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King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains (King Arthur Flour Cookbooks) Hardcover – October 9, 2006
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
There's only so much room on the kitchen bookshelf for those 600-page baking bibles on the kitchen bookshelf, but this one's worth its weight in whole wheat flour. This fun, easy-to-follow tome is broken down into 11 basic chapters (including Yeast Breads, Cakes, Pastry and Pies), and will satisfy both health conscious bakers (Spelt Pita, Sesame Barley Bread) as well as the more gluttonous (Carmel Blitz Torte, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Triple Ginger Pancakes). Methods such as kneading dough and folding pie crust are depicted with easy-to-follow black-and-white illustrations. Sidebar topics, however, are a little haphazard—ranging from Enjoying Soybeans to Organic Plastic—yet recipe headnotes are helpful and worth the ink. Each recipe ends with detailed nutrition information, broken down per serving (including caffeine, calcium and iron amounts). In the end, this is a good buy for more than just the whole-grain enthusiast. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“[W]orth its weight in whole wheat flour. This fun, easy-to-follow tome is broken down into 11 basic chapters....recipe headnotes are helpful and worth the ink.”
- Publishers Weekly
Top customer reviews
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The book begins, appropriately enough, with breakfast (porridges, oatmeal, granolas, waffles, pancakes, French toast, muffins and scones). After a hearty foundation, quick breads, muffins, coffeecakes, biscuits and scones are explored, followed by crisps, cobblers and puddings, flatbreads and crackers, yeast breads, sourdough, cookies and bars, cakes, pie and quiche, pastry, and a guide to whole grains.
This is my first King Arthur cookbook, and I appreciate the fact that when they discuss kinds of flour to buy, they do not endlessly promote their own brand as the only choice (in fact, there are precious few mentions of King Arthur flours).
If I had to choose one baking book to have in my collection, it would be this one. The clear instructions and healthier updates of many classics are crowd-pleasers, and the cookbook itself is beautiful to look at. This is the perfect gift for your favorite (health-conscious) baker.
The book is very informative as to the properties of the different types of wheats and recommendations for what types of whole grains to substitute and in what proportion. This is an excellent educational book for experimenting with different types of flours. I made the most wonderful sugar cookies with barley flour! In general, I use sprouted white wheat and sprouted spelt flours for baking and I was easily able to substitute these in the recipes. I used the spelt in place of whole wheat pastry flour and the whole wheat everywhere else. For the AP flour, I use KAF Organic AP Flour because it doesn't have added synthetic nutrients. If I'm using whole wheat, I don't really need them.
Things I liked: The bread technique had some really great advice that has made a difference with my homemade sandwich bread. They recommend you rest the dough after combining for 45 minutes before doing a full knead and the first rise. This one tip alone has really made a difference in my sandwich bread. I made the chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe and substituted sprouted spelt flour for the wheat flour, and reduced the cider vinegar from 1 T to 1/2 T because I was worried about there being too much liquid. I also reduced the chocolate chips to a 10 ounce package and added 5 ounces of chopped walnuts. Those came out really well and my guests claimed they had no idea they weren't AP flour. I also made the barley flour sugar cookies and those were also a big hit (but a little crumbly). The pound cake was also really tasty but was better after sitting in an airtight container for a day (I have no idea why!).
I'm docking a star for 2 reasons. The first is that I like simple, classic recipes and often this book provided more complex, exotic options without providing a basic recipe (like in the bread pudding section). The second is that you have to have some baking know-how and good instincts to watch how your flour is interacting with the levels of liquid and fat (this is true even when I didn't substitute sprouted whole wheat for KAF Traditional Whole Wheat). You also have to watch the cooking instructions, especially with cakes. For instance I made the pound cake which said you could use a 10-cup tube pan, but the baking times and technique for sugaring were clearly for the loaf pans. Luckily I was watching my cake and pulled it out before it overcooked, but it was a little dry (I should have pulled it out sooner). In the sandwich bread section, they tell you to form it into a loaf but don't provide any instructions for how to do so. Small details like that are missing from some of the recipes which would make this book preferable for people who already knew how to do baking.
Overall, the basic recipes are really good and the techniques for working with whole grains are very useful. When they start getting fancy, things get a little weird.
Some things I would have liked to have seen is more traditional ingredients. Wherever they suggested vegetable shortening, I substituted home rendered leaf lard. I also am not a fan of corn syrup and vegetable oil. I used clarified butter or light olive oil instead and things came out fine. In place of dark corn syrup I used dark sugar cane syrup and for light corn syrup, Lyle's golden syrup. I used Sucanat and raw honey for the sugar in most cases and it worked fine (for glazing and things that really require refined sugar I used organic cane sugar).