Our love affair with bread

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Hi there and so sorry for not writing earlier. I do have an excuse, which I think I have mentioned before, and that is our new house. My wrist is aching tonight whilst I type, and I would love to tell you that it is because I have been doing loads of baking or typing lots of new and exciting posts. But the truth is it is because I have been painting like crazy. The entire house needs painting, all 9 rooms, and big rooms at that,  plus they all need at least 2 coats of paint. I might as well be painting the Titanic! Needless to say there is a lot to do and not much time for anything else other than cooking and teaching/learning with my children. It’s great though because even though we haven’t really had a summer here in the UK the days are fairly warm and pleasant. I just can’t believe how long things take. You start one job thinking it will take you a couple of hours but it ends up taking you a couple of days or even weeks when it comes to sourcing products.

Anyhow, in the middle of all this craziness I have managed to keep cooking. Hooray, I hear you say!! And just to make it a bit more exciting we  have decided to try and steer away from wheat again just to find out if it is the cause to certain skin problems.  That is not to say we haven’t eaten any wheat (I don’t really believe in being a total martyr to a cause and nobody can be 100% good all the time) but we have certainly cut back. Dry skin patches have disappeared which have been lingering for a long time. However, if you cut something out of your diet that has been a mainstay forever then it is only natural to want to replace it with something else.

For centuries across much of the world we have had a love affair with bread. There is something about having something to hold when we are eating another component of our meal. Something to mop up the juices, if you are from Northern England. Something to wrap around the meat and the veg. A handy little pocket to stuff all the loveliness in to. However you like your bread and whatever you like it with there is no doubt that is plays an important role in our meal time rituals. Toast in the morning maybe, a pitta for our lunch then maybe filled with your favourite burger for tea. I know in our house the absence of bread would not go unnoticed. This has then led me to find me and my husband an alternative. We don’t want loaves and loaves of the stuff just something to wrap our summer time salads in or dip into our soup.

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Then as if by magic I discovered gram flour pancakes. Marvellous!! And easy too with only 4 ingredients and a frying pan things couldn’t be easier. I stumbled across these little gems whilst browsing through my friend’s low gi cookbook. In this book they were referred to as ‘Provencal Pancakes’ made using gram flour otherwise known as chickpea flour or garbanzo. I have also read that they originate it South-Western France and are known as soccas. As soon as the word chickpea was mentioned I just had to give them a try…I adore chickpeas!!

They taste slightly nutty with a pancake like texture. They certainly don’t have an offensive taste and once they are accompanied with your favourite topping or dip then you will never know the difference.

All you need to make a batch of 20 small pancakes and maybe 8-10 large pancakes is –

225g gram flour (I used Dove’s farm)

1teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

300-350ml of water

Sieve the flour into a large bowl along with the salt and baking powder then using an electric whisk gradually add the water until a smooth batter is created. Note- you may only need 300ml of water depending on how runny your batter appears. It needs to be like pancake mixture.

Heat a frying pan until it is nice and hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil then pour in your mixture either as small blobs or a large pancake. Once cooked on one side they will start to bubble with little holes all over them, flip and cook on the other side until nice and brown. They do take slightly longer than pancakes to cook so be prepared to stand next to your hob for a while.

If you want to spice things up,  add cumin seeds to your mixture and/or chilli powder.

To serve it is really up to you. You might want to put olive tapenade on them, maybe some salsa, or to make it double chickpea why not accompany it with humus. A lovely bowl of your favourite soup or as an accompaniment to a wider meal of salad, roasted vegetables and your choice of sweet potato or potato fries. Simply treat them as you would any other bread. We even tried to toast ours with success, and if you haven’t included any spice then I imagine a bit of your favourite jam would taste good too!!

Hope you will give them a try and thanks for reading- L x


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