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Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours [Hardcover]

Kimberly Boyce , Nancy Silverton , Amy Scattergood , Quentin Bacon
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 1 2010
Baking with whole-grain flours used to be about making food that was good for you, not food that necessarily tasted good, too. But Kim Boyce truly has reinvented the wheel with this collection of 75 recipes that feature 12 different kinds of whole-grain flours, from amaranth to teff, proving that whole-grain baking is more about incredible flavors and textures than anything else.  
When Boyce, a former pastry chef at Spago and Campanile, left the kitchen to raise a family, she was determined to create delicious cakes, muffins, breads, tarts, and cookies that her kids (and everybody else) would love. She began experimenting with whole-grain flours, and Good to the Grain is the happy result. The cookbook proves that whole-grain baking can be easily done with a pastry chef’s flair. Plus, there’s a chapter on making jams, compotes, and fruit butters with seasonal fruits that help bring out the wonderfully complex flavors of whole-grain flours.

Praise for Good to the Grain:

“Boyce started playing with a variety of flours when she took a break from restaurant kitchens and wrote her first cookbook, Good to the Grain, a whole grains baking bible that won a coveted James Beard Foundation Award this year.”

O Magazine


Frequently Bought Together

Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours + Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Foods into Your Cooking + Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi
Price For All Three: CDN$ 65.13

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Product Description

About the Author

Kim Boyce is a former pastry chef (at Spago and Campanile). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, who is a chef at Spago, and two daughters. While at Campanile, she helped Nancy Silverton with her Sandwich Book (Knopf, 2002) and has cooked alongside chefs like Mario Batali, Claudia Fleming, Lidia Bastianich, Alice Waters, and Anthony Bourdain. She has contributed to Bon Appetit and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times on numerous occasions (both as subject and contributor).


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kim Boyce knows what she's talking about. April 28 2013
By Arwyn
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you already like baking, you'll love the recipes. If you want to start baking and would like lots of tips and explanations, this book has what you need. This is NOT a gluten-free cookbook; most of the recipes include all-purpose wheat flour. And they're all delicious. Well worth it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  73 reviews
468 of 479 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Baking "with" whole grains, but not "of" them May 2 2010
By Alicia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is gorgeous, and a great choice for those who are trying to add variety to their baking and sneak in some whole grain goodness. I admit to being disappointed though when I got it and realized that the majority of recipes call for a significant amount of all-purpose white flour. After all the glowing reviews I had hoped that somehow (miraculously!) someone had finally figured out how to make these delicious treats without it. She addresses this head-on at the start of the book and talks about the compromises she's had to make to retain the texture and loft of the baked goods, but I hadn't seen it mentioned in any reviews so I wasn't aware of it when I purchased it online. I'll still enjoy it, and look forward to happily making many of these delicious recipes. I'll just make them less frequently than if they were "of" whole grain rather than "with" whole grain.
92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing cookbook, batting 1000 so far. March 9 2010
By M. Curnutt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am so impressed with this cookbook. I've posted pics of some of the things I've tried out of it so far -- the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, the Spelt Flour Currant scones and the Sweet Potato Muffins (with buttermilk, yogurt and medjool dates). All 3 recipes I followed pretty much to the T, and all 3 came out just fantastic. Really, really good stuff. I can't wait to try more of these recipes. It is so fun to work with the different flours, and apparently Kim put a whole lot of care and precision into making sure that each of these recipes works just right. I'm very, very happy with this purchase and can wholeheartedly recommend this cookbook to anyone interested in trying out baking with new types of flour. A+
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you feel like a REAL baker! April 4 2010
By Cottage Wood Hill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this book! I just know it's going to change my life. I've never been confident about baking, er, I should say I never was, but I am now. I heard Kim interviewed on the radio and when she was talking about all the different flours it really opened up the whole idea of baking to me. I had no idea there were so many interesting possibilities with all these different grain flours.

I bought two copies of her book and gave one to a baker friend. I've had it two weeks and have made five things: cast-iron flatbread, corn gruyère muffins, cheddar biscuits, sand cookies, and tonight the olive oil bread. All of them have been fantastic. I made the flatbread and asked my boyfriend to make some kind of fajitas with it, and he did and we were in heaven. We took Kim's suggestion on the muffins and he made chili to go with them. A couple of nights ago I made the sand cookies at midnight and making them without a bowl or utensils was like a meditation. Only your hands and it really looked and felt like sand. Was a wonderful experience and would be fun for kids learning how to bake.

Tonight I made the olive oil cake with rosemary and bittersweet chocolate. Was crazy good, like a cross between bread and cake. I really can't stand super sweet things so this was perfect. My housemate, who has tried all of them, said it was the best so far, and she has been raving the whole time. She gave me notice she was moving out before I got the book but said I was making it really hard to leave with all this baking I'm doing! Oh, and I forgot to mention that before I started on the first recipe, I went out and bought all the flours she uses in the book, so I would be prepared. I'm just so excited to keep baking, and to try the next recipe. She is really creative and has clearly put a lot of thought into this book.

