breads scones & crackers

easy spelt focaccia & a vegetable garden

13th June 2017

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I make this focaccia every Sunday as an accompaniment to our traditional pasta night.  I mix the dough in the morning and leave it covered on the side for a full day, the extra fermentation adds flavour to the bread.  You can also make it days before, and store in the refrigerator after the first rise, the dough develops a more complex flavour, and you can pull part of it out to make dinner – just be sure it has time to come to room temperature before shaping and continue with the recipe.

I usually make one large focaccia but since our move a month ago I have a small oven that fits two narrow trays – now I make two oblong focaccia.

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Quality of Food

‘A very natural lifestyle in which we could collect fresh vegetables everyday would be even more ideal, however. Growing a small garden can serve that purpose to some degree. There are also many other benefits one may experience from having a small garden. For example, one may gain beneficial exercise, as well as deep satisfaction in doing garden work. If done in a measured and relaxed way, it may lead to a calm and quiet mind.’ 

~ Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois – The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

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easy spelt focaccia

Makes 1 rectangular or 2 small focaccia. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce.

‘You can top the focaccia with almost anything: a liberal pouring of oil and a dusting of salt, a handful of fresh herbs, olives or sautéed vegetables, or a flavourful tomato sauce. However you plan to top your focaccia, before cooking pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top – especially around the edges – for a crunchy golden crust’.

ingredients :

1¼ cups warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

tsp sugar

1 cup/120g whole spelt flour; plus additional for kneading

2½ cups/320g white spelt flour/all purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 Tblsp olive oil + ¼ cup (divided) for drizzling over the top

herbs, spices, or other toppings of choice

preparation :

Lightly rub a large bowl with olive oil. Set aside.

Add 1¼ cups of warm water, yeast, and sugar to another bowl. Stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes.  (If it doesn´t, it may be inactive; throw it out and start again.)

Add the flours, salt, and 2 Tablespoons olive oil and mix to combine to form a sticky dough.

To knead by hand: Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and silky.

Or, to use a food mixer: Fit the dough hook and add the water, yeast, and sugar to the mixer bowl, stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low-speed until evenly combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.

For the first rise : Put the dough into the oiled bowl, turning it so that the top of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and leave for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

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Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil.

For the second rise : Place the dough on the baking sheet or divide the dough into two pieces and place them on the oiled baking sheet.  Stretch the dough out with your hands (It helps to oil your hands) into your desired shape on the baking sheet, and dimple it with your fingers. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour.

Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (or put a single rack in the middle if you´re using one baking sheet) and preheat to 200C/400F.

After the dough has completed its second rise and has puffed up on the sheet, drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, herbs or spices, or toppings of your choice.

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Bake for 22  – 25 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil while still hot from the oven.  Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Serve it with your favourite pasta or top it with mashed avocado, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper, fennel and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and salt.

Focaccia is always best eaten the day it is made.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

chapati

12th July 2016

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Chapati has become a regular event in our house.  They are wonderful drizzled with ghee, and served with  a simple dal, or vegetable palya.  I also love them alongside a bowl of guacamole or roasted red pepper spread.

There are different varieties of chapatis available; one made with no fat, one made with oil and one made with ghee. Chapati made with ghee will support the physical and mental health to the fullest extent. It is recommended to be consumed while warm, as it becomes harder when cool. A chapati made with oil is also tasty and healthy and keeps its softness when it has cooled. Chapati can be consumed at any meal time, in all seasons and supports all constitutions.

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early morning vegetable garden

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chapati

Makes 5 chapatis

Recipe shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya.

Chapati is traditionally made with Atta, a granular flour milled from soft Indian wheat that yields very tender chapatis.  If you are able to purchase this type of flour, it is recommended.  Here we use a combination of cup wholewheat and cup white flour, resulting in a softer, less tough chapati.  Regular wholewheat flour (sifted to remove the larger bran particles) can also be used.  It may take a few attempts before finding the flours which suit best in your country of residence.  

