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Tips and Information

2-Stage Process for Cooking Whole Grains

For more information check out A Beginner's Guide to Baking Bread by Marilyn Moll


 The Two Stage Process
A Preparation Method Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Whole Grains

by Sue Gregg reprinted by permission


Just because you've switched from white flour to whole grains does not
mean that you are getting all the nutritional value. In fact you may
experience new problems with digestion. That is because whole grains contain
phytic acid in the bran of the grain. Phytic acid combines with key
minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents
their absorption in the intestinal tract.

Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking
will neutralize the phytic acid, releasing nutrients for absorption. This
process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only
neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches,
irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For
many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular
grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients
and greater ease of digestion.

The first stage of preparation in making whole grain porridges or baked
recipes, is to soak the whole grain flour in an acid medium such as
buttermilk, yogurt, or other cultured milk, or in water with whey, lemon
juice or vinegar added. As little as 7 hours soaking will neutralize a large
portion of the phytic acid in grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with
24 hours yielding the best results.

Brown rice, buckwheat and millet are more easily digested because they
contain lower amounts of phytates than other grains, so they may be soaked
for the shorter times. Other grains, particularly oats, the highest in
phytates of the whole grains, is best soaked up to 24 hours.


There are two other advantages of the two-stage process.
Several hours
of soaking serves to soften the grain, resulting in baked goods lighter in
texture, closer to the texture of white flour. The longer the soaking, the
less necessary is the baking powder. Baking soda, alone, will give enough
rise. Secondly, this is a great step in convenience, dividing the task into
two shorter time periods, cutting the time needed to prepare the recipe
right before cooking and baking when you feel rushed to get food on the
table.


Our blender batter baking recipes include the soaking process as a
recommended option. Our preferred acid medium is buttermilk, but you can
substitute an equal amount of water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar--2
tbsps. per cup--as an alternative.


We encourage you to use the two-stage option, because we suspect that
many problems with whole grains would be minimized. Nutritional value and
appetite appeal are enhanced. As Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD point out
in Nourishing Traditions, "...virtually all preindustrialized peoples,
soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads,
cakes and casseroles." p. 452.

You may read more information about Sue Gregg's six volume cookbook set at this link.

Join our on line discussion for more information here. This is a double opt-in newsletter, be sure to confirm your subscription, the link will come in a separate email.

For more information email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com

Urban Homemaker

Avoid Allergies - The Two-Stage Process for Whole Grains

The following article The Two Stage Process - Maximizing Nutritional Value was written by Sue Gregg of Sue Gregg Cookbooks and is used by permission.

 

Just because you/ve switched from white flour to whole grains does not mean that you are getting all the nutritional value. In fact you may also experience new problems with digestion. That is because whole grains contain phytic acid in the bran of the grain. Phytic acid combines with key minerals, especially calcium, mangesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestinal tract.

Soaking, fermenting or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking will neutralize the phytic acid, releasing these nutrients for absorption. This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli, and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starch, irritating tannins, and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For many, this many lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion.

The first stage of preparation in making whole grain porridges or baked recipes, is to soak the whole grain flour in an acid medium such as buttermilk, yogurt, or other cultured milk, or in water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar added - 1 TB per cup water. As little as 7 hours soaking will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid in grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with 24 hours yielding the best results.

Brown rice, buckwheat, and millet are more easily digested because they contain lower amounts of phytates than other grains, so they may be soaked for the shorter times. Other grains, particularly oats (the highest in phytates of the whole grains) is best soaked up to 24 hours.

There are two other advantages of the two-stage process. Several hours of soaking serves to soften the grain resulting in baked goods lighter in texture, closer to the texture of white flour. The longer the soaking, the less necessary is baking powder. Baking soda, alone, will give enough rise. Secondly, this is a great step in convenience, dividing the task into two shorter time periods, cutting the time needed to prepare the recipe right before cooking and baking when you feel rushed to get food on the table.

Blender batter baking recipes should also include the soaking process as a recommended option. Sue Gregg prefers acid medium of buttermilk, but you can substitute an equal amount of water with whey, lemon juice or vinegar - 1 TB per cup--as an alternative.

We encourage you to use the two-stage option, because we suspect that many problems with whole grains would be minimized. Nutritional value and appetite appeal are enhanced. As Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD point out, "..virtually all preindustrialzied peoples, soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porriddge, breads, cakes and casseroles." Nourishing Traditions. p. 452. I recommend this book as a supplemental text to Sue Gregg's cookbooks. To order, call 1-800-552-7323 or go to urbanhomemaker.com.

