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Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,502 ratings  ·  58 reviews
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 anythin ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 2010)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  1,502 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cooking
Things I liked: The book was organized by type of flour, so it was easy to find everything with corn flour, for example, right in one spot. There were also a lot of highly creative combinations.

Things I disliked: I thought this was going to be a book with a lot of 100% whole grain recipes, or something close to it. But most of the recipes had a lot of white flour -- the other flours are used as flavors. While I love the idea of enhancing and using the flavor of various grains, throwing a bunch o
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This food in this cookbook is so beautifully photographed that I can't flip through without wanting to make one of everything. Since I live in a two person household I'm limited in how often I bake but I have made the oatmeal sandwich bread four times and it turns out so perfect every time that I've stopped buying bread at the store. Last weekend I made the gingersnaps, hoping that they would be similar in taste and texture to the amazingly chewy ginger sparkles that my grandmother used to make ...more
Feb 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I wish there had been more recipes that used only whole grain flour, not a mix of whole grain and all purpose. I still used a couple of the recipes and they came out relatively well substituting whole grain for all purpose. A good selection of recipes using all different types of flours including quinoa flour.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Would have been great had it been in weight measurements and not volume.
Author makes the point that it's better to use weight and mentions 'but because some people don't have a scale'.....then she did it all in volume.
She could have done both. I'd have thought of purchasing this if it hadn't been for that.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I really like that Ms. Boyce grouped the recipes according to which grain they used. That makes it really easy to find several recipes to use a new whole grain flour that you just picked up. Also, the photography is gorgeous!
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I love the way the book is broken into sections for different grains with a lot of information on each. I particularly like the section on buckwheat, I'll be experimenting with that a lot. The oatmeal bread is going to become a weekly recipe for me. ...more
sharon dora
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative!

I liked the variety of grains and their respective recipes offered. I’m interested in different grains, and this book is so helpful.
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love books like this, that gently but firmly expand your boundaries. here's to teff! here's to buckwheat. here's to spelt! Thanks. ...more
Rachel C.
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Medium-high difficulty. A strange niche cookbook, for baking with specialty flours but NOT gluten free. Most of the recipes rely on white or whole wheat flour for structure, and the specialty flour for flavor.
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
In reading through this cookbook I'm overall pretty pleased with the recipes, though I have yet to bake any as I recently moved across the country and gave up much of my kitchen supplies so am not set up at the moment with a full arsenal of tools and the canisters/jars to store many flours or grains. From my experience in recent years in exploring and researching incorporating more whole grains into my diet I feel pretty confident that many of these recipes are going to be great. That said, ther ...more
Leila T.
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
I just got this out from the library today, and less than an hour later I'm shouting to my husband in the next room, "I might actually have to buy this one!"

The layout is excellent: clear, straightforward; with all useful information like Start This The Day Before right at the beginning of the recipe.

The pages of background on each grain look like cosy bedtime reading. In a recipe book!

The photographs are succulent, exquisite, fragrant. Worth buying for looking at the baked goods alone.

There are
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book back in 2013, when I was trying out everything I could, baking-wise (except for bread baking, but that's a different story). I remember liking this cookbook, particularly that the chapters were broken up by the types of flours used. I didn't have/use most of the flours listed, so I pretty much just baked from the oatmeal chapter. I remember it being really good, although I liked the King Arthur oatmeal pancake recipe much better. The directions were clear and it was just s ...more
Jul 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-cookbooks
I like the approach of this book, which was written by a former pastry chef who is home with her kids right now. SHe is concerned about health and whole grains, but her priority is flavor. She believes you can have both, but does not sacrifice everything for the "healthiest" recipe - she does use butter and sugar, but she also writes glowingly about the taste that each kind of flour can ADD.

The chapters are by type of flour, so that you can experiment with different ways to use it and not end u
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A former pastry chef at LA's Spago (a restaurant by Wolfgang Puck), Boyce describes the history and use of each grain, then offers various recipes to complement their subtleties. Wheat is only the beginning here - she details all kinds of flours including less common, less known varieties such as kamut, amaranth, spelt, and teff. She offers insights such as this: "With a scent that is strangely reminiscent of ripe apricots, barley flour is almost tart." Who knew?!

I'm just getting started cooking
Ellen Bell
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
I read this book because I enjoy baking bread, and was hoping for some good whole-grain recipes. What I found was a compilation of baking recipes for all kinds of things: pastries, cookies, muffins, etc. In the whole book, there was only one yeasted whole grain bread recipe (the kind that I was looking for). In spite of that, I was intrigued by Kim Boyce's exploration of baking with whole grains, and I did jot down a number of the recipes to try later. My only critique would be that many of the ...more
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Lovely photos by Quentin Bacon, but I don't like that some of the recipes do not have photos of the completed item. I like to see what I am making.

Other than that, I may not actually bake with any of these flours, since we don't buy them, and my husband doesn't like the taste. BUT, I did like the inspiration in this book. It is certainly not just the same flavours as other books.

I enjoyed the baking knowledge and tips, interspersed with a little bit of her life.

