 100ml boiled to 300ml straight from the tap

Chuck it in your bread maker in that order and set it off on your shortest cycle (an hour or so ideally). Job done!

Variations:

Obviously you can take it out before it bakes (about half-way through on my machine) and make rolls – or it makes a fabulous pizza base!

I normally use wholegrain spelt flour, but you can get white spelt, which makes a lighter loaf. Any ratio of the two mixed seems to work just fine – half and half is perfect…

One of my favourites is to add in two tablespoons of caraway seeds and two tablespoons of poppy seeds. I love the flavour of caraway, and the poppy seed gives an awesome crunch.

Daddy bread

Bread made with spelt flour instead of wheat

Give it a go – it is blooming awesome!

Two bird roast with fig conserve

Easy one for you tonight – and strictly not for vegans this one!

When I get round to it, I try and get my meat (and some other stuff, in particular a wonderful cheese called Wigmore) from http://www.purely-local.co.uk/ – who deliver food grown within a 35-mile radius of Bourne End, where I live. When I saw that they had a two-bird roast on the list, I couldn’t resist. This particular one was a pair of pigeon breasts and a pair of chicken breasts, wrapped in bacon. Perfect for a late father’s day lunch for my dad!

I figured I would jazz it up a bit, so I put them (I bought two for five us – plenty with enough left over for a sandwich!) on a bed of red onion and mushrooms, with a splash of white wine and roasted them in the oven for about 45 minutes. Then I brushed them with some fig conserve I found in the cupboard and roasted for a further 15 minutes. Perfect – and very easy!

Two bird roast with fig conserve

(Not the best photo – but damn tasty with some roasted sweet potatoes!).