Grown at high altitude in the Tirolean Alps the organic herbs we use really pack a punch. They are expensive but unmatched in flavour and intensity by any other herb we ever tried. The huge Alpine loaves of bread baked in the region are flavoured with trigonella, which is only grown in Tyrol. Trigonella is a member of the fenugreek family; a small amount goes a long way! The Mulser family have created a special blend of trigonella, fennel, coriander and caraway for our turmeric bread and a blend of sage, thyme, leeks and chives for our soya bites. You can buy these herbs as our 'stuffing mix' or in the little refill pots under 'herbs and spices'. The Alpine flowers are just a delight - their colour is vibrant; what could be nicer on a cupcake that tiny real flowers sparkling in their natural beauty. At £300 per kilo they are our most expensive ingredient!
Agrano are the only makers of organic yeast and organic aluminium and phosphate-free baking powder. Yeast and baking powder are hugely important ingredients to the food industry but as a consumer we don't seem to pay much attention to them, when we should! The difference between producing organic yeast and normal yeast is manyfold but environmentally important: The effluent from one is full of toxic chemicals from the yeast making and cleaning process and the 'effluent' from the other is mixed with apple juice for a Vitamin B-enriched fruit drink. More on chemical leavening and yeast can be read in our FAQs.
We could just make our rice crackers with water - after all they are dried to a crisp and all the water evaporates. But we decided to use beer - it leaves the crackers extra crunchy and with a lovely shiny gloss. The bitter sweet malty taste is all that is left from the beer. We tried to buy organic gluten free beer locally but that was not available - then we tried to make our own beer - but that proved too complicated and the beer came out green after we put too many hops into it. Luckily there is a brewery who makes the perfect beer - its organic and gluten free and delicious!
Buckwheat (fagopyrum esculentum) is not a wheat - it is a member of the rhubarb family. The slightly pink colour is a give-away! Unlike most grains it is, along with quinoa and soya, considered more alkalizing than other grains. In baking this pseudo grain behaves quite different to any other grain and it has taken us by surprise many times. The grain makes a soft flour - traditionally used for Blinis with an earthy nutty taste.
Also known as 'St Johns bread' (Ceratonia siliqua). St. John was supposed to have lived on the fruits of the carob tree. The seeds of the carob plant are processed to carob gum, a natural thickener. The pod without the seeds is dried and ground into carob powder which is similar to cacao but less bitter and without caffeine. That is why carob powder is especially recommended for children and can be used like cacao powder. Carob is a starchy substance with 30-40% sugar, 35% starch and fibre, 5% protein and 3% minerals including iron and calcium, 0.5% fat. Great if you want to avoid sugar and chocolate!
We love working with other companies that are obsessed with quality - one of them is a spice company where we had to wait for 2 months for cinnamon as they where waiting for lab results before they started selling the cinnamon! This we mix with a German Christmas spice mix of cardamom, orange peel, lemon peel and mace for an all-year Christmas feel.
The dates for the syrup come from Italy - the syrup is made in Belgium and used in our cookies and cakes and the amazing Chufatella made in the UK - an entirely European product of exquisite quality.
Galingal was a favourite of Hildegard von Bingen. You may know it as 'Thai ginger'. Hildegard used it in her bitter herbal blends for breaking a fast to stimulate the digestive juices. Galingal adds a hint of exotic perfume to our rice bread - which would otherwise taste quite bland. Don't worry - it is just there in the background - it is not an overpowering taste; it is one of those tastes that you would notice if it was left out rather than something that has been put in.
The Europen equivalent to Chia seeds... This tiny seeds is packed with Omega-3 essential fatty acids, calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorous and vitamin E. However, it is very sensitive to oxidation. We found that only 2 hours after milling oxidation causes a bitter, fishy taste. We mill it together with wholegrain rice, which absorbs the oils, just before we need it - to make sure the oils have not oxidised. Before you consume large amounts of linseed you may also want to consider this: Though it is considered a digestive aid, it should be noted that for some people, linseed has a laxative effect. Hildegard prefers psyllium husk powder over flaxseed as an intestinal cleanser. She says flaxseed prevent the absorption of nutrients through the intestinal wall. She calls flaxseed a robber of vitamins and calcium. We add less than 8% linseed to our linseed bread. Moderation may be the key here. Source: Hertzka G., Strehlow W. Handbook of Hildegard medicine.
We sell this oil at the same price as the farm because we love the taste and want all our customers to benefit from this excellent oil. It must is best stored in the fridge or freezer to protect the oils from going rancid.
About the Oil:
Traditionally produced in Sussex, this freshly cold-pressed linseed oil is of exceptional quality and a sweet mild flavour. Delicious in salad dressings or drizzled over cooked vegetables.
100% pure natural cold-pressed high-lignan linseed oil.
European/UK-grown organic linseed, non-GM.
In dark green glass bottles to protect it from light.
Completely unfiltered and contains many small particles of the original seed so it has a darker colour.
A rich natural source of omega-3.
High in omega-3 fatty acids.
High in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
We often get asked for millet bread. We use a little as a sprinkle; the reason we don't make any millet bread is the same as why we don't make chia see bread or chestnut bread. These are all seasonal crops best eaten fresh and within three months of harvest to avoid the oils that sit on the outside of the millet and chia seed from going rancid. Rancid fats are no longer health giving. This information comes from an organic farmer growing millet.