This book is an introduction to the two stage process of soaking, sprouting or fermenting whole grains to release nutrients and make grains more digestible. The basics, along with key recipes, are presented to help you understand the basics of whole grain baking. The accompanying powerpoint CD provides over 30 step by step demonstrations of the recipes, acting as a "mother's helper" or as a "leader's helper." In fact, this book is the main text used for Sue Gregg's Baking With Whole Grains semester course for high school home schoolers. According to Sue Gregg, it also stands alone as an introductory course for all ages.
- Should We Eat Grains? (learn why bread is regarded as the staff of life)
- Quick Shopping Guide for Quality Ingredients (what to buy an where)
- Equipment Check List (a great check list of items you will need)
- Understanding the Two-Stage Process (how to maximize the nutritional value of whole grains)
- Liquids for Baking
- Whole Grains
- Fats, Sweeteners
- Leavenings (including homemade recipes), Spices & Flavorings, Salt (includes a spiritual lesson on salt)
- Nuts & Seeds, The Wonder of Flax Seeds
- Allergy Alternatives
- Measuring Techniques, tips and more!
- Whatever Happened to Whole Grains?
- A Little Fiber History
- A Fiber Analysis (insoluble vs. soluble)
- A Kernel of Truth (what happens when wheat is milled to make white flour)
- God's Grain Wonders (origin, history and nutritional value of this basic food supply)
- Grains Have Proteins! (protein values and making complete proteins)
- Grains Are Low Fat! (fat values listed)
- A Summary of Baking Characteristics (the effect of gluten content)
- Great Grains ~ Wheat, Wheat Bran, Hard Red Winter and Spring Wheats, Hard White Spring Wheat, Soft Spring Wheat, Kamut, Spelt, Corn, Oats, Brown Rice, Barley, Rye, Millet, Triticale, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Quinoa, Amaranth, Teff, & Wild Rice (history and some great information on each grain)
- All Grains Are Low Cost! (comparative prices from 2006 ~ grain prices have gone up since then, but they are still a low cost food)
- Whole Grain Storage and Care (a very interesting and helpful section)
- What About Whole Grain Flour? (what happens to flour as soon as it is milled ~ and why we like to grind our own flour)
- The Value of a Grain Mill (why a grain mill is a good investment and links to suggestions)
- Grains and Bread in the Bible (thinking Biblically about every area of our life!)
- Whole Grain Blender Wonders (detailed steps on using your blender to grind grains (with a liquid) ~ which means you don't have to have a grain mill!)
- Techniques and Tips for Quick Breads, Coffee Cakes, Biscuits, Scones, Waffles/Pancakes, Crepes, Muffins and more.
- Fillings and Toppings Recipes ~ 6 recipes from Cottage Filled Fruit Crepes to Fresh Apple Topping
- Quick Bread Recipes ~ 12 recipes (I tried the Cornbread, Blender Pancakes, Blender Banana Muffins, Hearty Biscuits, Tortillas, and Zucchini Bread ~ the Pumpkin Bread is next on my list to try!)
- Introduction and the Steps in Yeast Bread Making
- The Value of a Bread Kneader
- Pans for Baking Bread
- Ingredients for Yeast Breads (includes information on the basic ingredients as well as added ingredients to enhance nutrition, flavor and texture ~ I was a little surprised that she does not use Vital Gluten, but my bread has been just as good without it)
- Yeast Bread Baking Techniques (includes milling, mixing, the 2 Stage Process, proofing, kneading, rising, shaping, baking, cooling, slicing, storing and more)
- Evaluating a Yeast Bread Loaf, Trouble Shooting Guide and What to do with Bread 'Failures' (very helpful section!)
- 20 recipes with step by step instructions (including my new favorite "Delicious Whole Grain Dough" that makes wonderful bread and the best whole grain pizza crust and a neat section on sourdough, which I WILL be trying, right after The Feast of Unleavened Bread)
- The Best Thing BEFORE Sliced Bread (did you know that within 72 hours of milling, 90% of 30 nutrients are virtually gone? and more interesting health facts)
- Living Bread (the living bread that came down from heaven, with Whom you will never go hungry)
You can read a 46 page excerpt from the book to see more!
Just typing all of that up, I am amazed at all that this book entails. Just like Intro to Whole Foods Cooking, this is more than just a cookbook. It is an introductory course on cooking with whole grains.
I have had a favorite tortilla recipe for over 10 years, so one of the first recipes I tried was Sue Gregg's Tortillas (or Chapatis).
What I LOVE about this recipe is that I can make it and leave it on the counter for 12-24 hours before rolling the tortillas out to cook. I will make a batch ahead of time, clean up, and then when it is time to cook them, it is so easy to roll them out and cook them.
Another recipe, that I now use regularly, is the Blender Banana Muffins and Banana Bread. The blender pictures below are from the 2 Stage Process of soaking the grains. I start it at night before going to bed, and in the morning, I add a few ingredients and bake them for an easy breakfast. They are not as round on top like regular muffins, and Sue says that blender batter muffins tend to be flatter on top because a certain amount of liquid is needed to keep a vortex going in the blender. Mine fell, so this means that I have too much liquid in my batter from what I read. They were still yummy, though!
I don't have any pictures of the Whole Grain Dough, but it has become my favorite recipe for making bread, dinner rolls, and pizza crusts. Sue offered the best tip for making a successful pizza crust and it was a hit in our home. I make homemade, whole grain (100% whole wheat) pizza weekly now. One batch of her Whole Grain Dough recipe will make 2 large thin crust pizzas and 1 loaf of bread, or 3 loaves of bread or 3 pizza crusts. I usually pre-bake the pizza crusts and then freeze them to use later.
I think this book is a great value for all the information you get and highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about whole grain baking.