Fermenting Oats
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The healthy, tasty, gluten-free oat grain can be fermented into a myriad of dishes, including porridges, jellies, oat cakes, pancakes and ovened bakes. This course will share how and give you recipes to create in your own kitchen! This course … Read More

From Instagram
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Leaning how to bake sourdough, for me, coincided with starting to eat bread again after a decade without it. I knew I wanted bread back in my life, and I also knew I had to bake it myself.
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The sourdough part was a no-brainer. I was certain I wanted wild yeasts in my bread. I also knew I wanted to use local flour, but, at that stage, I wasn’t sure *which* flour. I experimented with einkorn, emmer, rye and spelt.
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My hubby loved rye, so he was sold on that. I wanted a more ‘wheat-like’ grain and liked einkorn, emmer and spelt. The delicious spelt won out in the end because of its cost. It was much cheaper than the other two grains. I bake three loaves a week, every week of the year. The price of the flour is very important to me.
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I’m nailing down a price comparison for the sourdough spelt cookbook I’m writing. Turns out spelt is still cheaper. Making three spelt loaves a week I save 250 Euros a year over einkorn. I looked the US too. There, making four loaves a week, you’d save $480 over einkorn.
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I love all the alternative grains and occasionally bring emmer and einkorn to my bread-making, but my routine kitchen choices are a balance of health, pleasure and economics. Sourdough spelt performs in each of these areas for me.
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Here’s a just-cooked loaf. The recipe (plus, hopefully, at least 11 others) will be in the forthcoming cookbook. My boys and I have a bit more tasting to do before it’s finished 🙂

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From Instagram
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Today’s podcast is all about preserving food. In it, @farmandhearth interviews expert @schneiderpeeps, author of two books on preserving.
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In the episode, you’ll hear:
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– How Angi got started and why canning is so important to her
– Hospitality in the home and how canning helps with that
– Staples Angi keeps in her pantry
– Dealing with busy harvest seasons
– Pressure canning beans and meat
– Troubleshooting pressure canning problems

Right at the end of the rich episode Angi talks about opening our homes to others – how there is no need for them to be spotless and perfect. It’s a beautiful window into the warm space she creates with all she does.
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Thank you Angi for sharing your knowledge with us 🙂

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From Instagram
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4 reasons to bake with rye:
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1/ Rye has a lower gluten content than wheat. If you or anyone you know struggles with gluten, or if you want to try a lower-gluten bread, rye is a great option.
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2/ Wholegrain rye has unbeatable flavour! There’s a reason why traditional German and Russian rye breads taste so good. With all of the bran, you get all of the deep, dark flavour of this sweeter-than-wheat grain.
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3/ Sourdough starters are better with wholegrain rye. There is no better flour to kick-start you starter and to make it easy to maintain. It’ll be really active and you won’t need to refresh it as often, it can go in the fridge and you can get on with other things.
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4/ With rye, there’s no need to knead or shape. Due to their lack of gluten, rye bread do not rise using the same mechanism as wheat-style breads. This means no kneading and no worrying about whether you’re shaping it right.
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The words in the image are from a lovely lady @weissenhofnicole who, prior to taking my course Rye Sourdough Bread: Mastering the Basics, did not have a sourdough starter and had not made rye sourdough bread. You can get fantastic results even if you are a beginner.
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There’s a link in my profile to the course, which has a free preview (you can check out my style and decide whether it’s for you). I’ll add a clickable link to my story today too. If you want to know more about baking with rye and like podcasts, listen to @ancestralkitchenpodcast #41 where you’ll hear @farmandhearth quiz me about rye bread-making 🙂

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From Instagram
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I render lard in a slow cooker. After it’s been going 6/7 hours and there’s not much more liquid fat coming out, I rescue the cracklings and transfer them to the cast iron pan to crisp up further.
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We then eat these cracklings (they are called niblets in our home!) on everything. They are wonderful on salads or cooked vegetables, sprinkled over sourdough or as ‘croutons’ on soups before serving. I love oatcakes topped with them (I’ll post a pic in my story!) and include them in bread-making, as our ancestors have done for many years.
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I’ve got a recipe on my site (in the resources section of www.ancestralkitchen.com) which has a recipe for a sourdough version of a traditional Italian crackings bread – pan di ciccioli. If you have cracklings around, it’s a delicious way to enjoy every part of the lard-making process!
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How do you eat your cracklings?!

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Eating Ancestrally Away From Home
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The last two weekends our tiny kitchen has felt like a lard production factory – we’ve rendered over eight kilos (18 pounds) of pork back fat. Every container in the house has been requisitioned to hold the resulting lard and … Read More

From Instagram
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Everything we eat is an opportunity for us to get closer. Closer to the plant, the farmers, the soil and the environment, yes…but *also* closer to ourselves – to understanding what we care about and why, involving ourselves in the process, using our bodies, and in doing so learning on a deep level something ‘more’.
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That something ‘more’ is beautiful and it’s what being engaged with our food offers us.
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But we have to be gifted this opportunity to get closer to our food and then have the strength to heed the call. It ain’t easy. When I was 18, driven by addiction, I regularly visited the local supermarket and bought kilogram bars of sugar-laden white chocolate. I took these bars home and ate them alone in my bedroom, often in one sitting. I used chocolate as a way out.
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Nearly 30 years later, I sit here shelling home-roasted cacao beans that I chose based on their variety and the farm they came from. I will make these into a 95% cacao chocolate in my own kitchen, without the help of machinery that costs chocolatiers thousands of pounds. The resulting chocolates will last me at least a few weeks and I’ll make tea with the cacao husks that come off in the process.
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It was my failing health that gifted me the opportunity to start doing things differently. For so many people who I talk to here, that’s also the case. My prayer is that we’d all be gifted the opportunity to see there’s another way (and want to take it) *without* being ill…through curiosity, taste sensation, farm visits, reading, a friend, a podcast.
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Because tasting chocolate like this, supporting farmers, bringing back to life ancestral traditions, giving a damn…they are things that can fill a life with *such* joy and make it *so* worth living.

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From Instagram
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Long-matured oat and honey cookies.
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I finally have a good-looking cookie…I can’t tell you how many cookies my family have had to eat to get to these photogenic ladies 🙂
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I wanted to keep them simple. The dough is based on equal amount of oat flour and honey, ‘fermented’ together for 6 weeks. Then, before baking, I add butter, spices and baking powder.
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Along the way I’ve learnt how cookies baked with butter are liable to spread more than those baked with oil (as the dough is more solid and therefore more susceptible to ‘melting’ in the oven) and also how refrigerating dough before baking really helps cookies hold their shape better.
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This recipe will go into the oat cookbook I’m dreaming of writing. If, in the meantime, you love oats, check out my $8 course ‘Fermenting Oats’ at @thefermentationschool. Or, if you fancy having a go at a long-matured/fermented cookies in general, there’s an article on my site explaining how to make them. You can find a link in my bio under the recipes section.

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