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Light and Delicious Whole Grain Baking

August 4, 2011

I recently purchased a cookbook called Good to the Grain: Cooking with Whole Grain Flours, by Kim Boyce. It’s beautiful and a project I can get behind, since I know much more about rising times and proper muffin textures than I know about cooking quinoa or marinating vegetables. That’s Nathan’s territory, and he’s so good at it that I have no desire to start cooking (sorry, Honey). The book is organized by flour, with a chapter for each kind of whole grain flour available and one on a multigrain flour the author herself developed. I decided to start with the chapter on spelt flour, because it says in the introduction that this is as close to all-purpose flour as it gets in the whole grain world. In fact, if you adjust your flavor expectations a little, you can apparently substitute spelt flour for all-purpose in just about any recipe.

Within the chapter on spelt, I settled on a recipe for Ricotta Crepes and began gathering ingredients. Whole milk, raw honey, two eggs, organic spelt flour, fresh and local ricotta cheese. [My research suggests that because ricotta is not aged it does not contribute to migraine headaches the way cheddar and mozzarella can.] It couldn’t have gotten any easier–combine the first four ingredients in the blender (yes, blender–good thing I got a new one!) and let it sit for an hour. Stir in the cheese. Start cookin’ crepes!

I have loved crepes since I was a little girl, when my big sister learned how to make them in France and came back toting her recipe and some Nutella. Yummy! This time for my filling, I sauteed some peaches in clarified butter just until they began to release liquid, added a little honey and some spices and let them sit overnight. Boyce recommends something savory like wilted greens, but I just couldn’t resist the peaches/ricotta combo.

It’s been awhile since I turned a crepe, but they came out very prettily, if I do say so myself! Oh, and the taste? Out of this world. I am spelt flour’s newest fan. Bonus perk: four grams of protein in just a quarter cup of spelt flour, not to mention all the vitamins B2 & B3 and other goodness.

My pile of crepes and bowl of peaches.

Sorry about the photo, but the light was bad and we had eaten a few before I remembered to snap this. Not reading the recipe in advance meant crepes for dinner, because I didn’t have time to wait an hour on that batter in the morning. Worth the wait, though! These were light as air, but filling and hearty. The crepes we didn’t eat are in the freezer, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, a sheet of parchment separating each one. They’re super easy to pull out and toast up! A+, Kim Boyce!

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