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Sheri: KAF Whole Grain Baking

Sheri's picture

I'm a little hesitant to commit myself to the project because I already have a lot on my plate. But I've got a good start so I thought I'd give it a shot. Baking has been very therapeutic for me lately.

I'm not much of a baker but I've become infatuated with King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking. So far I've made:

- Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake
- Cinnamon-Filled Scones
- Lemon-Raspberry Cake
- Honey Cake

Plus I have a batch of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies in the refrigerator. The recipes I've tried so far have been very good. I've given away a lot of the food, because whole grains DOES NOT equal low cal and if I ate everything I made I'd gain at least a hundred pounds. So friends and co-workers will benefit (hopefully) from me diving into this cookbook.

I have a blog, so I created a new whole grain baking sub-category for my entries (see link below). I usually post photos, except when I just can't get a good image. The Lemon-Raspberry Cake was good but my cake decorating skills leave something to be desired so I left that one out.

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #1 of 105)

Tonight I made Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies:

They're good, and my husband really liked them. But I think they have too many chocolate chips (makes for a messy cookie), and they're not as thick as I would have liked. I like my chocolate chip cookies to be substantial - which is probably why I like them when they have some oats in them. Although my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies is from Fine Cooking #56.

A bit about the recipe: these definitely don't taste whole grain-y, even though they're 100% whole grain, made with traditional whole wheat flour. It's an odd recipe - melt the butter and add the brown sugar, then add the salt and baking powder/soda, corn syrup and one odd ingredient - cider vinegar. After adding the eggs, flour and chocolate chips, the whole goopy mess sat in the refrigerator overnight, and it turned into a batter that had a nice scoop-able texture.

My food science knowledge is limited. But when I added the vinegar, I got lots of bubbles - I think a reaction between the vinegar and baking soda. Doesn't the acid neutralize the baking soda? So I guess that's why there's baking powder also, to act as leavening. I need to look it up in McGee, I guess.

My last batch was one sheet instead of two, and it turned out best. If I make these again, I'll cook them one sheet at at time.

Amy's picture

(post #67219, reply #2 of 105)

I know you're doing a good job of giving away your baking, but I still think you need more help getting rid of it.  *hint* *hint*

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #3 of 105)

Amy - your hint is loud and clear. You know how bad I am about getting around to the post office. I unloaded a bunch of the chocolate chip cookies on our favorite friend, though. Payment for picking me up at the airport.

Tonight I made Gingered Oatmeal Muffins. Yummy, easy, and healthy. No butter - the only saturated fat comes from the two eggs and some milk (I used 2% but we usually only have 1% in the house). There's an option to use melted butter or vegetable oil, I opted for grapeseed oil.

The muffins are spicy and moist and surprisingly light and tender. They have whole wheat flour (traditional), oat flour, and rolled oats. They have a spiced sugar topping that's optional. I made it, but I think they'd be fine without.

My blog entry for these is here: - photo included.

Jean's picture

(post #67219, reply #4 of 105)

They look really good.  I was hoping you had posted the recipe...

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Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #5 of 105)

Jean's picture

(post #67219, reply #6 of 105)

Super, thank you.  Love ginger anything!!

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #7 of 105)

This past weekend I made Lemon Barley Scones. Yum!

The recipe is here:

My blog entry is here:

They were super easy to make and super delicious, using barley flour plus AP flour. Didn't taste "whole grain" at all. I've never used barley flour, but I'd like to use it more after having these scones. They weren't very sweet, probably because -whoops!- I forgot to add the glaze to the warm scones. A lemony powdered sugar glaze, mmm.

I whipped up some lemon curd to go with them, and we ended up eating them for breakfast and for dessert.

Amy's picture

(post #67219, reply #8 of 105)

Those look and sound wonderful.  I think I'm sold on the cookbook.  Did you buy it, or still on loan from library?

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #9 of 105)

I'm definitely sold on the cookbook. I returned it to the library but before I did, Larry scanned a bunch of recipes. I'm not allowed to buy cookbooks this close to my birthday, otherwise I'd run out and get it now.

Amy's picture

(post #67219, reply #10 of 105)

My problem is that I don't need any more excuses to bake!  arggg....