Urban Homemaker

Bake and Take Day Contest Winners and Recipes

Thank you to all the contestants for participating in our first annual Bake and Take Contest!

First Place Winner of Norwex Microfiber Enviro Cloth and Window Cloth: Laura Weimer

Here is Laura's prize winning entry and recipe:

The moment I read about Bake and Take day I just knew what we would bake and who we would take it to. About a year ago a neighbor friend who is a Christian was going through some difficulties in her marriage and thinking I would be helpful gave her some unsolicited advice and ended up offending her and I thought I had ruined the friendship.

I quickly apologized but always felt like there might still be awkwardness with us. She is currently living with her 2 young children and working part-time so I know she doesn't have as much time as she would like to bake, but I also know she is very health conscience. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to minister to her and hopefully fully restore a relationship.

My three kids and I (ages 6, 4 1/2, and 3) love to make Bran Flax Muffins. My 6 year old peels and grates the carrots (using the kitchen-aid) and I peel and slice the apples and he grates them.

My 4 year old helps measure the flour, and other dry ingredients and cracks the eggs, and my 3 year old puts in a few fistfuls of raisins and lines the muffin tins with paper muffins cups. I pour the liquids, then mix all the ingredients, and then we all get spoons and spoon the batter into the muffin cups. The 6 and 4 year old get hot pads and put the pans into the oven and set the timer. It's so much fun and makes preparing them a lot less work..well, sort of.

We got a basket, lined it with tissue paper, wrapped the muffins in a plastic bag and put lots of curly ribbon all over the basket. I had a little note card with pretty flowers and a nice saying about God being all we need for life and happiness and we marched it over. She was really excited and said she and her kids loved these muffins. I had a chance to thank her for letting me back into her life and I felt like we were able to get rid of any awkwardness that might have been there. I felt really joyful afterward and thought I might even feel more thankful after the whole thing than she did! Thanks for giving me a reason to reach out again to a neighbor and restore a friendship.

Here is Laura's Bran Flax Muffins Recipe:

Mix together:

1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c oat bran
3/4 c flaxseed meal
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon

Stir in:

1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
2 cups apples, peeled & grated
1/2 cup raisins

Combine:

3/4 c milk
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla

then add to dry ingredients. Stir until moistened. Do not over mix. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

Second Place Winner of 2-Norpro 8" Bread pans: Bobbi Krenka

My name is Bobbi and I read about the bake and take bread day in your newsletter. My son who is 10 came home from school and told me about the 2nd grade teacher who just had a breast removed due to breast cancer. She has 2 boys in grade school as well as a husband. We made some cookies, loaf of whole wheat bread, and made a card to let them know we were praying for her and her family. While my son was in his self defense class I was going to sneek it in their car, but it was locked. So I had to go and tell her husband that I had something for them. I gave it to him and the look on his face was very humbling for me and he told me how thankful he was. It made the cookie mess that we had left in the kitchen all worth while.
Thank you.

Whole Wheat Bread in a Zo

11/2 c water
41/4 c whole wheat flour
2 tbls dry milk
3 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls gluten
1 tsp dough enhancer
2 tbs salt
1 3/4 tsp SAF yeast

I have a ZO bread maker and I just put in on quick bread setting. it makes a good size loaf. I haven't had my breadmaker to long and have had a little trouble at first. We live at about 6500 ft and I had to do a little experimenting.


Honorable Mention (In no particular order):

#1. Heather Kleveter's Entry: I was so excited to read about your Bake and Take contest...what a great idea!! Any excuse to bless a friend or relative with gifts from the kitchen is a good excuse for me.

I had it all figured out. My sister-in-law in California just had a baby boy and so we planned a vacation to go meet our sweet new nephew and cousin. I would bake a batch of my Spelt English Muffins to take along as a gift for my sister-in-law. They were a hit at the Farmers' Market last summer, they freeze great, and as any new mom knows... it's such a blessing to have something quick and nutritious to eat when you are a sleep-deprived nursing mother!

Then we got the flu. All seven of us! It takes a l-o-n-g time for the flu to run it's course through that many people. With tears, we postponed our trip and crawled back into bed. There was NO way I would be taking baked goods anywhere, let alone cook at all! We were surviving on instant food.

After I started to get my strength back, I asked my husband what he would like me to fix. "Something healthy" was his reply (you know that craving you get when you haven't had a good home-cooked meal in awhile!). Then it occurred to me how very, very blessed I am! And what a wonderful thing a family is! Even if I didn't have the strength to get dressed and brush my hair, my family didn't mind. Even if I was coughing and sniffling, it didn't matter...so was everyone else! So I didn't have to take my baking far...just across the kitchen to the table. And all 5 of my kids and my dear husband were blessed and nourished...and so very grateful for a home cooked breakfast.

