Today we’re going to look at one of my favorite cookbooks. I have many cookbook loves, but one of my all-time favorites is King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains.
Before I had even heard of the book and movie Julie and Julia, I discovered this book and decided that I needed to try every recipe because they all looked so good. It may take me 10 years, but eventually I’ll try them all.
This was one of the first cookbooks that I decided to take notes in. I don’t always remember things well and I knew I would forget the little discoveries I’d made in each recipe as well as which optional ingredients I had or hadn’t used.
I also wanted notes in the book for whoever used it after me. How many beloved family recipes do we have? Wouldn’t they be all the dearer for some notes on exactly how to make each one from the person who first brought the recipe to the family? In some ways, these notes become a love letter to my family and future family as I record our favorite recipes. I even include things like when I tried a recipe and for what occasion.
Recently, I decided to cook through the doughnuts section of the book (Are you sensing a doughnut theme? I’m starting to. Should I be troubled by this?). I had never fried anything in oil before. My first batch wasn’t stellar, but they started to improve as I made more. They also improved when I discovered that cast iron isn’t the best frying container. (Thanks, Jo-Alice!) Actually, the last time I used our cast iron skillet, I sloshed some oil over and inadvertently started little grease fires which luckily did not turn into a big grease fire (but could have with the pool of oil I didn’t realize was still under the stove burners). Now I fry with this close at hand.
Anyway…….by the time I took these pictures, I was on batch number four of my doughnut experiments. I’m totally an expert now! (Why are you laughing?)
I tried out the recipe for Yeast-Raised Beignets. Here’s a little look at the process:
cutting the dough
putting the beignets in the oil to fry
frying in progress
beignets cooling and ready for a glaze or a dusting of sugar
All in all, these turned out well and everyone seemed to really like them.
This book is always an education. It has detailed information on all the different whole grains used in the various recipes. Since I’ve begun baking from it, I’ve learned that I love spelt flour and oat flour more than whole wheat, and that whole wheat’s bitterness can be tamed with orange juice. It has helped me make doughnuts, scones, cinnamon rolls, waffles, and even simple syrup (think coffee shop flavorings). Today I’m trying out a blueberry pie from the book for a birthday party tonight.
If you are ready for an adventure, I’d suggest checking this book out from the library and giving it a try. You’ll open up a whole new world of baking.