Category Archives: Whole Grains

Blizzard Baking: Part Five

I can’t spend a full day baking and NOT make bread.

In class last week our teacher raved about this bread she once had that used the spent mash (grains) leftover from the beer making process. As luck would have it, one of the girls in my class visited a brewery last weekend and went home with a gigantic tub of the stuff. She quickly became everyone’s friend when she brought it to class to share.

So those of us who wanted to got to bring home some of the pungent, (in a good, beer-y kind of way), soggy grains. You use them as you would a regular soaker, where you soak whole grains of all sorts in water before mixing into your dough so you don’t have little crunchies in your bread.

They say beer is liquid bread, and probably for many reasons, but it makes sense since both are just fermented grain. The carbon dioxide and alcohol dispelled by the yeast give beer its bubbles and fun-factor and bread its rise and flavor. And when you combine the two? Well, you get really dark, flavorful bread that will make the most excellent breakfast tomorrow.

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Filed under Beer and Vino, Blizzard, Bread, Whole Grains

Simple Spelt Pancakes

After going on an on about whole grains, I should have at least shared a recipe! So since I mentioned awesome pancakes…

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Filed under Breakfast, Recipe, Whole Grains

Integrale

Let’s talk about whole grain flours. In Italian the word for whole wheat is integrale, which makes sense. Integrale=integral=whole=the entire grain is used so we get full access to all those good-for-you things like fiber, vitamins and minerals. I realize I have spent the majority of my time writing about fabulous yet not-so-good-for-you desserts because they are usually more aesthetically and deliciously pleasing. However, I need not neglect my wonderful whole grains.

I’ve been experimenting with various whole grain flours. We’ve got here wheat, spelt, and rye. Spelt you say? I had never heard of it until a couple months ago when I checked this book out at the library. Oh great. I just realized that it’s overdue. Drat. Anyways…spelt flour. It makes a pretty killer pancake. And I am someone who generally considers pancakes to be boring.

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Filed under Bread, Italian, Whole Grains

Facciamo il pane!

This morning/night at 3:30 am, after a sleepless night, save about an hour, I put on my white pants and shirt and set out for the bakery.  I drove Nana and Papa Tom’s car because it was the middle of the night, just walking to the car was kind of terrifying because there are no lights whatsoever.  But I made it to the car unscathed and drove up to the bakery. When I arrived neither Giacomo nor Lina were there, only Nicola and Domenico, the two men whom I had not met, and who I don’t think knew I was coming.   So I just waltzed in and was like, “Buon giorno! Sono Kelly!” and tried to explain that I was coming to learn how to make bread, but I suppose they could figure that out based on my white attire.  Nevertheless, they let me jump right in. They had been there since midnight so there was already a ton of bread baked and boy did it smell fabulous.

Let me just say too that no one spoke English, and they both spoke so quickly and with such a strong accent that I barely picked up on much. But I watched what they did, rolling the small pieces of dough into a smooth, rounded ball.  Then I tried. And failed.  Again and again, I could not roll it in the palm of my hand against the surface of the table like they so easily did.  It was very frustrating, but I suppose it will come with practice.  Eventually Lina and Giacomo showed up too and while everyone worked they joked and laughed (I barely followed what was said), and at one point Domenico and Lina were gossiping about people in town, but all I could pick out was that some girl was sempre ubriaca (always drunk).  If learning the town gossip isn’t motivation for getting better at Italian, I don’t know what is.

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Filed under Bakery, Bread, Italian, Travel, Whole Grains