Here's what I made:

Blender Lemon-Ginger Pancakes
wheat-free, dairy-free

the night before you want to eat these...
Add to blender:

Juice and zest from 1 large lemon
plus enough water to = 2 cups of liquid

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. Kamut
1/2 c. millet
1/2 c. whole barley

cover and blend on high for 3 minutes.

--------------zzzzzzzz-------------------------------

In the morning, at the skillet pre-heats, add:

2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ginger powder (good for nausea!)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
and blend for 1 minute

then add and blend briefly (or stir by hand) until mixed:
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Add a dab of butter to the hot skillet, pour on the batter. Flip when bubbles form and edges are dry. Add more butter between each batch. Serve with pure maple syrup...yum!

P.S. We are all recovering nicely and are soooo ready for that postponed vacation! Here's the recipe I'll be taking next weekend!

Spelt English Muffins (with fruit & nuts)

18 c. freshly ground spelt flour (spelt is fluffier than other grains so pack it a bit when measuring)
5 c. water
2/3 c. honey
1/4 c. molasses
1/2 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. sea salt
1/3 c. whey (pour all natural plain yogurt into a sieve lined with cheese cloth or an un bleached coffee filter, place over a bowl and let sit for a few hours. Whey is the liquid in the bowl. We blend the yogurt cheese with jam, using a hand held blender...delicious as a pancake topping or alone!)
a pinch of vitamin C powder, optional

Warm water, honey, molasses and oil together on stove top. Pour this mixture into Bosch (or other bread mixer) bowl. Add salt, vit. C and mix briefly. Add flour, mixing after every 5 cups. Remove dough hook, cover and soak overnight, 7-24 hours. This allows the acidic whey to break down the phytic acid in the whole grains so all the nutrients can be properly absorbed.

After soaking, add:
2 eggs, which have been warmed in a bowl of warm water, before cracking
1/4 c. instant yeast (SAF)
plus more flour (up to 2 cups) if needed, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl

Mix slowly at first to incorporate eggs, then knead for about 6-8 minutes on high until the dough will stretch very thin and translucent when you pull up on a piece.

Let the dough rest for approximately 15 minutes.

This is the fun part where you get to pick your flavor...any chopped nut or dried fruit!
I like to add:
cranberry & almond
walnuts, pecans & golden raisins
cinnamon & raisin
Just grab a handful and knead it in!

Then roll the dough to about 3/4 " thick on a greased counter. Cut out circles using a biscuit cutter or a clean, empty tuna can.

Place on a greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with oat bran. Spritz top of muffins with water (or cooking spray) and sprinkle with oat bran. Cover with a towel and let rise foe 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat an electric griddle to about 240 degrees (low temp). Cook muffins for about 9 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Split with a fork These freeze great! Enjoy!

Thank you for your ministry, Marilyn!

#2 My name is Amy and I started baking bread about 3 years ago. I have struggled with the quality of the bread and have gone through many experimental fixes trying to get a texture that would hold up for sandwiches. I also taught a neighbor to bake, and she, too, would love to have a moist, soft, full loaf. Our struggle seems to be primarily that we live at 9,100 feet in elevation and would get bread that would fall, be coarse and crumbly, or be too yeasty.


So, I finally baked a great loaf and took it to her, as proof that it can be done. She was delightfully surprised, and is anxious to try my new method. (The secret is in mastering the yeast; don't kill the yeast with hot water, don't add too soon, don't let rise too much, don't knead it to death, don't work the dough too much or too rough, and, don't use a dry dough as the yeast absorbs a lot of moisture, leaving a dry loaf).


Bread with Altitude by Amy Hoppes
Makes 2 loaves

5 1/4 C. whole wheat Prairie Gold berries, milled and set aside
_____________________________________

Proof:
1 1/2 Tbls. Yeast Sprinkled over;
2/3 C. Warm Water with
1 1/2 Tbls. organic sugar, sprinkled over all.
Let set about 10 min. to dissolve
Meanwhile....
_____________________________________

Scald 2 1/2 C. Milk. Put in Kitchen-Aid mixer, and add;

Half of the flour
2 large eggs
1/2 C. organic sugar
3/4 tsp. Salt

Beat 5 min. Then add:

The proofed yeast mixture,
1/3 C. oil (canola, Olive, or comb. of 2 part butter, and 1 part coconut oil)
2 Tbls. Vital Wheat Gluten,
and most of the remaining flour.

