King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains (King Arthur Flour Cookbooks) Hardcover – 3 Oct 2006
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[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.
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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Top Customer Reviews
Most of the books available didn't make me want to rush out and buy wholegrains. They included recipes for granola, and obviously healthy things, supporting the image that I had in my head (and from past experience) of what wholefood food was like.
I noticed this book because it had a sandwich cake on the cover, and it looked like a "normal" sandwich cake. I read through the book description and decided this sounded like my sort of book. I was tempted to wait for the paperback version, which was a lot cheaper, but I wanted it **now**.
It's amazing. It's huge. I had no idea it was going to be such a thick book... if I had, I think I would have bought the paperback version. It's got hundreds of recipes, ranging from the sort of thing one would expect to find in a wholefood cookbook, to a whole host of lighter ("normal") foods. The bread section, as might be expected, is incredible. I bake all my own bread anyway, and this has given me some great inspiration.
It's an American book, the quantities are given in both cups and ounces (don't forget here are only 16 fluid ounces in a US pint -not 20 as in the UK - by the way). At the beginning there is a list of exaclty what they mean by butter, milk, etc. It's really well thought out.
It's beautifully presented, with one page (or more) per recipe. Lots of tips on preparation and freezing. Later in the book there are pages of colour plates.
It really is a pleasure to look through, and I'm raring to get started on the recipes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
Many of us have laid off the baking goodies for health reasons, avoiding processed white flour and sugars, etc. Now with this tome we have what we need to get back baking!
Brownies, biscotti, cakes, pies, crackers, scones,breads, etc. There is what easily appears to be over 500 recipes on using whole grains in this things and many have advice on low fat alternatives. Helpful on each recipe is a complete nutritional breakdown. The sidebars are extremely helpful, e.g. "What's a Pinch?" specifically here of instant yeast. The line drawings are truly appreciated by those of us who dip in and out of the baking arena, so all this advice and user friendly aids in this cookbook are valued. There are around seven pages of color photos.
There is even advice on how to substitute whole grains for processed white flour, but with the caveat that likely after you've tried these recipes, you'll just seek this collection out for your baking needs. And it is extensive. So far I've sampled the Fresh Berry Tiramisu; Apple Brown Betty and several others with outstanding results. There is something here for everyone from crackers to sourdough, from cream puffs to cookies to croissants. It's a large volume which will require shelf space, but worth the investment for those who wish to still bake the goodies but desire the healthful benefits that whole grains provide.
Sources are listed, with King Arthur of course being the logical start with their extensive catalogue, however they do even provide internet suggests to find all kinds of other sources as well.
This is truly that genre of cookbook which isn't to be exhausted with recipe trying any too soon. That would require lots of baking regularly, but when one gets the hankering for those scrumptuous baked goods, this is the one that can deliver delicisous, conistent and healthly results.
This tome has many marvelous illustrations which go a long way to instruct the reader. Sidebars abound with helpful (though sometimes quirky) information and tips. While whole wheat flour is the star, other whole grains are explored. You'll find encyclopedic history and data on Rye, Buckwheat, Kamut, Farro, Tritcale, Spelt, Barley, Amaranth, Teff, and others. King Arthur is big on the science and treatment of yeast, as well. Clear explanations are provided regarding the differences and applications among "Active-Dry", "Instant", and "Rapid-Rise" yeasts (no, "Instant" and Rapid-Rise" or "Quick-Rise" yeasts are NOT the same). The King Arthur bakers are also proponents of pre-ferments and they distinguish among the panoply of starters: Sponge, Poolish, Biga, and Levain (sourdough). Oddly, I couldn't find a discussion of the importance of an "autolyse" - an initial resting period just after the initial mixing of water and flour that gives the flour the time to hydrate. I couldn't even find the term in the "Index" - although it appears in KA's "Baker's Companion". Believe me - use of an autolyse can make a world of difference in the end result.
The design of the book is similar to KA's "Baker's Companion" and "Cookie Companion" (both worth owning). It's a big volume (more than 600 pages and 300 recipes) but not too heavy as the result of the intelligent use of paper stock. It's well-ordered, easy to read, and logical enough for a Vulcan.
A couple of caveats: By their own admission, the King Arthur bakers tell you that their recipes are most successful if you use their brand of flour - most of which have a higher protein level than other brands. Fear not - instructions are given for using other brands. Fortunately, most KA flours are now widely available in many major supermarkets. From personal experience, I can assure you that KA bread flours produce extraordinary results. The only other bread flours I use are Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour, and Whole Wheat Flour - both of which are excellent, also widely available, and come in handy smaller sizes.
Second warning: some of the recipes suggest an overnight rest to soften the bran in the whole wheat flour. The Brownie recipe included in the book will taste slightly gritty without the benefit of the overnight rest - and when I want a Brownie, I want it today and I want it luscious, not coarse-textured.
One especially helpful tip is the addition of a small amount of orange juice suggested in the production of whole wheat bread made with traditional whole wheat flour. The orange juice counteracts the inherent bitter edge caused by the phenolic acid (similar to the astringent tannins in tea). A new alternative is to employ KA's "White Whole Wheat" flour which does not contain phenolic acid - but still contains all of the bran and germ - a true whole wheat product.
