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Bran flakes

I sometimes like to sieve out the roughest bran from our flour, which means that I can produce a lighter loaf or cake from the wholemeal flour. But it’s always bothered me: what I can then do with the bran. Soaking it to put back in the bread dough confused me, using it to flour bread tins worked but didn’t necessarily use it all up, and feeding it to the hens felt like a waste! But thanks to Danette from Kingsland Farm, I discovered that it was possible to make your own Bran Flakes, and this has changed my world.

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Chapatis

Writing this recipe feels more daring than writing the others I think this is because we are giving it a recognised name rather than a descriptive one, implying that these chapatis are the same as the traditional Indian ones. While the chapatis we make are excellent, they can never be quite as good as those you eat on the streets of small towns in India. Traditional chapati flour is ground finer than ours, and we haven’t yet perfected the Indian chapati makers’ technique of rolling and turning the chapatis in the same movement and of thinning them by throwing them from hand to hand with panache.

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Snickerdoodles (Cinnamon cookies)

Apparently snickerdoodles aren’t German, no matter how much I think the word sounds it. Whatever they are, they are also quick, soft, and delicious. I found this recipe whilst staying with my brother and sister-in-law when their twins were only two months old, and we all quickly decided that these were perfect snacks for the late nights that were going on. I usually make two or three times the dough in one go, and only bake some at a time. The rest I put into one or two bags and leave in the freezer for when I want something sugary.

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Tamarisk sour-dough bread

Sour-dough breads have long been common outside Britain, particularly Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Germany. The process is akin to that of making yoghurt from milk in that the flour is partially “digested” by the sour-dough culture and this is claimed by some to make it easier for us to digest and better for you. Some people who have problems eating conventional yeast breads find this acceptable. We love the distinctive flavour although for some it is an acquired taste. You can use wheat or rye flour, but it does particularly bring out the best qualities of rye, especially if you add a little caraway seed.

Ingredients

  • 500g wholemeal rye or wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to your preference)
  • up to 300 ml warm water (about 45°C )
  • 1 tablespoon sour-dough culture
  • 1 or 2 teaspoon caraway (or any other seed of your choice)

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