I received the cookbook, Good to the Grain, awhile back, but only recently did I delve into its scrumptious offerings. At first glance, I was a little intimidated by the variety of grains it calls for. Nonetheless, this past Sunday, I cracked open the book and read through it in earnest.
Soon thereafter, I had the Vita-mix out and a variety of grains at the ready for grinding. I love the ability to grind my own grains. In fact, an old-fashioned grain mill has been on my covet list for quite sometime, but the Vita-mix does great work with grinding in the meantime.
In the book, the author includes a recipe for a Multi-Grain baking mix. It's made from whole wheat, barley, oat, millet, and rye flours. You can grind them yourself or buy them as flours and mix them up. It creates a flour mixture that smells wonderful and is flecked with the golden color of the millet.
There are a variety of recipes that use this Multi-Grain mix, including Popovers. Popovers are one of those fanciful baking creations; a basic mixture of grain, eggs, butter, and milk that puff up so magically in the oven. You must be quick about it, though, because their height quickly recedes to a buttery and dense baked treat. Take a quick peek when you pull them from the oven.
I was reticent to use a Multi-Grain mix for popovers; I've only used all-purpose flour for them in the past. I questioned their ability to truly rise and pop over (ha!) their tins with whole grains. I was wrong. This mix is magical! It provides a hearty taste yet doesn't inhibit the baked goods' rise too much. I am impressed!
The author mentions using this Multi-Grain mix in other recipes and I will definitely do so. I plan to add it to my regular bread recipe, as well as banana bread and other quick breads.
:: The author has tasted and accurately identified each grain's distinct flavor. She uses the grain's innate flavor to create recipes that highlight it, rather than hide it.
:: She's not too idealistic that baked goods still need a little help here and there from all-purpose flour to rise properly and create a tender crumb.
:: She uses whole grains in quick-bread recipes!!
:: She encourages experimentation, yet she's also a professional who knows where and when to tweak things.