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King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains Flexibound – 7 Oct 2014
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About the Author
King Arthur Flour is the largest single educator of bakers in the world. Employee owned since 1996, the company conducts a yearly national baking class tour that has provided free baking classes to many thousands of bakers across the U.S. The company also publishes The Baking Sheet, a newsletter of recipes and baking information. The Baker's Catalogue, a wholly owned subsidiary, sponsors an online baking forum, The Baking Circle, on its parent company's Web site. The company's 2003 release, The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, was selected as one of the best cookbooks of the year by Food & Wine, People, and many other national publications. Other books by King Arthur Flour include The Original King Arthur Flour Cookbook, The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion, and King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. All the bakers at King Arthur Flour work from their 12-sided post-and-beam headquarters in Norwich , Vermont.
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1. Breakfasts (e.g. spelt pancakes, making your own whole grain pancake mix, Banana-oat pancakes, various waffle recipes, and making your own whole grain granola;
2. Quickbreads (loaves, muffins, biscuits, scones, coffeecakes, all made without yeast)
3. Crisps, cobblers and puddings (yummy and easy-to-make fruit desserts mostly, and then puddings made with brown rice, whole corn meal, quinoa, or whole grain bread as a base)
4. Flatbreads (including pizzas) and crackers
5. Yeast breads (Including "Easiest 100% Whole Wheat Bread Ever" - no kneading required, stir it up and bake in a loaf pan - other loaf pan and free-formed loaves, rolls, etc)
7. Cookies and bars
9. Pies and quiches
11. The whole grains (A comprehensive description of 8 whole grains that are readily-available in N. American stores, including their history, their varieties, and what sort of recipes they work in and why. The recipes you can use each in depends upon qualities of the grain like protein content, moisture-absorbing ability, flavor, etc. Featured grains include wheat, oats, corn/maize, barley, rye, spelt, buckwheat, rice. Each of these descriptions is followed by a recipe chosen to "showcase" the grain's most important features for you. Following those 8 grains, there are short paragraphs about some grains that were not so common in 2006 when the book came out - those are amaranth, teff, triticale, quinoa, millet, and kamut.
After those 11 chapters there are appendices, including a general guide to cooking a pot of each grain in water on the stovetop (how long each takes and how much water to use, basically, when you want to eat the grain plain as a side dish); where to buy the ingredients and baking equipment used in the recipes, if not at your local stores; a glossary of baking terms; and a good index.
Some general observations: The book is designed to teach you how to bake with whole grain, and it's extremely effective for that, IMO. There are plenty of easy recipes for beginners, and they work up to triple-layer cakes that I would probably never attempt. There is lots of info about how each grain behaves in cooking in combination with other ingredients. The authors explain why you need some wheat flour for breads and cakes that need to rise, even if you use another grain as the main one. They supply guidance on using other grains for cookies and quick breads, where rising is not so much needed and you can use other grains 100% and do without the structure of wheat.
Most of the yeast bread and roll recipes in this book use a method that includes lengthy "rising" periods for the yeast, and kneading of the dough. If you want to try out a simpler method, I recommend "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day," by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, which is here: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0312545525?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 -- But the King Arthur book is far more comprehensive in its coverage of baking with whole grains, as you can see by the chapter titles I wrote out above. Lots more than breads in this book!
This is not a "health food" book. White and brown cane sugars, and some white flour are used in some of the recipes. This book starts from the premise that you want to eat delicious food, and incorporates whole grains as much as possible within that concept. Many recipes use 100% whole grain, but others use some unbleached all-purpose flour, where it's needed to get a moist crumb, a good rise, or other qualities that the King Arthur tasters thought were important to the finished product. If you have some experience at baking with alternative sweeteners, or are willing to experiment, then you could use these recipes as a guide for their whole grain expertise and sub in your own favorite sweetener.
Every recipe is followed by a complete analysis of the nutrition per serving, including the number of grams of whole grain the recipe contains per serving. (I always appreciate that in a cookbook.) There are few photos, and really they could not have had more because the book is quite large, as it is. Where needed, they have photos and drawings in the margins and in boxes around the recipes, that are quite good at illustrating techniques (like letter-folding a yeast dough) or what a batter or dough will look like at a specific stage in preparation.
On a final note, one of the things I like about this book is that the recipes do not harangue you to use King Arthur brand flour. There is information about how their brand compares to other flours on the market, particularly in their protein content, and there is info about how to compensate with increasing or decreasing the liquid used in a recipe, if you use a different flour. Then they leave it up to you.