At the Mill

caudwells_mill

The car park was flooded, the ground muddy and soggy, the sky was grey – a dreary February morning in the Derbyshire countryside. The Wye and Derwent rivers were high, lapping at the top of their banks. You could hear the water rushing through the mill race, white water churning. Very atmospheric! I love our visits to Caudwells Mill and Craft Centre in Rowsley, whatever time of year, in whatever weather. Apart from the blacksmith, the stonemason, the glass blower, the café, and the mill museum, there is the mill shop.

I was in search of quality flours. Although the 19th-century water powered roller mill no longer operates commercially, it is still a working mill and a wide variety of flours are available at their shop. On this particular trip, I was interested in non-wheat flours – one of which was a lovely golden barley flour.

barley_pancakes

Barley Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce
I was recently intrigued by a traditional Finnish barley flatbread – Ohrarieska – and that inspired me to give these pancakes a bit of a Scandinavian twist. The recipe, however, is based on American style breakfast pancakes. The barley flour is golden and that color is imparted to the pancakes – a delight to the eye as well as the palate.

Makes approximately 12

  • 1 cup barley flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla sugar (see Note below)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients (barley flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar, cardamom, salt) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and oil. In a steady stream, blend the liquid with the flour mixture, whisking until smooth and no lumps remain. Cover and let the batter rest for an hour or so. It doesn’t hurt to let the batter rest in the refrigerator overnight – so it can be made the night before and brought to room temperature before using.

When ready to make the pancakes, heat your griddle to medium high heat, lightly oiling the surface with a wad of paper towels. Pour on a large spoonful for each pancake (approximately 3 to 4 inches diameter). When the top of the pancake has begun to dry and the bubbles are open, flip the pancake and cook until the bottom side begins to turn golden brown.

Blueberry Sauce
This can be make earlier and left to cool or can be made while the pancake batter is resting and served warm.

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Assemble all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and and let it gently cook for 3 to 5 minutes until a light syrup forms, but before all the blueberries break apart. Cooled, the sauce is also good with yoghurt or even ice cream.

Note: To make vanilla sugar, pour 2 cups of sugar in a clean dry jar with a secure lid. Insert a vanilla pod into the sugar, seal the jar and give it a good shake. I often use pieces of vanilla pod left over from other recipes – dried before inserting into the sugar. Initially, let it sit for at least a week before using. The vanilla flavor will be absorbed by the sugar. The sugar can be replenished after each use and additional vanilla pieces added. In this way, you will always have a supply of vanilla sugar on your pantry shelf.

caudwells_mill_bag

15 March 2015
 
Update on At the Mill
 
Sourdough Barley Pancakes
Converting the original recipe to use a sourdough starter has produced a lighter pancake. Also, measurements have been converted to metric.

  • 120g barley flour
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 180ml milk
  • 60ml vegetable oil

Mix the dry ingredients (barley flour, vanilla sugar, cardamom, salt) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the sourdough starter with the eggs, milk and oil. Blend the liquid with the flour mixture, whisking until smooth and no lumps remain. Cover and let the batter rest for an hour or even in the refrigerator overnight, although it should be brought to room temperature before using.
Cook the pancakes according to the method described mentioned above.

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13 comments

  1. My best friend is a £10 pom originating from Derby. I’ve had several holidays touring Derbyshire (and beyond) with her, including Caudwells and Chatsworth. You are so lucky to have them and their wonderful produce on your doorstep!Does the barley flour have a distinctive flavour? I make buckwheat pancakes and blueberry sauce to a simialr recipe most weeks.

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