It feels like spring is on its way here in Bavaria, so what better way to acknowledge this than making a Torta Primavera, or Italian Springtime cake. This is from one of my favourite cookbooks “The Italian Baker”
The easiest way to improve the diet of your family is to switch to whole grain products. When it comes to homemade breads, many bakers will know that baking with whole grains brings with it a number of challenges, especially when it comes to texture. Whole grain breads can be, when not optimally formulated very dense in structure and one could refer to many of my own first whole grain loaves as “bricks”. To overcome the challenges associated with homemade whole grain breads you need a recipe in which the hydration and the leavening agents has been optimised according to the type of flours used. There are a great many different types of wholegrain breads and baked goods, and therefore a variety of ways in which you can incorporate whole grains into your daily bread. You can of course, bake with entirely whole grain flour, and try your best to avoid baking a “brick”, alternatively you can use a mix of flours to make “transitional whole grain breads” or mix in whole grains and seeds to boost the nutritional content of otherwise non-whole grain breads. Here is a collection of tried and tested whole grain bread recipes. All of which are not only very healthy but also delicious.
- First of all soak your grunkorn grains in pleny of water for 1 hour, then exchange the water and bring to the boil. Gently simmer until soft, this takes approx 1 hour, but can vary for different brands of grunkorn, so just read your package.
- Combine all the dough ingredients apart from the grunkorn grains in a large bowl or mixer. Knead using the dough hook of your mixer for 10 minutes or by hand.
- Fully develop the dough by stretching and folding until its nice and elastic. I do this right in the bowl, but it you prefer do it on a floured work surface.
- Cover and leave to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Turn out the dough onto your work surface and gently knock the air our.
- Divide into 2, shape into rough rectangles and place in your oiled loaf tins.
- While the loaves are prooving, pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees C.
- Once the loaves have reached the rim of the tin they are ready to bake, this takes about 30 minutes, but varies depending on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen.
- Use a serrated knife to slash the surface of your loaves and place into the pre-heated oven. Immediately redce teh heat to 190-200 degrees C and bake for 35 minutes or until nicely brown.
- Cool on a wire rack and enjoy while fresh with Olive oil spread, cheese, or sweet toppings. This bread will last for a few days and is great toasted.
Grunkorn (actually Gruenkorn in real German) is spelt grain that which is harvested half ripe and then dried. It has a rather distinct nutty taste and is popular in German cooking. Many German families cook the grains and then use them in soups, salads and even make healthy vegetarian burgers with them. Here I am using this wonderful, super-healthy grain to enrich a whole spelt sandwich loaf. My whole spelt and grunkorn bread is a simple recipe using a blend of whole spelt and wheat flours and plenty of whole grunkorn grains. This bread is not only hearty and wholesome in appearance it packs a healthy punch of wholegrain fibre, as well as a bit more protein that you would find in a regular wheat bread.
This whole spelt and grunkorn bread has a strong flavour and a moist crumb, its a deliciously interesting loaf.
Recipe for whole spelt and grunkorn bread
Makes 2 large sandwich loaves
1000ml warm water
14g dried yeast
20g cocoa powder
700g whole spelt flour
600g strong bread flour (German 550 flour)
35g rapeseed oil
250g Gruenkorn, pre-soaked and cooked according the package instructions.
A diet high is refined carbohydrates is certainly not advisable for optimal health. Refined carbohydrates, can be found sugary snacks and baked goods made with processed white flour. Such foods are lacking in nutrients and cause undesirable swings in blood sugar levels, due to having a high glycemic index (GI). However, not all carbohydrates are created equally and carbohydrates with a lower glycemic index, such as whole grain baked goods, should not be avoided.”Read
Here is a nice recipe for Whole grain spelt flaxseed rolls. They are made with 50% whole spelt flour, which is higher in fibre and protein than regular wheat flour and in some cases easier to digest.