Making chapati is great in getting the whole family involved in the kitchen. Each person rolling out chapati, makes it a fun and easy process.

ingredients :

1 cup/130g flour (I use ⅔ cup white & cup wholewheat)

¼ tsp salt

2 Tblsp/30ml melted ghee

¼ cup/60mL hot water (or enough for a kneadable dough)

preparation :

Into a large bowl, place the flour and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Pour in the ghee and hot water and stir with a spoon, slowly bringing the dry ingredients into the wet, until mostly combined.

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Using your hands, start kneading into the bowl, adding more water if needed (a teaspoon at a time), to make a tender dough. 

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Work the dough until smooth, shining and does not stick to the hands.  Approximately 5 minutes.  Set aside, covered for 10 minutes. 

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Divide the dough into 5 equal portions and shape each into a ball. 

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Take one ball, using your palms, flatten slightly into a disc. Dip both sides with flour, (most of the time I find I can skip this step and there is no need to dip in flour) then use a rolling-pin to roll it into a very thin, round 7-inch circle.  As you do this, roll the chapati a couple of times and turn slightly: repeat the turnings as you roll to prevent the chapati sticking to the board.  Makes sure each chapati is symmetrical so it puffs up well.  Lately I roll out the dough, fold in half and fold in half again – then roll out again, into a 7-inch circle.  This encourages them to magically puff up when cooking.

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Cover with a damp clean towel/individual sheets of baking paper, and repeat with the remaining balls.   I like to roll out the dough a few hours before I am ready to cook them,  I fold a sheet of baking paper in half, then half again, and place two – three thinly, rolled chapati into the folded quarters of each sheet, until ready to cook.

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Preheat a cast iron/non-stick skillet or tava over medium heat.  Once hot (it is important that it is hot), place the first chapati in the skillet and cook until bubbles start to appear on the surface, about a minute. 

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Flip and cook until tiny brown spots appear on the side facing the pan, about 30 seconds. 

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It should start puffing like a balloon, which could be helped by pressing gently on the forming bubble with a cloth and thus expanding it over the entire surface of the chapati.  Flip twice more for 30 seconds on each side.  There will be 4 – 5 flips throughout the whole process. 

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Be careful not to over cook, otherwise they will be dry and crunchy.  Stack and cover the chapatis as you continue to cook the remaining ones.  Serve immediately.

When made on a regular basis, becoming familiar with the process – chapatis become quick, easy and enjoyable to make.  Serve with a simple dal or Green Bean Palya. 

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Goodness shared by Stacey

amaranth-sunflower-spelt bread

24th May 2016

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Treasured gifts.

Divine teachings.

An Ocean of Gratitude.

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thank-you Kristin

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This recipe was introduced to me by Gillian.  She made it one night accompanied with a delicious beetroot borsch and a green salad.

A wonderful bread to go with a simple soup for a no fuss dinner.  I love eating this bread the next day, with a thick spread of salted butter and a dollop of home-made jam/a drizzle of honey.  Feels like a perfect balance between a bread and a cake.

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amaranth-sunflower-spelt bread

6 – 8 servings

Recipe slightly adapted from ‘Angelica’s Kitchen’.

She goes on to say, ‘ This is a highly nutritious bread that cries out for a leguminous accompaniment. Try cutting it into thick wedges and serving it alongside your favourite bean dish or soup. It can also be cooked in a cast-iron skillet, bringing it straight to the table and served piping hot.  The bread has a satisfying, complex texture in part because some of the sunflower seeds are mixed into the batter while others are sprinkled on top.’

For a savoury addition, add some sautéed fennel rounds or chopped olives and a sprinkling of rosemary on top of the bread before baking.

