"In the US, if you're not sprouting you're not anybody" said Nick Barnard from Rude Health as we kneaded our bread dough bursting with sprouted grains.
Next month Rude Health are launching the UK's first range of sprouted grains and flours and a few of us lucky ones got invited to go and spend a delightful evening, hosted by Nick and Camilla, the Rude Health founders, baking with said new products. "Sprouting" is big in the US but relatively unheard of this side of the pond. Rude Health's new range of organic and sprouted grains and flours will initially consist of: spelt flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour and gluten free porridge oats.
Grains such as oats, spelt and wheat that have been allowed to sprout and then dried at low temperatures contain more fibre and more nutrients than their standard unsprouted and dried equivalents, which are the more familiar everyday cereals and flours we buy and consume, although visually you'd never know the difference. There is a difference though, as sprouting brings out the flavour; offering up more nutty, wholesome and earthy tastes. It is even believed that some people (not all) who are sensitive to gluten can tolerate sprouted grains because the germination process breaks down the gluten proteins, making them easier to digest. Another bit of science that I found very interesting is the idea that by allowing grains and cereals to sprout you are effectively turning them from a starch into a vegetable. I like healthy science like that a lot.
Rude Health teamed up with Limpet Barron, pastry chef from the Tangerine Dream Cafe at Chelsea Physic Garden to come up with delicious recipes using the new product range. They have excitedly shared this recipe for fig, almond and thyme tart with us and now i've convinced you how great sprouting things are, look out for their new range launching in November and get baking.
POTATO & PORCINI TARTLETS -
WITH SPROUTED WHEAT FLOUR
(12 x mini tartlet cases)
500g Sprouted Wheat flour
250g unsalted butter
270ml ice cold water
900g potatoes, boiled & crushed
600g fresh porcini
1tsp fresh thyme
360 ml double cream
600g grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper
For the pastry: Pulse the flour & butter in a food processor to form breadcrumbs. Gradually add the cold water, pulse to combine; a slightly wet texture gives stretch and a crisper pastry. Knead into a flat puck and place in the fridge for approx. 30 mins.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out so that it hangs a little over the sides of the lightly greased shells. Use tart shells with removable bottoms to make releasing the tarts a much easier process. Bake the pastry at 150 C for about 25 mins, or until crisp and golden brown.
For the filling: Slice the porcini and sweat in a pan with a little butter and the thyme. In a bowl, combine the crushed potatoes, cream, eggs and half of the parmesan. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Then fill the cases with the mixture, layering in porcini, but leaving enough to top each tart. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top and place in the oven for 20 – 25 mins, until the parmesan has melted and crisped lightly on top.
Recipe by Limpet Barron, Tangerine Dream Cafe, Chelsea Physic Garden
And here's a photo of one of our creations on the night.