Here’s to the Homely Loaf!

Here’s to the homely loaves, the misshapen ones, the misfits and the troublemakers. The loaves with the blown-out sides, the ones that refuse to rise to the occasion, the ones that go their own way, no matter what you do, to make them pretty and light and colourful.

You can vilify them. You can apologize for them.… Continue reading

Why Eat Ancient and Heritage Grains?

I’m not fond of telling anyone what to do. But if you value the planet and agricultural diversity, you would do well to eat more ancient and heritage grain products.

Einkorn, Spelt, Khorasan/Kamut, Emmer, Millet … we’ve always promoted these grains at Happy Monk Baking Company, and there are many reasons for it.

#1 Reason: The flavour advantage

My number one reason is flavour!… Continue reading

Mildrith’s Body of Miracles

Mildrith’s weekly body of miracles

Mildrith, the wood-fired oven, welcomed her first load of bread when the morning was still dark. It’s dawn now, three batches later, and I’m opening the oven doors on what may be the last one of the day. Sunlight is beginning to wink at me through the fence.

There’s a bit of warm colour on the loaves closest to the doors, deeper brown on the loaves in the back.… Continue reading

Rye Bread: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Rye and Spelt Sourdough Loaf – A Happy Monk fave!

Last week’s Rye and Spelt Loaf scratched a need for me — the taste of rye, that unusual grain that bakes and tastes so differently than wheat. I’m rarely over-the-moon about my bread, as many customers are, but this loaf was beautiful!

The coarse rye flour in this loaf was highlighted by the milder tasting spelt flour, and I tasted that big earthy flavour I love so much about this under-appreciated grain.… Continue reading

Pleasure and Worry in the Summer Heat

The smoky haze that settles over our homes from miles or nations away (photo taken September 2020).

If it weren’t for the extreme fire hazard warning, I’d wax poetic about the summer right now. The green apples on the branches, the delicate butterflies flitting over the lavender, the breeze rustling the leaves of the birch and poplars.… Continue reading