wholemeal spelt pasta tagliatelle

Wholemeal Fresh Spelt Pasta

Gavin Wren Basic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Writing

I’ve made homemade pasta previously, from silky whisps of fine tagliatelle to carefully manipulated, pillowy ravioli. It’s one of those things that’s a domestic indulgence, because shop bought, dried pasta is so good and easy to cook that it’s hard to justify the time and effort required in making your own. But, in the true spirit of indulgence, it is also incredibly satisfying to make this simple ingredient and if we always chose the quickest, easiest, ready-prepared method, we might all turn into mindless zombies. Despite this previous experience of homemade pasta and the fact that pasta contains so few ingredients, it ended up quite a tricky recipe to develop. Balls of pasta, eggs shells and flour very nearly adorned the kitchen window as I tried to rationalise dryness, stickiness, toughness and splitting, so that I could explain it to you. The end result really is quite a rough (rustic?)…
Mini cherry clafoutis with no added sugar

Fruit loaded mini cherry clafoutis

Gavin Wren Baking, Dairy free baking, Desserts, No Added Sugar, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

It’s food based confessional again, this time I’ll confess that I didn’t eat strawberries for thirty years. Damn, that sounds like a long time. I have a slight recollection of eating berries as a young child, but spent my teens, twenties and some of my thirties professing that I simply didn’t like berries, currants or any fruit in that genre such as grapes. Cherries also fall under that large sweeping generalisation, as they’re far too berry-like to be in any other fruit group to my mind. Then, a few years ago I was shaking off some old (bad) habits and was encouraged to test the boundaries of my wild new leaf turning exercise by eating a strawberry. Part of me wondered if it was a textural thing. Berrys are quite mushy, whereas the fruits I liked (apples, pears, oranges… errr, pineapple) had a perceived texture or zing to them. I…
Cooked banana coconut cake

Banana Coconut Cake – dairy free and low gluten

Gavin Wren Baking, Dairy free baking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Today I have another chapter for you in what has become the low gluten, spelt baking zone of my blog. But this time, I’m not going to give you a long lecture on bananas. No, not at all, I’m just going to stick to the facts and the recipe. But I will say, make sure your bananas are brown and very, very soft before you try and make this cake. And here’s a quick photo of one, y’know, just for reference. OK, that’s better. Cake or bread? So, banana cake, or as most of the world would say, banana bread. Why does everyone call it bread? Does it have yeast in it? No. Does it have water in it? No. Does it look and taste like a cake? Yes. The only trait that many banana ‘breads’ share with traditional bread is baking them in a loaf tin, which by no…
Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven

Spelt rough puff pastry

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

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 and low gluten

Spelt banana bread with tahini and honey – dairy free

Gavin Wren Baking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

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…