Thursday, 9 February 2017

Healthy new year, healthy bread

The start of a new year generally means we try to eat more healthily after the indulgences of Christmas, and one thing I decided to do was to try making bread using wholemeal spelt flour. It's not a flour I have ever tried before, and previous attempts at using wholemeal flour to make bread have ended up with a dense, heavy loaf. Surprise, surprise, I ended up again with a brown brick (if anybody can enlighten me on where I'm going wrong that would be great).

But all is not lost. I sliced a piece off and offered it to Big Girl to try. This is a child who only ever ate white bread, who wouldn't go near wholemeal, granary or anything remotely brown coloured. However since turning not only a teenager but also a vegetarian she is more open to trying new foods. And she thought it was Deeeeelicious!! She had two slices with her tea, then after eating pudding asked if she could have another slice!

I think I will persevere, after all I still have half a packet of flour to use, and maybe I will throw my tin of yeast away and get a new one. It's within date but does say not to use after four months once opened. I can't even remember when I used it last, so it must be more than that. Let's hope my next loaf is light and airy, but either way, I know someone in the house will tuck in!
I had another cake  baking session this weekend. I asked OH what be would like and he requesterd viennese whirls. Mr Kipling's viennese whirls are a favourite of his, but he does find them rather small. Let me introduce you to my whirls on steroids!...

They are that big I can only just fit them all in the cake tin! You may have noticed some of them look a little bit well done. I have a valid excuse for that. I put them in the oven then remembered I had to pick Big Girl up from riding which took a bit longer than expected, hence the 'well done' look of some of the whirls. 

I dont think I better eat too many, I dread to think how many calories are in one of those babies. Enough to feed a starving African family for a week I would imagine. I think whoever invented calories should be ashamed of themselves for stripping me of my enjoyments. I absolutely love Battenburg, and can quite easily polish of a quarter of one. Have you ever read the back of a Battenburg wrapper. Do you know how many slices they allow for in that teeny tiny cake? 12. Seriously?! Who are they feeding - the Borrowers?! So that means my quarter portion should actually feed three people 😩

The cake at the front in the photo above is an orange and chocolate cake. Its called a Jaffa drizzle loaf, and you can find the recipe here on the Good Food website. Yummy! 
The cake that was hiding behind the Jaffa cake is Davina's sugar free fruit tea bread. It is sweetened with maple syrup rather than sugar, and is a good recipe to use up all the dried fruit lurking in the cupboard - figs, dates, apricots, pears, sultanas, currants. That was another recipe using the dreaded wholemeal spelt flour but this one turned out okay (well taste wise ok, but it wouldn't win a beauty prize hence why it is hiding in the background in my photo).

On a completely different topic, did you notice the row of yoghurt pots in the background of the first cake photo? We get through a lot of yoghurt in this house, and I buy the big pots and decant into smaller reusable pots for everyone to take to work/school. So I got to thinking, what could I do with all those pots? Then I had a lightbulb moment - they make great mini propagaters! I planted sweet pea seeds as they like a nice deep pot, planting ten to a pot, popped the lid on (with a few holes poked in for ventilation) and wrote the variety on the side in marker pen.

I'm thinking I might give some pots to the children, so they can plant grow their own pumpkin and courgette seeds. I think they look prettier on the windowsill than a bunch of brown plastic pots, and I'm doing my bit for recycling 😀

Speak soon,


  1. Your baking looks delicious, the cake wouldn't last long in this house.
    Hoping to do some growing here too this year. We haven't decided what to plant yet.
    It's lovely to discover your blog. New follow from me. X

    1. Thanks Jules, and welcome! I popped over to your blog, and you now have a new follower too xx

  2. I'm just having a look through your posts and I started making spelt bread this year. I make it every other day and it only takes 5 mins to prepare. 225g spelt flour, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon baking powder mixed in one bowl. In a jug 7.5 fl oz water and 1 tablespoons olive oil. Combine wet with dry then place in oiled tin and bake 50 mins at 180 degrees. I have a fan oven. I tend to sprinkle seeds on the top before baking. Also look up telegraphs 3 min spelt bread recipe! Andrea

    1. Claire@homesweethome201514 May 2017 at 13:51

      Thanks Andrea, I'll give that recipe a try. Since coming back from NZ I've fallen into the trap of just popping to the supermarket to get a sliced loaf. I really must get back into baking again. I guess if you get into a routine like you do, it just becomes a habit rather than a chore. Xx