Back to normal schedule, hah! This week I’m shaking it up and making this post a “Variety Flour Friday Morning” instead of “Variety Flour Thursday”. My only consolation is that at least you at least get differently floured baked deliciousness this week, even if it is a wee late.

I wrote down the recipe for honeybucks a good year ago, and haven’t made it for many reasons. Not everyone shares my love for buckwheat flour, or my intense love of/obsession with honey, but sometimes you have to do things for yourself, like bake a recipe you’ve been curious about for a long time running regardless of possible audience opinion. And, honestly, people have been surprising me with their reactions. Honeybucks aren’t very pretty but the earthy, strong buckwheat flavor grabs the taste of honey by the hand, and they seem to skip merrily into the hearts of others. That’s a long, silly way of saying people like them just as much as I do.

As noted in the recipe itself, I subbed spelt flour for all-purpose; I read that you can usually substitute spelt for all-purpose without changing the result. Mine turned out less fluffy and more like a chewy cookie, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! When talking about them yesterday, my friends mentioned honeybucks might make an interesting base for something else, like a raspberry jam or part of a layered bar concoction. My first instinct was to disagree because the buckwheat and honey are strong flavors, but the more I think, the more I like the idea of being creative with it!

Honeybucks

(Recipe adapted from Vanilla Garlic)

Yields one 8 inch square pan or 9 inch round cake pan

 

Ingredients:

½ cup butter, melted

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ cup sugar

¼ cup honey

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

¾ cup all purpose flour (I subbed spelt flour and had to add a good 9 minutes after the 20 minute mark)

¼ cup buckwheat flour

(pinch of ground nutmeg, if you’re in the mood or market for something spiced)

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour an 8 inch square pan or 9 inch round cake pan.

2. In a medium bowl, large enough for all ingredients, whisk butter, all sugars, and honey until well combined.

3. Whisk in egg and vanilla until well combined.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk flours, salt, and baking powder.

5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture all at once and stir until just combined.

6. Pour into prepared pan and even out the batter in pan.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they test done, with a cake tester coming out slightly moist with few crumbs. It may look burned, so go by cake tester and smell. Mine took almost 30 minutes (because I subbed spelt flour?), and I could tell it wasn’t done because the center was not set.

8. Cool in pan on wire cooling rack. Honeybucks rise in the oven and fall while cooling. Don’t be alarmed.

Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. I’m going to try freezing a few for up to a month – I’m sure they will be fine.


Breakfast Tuesday came and went this week, without my doing a darn thing about it. How does that happen? How does time pass without our taking the time to notice it? Deep meditations this morning. Well, less meditation and more baffled amazement. I decided to (try to) redeem myself for neglecting my blog duties by posting a recipe that is both breakfast AND variety flour, so you can have your breakfast delicious and good for you this week.

Just as a beverage, tea is a key component of my days, and I think about baking with tea all the time. Not only can you incorporate tea whenever there is water in a recipe, or use matcha green tea powder, but you can also do fun things like infuse butter, and I imagine you can do infuse oil  if you so desire. I love the subtle flavors and colors that tea imparts on a batter. Since it’s a breakfast recipe, I didn’t want to get too fancy, but the addition of chai to these spelt flour pancakes ups the flavor ante and makes them seem more intricately made than they actually are.

My only sort-of complaint with this recipe was how the batter came out watery, like it could barely hold itself together. My first few pancakes stuck to my skillet, even though there was ample oil to prevent it. I remedied the situation by lowering the heat and paying more attention to the amount of oil in the skillet, but would like a hearty pancake batter that could hold its own in case you wanted to add fruit or nuts. The next time I make these, I’ll probably add an extra tablespoon or two of oil to the batter.

