Are the Pemberton Strawberries Ripe Yet? Because my bread is ready for a spread…

This is the time of the year when I am desperately waiting for strawberries.

My freezer is now empty of any decent fruit – except some unhappy looking green gage plums that really don’t work for much of anything except fruit crisp.

So obviously I am happy to grab whatever I can from my yard: rhubarb, chives, sorrel, mint, a couple of salmon-coloured cherries. Not much to eat yet for the lazy planter. However, in anticipation of what I hope will be a bumper harvest of strawberries in Pemberton this year, I am posting my own bread recipe which tastes amazing toasted with butter and Pemberton strawberry jam.

Chia Spelt Bread:

 Ingredients:

4 cups spelt flour

4 tsp instant dry yeast

1 tbs salt

1.5 cups slow oats

1 cup ground chia seed

3 ¼ cups water

¼ cup unsalted butter

1-2 tbs blackstrap molasses (optional)

1 cup oat bran

2-3 cups spelt flour

Method:

Put spelt flour, chia, yeast, salt, oats into bowl of mix master. Combine using dough hook.

Slowly warm up water on stove over low heat and add butter. When butter is melted, slowly add liquid to flour mixture in mix master. You can also add molasses to the hot water mixture. (Did you know that molasses is a good source of calcium? It also adds an interesting flavour to the bread.)

Once the wet and dry ingredients are combined well, slowly add oat bran and between 2-3 cups spelt flour. Combine until the dough has been well mixed.

Butter a large mixing bowl and place dough in it.

Put bowl into oven and turn light on.

Let the dough rise 2 hours.

Remove dough and punch down to release air. Turn out dough onto clean counter and cut dough into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion into an oblong shape and place each portion into 2 loaf pans.

Let pans rise in oven for another 1-2 hours.

When the dough has risen nicely in the pans, remove pans from oven and preheat oven to 375C.

Bake loaves for 32 minutes.

Cool and enjoy!