Verdict: It will take me a whil
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every eater and every health-conscious cook.
Recommended to Emily by: my sister-in-law, Laura
You thought the cover made you salivate? Just wait 'til you flip through the book's interior photos and come across the shot of our favorite recipe so far: pear and buckwheat pancakes with golden honey butter syrup. Shluuup! Aaaah.

I've been daydreaming all week about the night we ate those two Thursdays ago. Is a two week space a long enough time to make a repeat in the dinner menu? Definitely!

I can't wait to try more of these recipes! Thank you, Angel Laura, for gifting us this gem!
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks-i-love
This book is a great introductory book to cooking with other flours beside the dreaded white flour. At the time I bought this book it was one of the only cookbooks that did this. I have not checked to see if there are now other books. Recipes include figgy buckwheat scones, strawberry barley scones, quinoa and beet pancakes, graham crackers using teff. Since buying this book I eat mainly vegan with no added oil. If I could figure out how to adjust the recipes for this it would be great, but baki ...more
Apr 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
I've read through this as i got it and love it. I had a little tear in my eye when i got to the end and realized there were no more pages.

I reserve the last star for when I start cooking from it!! But so far it looks like one I will return to again and again. I love that the chapters are arranged by grain/flour type. So there's a chapter on teff. A seperate one for quinoa, etc. This makes it very easy to buy a bag of a flour to experiment with and get baking!!
May 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
Love, love, love. I'm bummed I have to bring it back to the library - please note, my birthday is in October and this is a big fat WANT.

I read food blogs like it's my job, and FYI this book has been making the rounds in some trustworthy and enviable circles. So if you have any doubts about buying / can't find a copy at the library it should be pretty easy to find some of the recipes online.
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, cook
Practical and relaxed time - use what you have, experiment, don't worry about having a food scale. And things look SO DELICIOUS. Lots to try, though I'm in need of a great deal of practice. I highly recommend reading the introductory stuff at the front of the book; it's short but really useful. And she has recipes for whole wheat flour and oat flour, in addition to more esoteric ones, so people wary of "weird" foods can dip their toes in too. ...more
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I like the book for several reasons: 1) simplicity: doesn't require a whole lot of ingredients or tools; 2) it encourages readers to experiment with different grains based on the recipes (vs. tells you that you have to follow the recipe 'exactly'); 3) explains each grain in terms of flavor and characteristics; 4) many photos of the finished product; 5) as a book it is gorgeous.
On the whole, this would be one of my favorite cookbooks.
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I bought spelt just for this cookbook but now it's too hot outside to bake. Maybe it will cool down so I can make some spelt scones. Good for people with a wheat allergy or someone just wanting to try something new. Also, giant eagle does not carry buckwheat(or any other grain in this book actually, but buckwheat bothers me doubly). Giant Eagle, you let me down. ...more
Nov 14, 2010 rated it liked it
A beautiful cookbook! Sadly I'll be returning it to the library and not adding it to my wish list, because a lot of the grain flours in here are not even remotely available without having to go on a serious hunt. Not my style. But, count me in with this book once things like amaranth four, spelt flour, kamut flour etc. ARE readily available. ...more
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
I devoured this book. It makes great reading. Now I've only made one recipe from it so I may have to amend my review once I've tried more. The whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, though, were the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made or eaten. So, Boyce is off to a good start in my opinion. ...more
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I am in love with this cookbook, every recipe I have tried has been a success. She does a lot of grain mixing rather than sticking to one grain in a recipe, which could get tiresome and may be difficult to find the more obscure varieties depending on your location, but they work, and are (so far as I can tell) simple + straightforward.

Plus it's gorgeous and reads well.
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
The few recipes I've done have all been very tasty. It's my go-to when I want to bake, but want to make it a tad healthier. Only downside is many of the recipes call for flours and grains that aren't often on-hand, so it's definitely more of a planned baking cookbook than a chocolate-chip-cookie-craving-right-now kind of cookbook. ...more
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
This had to go back to the library before I was finished with it, so I didn't cook anything out of it. It actually overwhelmed me a little bit- I think the author is a little bit more picky than the average home cook. I have a degree in Home Economics and it was a little much even with that background! But I might get it again later and try those gingersnaps- they looked good! ...more
Aja Marsh
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, food
3.5 - overall i thought this was good, but i wish her desire to use whole grains was better matched with alternative sweeteners, dairy, and fats-- she already says she uses organic eggs and high quality dairy. ah well, she is a traditional pastry chef at heart, and i could certainly convert many of these to vegan. it's beautifully photographed, and i enjoyed the voice it was written in. ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
Lovely book, beautifully photographed and written. Not always really easy recipes for a home baker, though I did glean a few. (Wish there were nutrition info.) No way am I ever going to convince my guys to eat pink beet pancakes. LOL But I loved the info and experience with baking with the different grains and flours.
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Kim Boyce is a former pastry chef at Spago and Campanile. While at Campanile, she helped Nancy Silverton with her Sandwich Book (Knopf, 2002) and cooked alongside such chefs as Mario Batali, Claudia Fleming, Lidia Bastianich, Alice Waters, and Anthony Bourdain.

Kim has contributed to Bon Appetit and been featured in the Los Angeles Times on numerous occasions. She lives in Portland with her husband

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