Tuesday, May 31, 2011

good to the grain

good to the grain

good to the grain

good to the grain

I received this lovely book last summer for my birthday, and believe it or not, I just got around to trying some recipes from it this weekend! I'm glad I did. This is a really lovely book that just begs to be used. A couple of things about it: I was expecting it to be a "healthy" baking book, mostly using familiar whole grains (mostly whole wheat), but it's not like that at all. The author is a trained pastry chef--she's not into whole grains for the health benefits at all. She loves them for their flavor and complexity. A lot of the recipes use half whole grain and half all-purpose flour. I'm fine with that, but it's not what I was expecting at first. The sweet recipes definitely use sugar--so again, not an emphasis on healthy per se. Secondly, each chapter features a different specific whole grain. There is one chapter on whole wheat, but the rest are all different grains--some of them rather exotic. So be prepared to invest in some different, less familiar flours if you really want to explore the book. I hesitate to buy a pantry staple unless I really think I'm going to use it more than once, so I'm proceeding slowly. Once you buy a bag of flour, theoretically you can use it to make all the recipes in that specific chapter, but that doesn't always work. For instance, I bought barley flour to make the "Bird Crackers" but not all the recipes in the barley chapter call for barley flour. A few do, but others call for barley flakes or pearled barley. Just something to keep in mind if you are thinking of buying the book. I'm not unhappy with it at all, but I do think these caveats are what kept me from trying the book sooner.

bird crackers from 'good to the grain'

Here are the bird crackers as dough. A fun recipe--I love the idea of making crackers from scratch.

bird crackers

And here they are baked. I loved these. They are a soft sort of cracker, though.

w.w. chocolate chip cookies from good to the grain

I also tried the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies which are very good. The boys like these too.

Also on my list to try: homemade "grape nuts" type cereal, oat bread, and gingersnaps. I'd love to know your favorites from the book if you have it . . .


Sarah said...

I've never tried the book, but my grandma used to make grape-nut like cereal and it was such a treat to have when we stayed over at here house. Those crackers look delicious, do you think they've be more crisp if they were thinner or cooked longer at a lower temp? I'd love to figure out how to make crackers...hmmm...maybe I'll see if our library has that cookbook :)

kate o. said...

the drop biscuits with whole wheat are wonderful and they've replaced my previous go-to biscuit/shortcake.

the buckwheat and pear pancakes are also delicious - just be sure to spread out the batter because it is really thick!

i've also made the beet and quinoa pancakes but can't say they went over that well. but in the recipe's defense, we tried them for breakfast. i think they would be great as a savory blini.

i agree with you, i love how she writes about how she wanted to use the different grains for the flavor and not getting hung up on using absolutely no all-purpose.