Tag Archives: Good To The Grain

Step-by-Step: Poppyseed Buckwheat Wafers

It’s been said that you haven’t really read a book until you’ve read it twice. I’m going to use that logic to justify blogging about these Poppyseed Buckwheat Wafers again. Just as you glean new insights when you read a book a second time, I hope to give you new insight into making these lovely little cookies by providing step-by-step photo instructions. Enjoy!step1_620px step2_620pxstep3_620pxstep4_620pxstep5_620pxstep6_620px copystep7_620pxstep8_620pxstep9_620pxstep10_620pxstep11_620pxstep12_620pxstep13_620pxstep14_620pxstep15_620pxstep16_620pxstep17_620pxstep18_620pxstep19_620pxstep20_620pxstep21_620px

Make the Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers

Recipe from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce (p 84)

Wet Mix:
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 egg yolks (reserve whites)

Dry Mix:
1½ cups buckwheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Finish:
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Egg whites from egg yolks above

  1. Measure the cream and egg yolks into a small bowl—no need to whisk—and set aside.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients. With your hands, squeeze the butter into the flour. After the butter is mostly blended in, add the cream and egg yolks. Continue squeezing the mixture until a crumbly dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and, using the palm of your hand, smear the dough to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a log that is 8 inches long and 1¾  inches wide, flouring the dough and work surface as needed. Chill the logs for 2 hours. If the dough is more lopsided than round, you can gently roll the dough again after 15 minutes or so.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and poppy seeds and pour onto a plate. Brush one log very lightly with the egg whites. (I find it easiest to stand the log on one end as I brush it.) Roll the log in the poppy seed mixture until it is covered. Repeat this process with the remaining log and chill while the oven is heating up, or wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.
  5. Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Slice the logs into ?–inch wafers. Arrange the wafers on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The wafers should be dark golden-brown, with a darker ring around the edge, and smell quite nutty. Cool the cookies on a rack and repeat with the remaining wafers.
  7. These wafers are best eaten the day that they’re made, but they’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Jam-Filled Scones & A Vacation

Jam Filled Scone 1

The recipe for these scones comes from Good to the Grain, Kim Boyce’s cookbook dedicated to using the more-obscure whole grain flours to appreciate the vast flavor spectrum whole grains offer. Barley flour is the unusual grain found in these scones. In fact, barley flour proved to be more difficult to find than I imagined: right before my friend Michelle came over to make these scones with me, I ran two blocks down the street to a small health foods store, Real Foods, to buy barley flour. Real Foods carried teff flour, brown rice flour and gluten-free flour but no barley flour. Instead of making a trip to Whole Foods, which probably did carry barley flour, I decided we’d try making the scones with white whole wheat flour instead of barley flour.

As we cut the butter into the flour and delicately molded the dough into round disks (and brushed more butter on top), we realized that these weren’t going to be your typical fluffy British scones; these were on par with the American shortcake-like scone, more fitting for dessert than breakfast or afternoon tea. Nonetheless, very delicious.

For the jam filling, we used the Europe version of Crofter’s Superfruit Spread, a blend of black currants, pomegranates, Morello cherries and red grapes—a lavish filling fitting for our decadent scones.

And lastly, I bid you farewell for two weeks because this evening I am boarding a plane bound for Costa Rica. We’re meeting our friends Katy and Josh and will soak up as much of Costa Rica as we can. We plan on rafting the Pacuare River, exploring the jungle and beaches of Manuel Antonio, relaxing in the hot springs of the Arenal Volcano and eating lots of tropical fruit (and taking a break from our computers). Adios, amigos! See you in two weeks.

Jam Filled Scone 2

Recipe from Good to the Grain (Strawberry Barley Scones, p 67)

Ingredients

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons barley flour [we used white whole wheat flour]
1cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
½ cup buttermilk 1 egg
½ cup jam or marmalade
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

Make the Scones

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Rub a baking sheet lightly with butter. Sift the dry ingredients (barley flour through kosher salt) into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.
  2. Cut the butter into ½-inch pieces and add them to the dry mixture. Use your hands to rub the butter between your fingers, breaking it into smaller bits. Continue rubbing until the butter is in sizes ranging from rice grains to flattened peas. The more quickly you do this, the more butter will stay solid, which is important for the success of the recipe.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg until thoroughly combined. Scrape the buttermilk and egg into the dry mixture, and mix until barely combined.
  4. Use a pastry scraper or a spatula to transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface. The dough may be too sticky to handle; if it is, dust it with flour and fold it together a few times. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Flour your hands and pat each piece of dough into a disk about ¾ inch thick and 7 inches in diameter.
  5. Cover one disk with the jam or marmalade. Top the spread with the other disk and press down gently so that the dough settles into the jam. Brush the dough lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Use a sharp knife to slice the circle into 8 triangular wedges, like a pie. Carefully place the wedges on the baking sheet, leaving a few inches between them.
  6. Bake the scones for 22 to 26 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The scones are ready when their tops are golden brown and some of the jam or marmalade has bubbled over onto the pan. To keep the scones from sticking to the pan, slide a thin spatula underneath them while they’re still warm and move them to a baking rack. The scones are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day.

