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.
Ok, so it may be that with half of my gene pool coming from Norway it’s almost inevitable that I have a craving that periodically can only be fulfilled with fresh homemade crispbread. Fortunately, crispbread is fast and easy to make. While I know it is designed to last a long time – I’ve never found that I can keep a batch around for very long – especially when there is a hearty fall soup, some smoked salmon or gravlax, or an awesome cheese to do it justice.
It’s an old saying that pretty much everyone loves motherhood and apple pie, and I’d include myself in that list – particularly since there have been two back to back crop failures for the blueberry crop around our camp up north – otherwise as a good northern canadian lad I’d be endorsing motherhood and blueberry pie but definitely not turning down apple pie.
More realistically, in our home apple pie usually takes a back seat to apple crisp – which is so easy to throw together and is truly a great desert. But, Apple Kuchen also figures prominently among our favorite deserts because it’s a great desert in its own right and is almost as quick to prepare as apple crisp.
Partly devoured pan of whole barley base apple kuchen
For those who haven’t had it before it is an cake base topped with apples and a sugar and cinnamon topping. Since home ground whole grain flours are the principal ones that get used in our kitchen the base is usually whole barley or whole wheat – both of which work great and give more substance and flavour compared to white flours.
So next time you are looking for a great desert give Apple Kuchen a try.
Click on the post title to expand and see the recipe.
Kids and cookies – a great way to get them hooked on baking
The “Bigger is better” school of thought isn’t always true, but at least where cookies and kids are concerned it carries a pretty strong appeal.
While a lot of cookie recipes have difficulty scaling up from the average to the jumbo to the ginormous this one is perfect for building the bigger cookie – so big in fact that you should be using pizza pans to bake them in.
Wedges of the giant whole grain cookie – before gobbling
This basic cookies is great on its own – or toss in a cup or two of chocolate chips, smarties or chopped nuts.
If you’ve got kids who are baking with you this is an easy recipe to get them excited about playing around in the kitchen. If your junior baker has trouble mixing the batter with a wooden spoon consider picking up a danish whisk which speeds mixing while reducing the effort required to a fraction of that a wooden spoon.
Using either whole wheat or whole barley flour is a great option for these cookies. Give them a try with your junior baker or to satiate your own inner junior baker.
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.
Apple see a lot of use in my home. Our fall harvests from the neighborhood trees in a good year can be substantial. The best of these are kept for fresh eating, seconds are peeled, sliced and dried or frozen for pies, apple braids and the like, those that are a bit softer get transformed into apple sauce that we can, and finally the really bruised ones get turned into apple cider on the homestead press.
Apple Spice Loaf with Barley Flour
So we end up using a lot of apple sauce through the season, and this apple spice loaf is one of my favorite recipes. It’s a quick loaf – so it honestly doesn’t take more than five minutes to mix the ingredients, put it into a silicon loaf pan (which means I don’t even need to take the time to butter and flour the pan) making it a cinch to pull together. In spite of being so easy – it is a lovely loaf the blend of apple and spices is lovely. While the loaf is a great accompaniment for a nice cup of tea or coffee it most often serves as a bread substitute in our lunches, adding variety to our brown bags. Made with whole grain flour – and I usually use whole barley flour for quick breads – it fills you up and keeps you satiated.
I think this is a pretty good example of better living today – you get a great rich filling and wholesome loaf, add diversity to your meals that sees you content to skip the cafeteria line for lunches and uses some of the bounty around us. It is also a great example of how easily all this can be pulled together. It honestly takes more time to wash the bowl than it does to prepare the batter and slide it into the oven.
Of course, you don’t need to use your own apple sauce or even flour you’ve produced at home to get a very nice product. So take five minutes to make this apple spice loaf and add some great baking to your lunches.