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Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours, by Kim Boyce


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Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours, by Kim Boyce

Caitlin McGrath | Apr 20, 2010 07:07 PM

Has anyone baked from this new book by a former pastry chef at Spago and Campanile in Los Angeles? I couldn't resist it: it is beautiful, and full of interesting and delicious-sounding recipes.

There are chapters on whole wheat, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, kamut, oat, multigrain, quinoa, rye, spelt, and teff flours (the multigrain is one mixed from whole-wheat, oat, barley, millet, and rye flours). There are cookies, muffins, pancakes and waffles, biscuits and scones, other quick breads and simple cakes, cereals (including homemade Grape Nuts!), a few rustic tarts and galettes, and yeasted breads. Some savory recipes, and a chapter of preserves and compotes.

Most of the recipes use a combination of flours, usually the specialty grain plus whole-wheat or AP flour, but sometimes several kinds. I don't think any are gluten free. These recipes aren't necessarily low in fat or sugar (which is not to say they're all high in either); rather, their point is to play up the flavors of the grains. They're mostly rustic and homey.

Here are a few of the recipes that have caught my eye on first look:

Apple Graham Coffee Cake (made with graham flour)

Molasses Bran Muffins (with amaranth flour and a "jam" made from prunes cooked in OJ and pureed)

Honey Hazelnut Cookies (like a cross between shortbread and linzer dough, she says; made with amaranth and brushed while warm with hot honey infused with cardamom, orange zest, and orange flower water)

Chocolate Persimmon Muffins (with buckwheat, cocoa, and bittersweet chocolate - man, I wish I could get persimmons before late next fall!)

Corn and Gruyere Muffins (flavored with scallions and cumin seeds)

Ginger Peach Muffins (with oat flour, crystallized ginger, and fresh peach topping)

Quinoa and Beet Pancakes (made with quinoa flour)

Zucchini Bread (with rye, fresh basil, and fresh mint)

Olive Oil Cake (with spelt flour, rosemary, and bittersweet chocolate)

Date Nut Bread and Brown Butter Scones (both with teff flour)

Really, that's just a sample of the recipes that intrigue me. Lots of creative flavor combinations, and many recipes use brown sugar, honey, or molasses to highlight the flavor of the various grains.

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