I like this bread with more sweetness, so I added extra maple syrup to the recipe.  If wanting it less sweet as in the original recipe, use only 1 Tablespoon of Maple syrup and increase the soy milk to 1 cup.

to cook the amaranth:

1 cup filtered water

½ cup amaranth

¼ tsp rock salt

for the bread:

¾ cup sunflower seeds – divided

1 ½ cups whole spelt flour (wholewheat flour can be substituted)

½ cup medium ground cornmeal (can use polenta)

½ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp rock salt

¾ cup unsweetened soy/almond milk

¼ cup olive oil

3 Tblsp apple cider vinegar

¼ cup maple syrup

to cook the amaranth:

Place 1 cup water and ¼ tsp salt in a small saucepan and bring to boil.

Add amaranth, lower flame, and cover.  Simmer for 35 – 45 minutes or until the water has absorbed.  Set aside and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  It will be sticky and wet.

to make the bread:

Preheat oven to 350F/180C.  Spread the sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or a round skillet.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the whole spelt flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ½ cup sunflower seeds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and cooked amaranth.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.  Mix thoroughly, but do not over-mix.  The batter will be thick, but pourable.

Pour the batter into the pan/skillet and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup sunflower seeds.

Bake for 45 – 55 minutes till golden, or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

spelt brown rice bread with sesame

12th April 2015

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“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself……” ~Paramahansa Yogananda

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getting ready to fly into the unknown.  Again…..

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spelt brown rice bread with sesame

Since discovering this bread, I have been making it often.  It is quite special in the fact that it doesn’t feel heavy to digest and it has a slight sourdough taste.  The original recipe uses brown rice and sweet rice.  As  I didn’t have sweet rice,  I used amaranth which has a sweet and nutty flavour and has the same sticky quality as sweet rice when cooked.  

‘ The dough needs to ferment at room temperature for 14 hours.  I like to make the mixture at 5 p.m., then continue the process at 7 a.m., and enjoy the bread by 10 a.m.  The recipe is pretty forgiving, so don’t worry if you’re slightly off with the timing.’ –  Amy Chaplin.

Recipe from At home in the Whole Food Kitchen.

Makes one 12-inch loaf (the longer loaf pan creates a less crumbly loaf when slicing)

ingredients :

2½ cups whole spelt flour or sprouted spelt flour

½ cup organic cornmeal (can use polenta)

½ tsp instant yeast

1½ tsp fine Himalayan salt

1½ cups warm filtered water

1 tsp unrefined sesame oil or coconut oil, for oiling the bread pan

2 cups cooked round brown rice and amaranth (½ cup brown rice and ¼ cup amaranth, preferably soak overnight)

¼ cup unhulled sesame seeds, divided

to ferment the bread :

Combine spelt flour, cornmeal, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add water and mix until combined. Dough will be sticky and quite wet. Cover bowl with a plastic bag secured with a rubber band, or plastic wrap, and allow to sit at room temperature (70F/21C) for 14 hours.

to cook the rice & amaranth :

Place the rinsed, soaked brown rice and amaranth in a small saucepan with 1½ cups of water (add 4 more tablespoons of water if the rice  & amaranth has not been soaked overnight) and simmer covered until cooked.  Set aside to cool completely.

to assemble the bread :
Brush loaf pan with oil.  Remove plastic from bowl (save it for covering the bread again), measure 2 cups of cooked brown rice & amaranth, and add half the sesame seeds to the dough.  With your hands,  mix together the rice and seeds, taking a moment to enjoy the process. Sprinkle some of the left-over seeds into the loaf pan, they should stick to the sides and bottom.  Leave some for sprinkling over the top.

Place the dough in the oiled pan and press lightly to distribute evenly.  Sprinkle the top with remaining sesame seeds and cover with the reserved plastic wrap.  Place in a draft-free place to rise for 1 hour.

to bake the bread :

Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C.

Bake bread for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until crust has formed and bread sounds hollow when tapped.   Allow to cool, then remove bread from pan.