Spelt Chai Pancakes

(Recipe adapted from Vegan Diner)

Yields between 7 and 8 pancakes

Ingredients:

½ cup boiling water

4 chai tea bags, or 4 teaspoons loose tea

½ to ¾ cup non-dairy milk, as needed

1 cup spelt flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

Pinch ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Extra oil for greasing skillet

Method:

1. In a liquid measuring cup, steep tea bags or loose tea in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, or strain, making sure to squeeze as much water as possible out of the tea bags or loose tea. Add milk to tea until you have one cup of liquid.

2. In a medium bowl, stir to combine dry ingredients. Add milk tea mixture and oil. Stir just to combine, being careful not to over mix.

3. While batter rests for 5 to 10 minutes, preheat skillet over medium heat. Test by dropping water on the skillet; if the water sizzles, you’re set!

4. Grease skillet with cooking spray or canola/vegetable oil. If using oil, pour a tablespoon oil into the skillet and then wipe with a paper towel until oil creates a thin layer over the surface.

5. Drop batter into skillet using a ¼ cup measuring cup and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until you see bubbles rising to the surface of pancake. Flip pancakes, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until bottom is browned. Add oil to skillet as necessary between batches.

6. Serve warm!

I know it’s not recommended, but I store my extra pancakes in the fridge (wrapped in tin foil or in an airtight container) for up to 2 days after making them, heating them up as needed for a snack or breakfast.

Variety Flour Thursday strikes again!

On account of all the butter I’ve used this week making brioche, and all the sugar that went into my belly in the form of bostock, I wanted to shy away from butter for this recipe.  Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for olive oil cake, and a little light went on in the pantry of my brain. Olive oil in cookies is amazing, and olive oil itself is just incredible, so olive oil in cake?! I love cake!

Once that was settled, I went about finding a recipe. The search wasn’t all that intense. Olive oil, dark chocolate, rosemary. Rosemary?! It’s not any less rich than brioche, but the flavor combination and texture is utterly different and a welcome change on my plate. And palate. I tried to think of a joke with the plate/palate thing, but came up with nothing. Alas, jokes are not within my skill set.

Today my flour of choice is spelt. Multiple sources tell me that you can substitute spelt flour in any recipe that calls for all-purpose, which made me sad because I’m trying all these different flours in order to explore distinct flavors and textures. It made me sad until I played with it for a bit. Even though spelt flour is closely related to regular wheat flour (all-purpose), you can definitely see, feel, and taste the difference. There are grains flecked throughout, and the taste is sweeter than all-purpose. You almost want to just eat the flour. Almost. Truthfully, I’m not sure how the cake would turn out using solely all-purpose, but I can imagine it wouldn’t hold its own against the bold flavors of the chocolate, rosemary, and olive oil.

The history of spelt flour is intense. We’re talking Stone Age and Old Testament. I’m in love with these sorts of things, where you feel like a time-traveler, like you have something physical and real in common with the people who came not just centuries before you, but thousands of years before you.

Olive Oil Cake

(Recipe adapted from Good to the Grain)

Yields one 9 inch cake

Ingredients:

1 cup spelt flour

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 cup olive oil, plus some to oil the pan

¾ cup milk (whole is preferred, but whatever you have on hand)

1 ½ tablespoons rosemary, fresh (but crushed, dried rosemary works)

5 oz, or a heaping ¾ cup, chopped dark chocolate, or chocolate chips

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare either a 9 inch fluted tart pan, or a 9-inch cake pan, by rubbing it with a light coating of olive oil.

2. In a medium bowl, sift dry ingredients together, returning any bits of grain or sugar back into the sifted mixture. Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl large enough for all cake batter, whisk eggs until frothy and combined completely.

4. Add olive oil, milk, and rosemary. Whisk until combined.

5. Fold in dry ingredients, mixing only until batter is just combined.

6. Fold in chocolate.

7. Pour cake batter evenly into pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

8. Cake can either be eaten warm or cooled to room temperature. Let cool in pan.

Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze up to a month.

 

Not sure there is anything in focus in this picture, but I love my cat (even though she has a bad case of crazy eyes) and I love this cake.