Knead to a slightly sticky consistency.
_____________________________________

Put in large buttered Bowl (turn, and optional, dot and spread a bit of butter on top) Cover with damp towel and let rise in draft free location for 15 min (30 if in the mile high range).
Dump on counter - shape lightly - put back in bowl to rise a second time in draft free location for 15 min (30 if in the mile high range).
Dump out, and cut evenly for loaves or rolls etc. (two loaves, or a loaf and some cinnamon rolls, etc.) Put in buttered pans and let rise to top of pan about 10 min. and about 5 min. more while you pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake 30 min. at 350 degrees in convection oven if available. Test with instant thermometer to read 180 degrees, remove from pans immediately, wipe pans with paper towel, and let bread cool completely (at least one hour).

I have sent each Honorable Mention Participant a Norwex Microfiber face cloth just for participating in our contest.

Thanks to all the participants!

Urban Homemaker

Bread Baking: Functions Of Basic Ingredients In Yeast Breads

Liquid - The liquid in yeast breads may range from water, milk, and potato water to fruit juice, buttermilk, yogurt, cottage cheese, whey and bouillon. Liquids used in yeast breads should be sufficiently warm so that after the sweetening and shortening are added the temperature of the combination is at least 80 or slightly above.

Sweetening - The sweetening used can be honey, molasses, applesauce, fruit juice, or sugar. Some breads use no sweetening at all.

Yeast - Yeast is a living organism that grows in the presence of moisture and carbohydrates at a warm temperature (l06 - l20). Under these conditions the yeast ferments, forming gases. These gases are captured by the rubbery gluten in flour. Like a balloon, gluten is stretched (blown up) by the gases, causing the bread to raise. All commercial yeasts are not the same because the quality can vary. Saf Yeast can be stored in the freezer for several years and used as needed. Saf Yeast will store, unopened, on the
shelf for one year. It is a good item for food storage.

Fats/Oils - The fats/oils in yeast breads may be cold-pressed oil, shortening, butter, margarine, bacon grease, or animal fat. The fats/oils make bread tender and rich. Dough made without fats/oils tends to become stale more quickly. Butter is particularly delicious when used in sweet yeast breads and rolls.

Salt - Salt brings out the flavor of the bread. The texture and shape of bread is affected by the omission of salt because it controls yeast activity. Bread low in salt will have a coarse texture.

Flour - Fresh ground whole grain flour adds the most flavor, nutrients, and gluten to the bread and results in superior products. Whole grain flours other than wheat may be used for their distinctive flavors. However, they tend to make bread heavy as they do not have enough gluten to help lift the dough. Replace no more than one-fourth of the flour content in a given recipe with flours other than wheat or add vital gluten.

Other Additions - Raisins, dates, dried fruits, citron, nuts, hulled sesame and roasted hulled sunflower seeds, sauteed onions, dried or fresh herbs, bean or grain sprouts, toasted wheat germ, milk solids are all added to improve flavor and increase nutritional values. These "improvers" are seldom used in greater quantity than up to about one-fourth the weight of the flour.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

Urban Homemaker

Bread Machine Tips

Bread Machine Tips How to trouble shoot those less than perfect loaves and have success

1. If your bread falls: try reducing the liquid by 1/8 Cup and/or increasing salt by 1/8 tsp and/or decrease yeast by 1/8-1/4 tsp.

2. If you loaf is too short or heavy: Decrease salt by 1/8 tsp and or increase yeast and sugar by 1/2 tsp and/or use high quality freshly milled hard wheat and or add 1-3 TB vital gluten and/or increase liquid temperature to 100-110 degrees F.

3. If the crust is too thick: Use home made programming feature to cut the baking time to 45 minutes and/or reduce sweetener and/or increase liquid by 1/8 cup.

4. Kneading arm is hard to remove: Spray the post and inside hold of the kneading arm with non-stick cooking spraky prior to baking and/or soak baking pan in hot water for 5-10 mijnutes to soften crust, then remove arm from post.

Articles and Recipes authored by marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. For more information please visit us at The Urban Homemaker Specializing in products for better health in the spirit of Titus Two.

Urban Homemaker

COMPARISON OF ELECTRIC GRAIN MILL

I have briefly outlined advantages and disadvantages of each of the electric grain mills available from our 20 years of experience with mills. Keep in mind, all of these mills are high quality and produce excellent, fine quality flour; there is no "perfect" or "best" grain mill. Each mill represents exceptional quality, reliability and will provide many years of service.

The "best" grain mill, is the mill that meets your criteria for price, noise level, storage space
requirements, warranty, and versatility.