Cherry Hazelnut Muesli from “Good to the Grain”

Cherry Hazelnut Muesli 2

And now, another recipe from Good to the Grain: Cherry Hazelnut Muesli. In this version of muesli, hazelnuts and rye flakes are toasted in the oven and then mixed with dried cherries, cranberries, quinoa flakes and wheat germ. This muesli is more of a classic cold cereal than Swiss Birchermuesli, which is soaked overnight in yogurt and fresh fruit. Don’t get me wrong: this muesli would taste great with yogurt and fresh fruit; they’re just not the crux of this recipe—a simple pour of milk is all this cereal needs in the morning.

Cherry Hazelnut Muesli 1

Cherry Hazelnut Muesli 5

Cherry Hazelnut Muesli 4

Buy dry roasted hazelnuts to simplify Step 1 in the recipe. You could also experiment using different grain flakes or dried fruit. I recommend trying the Cherry Hazelnut Rye version below before experimenting—I think you’ll agree it’s quite delicious.

Make the Cherry Hazelnut Muesli

Recipe from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce (p 146)

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup raw whole hazelnuts, skins on
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups rye flakes
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon wheat germ
½ cup quinoa flakes
Generous 1/3 cup dried cherries [I like to use dried tart cherries]
Generous 1/3 cup dried cranberries

  1. Place the oven racks at the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Toss the hazelnuts together with the oil and salt and spread them on a baking sheet. Toast for 16 to 18 minutes, stirring the nuts halfway through. The nuts should be fragrant and dark brown, but not burnt. Leave the skins from the nuts on for a rustic touch in both taste and appearance.
  2. While the nuts are toasting, spread the rye flakes in a single layer on another baking sheet. Toast the rye flakes in the same oven simultaneously for 10 minutes, until golden and crunchy. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Once the nuts have cooled, roughly chop them, leaving a few whole. Add them to a large bowl along with the rye flakes, ¼ cup wheat germ, and quinoa flakes.
  4. Mix the cherries and cranberries with the remaining wheat germ, to prevent sticking. Chop them into halves or thirds, leaving some whole. Add them to the bowl and toss together with your hands.
  5. The muesli can be eaten immediately, or you can wait until it’s completely cooled and store it in an airtight container. It will keep for at least 2 weeks.

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread from “Good to the Grain”

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

Between kneading the dough and letting it rise, making bread at home can be quite a production. But this recipe for Oatmeal Sandwich Bread from Good to the Grain, makes traditional bread baking about as simple as it gets: the ingredient list is not too complicated and the instructions are detailed, guiding you through each step. Once you pull this tall, stately loaf from your oven, you’ll discover you’ve made the perfect slicing bread, at home no less. Far better than any supermarket bread, this bread’s moist, soft texture lends itself well to sandwiches. The bread also toasts nicely and is delicious smeared with raspberry jam for breakfast or afternoon tea.

There is one slightly unusual ingredient: bread flour. Bread flour has more protein than regular all-purpose flour. This extra protein helps develop the gluten, which makes the bread rise—something crucial for breads made with whole-grains that might otherwise have trouble rising. I didn’t have bread flour on hand, but I bought just enough for this recipe in the bulk bin at the grocery store. You could try this with all-purpose flour, but the bread won’t be as light or rise as nicely.

That said, I’m disappointed this bread is not made with 100% whole grain. It certainly tastes good, but for something that I’m going to eat for breakfast and lunch, I prefer 100% whole grain. Last spring I made several loaves of 100% whole grain bread that used vital wheat gluten to give them lift. I’ll have to dig in the archives, retry those recipes and see if any of them stack up to this loaf in taste. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to try this bread; it’s delicious and quite easy to make.

