Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A Mornings Harvest, A New Loaf and a Gin and Tonic

 It can be easy to forget some of the slower growing plants in the garden when confronting an onslaught of summer produce.


 I planted these Juniper bushes about three years ago and while they have had some fruit before [they are really the cones of this conifer] all of a sudden you realise that there are enough to stock the larder with yet another useful ingredient that will yeild enough to last the whole year. The bushes are so spikey that thick gloves are needed to harvest them without causing injury. The spelt and khorasan grains have been harvested and with much excitement we are finally baking bread from home grown grains. A quick calculation indicates there is enough for us, for replanting and the bulk of it also for others.  I have been experimenting with a mix of the spelt, Khorasan and hard wheat flour learning how to control the doughs with completely new [to me] ingredients. Both our flours are whole grain and at this early stage the spelt seems to impart a strong nutty flavour while weakening the structure a bit. The khorasan also adds some very earthy toasty flavours that also slightly weaken the structure but add a very crisp layer to the crust. We are using the skins, bran and whatever comes off the final sieving for the lining of the proving baskets and the crusts have been very encouraging, thin but very crisp and tasty. The aim is to bake a unique bread that speaks of this little garden.

 All we have to do now is install a still into the shed and we can distill some of these grains, set the Juniper into the mix and get halfway to a  decent G and T. But then  I will need to plant some Cinchona trees to  put the T or is that Q? into the G and T.
Charles Ledger would approve.
 Hey Jethro Where's that banjo?

1 comment:

cooking classes said...

I thinking bread-making is making a comeback among us Americans. It is such a satisfying, fun way to get back to the basics of food preparation!