This bread is simply delicious with a good quality olive oil, a sprinkling of Maldon salt, a few rounds of freshly ground pepper and spring greens, compliments from the garden!  Enjoy with your loved ones.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

pumpkin bread with toasted walnut cinnamon swirl

6th April 2015

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Just before we left for Israel for the holiday break, I was trying to use up most things in  the kitchen.  With this in mind and the arrival of a new cookbook, ‘At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen’ by Amy Chaplin, I was perusing through it the night before where I was drawn to a recipe for pumpkin bread.  It is an amazing book full of delicious recipes, that has inspired me to try when I come back to Portugal.

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mizpe hayamim – Israel

be still….a whole other world away

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pumpkin bread with toasted walnut cinnamon swirl

Recipe found ‘At Home in the Whole food Kitchen’ with a few tiny variations.  You can use any winter pumpkin, but the dense-fleshed ones like kabocha and red kur work the best because of their low water content.    

Lately I have been mixing the cinnamon walnut twirl straight into the batter so that it is incorporated through out.

Makes one 12-inch loaf pan

cinnamon walnut swirl:

1 cup toasted walnut halves, chopped

2 tsp cinnamon powder

2 Tbsp coconut or brown sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

pumpkin batter :

½ medium kaboucha pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut in ½-inch dices (about 3½ cups)

2 cups whole spelt flour/sprouted spelt flour

2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 Tbsp vinegar

preparation :

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Lightly oil a loaf pan and line bottom and sides with parchment paper.  Set aside.

make the cinnamon walnut swirl –

Place the walnuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a bowl, with the cinnamon, maple syrup, and sugar.  Mix to combine and set aside.

make the pumpkin batter –

Steam the pumpkin for 10 minutes, or until soft.  Drain well, and cool.  Place in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Measure out 1½ cups and place in a medium bowl, add the oil, maple syrup, vanilla essence, and vinegar.  Whisk until smooth.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin batter until just combined.  Spread half of the batter over the bottom of loaf pan.  Layer the cinnamon-walnut mixture evenly over batter and top with remaining batter.  To create a swirl, use a small rubber spatula or butter knife to zig-zag back and forth, finishing with one stroke through the centre.  I like to sprinkle the top with 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar & extra cinnamon.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before turning out and place on a wire rack.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.  I love it lightly toasted the next day.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

red quinoa & seeded spelt bread

4th January 2015

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goodness is – the fruit of the spirit, the state or quality of being good, virtue, kindly feeling; kindness; generosity, excellence of quality, the best part of anything; essence; strength, a euphemism for God.

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tel-aviv – jaffa

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red quinoa & seeded spelt bread

Makes one medium round loaf/sandwich loaf.

Feel free to play with different flours.  I recommend using half white flour and the rest of the flour a combination of  whole-spelt and/or whole-wheat, sometimes with half a cup of rye, barley or kamut flour.  Whatever inspires you.   I make this bread weekly, usually sliced thinly and toasted eaten with hummus, drizzled with olive oil and spread with avocado.   Sometimes as well as the seeds I’ve listed I add poppy, sometimes millet or sesame.  I bake it in a bread loaf other times as a free form round loaf.  I love the dramatic addition of the of red quinoa which gives it a silky texture and nutty flavour.

to cook the quinoa :

¼ cup red quinoa

½ cup water

for the bread :

1 cup water

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup linseed/flax (If you are not adding linseed it is very important to lessen the water by ¼ cup, as the linseed soak up a lot of the moisture.)

2 Tblsp olive oil

2 Tblsp honey/molasses/maple syrup

1¼ tsp salt

1½ cups white spelt flour

1½ cups whole spelt flour

1 generous tspn dried yeast

sunflower seeds, caraway and black sesame for the outside

preparation :

Cook the quinoa, covered until the water had evaporated.  Set aside and allow to cool.  (I actually like to slightly under cook it by simmering gently with the lid off until the water has evaporates and then allowing it to sit covered until cool.)

In the bowl of a standing mixer add 1 cup of water, the seeds and nuts. The oil and the sweetener.  On top of this add the flour, salt and lastly the yeast.  Do not mix.

Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment. and mix on low for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Add the cooked quinoa and mix until well combined.  If it looks too wet add 2 Tblsp more flour but keep in mind it should be sticky.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a tea towel.  Allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface.  (If you find the dough sticky, rub your hands lightly with oil.)   Knead it by pushing it down and over itself for a few minutes. If you are baking this in a loaf pan than stretch the dough to a rectangle 20 x 25cm.  Roll tightly as if you were rolling a swiss roll, close the seam well by pressing the edges together.  Otherwise for a free form round loaf shape the dough into a ball.  Brush with oil/ghee,  lightly sprinkle with caraway, black sesame and sunflower seeds.  Cover lightly with a tea towel and allow to rise near a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Half an hour before the bread has risen , center a rack or baking stone in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 210 degrees celsius.

When the bread and oven is ready bake for 35 -40 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool on a rack.

If you are unsure whether the loaf has cooked through, turn the oven off and let it sit in the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Once cooled (very important), slice and enjoy with your favourite spread.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

mostly wholewheat challah bread (without eggs)

26th May 2013

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a mostly whole wheat challah bread

Since moving to Portugal, every Friday, I have started to make my own challah.  This recipe makes one large bread or two small breads – one sweet, which I make round; and one plain, traditional challah which is plaited and sprinkled with seeds.   The recipe uses a mixer with a hook dough, but you can easily use your hands.

I  look forward to sharing this bread when the four of us are all together.  And, especially if we are lucky enough to have our family or friends join us on these special Friday nights. This is where we savour the opportunity to pause, bless and reflect on the week just passed, and to light the candles as a reminder of that internal light inside all of us.

What is left-over, we spend the weekend toasting it with all sorts of delicious spreads.

ingredients for the dough :

4½ tsp active dry yeast

¾ cup warm water/soya milk (may need to add ¼ cup if the dough seems quite dry)

Mix the yeast and warm water/soya milk in your mixing bowl.  Let it sit for five minutes.

add to the mixture above:

1 cup wholewheat flour

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed, plus 6 Tblsp water, whisked together

6 Tblsp olive oil/60 grams butter

4 Tblsp maple syrup, honey/40g brown sugar

1½ tsp rock salt

Mix on medium to low speed until blended.

and then add :

1 cup wholewheat flour

2 cups bread flour/white flour

Knead on medium speed in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes or 10 minutes by hand.  The dough should be elastic and smooth.

Cover with a damp tea towel and allow the dough to sit in a warm place for 1 – 1 ½ hours until well risen.

Punch down.  Take out the dough, knead a little and work it into a ball. Divide into two equal portions.

Set aside one half of the dough, and use the other half to prepare the sweet dough.

for the sweet dough:

¼ cup chopped hazelnuts/walnuts/pecans

¼ cup roughly chopped dates/sultanas, apricots and/or dried figs

sprinkling of light brown sugar and cinnamon powder

Using your hands, mix and knead the nuts and dates into the other half of the dough until evenly distributed, about 5 minutes.  Shape the dough into a round, smooth ball.

Place on one side of a cookie tray, leaving enough room for the other plaited dough.  Brush the sweet dough with olive oil and sprinkle flaked almonds over the top.  You may need to press these down lightly.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and a little brown sugar.  Set tray aside.

prepare the plaited dough :

Gently coax the dough into a fat sausage, sort of  rolling and extending it out by softly pulling on its length.  Using a sharp knife, cut length-wise three long sausages from the dough.  Place the three side by side.  Now pinch together the top ends and carefully braid the three, like you would if you were braiding or plaiting hair.  As I braid, I gently pull them length-wise to keep them as even as possible.

Pinch together the ends.

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Transfer the plaited loaf to the baking tray with the other sweet loaf and brush with oil and sprinkle with poppy seeds/black sesame seeds.

Cover loosely with a tea towel and set in a warm place to rise for an hour.

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When risen, place in a pre-heated 200 degrees Celsius oven for 25 – 30 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.

