More experimenting with flour

Having a chest infection is a good excuse to start thinking about one of my main loves which is different flours, I have tried gramm, spelt, rye etc but my real love is stoneground flours, strong flours. My ultimate excitement is visiting a mill to buy flour

So this morning I made pancakes from Dunany fine coarse whole meal flour.Why you may ask, well let’s think about the type of flour available , if you were lucky enough th have wheat, it was probably whole meal but more likely to be , barley or oat maybe rye.Again we are back to the big question do you live in urban area, in a monastic settlement, in a town or city, near a castle etc, this may also influence the type of flour you have along with your economic status.

Whole meal pancake batter
Thicker batter
Getting there, completely experimental

The batter needs to be thicker than white flour batter, that makes sense in general especially if cooking over uneven coals, to hold their shape. Tasty, with a nutty taste, suitable to serving like flatbreads with honey, cream cheese, analanns and tarsuns , fried onions, kale or leeks, wild strawberries, apples and hazelnuts, of course butter, fresh butter wrapped in wild garlic leaves, menadach a thick paste of butter, chopped herbs, and ground oats, juicy bacon, hard cheese, sprinkle of salt, morsel of fish or shellfish list is endless.

Then having reignited my interest in flour,my biggest ordeal in baking medieval biscuits, was normal flours meant that biscuits and cakes spread. So experimented with strong flours which worked much better after thousands of biscuits and cakes. Today reading a page by Oakden that even fine white flour was in fact 20% whole meal giving it an off white colour. This evening I made Shropshire cake, not Irish but the first biscuit I learnt to make. So taking a strong flour I miked with about 12% whole meal to each cup of flour,so using two different Irish flours, strong white and whole meal Flour which cereal is grown and made into flour. This year my flours will mostly include organic flours grown and milled by the farmers themselves in Ireland

Mixing the flours
Ultimate test
Didn’t allow the mixture to get cold in the fridge before baking, the ultimate test
Compare the before and after
Keeps their shape, not much spreading

Having made biscuits, thousands in last couple of years

1cup of strong flour with about 12% whole meal 1/2 cup of butter and sugar,shake of caraway seeds and slightly too much dash of orange blossom, but my kitchen still smells fabulous, I like cup measuring as it means my recipes can be done anywhere. It’s usually rose water but felt like a change this evening, mix dry, rub in butter and caraway, add usually capful of orange blossom and cap of water and bring together, make eight balls, flattened between the hands and bake at 150 Celsius for 15 minutes.

Using simple recipes that you really know inside out is key to making a n intelligent experiment, it’s how you tell, whether it works or not. Also learning about how cereal was farmed through the ages, so more reading coming my way, more baking, more archaeological cereal findings , so biscuits through the ages . Also experimenting with spelt so the gluten free people can too taste the fennel, smell and taste the blossom as they smack their lips

The biscuit verdict, buttery, crispy and flaky almost crumbly like any good biscuit, very good,

I have stone ground flour, both white and whole meal ordered along with oats and wheat grains for my pottages. I also going to be experimenting with different farm grown and milled flours from Ireland. Another story, another day

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