Spelt rough puff pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven
Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited. It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple. And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, to take a few simple, pale ingredients like flour, water and butter, combine them, add heat, and the end result is a rich, flaky, crispy morsel…

Spelt banana bread with tahini and honey – dairy free

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt banana bread with tahini and honey dairy and low gluten
There once was a caped crusader that fought crime wherever he went, who wore a blue suit, yellow cape and gloves, plus a slightly funny snood-type hat with pointy yellow ears on it. No, not Batman on dress-down Friday, nor Superman after mixing-the-wrong-colours whilst doing the weekly wash. No, it’s the one and only Bananaman! Now, my girlfriend seems to think I’m some kind of modern day Bananaman. This isn’t because I’m a contemporary urban warrior, who has flown in and saved her from a life of tyranny, but because firstly, I’m quite enthusiastic about buying and keeping bananas, and secondly, because I have yellow (I prefer blond) hair, which apparently adds to the banana-likeness. But for 22 years I didn’t touch a single banana, because sometime around my 11th Birthday, I decided that I didn’t like them any more. Then one morning on holiday a few years ago on…

Roasted kale, goat’s cheese and pear salad with ‘Jeff’s flat’ cranberry dressing

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Kale, Goats Cheese and Pear salad with cranberry dressing
This is one of the few recipes that I’ve created which has been made many, many times before being posted on here. Normally recipes are created, tested once or twice, then BANG, they’re up there in the top spot. However this one drifted out of my head in early January, when we were staying at our friend Jeff’s flat, having foolishly employed some builders to tear down the ceilings and replaster the walls in BOTH of our bedrooms at the same time. I never, ever could have guessed how disruptive that would be, or how much work it would be for me, keeping those bastards in check. Anyway, back to the food. The recipe was a hit straight away, and has proved quite versatile. We made it for lunch the following weekend, and the one after, and the one after. I must have had it at least ten times now,…

Ironic Thai fried rice with Tofu & (or) Prawns

Gavin WrenFish & Shellfish, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Thai fried rice with tofu beans pak choi lime and chilli
Occasionally, I spend some time online reading other food blogs (although I try not to, as it’s an endless task). Quite often, as I work my way through the first few sentences or even paragraphs of a post, I find the introduction is some kind of whimsical, limp wrested observation which has little or no relevance to the subject in hand; food. It reminds me of listening to dreary, insipid sermons at church*, where awful analogies were dragged out, such as comparing God to a carrier bag, because carrier bags are very useful in our day to day life, they hold our food and keep everything together. You could feel that every last thread of energy that could be summoned had been twisted and squeezed into the creation and delivery of that sermon, yet it was merely killing time, it wasn’t contributing to the enhancement of anyones faith. Yet, we…

Feta, rosemary and hazelnut crunch

Gavin WrenRecipes, Spreads & Dips, Vegetarian

Feta hazelnut and rosemary crunch spread in a bowl
Two weeks ago, Guardian Witness asked for people to submit recipes on the theme of ‘poached’, with the best entries to be published in the Saturday edition of the newspaper’s ‘Cook’ food supplement. I looked at my nearly-brand-new blog, knowing that my third recipe featured a poached egg, and, somewhat scared, submitted the recipe. I was completely shocked when a few days later, I got an e-mail informing me that they were posting my recipe on their facebook page! Surely the glory of seeing my own recipe in print was within grasp! So, on the Saturday of reckoning, I rushed home from the shops with the newspaper, clawed my way past the Sport, Family and Money supplements (but had a quick look at the magazine) and then got to Cook. But alas, my moment in the spotlight was short lived and I had managed to snatch defeat from the jaws…

Spelt rolls with za’atar

Gavin WrenBaking, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Za'atar spelt rolls in baking tray
I wasn’t going to make anything for the blog this weekend. I was feeling down and struggling to find the motivation to make anything, let alone think up, research and write a recipe, then test it for all you lovely blog reading people out there. But then I remembered that I had stocked up on spelt flour a few weeks ago, direct from Shipton Mill, because white spelt flour (also known as ‘refined’ spelt flour) became hard to get hold of locally. Also, I bought a large bag of Palestinian Thyme, or Za’atar, only yesterday, as I love adding it to all sorts of recipes. And if there’s one type of cooking that makes me feel good, it’s baking. I started to feel a joyful plan forming. So I pulled together this simple recipe for spelt rolls and added a hint of flavouring with the addition of some Za’atar,…