When it is just the four of us, we have been enjoying the challah  with a simple vegetable soup, a salad and a bowl of guacamole, save the sweet challah for dessert with homemade jam.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

flaxseed crackers

10th February 2013

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yesterday

it felt like SPRING

 it left me in wonder at all this loveliness right at my feet!

today

the wind howls, nips and bites – leaving me somewhat bruised and bent, but still rooted.

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tomorrow?

well…..

flaxseed crackers

Makes approximately 40 crackers

These are a wonderful gluten-free snack inspired by Sarah Britton’s Detox workshop I attended the last weekend.  Feel free to experiment with the flavours using whatever is in season.  I would like to try a sweeter version with walnut and fig.

ingredients :

1 cup soaked flax seeds (linseed) plus 1 cup of water

1 cup ground flax seeds (linseed)

½ cup toasted sesame seeds

1 medium beetroot – with skin (if using organic)

1 small carrot – with skin

1 Tblsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 Tblsp olive oil

¼ cup tamari

¼ cup water (if needed)

preparation :

In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed with 1 cup of water and allow to sit for at least an hour.

Grind the ¾ cup of flaxseed in a coffee grinder or blender (I tend to do big batches to keep on hand in the freezer).  Add to the large bowl with the flaxseed gel.  Add the tamari and mix well.

In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds until fragrant.  Add the sesame seeds to the bowl.

In a food processor with an s – blade attachment, process the beetroot, carrot, rosemary and olive oil.  Add all to the seed mixture and fold to combine.  Add the extra water if needed.  Mix well.

Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F.

Divide the mixture into three equal batches and turn out one batch onto a piece of parchment paper on a flat baking tray.  Using a spatula, spread the mixture out as evenly as you can.  Place another piece of parchment on top of mixture and using a rolling-pin, flatten the dough until as thin as possible (about three linseed deep).  Remove the top piece of parchment, score cracker shapes with a knife.  Then, repeat with the other dough on another baking tray.

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Place the three trays in the oven and bake for thirty minutes.  Take the trays out and flip the mixture over.  Peel off the parchment paper so that the moist side is now facing up (It may be a bit sticky on top and you will lose a little, but this is okay).  Place back in the oven,  changing the tray which was previously on the top to bottom.  Bake until crispy – about another 30 minutes.

I found it difficult to get the dough totally even and I ended up after the last 30 minutes, turning the oven off, removing the outer squares setting aside and placing the rest back into the oven.

Allow to cool and break into pieces.  Store in air-tight containers if they last this long.  They will go quickly!!

Alternatively if you have a dehydrator, spread the mixture evenly onto several dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for 3 – 4 hours or until the top is dry.  Then flip over onto a mesh dehydrating sheet.  Continue dehydrating at 105 F until crisp, about 5 hours.

 Nutritionally it is better to use a dehydrator or using your oven’s lowest temperature as the high heating breaks down the oils and nutritive properties of the flaxseed, but unfortunately this take a lot longer. 

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Goodness shared by Stacey

pumpkin scones

2nd September 2010

pumpkin scone-cut

I just spent the last month in England.  My mother in-law deserves a medal for putting up with us for such a long time.  We all had such a wonderful holiday.  We saw some magnificent shows in London and spent a wonderful time in the English countryside.  A few days were in Cornwall, staying at a beautiful sea-side quaint hotel along the coast called Trevalsa Hotel.

Most days were spent collecting shells and stones along the beach.  We spent one day at the Eden Project, which was so inspiring and very impressive.   We did make it back in time for afternoon scones which were dotted with plump sultanas and served with thick clotted cream and raspberry jam.  The chef did such a wonderful job catering for our specific diets, vegetarian with no onion or garlic. One particular delicious meal was asparagus, lightly steamed, to just bring out its vibrant green colour, but leaving it still slightly crunchy, drizzled with an aoli sauce, green baby leaves and shaved parmesan.  Delicious.