KITCHEN MILL - Advantages - Large flour catch pan- holds 21 cups flour, strong
reliability record, stores very compactly (if storage space is at a premium at your house you will appreciate this), produces high quality, fine flour, mills all dry beans and grains, mfg in the USA. Six year warranty. We have sold thousands to satisfied customers over the last 15 years.
Disadvantages: Smaller grain hopper than some mills, Noisier than other mills, does not crack grain.

NUTRIMILL -Advantages - Large flour catch pan, life-time warranty, one piece
construction, large grain hopper slightly quieter than K-tec but has the same motor and milling device.
Disadvantages - Higher price, does not crack grain, takes a larger amount of storage space, mfg. in
Korea.

WONDERMILL - Advantages - Formerly known as the Whisper Mill, slightly quieter than K-tec, large hopper capacity, six year warranty, high quality flour, grain feeds well into milling mechanism
Disadvantages- Smaller capacity flour cannister (12 cup), does not crack grain, must turn on mill before adding grain so the mill will not jam.

FAMILY GRAIN MILL - Advantages - versatile, can be used with handbase or electric motor base, adjustable from fine to course mechanism so mill will crack grain, can be used with Bosch Universal, German made, very quiet while running, takes minimal storage space, very economical.
Disadvantage- flour may not be quite as fine as the mills above, slower production of flour than high speed mills.

We hope to be of service to you very soon!


www.urbanhomemaker.com
1-800-552-7323

Urban Homemaker

COOKING WITH WHOLE GRAINS - QUINOA

"A member of the goosefoot family (Chenopodium quinoa), quinoa is grown in the altiplano of the Andes in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, and some in Chile and Argentian. A pilot crop grows in Boulder, Colorado.

Quinoa has historically been the staple food of the Andes, traditonally eaten like rice, toasted and ground to make tortillas, and fermented to make chicha, a drink. As the "mother grain" of the Incas, quinoa was of such central importance to that civilization, that by destroying its cultivation, the Spaniards subdued the Inca Empire in one year.

Quinoa cooks up quickly in 15-25 minutes into a light, fluffy "cute curly" yellow grain. It has a gourmet look and a very delicate flavor. The flavor makes light crepes and waffles in our blender recipes. It is gluten-free, providing another grain choice for the gluten intolerant. With high protein and high lysine content, quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains. It is very expensive.

A substance on the surface of quinoa seed called saponins imparts a bitter taste and must be rinsed away. I rinse the seed in a strainer 1-2 minutes the evening before using it, soak it in a bowl of water overnight, drain it, and rinse again, about 1 minute. This procedure is included in our recipes for quinoa crepes, waffles, and creamed cereal." p., 75-76 BREAKFASTS By Sue Gregg, Reprinted by permission

CREAMY QUINOA

The added butter givesthis cereal an especially pleasing flavor. The rinsing and soaking of the grain is essential to remove bitter flavor (p.75 BREAKFASTSfor details)

AMOUNT: 2-3 servings (Double, triple as needed)

1. The night before, put quinoa in strainer and rinse for 1 minute:

1/2 cup quinoa

2. Set strainer with rinsed quinoa in a bowl filled with water so that it is submerged. Let stand overnight.

3. Discard water and rinse quinoa another 30 seconds.

4. Blend in blender on high speed about 1 minute:

1/2 Cup water
2 TB rinsed, drained quinoa

5. In saucepan bring water to a boil, stir in blender mixture and return to boil; stir in blender mixture and return to boil; stir in remaining ingredients:

1 Cup water
blender mixture
remaining rinsed, drained quinoa
1/4 tsp. salt

6. Lower heat, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until water is absorbed; stir 2 or 3 times during cooking.

7. To serve, blend in 1 TB butter for an extra special flavor.

p. 106, BREAKFASTS By Sue Gregg, Reprinted by permission.

BLACK BEAN, RED PEPPER, CORN & QUINOA SALAD
This salad goes together quite easily, with gourmet flair, it is colorful and declicious.

5 TB olive oil
1/2 C. Quinoa, rinsed thoroughly in cold water, drained
1 C. chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin, ground
2 TB lime juice
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 C. cooked or canned black beans, drained
1 C. whole kernel corn
1 C. ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
1/2 C. sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green onions finely chopped
3 TB chopped cilantro (opt)
2 TB chopped parsley
2 C. mixed salad greens

1. In a 1 qt saucepan (or small pressure cooker) heat 2 TB oil over medium heat. Add Quinoa and stir until toasted and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, cumin, salt, heat to a boil over heat, until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat & let stand 5 minutes fluff 2ith a fork, set aside to cool.

2. In medium bowl, whisk 4 TB oil, lime juice, and pepper. Stir in black beans, corn, tomato, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, parsely and mixed Quinoa.

