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Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours Hardcover – March 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kim Boyce is a former pastry chef (at Spago and Campanile). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, who is a chef at Spago, and two daughters. While at Campanile, she helped Nancy Silverton with her Sandwich Book (Knopf, 2002) and has cooked alongside chefs like Mario Batali, Claudia Fleming, Lidia Bastianich, Alice Waters, and Anthony Bourdain. She has contributed to Bon Appetit and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times on numerous occasions (both as subject and contributor).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; 1st Printing edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584798300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584798309
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is gorgeous, and a great choice for those who are trying to add variety to their baking and sneak in some whole grain goodness. I admit to being disappointed though when I got it and realized that the majority of recipes call for a significant amount of all-purpose white flour. After all the glowing reviews I had hoped that somehow (miraculously!) someone had finally figured out how to make these delicious treats without it. She addresses this head-on at the start of the book and talks about the compromises she's had to make to retain the texture and loft of the baked goods, but I hadn't seen it mentioned in any reviews so I wasn't aware of it when I purchased it online. I'll still enjoy it, and look forward to happily making many of these delicious recipes. I'll just make them less frequently than if they were "of" whole grain rather than "with" whole grain.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am so impressed with this cookbook. I've posted pics of some of the things I've tried out of it so far -- the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, the Spelt Flour Currant scones and the Sweet Potato Muffins (with buttermilk, yogurt and medjool dates). All 3 recipes I followed pretty much to the T, and all 3 came out just fantastic. Really, really good stuff. I can't wait to try more of these recipes. It is so fun to work with the different flours, and apparently Kim put a whole lot of care and precision into making sure that each of these recipes works just right. I'm very, very happy with this purchase and can wholeheartedly recommend this cookbook to anyone interested in trying out baking with new types of flour. A+
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! I just know it's going to change my life. I've never been confident about baking, er, I should say I never was, but I am now. I heard Kim interviewed on the radio and when she was talking about all the different flours it really opened up the whole idea of baking to me. I had no idea there were so many interesting possibilities with all these different grain flours.

I bought two copies of her book and gave one to a baker friend. I've had it two weeks and have made five things: cast-iron flatbread, corn gruyère muffins, cheddar biscuits, sand cookies, and tonight the olive oil bread. All of them have been fantastic. I made the flatbread and asked my boyfriend to make some kind of fajitas with it, and he did and we were in heaven. We took Kim's suggestion on the muffins and he made chili to go with them. A couple of nights ago I made the sand cookies at midnight and making them without a bowl or utensils was like a meditation. Only your hands and it really looked and felt like sand. Was a wonderful experience and would be fun for kids learning how to bake.

Tonight I made the olive oil cake with rosemary and bittersweet chocolate. Was crazy good, like a cross between bread and cake. I really can't stand super sweet things so this was perfect. My housemate, who has tried all of them, said it was the best so far, and she has been raving the whole time. She gave me notice she was moving out before I got the book but said I was making it really hard to leave with all this baking I'm doing! Oh, and I forgot to mention that before I started on the first recipe, I went out and bought all the flours she uses in the book, so I would be prepared. I'm just so excited to keep baking, and to try the next recipe.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found out about this book from an interview in a local weekly, Portland, Oregon paper, where the author resides and I work. Ms. Boyce, a former pastry chef at famed LA restaurant Campanile, moved to Oregon not long ago with her chef husband and family. Adding to her bona fides was the fact that while in California, she worked with "Secrets of Baking" author Sherry Yard, whose book I also own. Her initiation in whole grain experimentation began as a result of wanting to make healthier baked treats and pancakes for her kids. Lots of experimentation and development later, "Good to the Grain" was a reality. The book's chapters are divided into grain types with plenty of recipes using each. Everything is clear and directions are easy to follow. Muffins, cookies, breads, flatbreads, pies and bar cookies are among the many offerings. Some of the more esoteric grains used include, rye, spelt, quinoa and amaranth.I bought the book after tasting some of the recipes at a specialty coffee house for which Ms. Boyce supplies baked goods. They were interesting and the crust of her hand pies, made with spelt flour as well as wheat, was one of the best I'd had. This is a point of which those contemplating purchase of the book should be aware. This is NOT a book about baking with only whole grains. Trained pastry chefs understand that the exclusive use of whole grains frequently doesn't produce a desirable texture or flavor in many pastry items. The auhor combines different types of flour in many recipes to achieve a flavor and texture balance and enhancement. This book is a good primer for beginning and more advanced bakers in the use of whole grains in breads and pastries.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a longtime, avid baker, but have only recently begun to explore the vast world of baking with whole grains. I own King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains and have had great results from that and have been looking to expand my repertoire. I looked at "Good to the Grain" and liked how each chapter focused on a single kind of whole grain, a format that makes exploring your way through the whole grain universe a more doable task.

The book is beautifully designed and photographed, with a clarity that reflects the author's encouraging voice as well as the mission of understanding each of the grains and how to use them. No showy, architectural baked goods here: most fall more toward the homey, rustic end of the spectrum, and thus the book is ideal for the beginning baker as well as the experienced.

The two recipes I've made so far have both been easy and delicious: buckwheat-pear pancakes and wholewheat chocolate chip cookies (the latter remained chewy for three days on my counter; they're so good they may replace my longtime favorite recipe).

As good as the book is, I'm docking it a star because the author has chosen to eschew weight measurements. I know my aversion to volume-measuring-only baking is a pet peeve, but I find it incomprehensible that people spend years of their lives writing a baking book and testing the recipes to make sure they are reliable - and then they don't reveal how much a cup of the flour they use in their recipes weighs.
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