The addition of crushed flaxseeds gives these rolls a good healthy dose of Omega 3 fatty acids as well as extra fibre and a lovely nutty taste. Its important to seek out and use crushed flaxseeds rather than whole as the whole flaxseeds will largely remain undigested and therefore your body will not be able to extract all the heart health benefits contained in the flaxseeds.”Read
These nice little cinnamon buns are decadence in disguise. Read on and you will see what I mean.”Read
This bread is undoubtedly the easiest bread recipe I have ever tried and tested. Its very nutritious being made entirely from wholewheat flour and whole rye flour. Its also easier to digest than yeast leavened whole wheat bread because it is leavened with a combination of sourdough, a pre-ferment (Biga) and a minimum amount of commercial yeast.”Read
There are many health benefits to be gained from baking with and eating wholegrains. Breads made with wholegrain flour is much higher in fiber and provides a healthy dose of micronutrients such as calcium and magnesium, that have typically been removed by processing grains into white flour. Wholegrain bread is broken down slower during digestion, making you feel satisfied for longer and does not cause any undesirable spikes in blood sugar which can occur in response to eating higher glycemic white bread.”Read
This is an optimised bread recipe from Peter Reinhardts "Whole grain Breads" book. This is a great bread baking book, and hands down the best book available that is dedicated to whole grain breads. The first time I made this wholewheat hearth bread I was unsatisfied with the shape and rise of the bread but very excited about the flavour of this bread. Its really nicely balanced, in that it has a rich whole-grainey flavour complimented perfectly by the mild honey and there is no hint of rawness. The bread has a soft, slightly moist, crumb with a close texture typical of whole wheat bread but it is not at all crumbly.”Read
Just because this is a go-to recipe that I make all the time to fill our lunchboxes every week does not mean it is not worthy of a little blog space. On the contrary, this is a straight forward fool proof recipe that can easily be made in bulk, frozen and eaten fresh all week. Just the sort of thing many busy parents like me would appreciate.”Read
This months bread recipe was chosen by Judy of Judys gross eats and it is a wonderful recipe from Peter Reinhardt for "Power bread".
Its great to bake along each month because the recipe of choice is always something new, and this months "Power bread" is no exception.”Read
Often breads that are labelled whole grain are made with a mixture of whole grain and white or bread flours. The inclusion of white bread flour in whole grain bread recipes has its advantages, in that it makes the bread dough lighter which then rises more and produces a softer bread. However, with a bit of bread baking experience and attention to the requirements of whole grain flours, wonderful soft, highly nutritious whole grain bread can be made at home without any additional white flours.
Here I am posting my tried and tested easy recipe for 100% Whole grain spelt bread with whole spelt flakes.”Read
Spelt is most definitely the grain of the moment. However, spelt is certainly not new, it is in fact one of the most ancient of grains and spelt breads date back as far as roman times. The romans actually referred to spelt as "the marching grain" as spelt bread was relied upon to fuel the roman armies during their vast marches across Europe more than 2000 years ago.
Nowadays there are a variety of reasons many of us are turning to spelt for our home bread baking.”Read
Now much as I love to knead dough, I have to admit I do not find rye doughs easy to handle and the stickyness tests my patience, even on a good day. So I knew the first time I made this dough, with its high hydration and predominantly rye flour that kneading it would not be a nice experience. When it came to crunch time (kneading time), I just didnt bother to knead the dough, and thus created a no-knead whole rye sourdough bread.”Read
Baking with spelt flour is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reasons. Whole grain spelt bread has all the health benefits of whole grains, but with an additional nutritional boost from the increased protein content of spelt flour compared to wheat flour.”Read
If you like a good english granary loaf you will love this multigrain sandwich bread. This recipe starts out with a basic yeast dough made with wheat flour and 30% wholewheat flour. The final bread however, is far from basic, it is transformed into a really tasty and super nutritious sandwich bread by adding lots of whole grains and seeds.”Read