3. Serving: Divide greens amond 4 salad plates. Spoon quinoa mixutre onto greens. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

QUINOA SALAD - GREEK STYLE

2 Cups Cooked Quinoa (see above instructions for cooking the grain)
1 Cup diced cucumber
5 Pepperocini's (bottled, optional)
1/2 Cup Feta cheese, crumbled
5-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered or halved

Oil and Vinegar Dressing or Greek Salad Dressing - contains oregano, pepper and garlic - To moisten or to taste!

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

Urban Homemaker

GRAINS AND SEEDS FOR SPROUTING


Here is a list of grains and seeds you may wish to keep on hand in your home. Economical whole grains and seeds pack high amounts of a wide range of vitamins and minerals, valuable fiber and are naturally low in fat. Grains, seeds, and nuts are perfect for sprouting, baking, and side dishes. Make it a goal to try several new grains in the upcoming weeks for taste, texture, nutrition and flavor treats. The following information was adapted from The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore. Nutritional info is for the sprouted grain or seed which may differ from the unsprouted.


Adzuki Beans - A good source of protein, vitamin C, and iron.

Alfalfa - Pound for pound are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. A very good source of Vitamins B-complex, C, K, E, and calcium, magnesium, selenium, iron, potassium, and zinc.

Almonds - Of all the spouted nuts, these are the easiest to digest. Excellent source of vitamins B and E, protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and fats.

Cabbage - A good source of vitamins A, C and U, along with trace elements iodine and sulfur.

Chick Pea - Rich in carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, and protein. Also provide magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A and C.

Fenugreek - A valuable blood and kidney cleanser and a good source of phosphorous and iron. Spices up a salad!

Lentils - The single richest source of high-quality protein. Great sprouted or in a variety of main dishes.

Millet - A mild-flavored highly digestible alkalizing grain. It is rich in protein, and calcium. A staple to the ancient cultures of Egypt, India, and China. Use the unhulled type for sprouting.

Mung Beans - A good source of iron, protein, potassium, and vitamin C.

Oats - A cereal grass that can be purchased as whole groats, and flaked, or steel cut, or rolled and flaked. A great addition to breads, cookies. Use the whole oat groats for sprouting.

Radish - Spices up your sprouting mix!

Rye - Gives a slightly sweet flavor to a sprout mix.

Sesame Seeds - Rich in fats, protein, fiber. vitamins, B, E, and several vital minerals.

Sunflower Seeds - Rich in B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin. The sprouts are richer in these vitamins than the raw, unsprouted seeds.

Triticale - A new cereal grass with good protein content made by a hybrid cross of rye and wheat. Often found in seven grain mixes, and useful for wheat intolerant systems.

Wheat - The world's most cultivated grain. Wheat is found in many varieties and forms including durum used for pastas, hard wheat used for yeast breads, soft wheat used in pastries such as pancakes and muffins. Wheat bran adds nutrition to great muffins, couscous is cracked and pelletized endosperm of durum wheat, bulgur is steamed and cracked wheat, wheat germ is nutrient dense, and farina is coarsely ground endosperm of wheat. A great form of vitamin E, which functions as an antioxidant. Soft wheat works best for sprouting. Use in salads, desserts, breads, and cereals, and to make juice and milks.

Urban Homemaker

Hot Whole Grain Breakfast Cereal Recipes

HOT WHOLE GRAIN BREAKFAST RECIPES
Reprinted from MARTHA'S FAMILY COOKERY BOOK by permission 2004

ED NOTE: Hot cereal literally costs pennies per serving compared to boxed cereal, and represents an exceptional way to reduce grocery costs. With a little experience, and a few creative touches you can nourish your family without boredom and pocket the change!

All these hot cereals can be prepared in minutes in a DUROMATIC Pressure Cooker saving lots of time and energy consumption. Cut the water amount from 2 Cups to 1 1/2 cups. Bring the pressure up to the second red ring. Remove from heat, allow the pressure to drop naturally. Serve.

BAKED OATMEAL

Mix together:
1/2 Cup butter, melted (I used olive oil)
1 Cup brown sugar ( I used about 2/3 Cup)
2 eggs, beaten

Add:
3 cups rolled oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk

Mix well. Pour into a greased casserole dish 9 X 13 baking dish for 30 minutes at 350F. I used a smaller baking pan and had to increase the baking time to 40 minutes.

Marilyn's Variation: Add 1-2 Cups finely chopped apple pieces.