We also spent a few days in Devon, meeting up with our dear friends, Anna and Leon.  On a particularly memorable day, we met up with Lu-lu who was spending a few days there.  She invited us for home-made scones and tea in her friend, Rusha’s place.  The table they set out was so beautiful, with three pots of teas and a mix and match of colourful china cups and saucers.  The scones were magically created in her tiny kitchen on her Aga.  They were delicious date and nectarine scones.

Rusha lives in a beautiful fairy-tale  cottage which has a little creek running through her charming house, where the children spent the whole afternoon swimming in its freezing cold waters.  Her place is still with me.  The light, the colours, the coziness of her kitchen and Rusha’s artistic richness in every nook and cranny.

Our next adventure was hiring a barge for four days and driving it through the canals up to Oxford with Anna and Leon and their son Lev.

What a wonderful experience!  It was like being in another world, stopping off anywhere along the banks to sleep, no shops in sight, just us and the lapping of the water against the barge.  We did have a few funny experiences as it is not easy to direct a 70 foot canal barge, beginners as we were.  We made our way back to London and then onto Lulu’s (where I spent my birthday last year) place which sits on the border of Scotland on 55 acres of incredible lush peaceful beauty.  Beautiful walks, more stones collected and delicious meals shared.  Lu-Lu kept surprising us with freshly baked bread in the morning,  a lovely zucchini cake and home-made blackcurrant jelly and marmalade jam.

Now that I am back, I am obsessed with scones and jam, just to bring back and relive my wonderful holiday.  Lu-Lu also gave me a jar of her blackcurrant jelly and I did buy a few jams while I was there.  Raspberry, blackberry, ginger marmalade…….   And so I had to make some scones to go with all that jam.  This is an old recipe coming from my leather-bound recipe book.  It was inspired from the days I lived in Brisbane and would travel up to Mount Glorious, enjoying the cool, crisp air and sitting in the little cafe cradled by the rainforest trees and feeding the left-over crumbs to the Rainbow Lorikeets that would bravely swoop down to eat the crumbs .  They served the most glorious pumpkin scones, rich in orange colour, moist and so tasty.  It didn’t matter how cold it was, we always sat outside, sipping hot tea and munching on warm pumpkin scones with jam and cream.

pumpkin scones

‘A warm scone is an object of extraordinary comfort, but even more so when it has pumpkin in it.’

Nigel Slater

Makes 12 -14 medium scones

ingredients :

cup pecans/walnuts

1½ cups pumpkin, cut into small pieces

2 Tblsp maple syrup/honey

1 Tblsp flax meal (soaked in 3 Tbsp water for 15 minutes)

50mL cream

300g plain all-purpose flour

150g whole-wheat/spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

50g fine brown sugar

120g cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 tsp vinegar

preparation :

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Line a baking tray with parchment.

Place the walnuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and set aside.

Steam the pumpkin for 10 minutes, or until soft.  Drain well, and cool.  Place in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Add the maple syrup/ honey, cream & soaked flax.  Stiring until well combined.  Set aside.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar.

Using your fingertips, lightly work in the butter until the mixture resembles dry breadcrumbs.  Drizzle in the vinegar, and gently mix in the toasted nuts.  Combine the soaked flax, cream and the cooled pumpkin puree.  Mix this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Use a spoon or your hands to stir the dough together.

It will be on the moist side but if you having trouble handling it, dip your hands into flour and gather the dough into a ball, turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until it roughly comes together.  Make sure not to overwork the dough, using about three knead.  Use your hands to pat the dough until it’s 1 inch thick.

Using a glass or round cutter,  press straight through the dough and lift up.  Don’t twist the glass, otherwise it seals the dough and less air gets inside.  I dip the glass into flour each time I cut a scone.  Transfer to a greased/lined tray leaving a 2-inch space between each scone. Continue to cut out circles, gathering the scraps and pressing them together to make more scones.

Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the scones are golden brown.

Serve with your favourite tea and a dollop of fresh cream and your favourite jam on top.

pumpkin scone

Goodness shared from Stacey

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