Make the Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

From Good to the Grain (p 130)

Ingredients:
Butter for the bowl and the pan
1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
3 tablespoons unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap)
2 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups bread flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon kosher salt

  1. Lightly butter a large bowl and a bread loaf pan about 9 x 5 x 3 inches. The dough can also be formed into a boule (round loaf) and baked on a baking sheet.
  2. Add 2 cups warm water, yeast, and molasses to the bowl of a standing mixer. Stir, allowing the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes, until it begins to bubble. (If it doesn’t, it may be inactive; throw it out and start over again with a new package.)
  3. Measure the flours, oats, and butter into the bowl with the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Cover with a towel and let stand for 30 minutes.
  4. Attach the bowl and bread hook to the mixer, add the salt, and mix on medium speed for 6 minutes. [Alternatively, knead the dough by hand for 15 minutes, adding more flour as necessary.] The dough should slap around the sides without sticking to them. If the dough is sticking at any time during the mixing, add a tablespoon or two of bread flour until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and supple, slightly tacky, with a beautiful sheeting effect.
  5. For the first rise, scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it a few times. Put the dough into the buttered bowl, cover with a warm towel, and leave it to rise for about 1 hour, or until it is doubled in size.
  6. To shape the dough, scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Press down on the dough, working it toward a square shape while depressing all of the bubbles. Fold the dough down from the top to the middle, then up from the bottom to the middle, sealing the seam with your fingers. Pinch the sides together and roll the shaped dough back and forth, plumping it so that its’ even formed and about the size of your loaf pan. Place the dough in the pan with the seam side down and press it gently into the corners of the pan.
  7. For the second rise, cover the dough with a towel and let it rest in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until the dough rises to half again its size or puffs up barely or just over the edge of the pan. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  8. When the dough has finished its final rise, sprinkle the top of the loaf with oats or bran, if desired.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes, rotating halfway through. The loaf is ready when the top crust is dark as molasses and the bottom crust is dark brown. To see if the bread is ready, give the top of the loaf a thump to see if it sounds hollow. If the hollow sound isn’t there and the bread isn’t quite dark enough, bake for another 5 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool on a baking rack, preferably for a few hours, so that the crumb doesn’t collapse when you cut into it and the flavor can develop.

Poppyseed Buckwheat Wafers from “Good to the Grain”

Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers


Until recently, buckwheat was for me A Food of Novels—Levin eats buckwheat porridge in Anna Karenina—and A Food Others Cook —buckwheat crepes are served in the French stall at the Farmer’s Market. Buckwheat belonged in another territory, and that territory was not my kitchen. It’s not that I was averse to buckwheat flour; I simply never had the occasion or desire to use it.

That was until last week, when I received a pre-birthday gift from Sam: Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce. (Yes, this is the same Kim Boyce of Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie fame.) In Good to the Grain, Boyce introduces home bakers to a gamut of whole-grain flours, ranging from the familiar (whole wheat, oat, corn) to the obscure (teff, amaranth, kamut). Though the flours are whole-grain, the recipes are not designed to be healthy—they are designed to taste good. Looking beyond the ubiquitous all-purpose flour unveils a palette of new flavors and textures to incorporate into your baking. And lucky for us, Kim Boyce experimented with these whole-grain flours and perfected dozens of recipes, including these Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers.

Buckwheat flour is dark in color, and as I mixed the dough with my hands, I had flashbacks to making mud pies as a kid. Even the texture of these cookies is sandy, but it’s a sandiness derived from sugar, as with sables or shortbread. Butter, eggs and heavy cream create a buttery, rich flavor that is perfectly balanced by the nutty, earthy buckwheat. After the dough is shaped into logs, it is rolled in poppy seeds and sugar. Slice and bake all the cookies at once, or slice off a few at a time for freshly baked cookies all week long.

Make the Poppy Seed Buckwheat Wafers

Recipe from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce (p 84)

Wet Mix:

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 egg yolks (reserve whites)

Dry Mix:

1½ cups buckwheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

6 ounces (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Finish:

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Egg whites from egg yolks above

  1. Measure the cream and egg yolks into a small bowl—no need to whisk—and set aside.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter. Add the softened butter to the dry ingredients. With your hands, squeeze the butter into the flour. After the butter is mostly blended in, add the cream and egg yolks. Continue squeezing the mixture until a crumbly dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a well-floured surface and, using the palm of your hand, smear the dough to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a log that is 8 inches long and 1¾  inches wide, flouring the dough and work surface as needed. Chill the logs for 2 hours. If the dough is more lopsided than round, you can gently roll the dough again after 15 minutes or so.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and poppy seeds and pour onto a plate. Brush one log very lightly with the egg whites. (I find it easiest to stand the log on one end as I brush it.) Roll the log in the poppy seed mixture until it is covered. Repeat this process with the remaining log and chill while the oven is heating up, or wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.
  5. Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Slice the logs into ?–inch wafers. Arrange the wafers on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The wafers should be dark golden-brown, with a darker ring around the edge, and smell quite nutty. Cool the cookies on a rack and repeat with the remaining wafers.
  7. These wafers are best eaten the day that they’re made, but they’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


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