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Our favourite ancient grain baking recipes for early autumn

Our favourite ancient grain baking recipes for Organic September

by Great British Chefs 01 September 2019

Rye, spelt and khorasan are incredible ancient grains that, when milled into flour, result in earthy, toasty, nutty flavours for baking with that work perfectly with early autumnal ingredients. Here are four of our favourite ways to incorporate them into baking in time for Organic September.

While summer obviously has its benefits – good weather (usually), a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, al fresco eating – early autumn is when things start to get really exciting. As well as game being at its best, orchard fruits start to ripen, we start turning towards comforting, indulgent dishes (something British cuisine is particularly good for) and preheating the oven doesn’t turn the kitchen into a sauna.

The beginning of autumn also sees the launch of Organic September, a campaign by The Soil Association which encourages people to stock up on organic produce. This year, we think the best way to celebrate it is by getting into the kitchen and baking – after all, September is when fantastic British fruits like greengages and damsons are at their best, and there are the last of the summer’s tomatoes and courgettes to use up in savoury bakes.

To give your creations a point of difference, try swapping out regular wheat flour for one made from ancient grain varieties. Spelt, rye and Khorasan are all perfect for autumnal baking, as they bring a nuttier, earthier, toastier flavour to doughs and pastries. The four recipes below should give you all the inspiration you need to get baking with ancient grains and organic produce – take a look and celebrate September in all its glory!

Rye and beetroot brownies

Everyone loves a brownie, but sometimes the intensely sweet (bordering on sickly) flavour can prove a bit much. These brownies boast all the fudgy richness of regular brownies, but are made with earthier, nuttier wholemeal rye flour for a deeper flavour. Beetroot might sound a little strange, but the sweetness of the root vegetable works incredibly well with dark chocolate, creating an almost fruity finish without being too sweet.

Tomato and courgette khorasan galette

September is when you'll get the very last of the good tomatoes and courgettes, so celebrate the end of the season in style with a beautiful, simple galette. Combined with fresh oregano, feta cheese and plenty of olive oil and lemon zest, the filling sits on top of pastry made with khorasan flour – an ancient grain that has a warming, toasty flavour, which acts as a perfect counterbalance to the sweet tomatoes.

Greengage, honey and spelt cake

Greengages are one of the UK's finest fruits, but they only appear from late August until around the end of September. Make the most of these little green plums by baking them into this delicious spelt cake – the sweet tartness of the greengages is offset by spelt's deep and earthy flavour, while the honey adds fragrant sweetness.

Damson crumble with hazelnut and khorasan

As we say goodbye to summer and temperatures begin to drop, nothing celebrates British fruit quite like a proper crumble. Damsons are another seasonal ingredient we should use as much as we can, and while they're pretty unpleasant when eaten raw, a blast of heat transforms their sour flavour into rich, plummy sweetness. As with all crumbles, the topping is just as important as the fruit beneath, which is why we've made this crumble with crunchy hazelnuts and khorasan flour – the perfect foil for sweet fruit.

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