For at least the last fifteen years we have owned a Panasonic baking machine, in fact we now have two, the second bought on a special offer at Costco or John Lewis ( can’t recall which) in anticipation of the first one breaking down, which it hasn’t yet. We stopped using either a few years back because the bead was so much better than the bought variety that we ate too much also it was of a slightly eccentric shape and not so easy to cut.
A year or so ago I chanced on an article on the benefits of stone ground flour as opposed to the roller ground variety So I bought four bags of stone ground wholemeal from the Bacheldre watermill (which Christina will be pleased to know is in Wales….maybe she already knows ? ) via amazon. The very first loaf I baked was a revelation, it was quite dense and nothing like as light and soft as conventional loaves either ‘wholemeal’ or white. But the taste ! Absolutely great, a still warm slice with butter and strawberry jam beats the hell out of most cakes. Mrs J however was not so much of a fan and didn’t kick the bought bread habit until I got some Organic Stoneground Strong Unbleached White flour from the same source and she then became a convert.
Recently shopping at Waitrose I saw some spelt flour and bought some to try out, I wasn’t disappointed, Spelt bread is absolutely great, it’s unexpectedly soft and has a distinctive flavour. Spelt is a very old wheat from 5000bc according to wiki, and is enjoying a resurgence in the health food market. Never mind the health, I’d buy it for the taste alone. Currently we bake our wholemeal and unbleached white bread with 30% spelt flour which produces a really nice bread. When we’ve run down our stocks of wholemeal and white stoneground we might go 100% spelt.
My recomendation to all charioteers. Go out and buy a bread maker and some stoneground flour.