There’s something about baking with whole grains that I find appealing. It’s not just for health benefits. There’s a sort of fun when I work with something that isn’t all purpose flour or bread flour. I’m not totally sure what the flavor or texture will be. And if I sub “this” for “that”, does the recipe still work?
By title alone, it’s no surprise that “Mother Grains” by Roxana Jullapat intrigued me.
The chapter breakdown is:
The recipes that sound most interesting to me are:
- Malt-glazed brownies
- Persimmon sticky pudding
- Shiitake, leek, and toasted barley soup
- Chocolate buck cake
- Chocolate raspberry tart
- Hatch chile and cotija corn bread
- Oatmeal date cookies
- Granola scones
- Oat graham crackers
- Chocolate dynamite cookies
- Rye focaccia
- Sonora wheat pie dough
- Whole grain pizza dough
After taking stock of what I had available in my pantry, I decided to bake up the einkorn shortbreads.
It’s a butter cookie made with confectioner’s sugar, dark brown sugar, unsalted butter, einkorn flour, all purpose flour, and salt (yes, I’m a weirdo who happens to have einkorn sitting around). I was slightly surprised that there was no resting in the fridge (as that’s what I’m accustomed to with my go-to shortbread recipe). You’re instructed to just roll it out and cut into shape. I rolled out the first half of the dough too thin, but then I got curious and experimented with the second half. I shaped it into a log, rested it in the freezer for a bit, and then tried cutting it. Either way, the cookies tasted lovely and I’m not sure if one necessarily looked better than the other. But it’s the taste that really matters, and these were wonderfully full of caramel like flavor. I shared some with my mom, and she practically swooned.
You can give the recipe a go too! I’ve linked it at the bottom.
My favorite part of this book, hands down, is the equivalence chart at the end. It gives you a list of ingredients with the volume and its weight equivalents in BOTH ounces and grams. So I know now that 1 cup of oat flour is 4.9 oz or 137 g, while 1 cup of rolled oats is 3.8 oz or 106 g. Having said that, I think it’s interesting that Jullapat went with 1 cup of all purpose flour as equal to 140 g. FYI for those who haven’t come across it, the weight of 1 cup of all purpose flour is a bit of an internet debate. America’s Test Kitchen lists it as 142 g, while King Arthur Flour lists 1 cup as 120 g. I tend to follow King Arthur’s suggestion as I am often using their product. Jullapat has both volume and grams on her recipes so as long as you’re following the book, you should be fine. But it is something for me to keep in mind if I use her equivalence chart on a recipe she did not write.
I’m looking forward to baking more from the book. I personally would love it if there were more bread recipes but I recognize that not all bakers want to make bread. Overall, “Mother Grains” has a good variety of recipes that I think will appeal to all bakers. So if you’re a baker who is looking to experiment more with other grains, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this cookbook.
Disclaimer – I kindly received a digital copy of this book from W.W.Norton and Company for this review. I’m not getting paid for this post. The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.
Since there’s still a pandemic at the time of writing this, I’m trying to stay home as much as possible. So pardon me if I choose to skip/substitute an ingredient, or am unable to test multiple recipes.