APPLE OATMEAL

1 Cup rolled oats
2 Cups cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
Cook on low heat in a medium saucepan. Add in:

2 cups chopped apples
dash nutmeg

Cook 5 minutes longer or until apples are at a desired consistency. Serve with milk or yogurt, honey or brown sugard and a sprinkling of connamon. Yield: 4-6 servings

CREAM OF WHEAT

1 Cup cracked wheat kernels*
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt

Coarsely crack the wheat kernels. Combine the cracked wheat kernels with water and salt in a suacepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. S Serve with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. The recipe below for Hearty Cereal Topping is delicious with this hot morning cereal.
*I crack my whole wheat kernels in the BOSCH mixer using the blender attachment. You must use a very strong and powerful blender to accomplish this. The BOSCH MIXER has 700 watts. You can crack about 1 cup of kernels at a time. It would be convenient to go ahead and crack up a container full and then store it in the freezer.

HEARTY CEREAL TOPPING
(Ed. note: What a creative way to liven up hot cereal for breakfast! Prepare this topping ahead of time for a very quick breakfast.)

1/4 Cup wheat germ
1/2 cup bran cereal
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 dried fruit, in small piece
s

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl combine the first 4 ingredients. Add in butter and cut in with a pastry blender or fork until butter is in coarse crumbs and evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Stir in nuts an seeds. Spread mixture in a baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit pieces. Coo and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. use within 4-6 weeks. Use as a delightful topping on your hot cereal in the morning. YIELD: 3 Cups

BABY BEAR PORRIDGE

1 cup rolled oats
2 1/4 cups cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TB cracked wheat

Combine water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in rolled oats and cracked wheat. Reduce heat and simmer gently until done, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve with milk, and brown sugar, honey or maple syrup. Honey should not be fed to babies under the age of one. Serves 4.

GOOD MORNIN' MILLET CEREAL
(Ed note: millet is very high in calcium and other minerals.)

1 Cup hulled millet
3 Cups water
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 30-40 minutes. Serves 4. Serve with butter and honey. (If using the Duromatic Pressure Cooker, cook at the first red ring for 12 minutes and allow the pressure come down naturally.)

OATMEAL PANCAKES

Mix in a mixing bowl and set aside:

2 Cups rolled oats
3 Cups buttermilk

Mix in a separate mixing bowl:

3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 TB sugar
1 heaping tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt.
3TB cooking oil

Mix together oat mixture and dry ingredients. Stir until well blended. Cook on a hot griddle. Serve hot with syrup or honey.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

Urban Homemaker

Know Your Ingredients

Types of Wheat and Flours: If you know your ingredients you will have much better baking success. Read on....

All-Purpose Flour- the finely ground endosperm of the wheat kernel minus the bran and the germ which contain the highest concentrations of B-vitamins and Vitamin E. The flour is widely used for all home baked goods but devoid of nutritional content. It is generally enriched with flour B vitamins but not the original concentrations.

Bread Flour - contains greater gluten strength and is generally used for yeast breads produced by commercial bakers. It is now widely available in grocery stores for bread machine enthusiasts.

Hard Winter Wheat -planted in the fall, usually dry-land wheat grown without irrigation. Tends to be lower in protein than hard spring wheat.

Hard Spring Wheat - planted in the spring. It is not irrigated thus yielding a high protein and low moisture content wheat kernel. This wheat tends to be more expensive because of the high protein content and makes the lightest whole wheat bread.

Pastry Flour - Has lower protein/gluten and is milled from Soft wheat. Used for baked goods that contain baking powder.

Soft Spring Wheat - Usually this wheat is irrigated. It has a larger yield than hard wheat but is lower in protein. It is used for making cake,s cookies, muffins, pancakes, pie crust, pastries and baked goods that use baking powder. Be sure to pack this flour into a measuring cup if it is freshly milled to get accurate measurements.

Durum Wheat - used for making pastas. Semolina is a grade of milling for Durum wheat.

Whole Wheat Flour -Commercially ground whole wheat flour is coarse -textured and should be stored in the freezer to protect against rancidity. Whole wheat flour is rich in Bk-complex vitamins, vitamin E, protein, and contains significantly more trace minerals and dietary fiber than white flour.

Articles and Recipes authored by marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. For more information please visit us at The Urban Homemaker Specializing in products for better health in the spirit of Titus Two.

Urban Homemaker

Tips For The Beginning Bread Baker

1. Use fresh home-milled flour with all of the bran and fiber intact.

2. Use fresh yeast such as Saf Instant Dry Yeast. Because whole wheat produces a heavier dough, whole wheat bread dough often requires a better grade of yeast due to its superior rising ability. If your whole wheat bread is coming out like a brick it may be due in part to poor quality yeast.

