Roasted mashed and cooled seminole squash ready for bread making
I’ve covered before how much I like seminole squash – they taste great, and they store a incredibly long time, and as a plant they resist pretty much any pest… the one drawback is that they take a relatively long time to mature… but with each growing year I’m selecting for earlier maturity.
So to take advantage of that great taste one of our favorite recipes is this Seminole Pumpkin Bread. It’s reasonably sweetened rather than cakey sweet allowing the sweet flavour of the pumpkin to shine. As with much of our baking we’re using whole grain flours. My preference here leans towards whole barley flour, but whole wheat is also a nice flavour, ground of course on the homebuilt grain mill. Either of these flour options provide a complexity that goes miles beyond a pumpkin cake loaf served in some green logo coffee shop.
Once you’ve had homemade Graham Crackers you’ll have a hard time ever buying a box of commercial ones. Now, graham flour is just a particular coarseness of whole wheat flour so you’ll find the fine whole wheat flour you can grind on your own mill a perfect match with this recipe.
You’ll find loads of recipes for graham crackers that date to your grandmother’s time – and the resources she had in her kitchen. They take a few extra steps that you can bypass making the production of these graham crackers faster and easier.
Rolling graham crackers between silicon baking sheets speeds production
The key here is using silicon baking sheets. The old way of rolling out the dough called for mixing and then chilling the dough for a half hour. This hardens the butter which makes it less sticky when rolled out between the two sheets of parchment paper. But, silicon baking sheets are so much better that if you are using them you can skip the chilling step completely. Simply roll out the dough between two of the sheets and then peel of the upper sheet. At this point you can score the dough to lay out the cracker shapes, slide it onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven.
This recipe is enough to make about two dozen full graham crackers with a bunch of not quite full sized squared for crushing for use in pie crusts, and can be fitted on two baking sheets. I usually double this, but then I’m usually into mass production. That double recipe takes about a total of four sheets, which can be accomplished in two goes.
Mocha cookies made with barley flour – together with milk!
There are requests, there are pleas and then there are demands. These cookies demand a tall glass of ice cold milk. In fact the dairy farmers should be handing out these very cookies to folk approaching grocery store cashes who don’t have milk in their basket! They are frankly awesome.
Now, some chocolate cookies have loads of oooey gooey good chocolate in them. These by contrast don’t overwhelm you with that taste – but they are addictive!
If you want to have folks rethink baking with whole grain flours – these might just be the way to win them over.
Rhubarb is a great plant to have in your garden and deserts made from it serve as an awesome culinary awakening for deserts to be offered up fresh from the new season. It’s such an easy perennial crop to have that you should be growing it.
There are so many great options for deserts and preserves using rhubarb but this has to be my favorite. In fact it’s what I made with today’s first harvest of rhubarb. The sweet richness of the custard combines so wonderfully with the bite from the rhubarb it’s an absolute delight.
Rhubarb custard pie components ready for assembly
I used whole wheat pie shells, but you could use shells made with white flour or purchased if necessary (but really, if you can bake something like this, and certainly if you grow some of your own food you should consider building a grain mill for yourself – it’s well within your capacity)
Even better this recipe can be whipped together in only a minute or two. Click on the post title for the full recipe.
Whole barley flour works wonderfully in a host of baked goods – in most cases I prefer it to whole wheat flour for cookies and sweet quick breads – and so does my junior baker.
You might have a bit of trouble finding whole barley flour unless you mill it yourself, but that is one of the advantages of having your own mill.
Barley flour peanut butter cookies ready for the oven
While I know that these could be scaled down to bite sized if you engage the junior baker the cookies are always going to be jumbo sized. It’s not every cookie that will scale up nicely – but these do just fine, and you can adjust the baking time to suit the level of chewiness you desire – from wonderfully chewy to crisp.
Cookies are probably the greatest reason to get and use silicon baking sheets – they practically banish cookies with burnt bottoms, so don’t waste your ingredients or effort by forgoing its acquisition.
So, whether you have a junior baker or not these are great PB cookies so make yourself a batch.