Spelt Choux Paste (Pâte à Choux)

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Spelt choux paste (otherwise known as Pâte à Choux) is an amazing pastry which puffs up when cooked, leaving hollow buns or pastries which can be stuffed, filled and topped however you desire! Whether it's eclairs, profiteroles or a croquembouche which you want to bake this weekend, you can extend your patisserie skills with this amazing spelt pastry.
Suddenly, inspiration hit me. I want to make a croquembouche, a spelt croquembouche and it needs to be a massive one made up with loads and loads of little spelt choux (pronounced 'shoe') balls.

Croquembouche is one of the most spectacularly decadent culinary creations in existence. It's a celebratory sweet used in French cuisine at special occasions, comprising choux pastry balls into the hundreds, stuffed with cream then piled high in a cone shape and bound together with large splurges of caramel. It's the kind of recipe that should have The Samaritans' phone number attached, especially if you're making it to a deadline, or for the first time, because I could easily induce some kind of nervous breakdown.

As the saying goes, there's no use trying to run before I can walk. The first step in this adventure is to make, and become comfortable with choux pastry. Also known as...come and read more...

Spelt Cinnamon Bun Cake

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

It's said that our sense of smell invokes profound feelings and emotions within us. Baking this spelt cinnamon bun cake put that to the test and confirmed that a tantalising aroma can put my brain into sensory overload. This recipe is loaded with cinnamon and cardamom infused with soy milk to make a sweet bake which is a traditional Scandinavian treat and for good reason, because it's utterly irresistable!
It's said that our sense of smell invokes profound feelings and emotions within us. Baking this spelt cinnamon bun cake put that to the test and confirmed that a tantalising aroma can put my brain into sensory overload.

The Road Less Travelled.
When talking of food, it's easy to lapse into trite, oft-repeated phrases, loaded with food-friendly adjectives. An author's job is to track down the scent of unique expression, rather than propping up the bar with descriptions that we've all heard before. Originality provokes interest, I often ponder over how to construct the description of a recipe, without resorting to the usual suspects of 'simple', 'rich', 'tasty', 'easy', 'quick'. Rich brevity is the key to success.

It takes a deeper analysis of the food, a bear-hug of emotional connection with it and an expansive relationship with the English language to venture beyond the obvious... come and read more...

Spelt Focaccia

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Tender, fresh, homemade Italian spelt focaccia, studded with rosemary sprigs and drizzled with olive oil. The job of baking bread at home may seem like an onerous task, but when it produces such beautifully tender, flavoursome bread, the ability to bake your own bread begins to feel more like a special privilege.
Twenty-six recipes. That's how many you'll find on my blog which feature spelt flour. With the inclusion of this recipe for spelt focaccia it's a total of twenty-seven on the list. Having created so many spelt recipes, I've become a bit of an expert on this ancient grain and today's recipe has drawn on that knowledge. This fresh, tender, aromatic homemade Italian spelt focaccia, studded with rosemary sprigs and drizzled with olive oil is simply beautiful and a treasure to adorn your table.

Yes, Italian Food, Again.
I love good Italian food, it holds a highly seductive allure for me, because when it's good, it's magical. The beauty is often in the simplicity of using great ingredients, then treating them with incredible respect. Unfortunately, it has historically seen some shocking handling at the mercy of the UK restaurant trade and via the over-spiced, over-flavoured... come and read more...

Maple Pecan Spelt Muffins

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

Maple syrup brings a rich sweetness to theses maple pecan spelt muffins stuffed with whole rolled oats, pecan nuts and no refined sugars, just naturally sweetened with banana and maple syrup. These easy spelt flour bakes make for a wholesome alternative muffin recipe that's just as tasty yet packs more positive nutrition, perfect for afternoon tea or a sweet weekend treat.
It’s been quite savoury around here recently. Not much sweet goodness going on, and my God, was I longing for something sweet. So today’s post is about some utterly delightful little maple pecan spelt muffins topped with oats which are dairy free that I put together last weekend. These are muffins made with a mixture of wholemeal and white spelt flour, along with whole oats and sweetened using maple syrup and that ubiquitous banana, because it just goes so well in baked good like muffins. And who doesn’t like banana? (Yes, I’m sure there’s someone). Cake Rules. I’m quite fastidious about how much cake I eat, I’ve developed an incredibly strong sense of moderation around it. This is because I have a spreadsheet I’ve kept for posterity, which dates from 2008, when I tipped the bathroom scales at nearly 100kg, well over 15 stone. Approaching 100kg had been pretty scary…

Spelt Pizza Bases: A Guide to Perfect Pizza

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

Perfect spelt pizza bases made with spelt flour to create crispy, thin crust, beautiful homemade pizzas that any Italian would be proud of to top how you like or enjoy the beauty of a margherita, perfect for the summer weather and a meal that everyone can get involved in.
Making homemade spelt pizza is an utter joy, once you know how to ‘Do It Right’. It’s about three years since my first highly unsuccessful attempt to make a spelt pizza, and about 7 years since I first tried homemade pizzas, so I now fully understand all of the details required to make a light, crispy, delicious spelt pizza base, without causing utter carnage in the kitchen, spilling toppings all over the place or ending up with uncooked bases. In this post I’m going to tell you how to make perfect spelt pizzas, every time. Bella Italia. This all appears at a time when I’ve gone all ‘Bella Italia’, feeling a surge of passionate loyalty for our mediterranean cousins down there. Since writing this blog, I’ve taken on a deeper understanding of Italian food, I feel as though I’ve begun to understand the soul behind Italian food. I don’t have…

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls with Mushroom and Comté

Gavin WrenBaking, Side dishes, Small Bites, Spelt & ancient grains, Starters, Vegetarian

Golden, light and flaky vegetarian sausage rolls made with spelt rough puff pastry and filled with onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme and oozing, molten Comté cheese. Perfect for the dinner table or the picnic basket.
It started with a cheese. This all started after the people at Comté cheese treated me and a few other bloggers to a delightful little cookery experience and cheese tasting, featuring a some aged variants of Comté, a decidedly lovely cheese. Even Raymond Blanc agrees, recently tweeting about being spoilt by the very same “Dinner at my mum. a-wild flowers .comte..sculptured radishes ,home made -creme anglaise .biscuit .Totally spoiled(sic).”. As for my being spoilt with Comté, I was treated to a decadent cheese soufflé, followed by getting involved in the making of a lovely puff pastry tart with bacon and apple, topped with unctuous, melted, oozing Comté. The latter of these enticed the little chef inside me to translate the recipe in some kind of vegetarian sausage roll that would have serious cheese appeal. Ideally something with hidden, molten Comté, only to be discovered when you break into the perfect…