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #11 of 105)

It's whole grain, so it's healthy baking, right? :)

KathiM's picture

(post #67219, reply #12 of 105)

But its your birthday!  How about a gift "from me to me"  Those are always the best- you get just what you like.  I love that book.  I made a lemon pound cake from it a week ago. yum.  Now I have to check it out again as the book group is coming tomorrow night and its my turn to corrupt us all.

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #13 of 105)

Oh, lemon pound cake sounds great! Next on my list is the Apple Harvest Pound cake.

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #14 of 105)

As promised, next up was the Apple Harvest Pound Cake. I haven't made up a blog entry yet but when I do I'll note it here.

The pound cake is really dense. It's made with cornmeal and whole wheat pastry flour. Included in the wet ingredients is apple butter, cream cheese, and of course butter.

I love pound cake, but this is really more like a quick bread made in a Bundt pan. Like I said, it's super dense. And kind of sweet. The apple butter I used is really dark so the color of the cake is pretty dark. My husband and I both like it, but decided it's not our favorite thing that I've made so far. His favorite so far was the ginger muffins, mine was the cinnamon-filled scones. Or maybe the lemon scones, when they were still warm out of the oven.

So far all of the recipes have been really easy to make. I have one tiny complaint about this one. The recipe calls for cornmeal. What kind of cornmeal? I have four different grinds (coarse, medium, fine, plus extra super fine for instant polenta). I used medium grind but I would recommend find - it's a little too crunchy.

I think this is a good Fall cake. It just screams fall, with the apple and the spices, and how it's kind of hearty.

KathiM's picture

(post #67219, reply #15 of 105)

sounds great.  I just happened to have some apple butter put up from last fall.  I love apple sauce cake.  There is a one bowl recipe from good housekeeping that is my 10 minute favorite for a quick desert.  I'll post if anyone is interested.  Its not whole grain, but simple and good.

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #16 of 105)

Photo of the Apple Harvest Pound Cake is now up:

I haven't decided what I'm making next.

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #17 of 105)

This week I made Tropical Quinoa Custard:

I love love love tapioca, and the blurb above the recipe says if you love tapioca, you will love this dessert. I did. I would have never though of using quinoa in a dessert.

It was super easy to make but took some (unattended) time to soak the quinoa (1 hour, I used packaged quinoa from Trader Joe's) and time to bake (40 min) and cool (20 very very long minutes).

I was nervous about it having too much ginger so I used the smaller amount listed. It was kind of a pain to chop up the dried mango. Maybe I'll try the food processor next time.

The custard smells kind of boozy (in a good way), and I love the combination of rum, lime, mango and ginger.

The recipe is here:

Amy's picture

(post #67219, reply #18 of 105)

I love ginger.  The custard sounds really good!  So the quinoa is more or less the bubbles that would normally be in tapioca? 

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #19 of 105)

That's right. It looks kind of like a brown-ish tapioca.

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #20 of 105)

Last night I made Cream Cheese and Molasses bread, which has rolled oats , barley flour and whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat, my new favorite flour). No picture or blog entry up (yet), but I wanted to get this written down before my memory fades.

The bread is a quick bread. I'm not great at making quick breads, but this one turned out pretty good. It's very moist and reminds me of gingerbread. The first step is to cover the oats with boiling water, then let them cool down. Then I mixed in butter and cream cheese (probably why the bread is nice and moist) and a bit of sugar. Then molasses - I'm a huge fan of molasses.

After that come the eggs and dry ingredients and finally, mixed in chopped pecans and chopped crystallized ginger. It smelled SO good while it was baking. I checked it at 45 minutes and it looked good, so I let it go another 10 minutes. There were a couple of cracks in the top, and inside the cracks it still looked like raw batter so I left it in for 5 more minutes after that.

The hard part was waiting for it to cool so we could slice it. My husband really liked it. I only had a couple bites but I liked it. I'd like to try it with some honey on top. Or cream cheese.

When I was making the bread, I thought of several things to mention here (feedback welcome!):

- Blackstrap molasses vs. unsulphered molasses: I have both. What's the difference? I had no idea, but now I know that unsulphured molasses is considered the best quality and is made from the juice of sun-ripened cane and the juice is clarified and concentrated. Blackstrap molasses, on the other had, comes from the third boiling of the sugar syrup and is therefore the concentrated byproduct left over after the sugar's sucrose has been crystallized. It's considered lower quality and is widely used in the manufacture of cattle feed (!!). There are a lot of web sites out there touting the health benefits of blackstrap molasses.

