I have no idea if this’ll work. It could be very embarrassing.
I got the idea when wondering what to do with a packet of buckwheat flakes almost at the expiry date. I’d made a lovely carrot-and-leek soup earlier in the week and still had a boxful of grated carrot in the fridge. Well, I thought: it should work: and if it doesn’t, what’s to lose?
I make bread using a sourdough starter which I’ve been keeping going for 10 years. The original starter kit came from San Francisco, so I named it Armistead. If you don’t use sourdough, you should substitute a heaping teaspoon of dried yeast for this recipe, made up in a pint of warm liquid. You can add the honey at the yeast-mixing stage
When I bake I use American-style measuring cups, because they allow me to add ingredients by bulk rather than by weight, which is more convenient and also in many ways better for baking.
Two cups of buckwheat flakes
Two cups of grated carrot
Two cups of strong wholemeal flour
Half a cup of ricotta
A tablespoon of honey
A cup of Armistead
Salt to taste
I mixed together the flakes, flour, and Armistead, with a little salt, and some hot water (mix boiling water out of the kettle with cold water out of the tap until it’s just hot enough you can bear to put your hand in it: if it’ll scald you it’ll kill the yeast). I was looking to make a very soft wet dough. Then I kneaded in the ricotta and the grated carrot and added a tablespoon of acacia honey (a very light sweet honey). The dough did not take much kneading at all. When it was a coherent lump in the bowl, I shaped it, oiled it (I use rapeseed oil) and left it to rise.
I will let you know, this evening, if it’s worked. There will be photos.
Update – More photos under cut.
There was enough dough for two trays of rolls – which is all I can bake at once in my small oven:
and in close-up:
Instead of two trays of plain rolls, I thought to use the rest of the dough to make round fat dishes of bread with cheese on top, and I mixed some coriander in with the grated cheese:
The cheese is a mix of the very creamy Stichill Jerseys bought at Edinburgh Farmers market, and Emmenthal. Very yum.
I left the rolls to rise for about an hour in a warm oven:
And then baked them for 25 minutes in a hot oven. And then waited for ages (well, at least for a few minutes) before trying one.
The flavour was great if you like buckwheat! (I do.) The crumb is soft, there was a very faint savour of honey under the buckwheat, and though the carrot looks very prominent, you can hardly taste any specific carrot flavour at all.
It didn’t last very long after the first bite. I tried another roll later when the bread had cooled, and it’s still good – soft thick crumb and very much mostly buckwheat in flavour. Next time, I might cut down the buckwheat to 1 cup and increase the flour proportionally, and definitely double-up on the honey (also, may use a stronger-flavoured honey than acacia).
Sadly, the rolls topped with cheese and coriander, while tasty enough, did not work out – the cheese flavour killed the honey savour, and all I was left with was cheese-and-buckwheat. Which was nice, don’t get me wrong, but not what I’d meant.