Saturday, October 04, 2008

Whole Grain Goodness

Shortly after being married, I began regularly baking loaves of sandwich bread using fresh ground wheat. So yummy! However, our oven in Cambridge was a complete disaster, so the wheat grinder and bread pans sat neglected for 2 years. I finally cleaned out the grinder and have been reveling in my soft, warm flour. I was dying to do more with my beautiful flour when I realized that I had never subbed whole wheat flour for white flour in cornbread. I decided to whip up some after church as a side to a fab bbq chicken recipe (see Cook's Illustrated for an amazing dry rub) and I entirely substituted the white flour with white whole wheat flour in my mother's recipe. Wow! It yielded a denser bread, but it was very satisfying - a heartier, nuttier taste that would be excellent with butter and Grade B maple syrup. (Although I know certain friends of mine prefer to eat their cornbread with either honey or stewed tomatoes.)
Mom, I finally finessed making steel cut oats in the microwave! This is a huge deal! Our breakfast most mornings is steel cut oats these days; I had been reading about them for years and finally decided to try some and I am a definite convert - they have a fabulous texture that can only be described as toothsome. (Yes, they are expensive in the fancy tins at the store, but if you can find them in bulk at a natural foods store they are super economical. You can also order them online at Bob's Red Mill.) Traditional recipes call for stirring it in a pot on the stove over the course of 15 minutes at least and that gets really old really quickly. My mom had been cooking hers in a glass measuring cup in the microwave and I couldn't figure out how she made that work. I think I've done it one better though. Instead of dirtying an extra dish, I put the oats directly in 2 small bowls, add the water, nuke them, stir them once, nuke some more and wa-la! Add some golden raisins, a little butter and salt, and if you have any leftover ricotta, I highly recommend that being added as well. Nothing like some A.M. fiber!


Lianne Barr said...

Amanda! I love Steel Cut Oats in the morning too! I like them a little more cooked than you can nuke them though. so I cook them on the stove and make enough for several days. Then I just warm them up in the morning. I found, like you, that the cheapest is Whole Foods bulk dept. And I like Whole Wheat Bread. But there is not way I could get Adam to eat cornbread, or any other bread with all whole wheat flour. Oh Well.

Heather said...

I have been hinting for a wheat grinder. I've started making our bread unless the yummy whole grain bread is on clearance at the store, but I'd much rather do it with fresh flour that is so much better for you. And steel cut oats are a great idea--my mom makes them at home but it's been a long time since I've eaten them!