Having tried only one of the recipes in this book, I cannot attest to the others - but based on the success of KA's other cookbooks and their bi-monthly newsletter, "The Baking Sheet", one would have to assume reliable, if not stellar results - and healthier (though not necessarily lower in fat and calories) eating in the process.
This book is a treasure trove of recipes and baking advice. For instance -- I did not not know that the proper way to measure whole grain flour is to stir the flour first with a spoon, then fill your measuring cup by spoonfuls, shaken gently, so that the flour is light and your results aren't heavy. This is easy enough to do, and also fun!
The sections are:
p.1 Breakfasts (pancakes, waffles, crepes, granola)
p.31 Quick Breads, Muffins, Coffeecakes, Biscuits & Scones
p.99 Crisps, Cobblers & Puddings
p.127 Flatbreads & Crackers
p.171 Yeast Breads (all use instant yeast, not regular active)
p.303 Cookies & Bars
p.439 Pie & Quiche
p.537 The Whole Grains (history of grains with extra recipes)
p.583 Appendices (Cooking whole grains, ingredient weights, where to buy)
I've made from this book: Double Fudge Brownies, Spelt Pancakes (delicious!), Blueberry-Corn pancakes, Oat & Currant (raisin) Scones, Morning Glory Muffins, Corn and Oat Muffins, Apple-Walnut Coffecake (for Christmas morning for my coworkers at the hospital where I work, they all loved it! not a crumb left), Honey-Whole Wheat Biscuits, Chewy-Oatmeal cookies (I loved these best with dates as the dried fruit choice), Thin & Crisp Wheat Cookies, Cranberry-Cornmeal Cake (which my family adores with vanilla ice cream and has been dubbed "Pilgrim Cake"), as well as several others.
Yes, the book does use several different types of whole grains and whole grain flour, but isn't that the point? The main types of flours and grains are repeated frequently in the recipes. Whole Wheat flour can be found anywhere. Whole Wheat Pastry flour can be found in health food stores. The White Whole Wheat is available more and more in regular grocery stores, if you watch for it, as is oat flour. Cornmeal and Oatmeal can be found anywhere, as can Bread Flour, which is used in smaller portions in several recipes. Spelt flour, used in pancakes and other recipes, in an "ancient grain" that is an ancestor of our modern wheat, but it is lighter and sweeter than wheat and just delicious. I had never heard of it before. It has been fun to try new things. The folks at King Arthur Flour have sure outdone themselves with this book! I would have wasted tons of ingredients experimenting with other recipes, and not come up with recipes half as good. The recipes also use pure ingredients, such as real butter, real buttermilk, real fruit, etc, and the finished baked product reflects the quality ingredients that go into the baking.
I haven't yet tackled the sourdough section, since sourdough with whole grains is a little trickier apparently, but the step-by-step instructions look about as simple as any you'll find anywhere.
Anyway, if you're interested in healthful whole grain cooking that is absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious, and you're willing to search out a few whole grain products, I guarantee you'll love this book.
Another great selling point -- every recipe has nutritional breakdown listed, with calories, fiber, calcium, vitamins, etc.
There are almost no pictures, however, and I almost passed over this book since I don't tend to buy cookbooks without pictures. I'm glad I didn't let this stop me. The few 16 color pages of pictures are located in the center of the book. And yes, they all look delicious.
This is the best baking book I've ever purchased.
Many of the recipes call for a mixture of whole grain flour to all-purpose or bread flour. What was a surprise for us was to try a 100% whole wheat pie crust. Their techniques worked and we all (kids included) loved the taste and texture of the pie crust. It is not the same as the flaky "white-flour" pie crust but not hard and chewy like other recipes I had tried. I like the idea of mixing the whole-grain flours and white flours because we have tried to be consistent in baking with 100% whole grain flours and we just don't keep doing it. We eventually switch back to the white flour because we tire of the "toughness" of whole grain foods. But because I have not wanted to abandon the effort to eat more whole grains I bought this book. I do not regret it. I would buy it again. There is much more than just breads, pies, & cakes; there are puddings, breakfasts, quiche, whole wheat genoise (that is really good) and even pastries! I appreciate the nutrition information for each recipe and also the many side-bar helps, hints and extra recipes (like syrups). There are not too many real life pictures but that is the same for the rest of the King Arthur books. The illustrations seem very adequate to me. My 10 year old seems to be able to follow them with no problem. We are not whole grain "purists" but we do like the balance presented in this book. My husband, who does not bake much, is overwhelmed by the presentation of the recipes. He says there are too many words to follow. These are not the simple 3 ingredient recipes with few instructions. These are recipes with lots of information. I could see how it could be overwhelming to someone who is not used to following recipes presented this way. I think it would be worth the effort to overcome that so one could add whole grains to their diet in a very tasty way. There is much to learn that would improve one's baking and cooking abilities. The King Arthur Flour books are what I use to teach my girls to bake. We have tried other whole-grain baking cookbooks, like Sue Gregg's, Beatrice Trum Hunter's, Marleeta Basey's & others' whole grain books; all pretty good. Even though, I keep going back to King Arthur's because of their easy to understand explanations of the "whys" and "hows" of baking and also the consistancy of their recipes. This means that for us we will keep using this book.