'The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book'
By: Sue Becker
(Paperback / Robert Rose / 288 Pages / $24.95)
Description: The many benefits of home flour milling include taste and flavor and the appeal of making a healthy food that tastes good and is seriously nutritous. Home ground flour milling can also save countless dollars just in the cost of bread alone, especially for those with special dietary needs and restrictions, and improved health leads to reduced medical costs.
Verdict: Having been a home baker for a few years now, this book arriving was a God send to me, if truth be told. For not everything I had made over the years had turned out well, so this was the perfect time to discover what I was doing wrong, so to speak. Indeed, baking with fresh milled flour you’ve ground at home is quite different than store bought flour. Grinding my own flour at home makes me feel like a real pioneer woman - I say with a casual wink, of course.
You see, taking you quickly back into my recent past, the first few weeks of baking with my fresh ground flour left me more than a little frustrated - with dense breads and spread out pancake cookies en masse! I’ve now been grinding my own flour and using fresh flour in all of our baking for almost four years and I’ve learned some tips to save me some time. However, 'The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book: Learn Complete Milling and Baking Techniques, Includes 100 Delicious Recipes' takes that and multiplies it hundred fold, trust me!
This comprehensive how-to details the whole process behind home flour milling with features such as:
The history of whole grains and grain anatomy
Benefits of commercially milled flour vs home milled flour
Tools and equipment for home flour milling
Baking basics including mixing methods and techniques -- the importance of gluten and moisture
Going with the grains -- a thorough description of grains such as barley, rye, kamut and buckwheat
Nut flours such as almond
Baking with freshly milled grains
There are also 100 recipes for tasty quick breads, rolls and buns, muffins, pancakes, coffee cakes, biscuit and scones, cookies, brownies and pastries, plus others that are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
As for what is buried here within the nitty gritty of the book, well, for each type of grain, from wheat to rye, millet, and even legumes, there is a section on how to mill; and what is the best use for the resulting flour depending on gluten content, how well it absorbs water and other factors, and how the flour might behave in yeast bread. Most of the highlight is given to wheat, obviously, with information on different kinds and it is the main ingredient in the most recipes provided. I was expecting more varieties with adding other grains to wheat, but there is not that many recipes with other grains. Oh well, we can't have everything, now can we, she winks again, jokingly. Honestly though, this is a fab book and well worth shelf space in your kitchen. Millers unite!
As for who wrote it, well, Sue Becker is a popular speaker and teacher. Since 1992, she has been teaching others the healthful benefits of whole grain nutrition and baking with freshly milled flour. She is a business owner and has a degree in Food Science from the University of Georgia.