- Temperature of eggs: should the eggs be room temperature? I always assume yes because the butter and cream cheese are room temp. I'd be interested in what other people do.

- Chopped crystalized ginger: ugh! This isn't an easy task. I switched from my heavy Gerber chef's knife to a Global vegetable knife - thin blade, cleaver shaped. That worked much better but I still had to keep scraping the knife off. I was thinking about wiping the blade with a little oil but I didn't.

- Type of loaf pan: I have a pyrex loaf pan I love (but it's a little smaller than 9x5), but I used a metal non-stick pan (Kaiser, I think) for this bread, which probably results in a darker crust. I think I need a lighter colored metal loaf pan.

- Storage of flours: OMG, I have so many different types of flour now, in addition to all the other stuff I already had in the pantry. Three grinds of cornmeal. Two types of sugar. Flours: oat, AP, barley, whole wheat, white whole wheat... etc. etc. I bought a bunch of different-sized Click-Clack containers (sold on and they work great. I think I need more.

helena1's picture

(post #67219, reply #21 of 105)

That really sounds like an interesting (and delicious) recipe. I can't help you with the molasses question, as I always have to sub for it anyway and have problems with that sometimes. As far as the eggs go, I always use all ingredients at room temperature when baking, unless it is specified that something needs to be cold. I think it homogenizes better that way. I have however, thrown in cold cream cheese once or twice, when I forgot to get iot out of the fridge and haven't seen any ill effects.

I'll definately check your blog for pictures!

Amy's picture

(post #67219, reply #22 of 105)

I like to pulse crystallized ginger in mini-bowl of my KA food processor.

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #23 of 105)

I thought about sticking it in my mini-Cuisinart - I thought it might gum up the blade in there also. It works good? Because that's what I'll do next time.

Amy's picture

(post #67219, reply #24 of 105)

I think it's all the sugar crystals that keep it from gumming up.  Plus the pulsing, rather than leaving it on?

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #25 of 105)

I was faster than I expected at getting this posted.

The blog entry/photo is here:

And the recipe is here:

MadMom's picture

(post #67219, reply #26 of 105)

Looks delicious.  I haven't made anything from this book, but you have definitely gotten my interest piqued.

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Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #27 of 105)

I don't think I have any other cookbook that has THAT many recipes that interest me. Of course, I haven't made anything that difficult yet.

I'm making the Black Forest Cake this weekend. That seems a bit more involved.

Jean's picture

(post #67219, reply #28 of 105)

Sheri, I made the Gingered Oatmeal muffins tonight.  I halved the recipe and baked up 6 of them in my toaster oven. They'll go into my personal T&T. DH loves them. Thank you.

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #29 of 105)

Jean - thanks for the feedback. I'm glad someone else likes them as much as we did.

Sheri's picture

(post #67219, reply #30 of 105)

This is a two-parter. We have regular get-togethers with a group of our neighbors, and the next one is tomorrow night. The host for tomorrow night's dinner was thumbing through Whole Grain Baking last time he was here, and he asked if I would bring Black Forest cake for dessert (there's a photo in the cookbook).

I've never make Black Forest cake. I've had it. I like chocolate paired with fruit. I'm splitting up the tasks since it's kind of involved. The recipe is three pages long!

Tonight I made the cake - two 9" chocolate layers. A very odd technique. Baking is usually pretty rote - cream sugar with fat, add eggs, add dry ingredients. Instead, I used SEVEN eggs plus an additional three egg whites (I've never made a cake with so many eggs - unless you count pound cake, I guess). I added the sugar, salt and vanilla, then used another bowl as a hot bath and whisked the mixture by hand until it was 100 degrees. Then I used the Kitchen Aid to whip it up more - when I was done, the froth was all the way to the top of the bowl.

Here comes the disappointing part. My lovely eggy fluff got weighed down - not completely, but I didn't like seeing it slowly deflate. I expect that's normal, since I was carefully whisking in the dry ingredients (whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder and a teeny bit of AP flour). Once that was mixed in, I slowly folded in melted butter (room temp). I thought it was odd that the fat was added last. The mixture was still pretty light and airy.

It's baking now.

Tomorrow I make the syrup and the stabilized whipped cream, then assemble the cake. The stabilized whipped cream grosses me out a little - it's got plain gelatin in it. But I'm going to make it anyway. It's good none of us are vegetarians.