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by Heather Harris Brady
I’ve been experimenting a lot with whole grain flours lately, because I don’t want to settle for “wow, this is good for something healthy”. I’m going for “this is amazing”. So when I manage to hit that magical point I will share the recipes – like this one for whole grain pancakes. It’s based on a recipe from Cooking Light magazine, but I’ve tinkered with it so it uses ingredients I’m more likely to have onhand.
One thing I’ve learned over the course of my trials is that you need to allow time for the grains to hydrate in order to get maximum fluffiness in the finished product. I hope you enjoy these pancakes as much as we do, they’ve become my new standard recipe. If you’d like to play around with this recipe I think grated apple would be a great addition to try.
Whole Grain Pancakes, Makes about 12 4″ pancakes
- 2/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1-1/2 c. low-fat milk + 1 t. apple cider vinegar
- 2 T. maple syrup
- 1 T. light olive oil
- 3/4 c. white whole-wheat flour
- 1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 c. spelt flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. baking soda
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 large egg
Combine milk and oats in a small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.
Pour the soaked oats and milk into a larger bowl. Add the egg, olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well-combined.
The final texture should be close to very heavy cream.
Heat a griddle and grease it lightly with olive oil. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto the griddle and watch for bubbles to appear all over the surface.
Flip the cakes and brown the other side. I usually poke the middle of each one with my finger, when they are springy they’re done.
I stack them so they stay warm.
Serve warm with butter, more syrup and fruit.
They cook up light and fluffy.
Put any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate.
by Heather Harris Brady
On a weekly basis my husband will happily shell out $5 a loaf for what the rest of us have come to call “woodpecker bread” – a term coined by my son who said that if woodpeckers ran a bread factory this is the kind of bread they would make – chuck full of seeds and good health. It is, in fact, sprouted grain bread. There lots of online research you can do on sprouted grains, but basically, the act of sprouting frees up a lot of nutrients that are now easier for the body to absorb. You can mix up the grains for sprouting, and add other things like flax seeds, sesame, whatever strikes your fancy.
I’m actually a little surprised it’s taken me this long to get around to making it myself, given my lifelong Laura Ingalls Wilder penchant. You need a weekend and two pounds of wheat to take on this project – so get’s started!
Step One: The sprouting
- Two lbs. wheat kernals
- Two quart glass jars with tops
Take two pounds of whole wheat kernals, sometimes called wheat berries. They might look like this, or this. Wash them well and divide them between two quart canning jars. Put the top on and put them under the cupboard. Rinse them every twelve hours. They’re ready to use when each one sends out a tiny white shoot, like so:
In my room-temperature house this took a full 24 hours. If they sprout before you’re ready to bake, put them in the fridge otherwise – continue on!
Step Two: Making the dough
- 1/3 c. honey or granulated sugar
- 1 pkg. fast-rising yeast
- 1-1/3 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 T. salt
- 3 T. olive oil
- Sprouted wheat from step one
Rinse the wheat and dump it (you can only work with one jar at a time) into your food processor. Process for about two minutes, until it’s finely chopped.
Put it into a large mixing bowl and stir in everything but the olive oil.
Put half the batch in the food processor. Add half the flour and half the olive oil, process to a thick dough. Repeat with the other half of the wheat.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
Knead for about five minutes. It’s a little rough at first, then it gets better. Resist the urge to add a lot of flour, or your finished loaf will be dry.
Put it in a bowl and let rise until doubled. Punch it down. (I got carried away and almost forgot to take a picture.)
Divide it in half. Roll each half out and roll it back up jelly-roll style. Put it in a greased loaf pan. Repeat for the other half.
Again, let rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 350.
When the dough reaches the top of the pan it’s ready.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until nicely browned. I brush the tops with butter.
Turn them out on a rack and cover them with a tea towel. When they’re cool wrap them in plastic and store the bread in the refrigerator.
When it’s cool it slices nicely. The bread is definitely more substantial than what most people are probably used to, but it has a nice toothsome chew with lots of flavor.
It’s good for sandwiches, or just on its own with a schmear of something. It makes two loaves, which is two weeks’ worth in our house. It’s definitely worth a go if you like whole grain breads. It tastes a lot better than store loaves.
by Heather Harris Brady
I worked on this recipe over the holiday weekend since we’re heading into prime picnic/beach season. Just about everyone loves smores but sometimes they’re a pain. You’ve got to tote all the ingredients with you, make sure you can get a fire going and keep people from eating the marshmallows and chocolate beforehand – which, let’s face it, is not an easy task. You can bake these squares in a leisurely, civilized way and even wrap them individually for your picnic basket. All the goodness of smores neatly in hand, and if the firewood’s wet you can still have dessert. And did I mention they’re whole-grain?
S’mores Bars, Makes one 13×9 pan (about 20 squares)
- 4 T. butter
- 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- Two eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 c. graham flour
- 1 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 c. quinoa flour
- 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 2 c. marshmallow creme
- 6 oz. mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the sugars and the butter together well.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Then the dry ingredients.
Then the applesauce. You should have a thick creamy batter.
Spread half the batter in a lightly greased 13×9 pan and sprinkle it with the chocolate chips.
Add dollops of marshmallow creme. I smoothed it a little bit with a wet spoon.
Then cover it with the rest of the batter.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until nicely brown.
I sprinkled some more chips on top right when it came out of the oven.
When it’s completely cool you can cut it into squares.
The marshmallow will stay nice and fluffy. Store at room temperature covered with plastic wrap. The applesauce will keep them nice and chewy.