Whey, sourdough, yeasted - what should I call this bread recipe!

I've been playing around a lot in the kitchen lately. Grinding grain, making lots of good food from scratch, preserving, culturing, what fun!

I made this bread as an experiment today and it was a success. It's a little unconventional in the combination of ingredients, but it works, so here is the recipe!

Whey Loaf (I decided on a simple title!)

Makes 2 loaves

450 grams wholemeal flour (freshly ground if possible)
50 grams rye flour
500 grams white plain flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sourdough starter
200ml whey, room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
500ml warm water


Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add sourdough starter and whey. Start up your mixer with a dough hook (or mix with wooden spoon if mixing by hand). Mix honey and oil with warm water and gradually add to mix. Continue to mix on low for 10 minutes, or mix by hand until combined and then knead for 10 minutes or until elastic.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with glad wrap. Allow to double in size (usually an hour depending on the weather).

Divide dough into 2 loaves and shape either into bread tins or into rounds on a tray. If using tins, be sure to oil them or for trays, use good quality baking paper to avoid any sticking. Cover with glad wrap once again and allow to sit for another 45 minutes - 1 hour.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 250 degrees (C).
Slash tops of loaves with a sharp knife or razor blade and place in oven. Set the timer for 5 minutes. 
Turn oven down to 220 deg (C) and bake for a further 30 minutes*.
Turn out and cool on wire rack.

* Due to the wholemeal flour, your loaves may brown more than you would like. If they start to brown too much, cover with a large piece of foil for the remainder of the baking time.


I may have a new addiction. Labneh. I made some from my homemade yoghurt and all I can say is wow. If you've never tried it you really should!

I started with 1 kg homemade yoghurt. I've detailed one method here and my current preferred method here for making your own yoghurt.

I have written instructions for labneh in the past but I like this way of doing it more, it's easier and it makes more sense to use a colander.

So, you have your large square of muslin lining the colander and just dump your yoghurt in the middle. Have the colander set over a bowl or container to catch the whey.

To keep the muslin tidy and to let gravity work for you, tie the corners of the cloth loosely around a wooden spoon handle so that it is slightly suspended. 

Place in the fridge and leave for 24 hours. Make sure your bowl or container is big enough to collect the whey, or pour off the whey occasionally so it doesn't overflow (don't get rid of it though, it's precious! More of that in a future post.)
Unwrap the labneh. Stir in half a teaspoon of good salt and whip it up a bit with a fork. Now it's ready to store in an airtight container in the fridge. There are so many ways to use it - my favourite is to spread generously on a slab of homemade bread drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil or to place globs of it in a yummy salad. You can roll balls of it in herbs and place in olive oil. Just digging a spoon into it is a major temptation! 

With homemade yoghurt, labneh is a mild, creamy, healthy delight that you may well find as addictive as I do!

Whole wheat raspberry and banana hot cakes

I got a grain mill! Yes, the 10 year wait was worth it, but more about that later. Today I have a recipe to share that I made with my first batch of freshly ground wheat. Wow, what a blessing to have food that nutritious and delicious!

This was my healthy lunch experiment for the kids and they turned out so beautifully! The children quickly became like lions to the prey, they absolutely loved them. Moist, fluffy and so healthy!


4 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour (or packaged whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons LSA mix (ground linseed, sunflower and almond)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 egg whites, beaten until stiff
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup of date syrup or honey
1 over ripe banana, mashed
3 cups milk (full fat, low fat or skim are fine)
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
1/2 cup raspberries (I used frozen)


Place all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. 
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Whisk together egg yolk, syrup (or honey), banana, milk and yoghurt. 
Pour these wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly. Fold in the beaten egg whites along with the raspberries.
Fry in a hot, non stick pan or a regular pan with a little rice bran oil to prevent sticking. 

Serve warm. I served with a dollop of yoghurt, dusting of icing sugar, raspberries and drizzled with maple syrup.
For a special dessert these would be awesome with whipped cream or ice-cream and raspberry coulis. 

Surface embroidery on 5/1 Spot Lace for a Rigid Heddle Loom

This is the companion video to the one on spot lace. It shows how you can take your weaving further by using surface embroidery techniques. Easy to follow, easy to do but visually stunning!