I have so much anticipation for each recipe because they are all consistently wonderful. As soon as I finish one, in my mind I say, "Ok, which one will I make next?" I'm possessed with the new desire to bake, and all my friends love it. My only criticism would be that she doesn't mention how many each recipe will serve, but I do love the way she clearly puts out the ingredients and separates them into "wet mix" and "dry mix". I'm totally hooked and can't wait to make ALL the recipes, and then buy her next book!
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what you think, and often better Nov. 29 2010
By Chilewheel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found out about this book from an interview in a local weekly, Portland, Oregon paper, where the author resides and I work. Ms. Boyce, a former pastry chef at famed LA restaurant Campanile, moved to Oregon not long ago with her chef husband and family. Adding to her bona fides was the fact that while in California, she worked with "Secrets of Baking" author Sherry Yard, whose book I also own. Her initiation in whole grain experimentation began as a result of wanting to make healthier baked treats and pancakes for her kids. Lots of experimentation and development later, "Good to the Grain" was a reality. The book's chapters are divided into grain types with plenty of recipes using each. Everything is clear and directions are easy to follow. Muffins, cookies, breads, flatbreads, pies and bar cookies are among the many offerings. Some of the more esoteric grains used include, rye, spelt, quinoa and amaranth.I bought the book after tasting some of the recipes at a specialty coffee house for which Ms. Boyce supplies baked goods. They were interesting and the crust of her hand pies, made with spelt flour as well as wheat, was one of the best I'd had. This is a point of which those contemplating purchase of the book should be aware. This is NOT a book about baking with only whole grains. Trained pastry chefs understand that the exclusive use of whole grains frequently doesn't produce a desirable texture or flavor in many pastry items. The auhor combines different types of flour in many recipes to achieve a flavor and texture balance and enhancement. This book is a good primer for beginning and more advanced bakers in the use of whole grains in breads and pastries.
73 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Handy guide to whole grain baking, but volume measuring mars its usefulness April 8 2010
By An honest cook - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a longtime, avid baker, but have only recently begun to explore the vast world of baking with whole grains. I own King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains and have had great results from that and have been looking to expand my repertoire. I looked at "Good to the Grain" and liked how each chapter focused on a single kind of whole grain, a format that makes exploring your way through the whole grain universe a more doable task.

The book is beautifully designed and photographed, with a clarity that reflects the author's encouraging voice as well as the mission of understanding each of the grains and how to use them. No showy, architectural baked goods here: most fall more toward the homey, rustic end of the spectrum, and thus the book is ideal for the beginning baker as well as the experienced.

The two recipes I've made so far have both been easy and delicious: buckwheat-pear pancakes and wholewheat chocolate chip cookies (the latter remained chewy for three days on my counter; they're so good they may replace my longtime favorite recipe).

As good as the book is, I'm docking it a star because the author has chosen to eschew weight measurements. I know my aversion to volume-measuring-only baking is a pet peeve, but I find it incomprehensible that people spend years of their lives writing a baking book and testing the recipes to make sure they are reliable - and then they don't reveal how much a cup of the flour they use in their recipes weighs. And as experienced bakers know, a cup of flour can vary tremendously depending on the volume method you use to measure it (dip-and-sweep versus spoon-and sweep versus sifting, and so on). And such variances can mean the difference between, say, a dry cake and a perfectly moist one. And not only is accuracy gained by weighing ingredients, it is extremely more efficient - you can place one bowl on the scale and add numerous ingredients directly to it rather than juggling various measuring cups and spoons.

The author offers this veiled apology in the introduction for not weighing the ingredients: "A note on scales. They are the most accurate way to bake, as they yield precise measurements each time. However, since many people don't own scales, myself included, in this book you will find measurements using cups and spoons." In other words, she is dumbing down her recipes because there is a perceived notion (probably her editor's) that most people don't use scales. (And seriously? A former Spago pastry chef doesn't own a food scale? Pastry chefs' lives depend on weighing food.) I know that more and more baking books are including at least the weights of flour in their recipes (see Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More), and the plethora of digital scales in cooking catalogues is also another sign that Americans are finally coming to their senses on this issue. In any event, if she or her editor did not wish to include a weight for ingredients in every recipe, how difficult would it have been to include a half-page chart in the back of the book listing the various weights for buckwheat, teff, spelt, whole wheat, brown sugar, and so on? (As it turns out, the King Arthur whole-grains book does have a lengthy list of such weights, and so I have been using that as a reference; but of course the King Arthur weights do not necessarily reflect how this author would arrive at a cup of this or that.)

That issue aside, I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to explore whole-grain baking.
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