5/1 spot lace on a rigid heddle loom

I'm doing well with the videos this week! This one is for 5/1 spot lace and is a companion video for another new one on surface embroidery.  Enjoy!

Prickly Pear syrup recipe

I've been doing some research into Navajo natural dyeing techniques - prickly pear fruit with it's fabulous, vivid magenta to strong pink colour would be an obvious choice. 

I was afraid of the possible, painful consequences of harvesting the fruit, but following some instruction from my somewhat experienced husband, I went ahead and I'm so glad I did. Harvesting and preparation instructions are here.

Not only did I pick and prepare enough fruit to start my yarn dyeing experiment, I also came up with a delicious syrup! Here is the recipe for you:

1.1kg ripe prickly pear fruit
500grams white sugar
1 teaspoon citric acid

When the fruit is prepared and peeled (see harvesting and preparation method here) chop each fruit into 3 and blend in a food processor. No food processor? Place in a bowl and mash really well with a potato masher. Place a strainer or colander over a large saucepan. Strain the juice, leaving the seeds in the strainer. Use a spoon to push through all that goodness. 
Once you have your juice, add the sugar and citric acid. Warm over a low heat until sugar in dissolved, then increase heat to medium until the liquid comes to a light boil. Boil for no more than 5 minutes.
Allow to cool, poor into a glass bottle or similar and keep in the fridge.

Can be used as a cordial, just mix with water, mix with mineral water and ice for a refreshing drink, drizzle over ice-cream, yoghurt, pancakes, waffles or fruit salad. Anything you would use a fruit syrup for, this syrup can be used.

Hope you enjoy it!

Harvesting and preparation of prickly pear fruit.

Ouch! Yep, those little spikes hurt and there are plenty of them. But don't let that deter you - the prickly pear has delicious fruit and you can even eat the paddles (leaves also known as napales) but in my opinion that is an acquired taste, as in, one that I personally have not acquired!

What you need:

Good quality kitchen/washing up gloves. The good quality part is important, they are tougher! *See note.
A plastic bucket
Long handled tongs
Small, sharp paring knife
A large mixing bowl or similar to put your peeled fruit into.
Plastic bag

What to do:

This first part is completed outside.

Half fill your bucket with water. Stand back from the cactus (the long handled tongs give you further reach). The hair like spines (glochids) will begin to come off as soon as your tongs touch the fruit, so be aware of where they are falling. For this reason it is better not to harvest on a really windy day.
Grabbing the fruit with the tongs, give a twist or two and place the fruit straight into the bucket. Continue this process until you have the number you require. Make sure the water is covering the fruit.

Now tip the water out, somewhere that no one is likely to walk or weed etc. Using a hose, spray water into the bucket onto the fruit, covering it once more. Tip out once again. You can repeat the spray and tip one more time (I do).

Put on your gloves. If your gloves are strong you should be fine to pick up the fruit now. Cut off each end and make a slit down the centre with the knife. Begin to peel back the skin from the slit until it is all removed. Place the skin either back in the bucket or straight into the plastic bag. Place the peeled fruit into the bowl. Continue for all fruit.

Now you can take the fruit inside to use. I give one last rinse in water just in case there are any remaining spikes. It is delicious fresh or there are lots of interesting recipes to try (I have a prickly pear syrup recipe coming soon!)

Clean up:
I throw all the peelings into the regular rubbish bin in a plastic bag. As far as I know, the peelings can not be composted due to the spines - I certainly don't want them ending up in my compost. If you have successfully composted peelings, I would be most interested to know.

* I used good quality kitchen gloves to prepare the fruit. After working in the kitchen with the peeled fruit, I went back outside to clean up the peelings. However, I put on a different pair of kitchen gloves, a lower quality, thinner pair. As soon as I touched the bucket with the peelings, I got spiked. So it really is worth having the good quality gloves!

Shop update

I've had a huge shop update! There are heaps of colours and bases of yarn to choose from, including some I haven't offered previously.   
Get a head start on your Winter knitting and head over to my shop for a look at all the new, squishy goodies :)

Make do and make a start

I thought I'd share with you a little reality check today. It is easy for us to imagine that people we see on social media, on websites...