3. Use warm water. Best temperature is 120 - 130F (if using SAF Yeast).

4. Use the right amount of flour. Home milled flour is best. Too much flour causes dry crumbly bread. Here is information about grain mill comparisons.

5. Develop the gluten. The most difficult aspect of mastering bread baking is recognizing when the gluten is fully developed. When dough is properly kneaded it will be smooth and elastic. To improve the texture of your bread add Vital gluten.

6. Use 1 tsp. oil on your kneading surface or on your hands when it is time to shape the dough. This helps keep dough from sticking and avoids using excess flour.

7. Let the dough proof. Proofing is a baking term for allowing bread dough to raise outside of the oven. Although this step is optional (some let the dough rise in the oven prior to baking), proofing will develop flavor, gluten framework, and help make light, fluffy loaves of whole wheat bread.

To download my free ecookbook Fast and Health Recipe for Busy Homeschooling Moms, click on this link.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

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Tips For The Best Bread


Tips For The Best Bread
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the benefits of baking your own bread, and the basic ingredients needed in yeast breads, read through my tips below for the best bread before  you try baking your first whole grain loaf of bread.

Hand Method

Step 1:  Read through Marilyn’s Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe and acquaint yourself with the directions and ingredients.  
Assemble your basic yeast bread ingredients: fresh whole wheat flour, salt, yeast, honey, vital gluten and filtered water.
You are ready to get started!  

Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
Hand Method: (yields 2 loaves)

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tbsp. SAF Instant Yeast
2 1/2 tsp. salt
6-7 cups fresh whole wheat flour(room temperature)
1 1/2 tbsp. Dough Enhancer, opt
1/3 cup Vital Wheat Gluten, opt

Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl.  Allow to sponge (see pg. 21) for 15 minutes.  Add the honey, oil, dough enhancer, salt and 4-5 cups  additional flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl.  This is true whether you are mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or using a dough hook attachment with an electric mixer.  

Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough.   It is a common mistake of beginners to add too much flour.  When hand kneading, if you will oil your kneading surface and your hands with 1-2 tsp of oil, this will help reduce stickiness and help you avoid adding too much flour.  
Form the dough into 2 loaves.  Allow the dough to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes.  (Turn the oven on for 5-10 minutes, turn off oven and open door, allowing it to cool down to approx. 100°F.)

Bake the loaves for  25-30 minutes in a 350°F oven.  Bread is cooked through when the top, sides, and bottom are nicely browned in color.  Over baked  is better than under baked.

Step 2: Mixing the ingredients
Pour the water into a mixing bowl and stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until they are moistened.  There is really no perfect order for combining these ingredients but below are some tips for insuring good success with your first efforts at baking whole grain bread. Step 3-Step 8 below will describe the kneading, raising, shaping, baking, and cooling steps in more detail.

General Mixing Tips and Suggestions:
* Use warm water.  Best temperature is 110 - 120°F if using SAF Yeast, otherwise 110° maximum.  If you are not using Instant or Quick Rising Yeast like SAF, be sure to proof the yeast before using it by mixing the yeast with 1/2 cup warm water with a teaspoon of sugar or honey and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes before using it.

* Use the right amount of flour.  Too much flour kneaded into the breads causes dry crumbly bread.  Because the moisture content of flours vary, yeast bread recipes will always call for a range of flour.  With experience you will learn to recognize when the right amount of flour has been added to the dough, rather than relying on measurements alone.

* Sponging is simply allowing the dough to sit in the mixing bowl to allow the flour to absorb the liquid.  Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes.  This step gets the yeast off to a good start.  Set the timer if necessary.  Use the “waiting time” to clean up your kitchen or fold the laundry.  Don’t worry if the sponge goes longer than 15 minutes.  The art of baking bread is flexible.  If the baby needs to be changed, or the mailman rings the door bell, and life happens, relax; get back to the bread as soon as you can and don’t fret.

* Measuring ingredients and mixing the dough.  Measure the oil into a glass measuring cup before the honey.  That way the honey slides out with minimal stickiness.  Then add the remaining ingredients and 4-5 cups additional flour.  Stir with a sturdy wooden spoon until the bread dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl.  Be sure to add the flour gradually to enable it to absorb the moisture.  

Step 3: Knead the dough
This process will develop the gluten.  The gluten is an elastic protein that enables dough to hold it’s shape when raised.  The most difficult aspect of mastering bread baking is learning the kneading technique and knowing how long to knead.  Here is how to recognize when the gluten is fully developed:  The dough will be smooth and elastic.  Take a golf ball sized portion of dough and see if the dough is stretchy and does not readily tear.  To improve the gluten content and texture of your bread add vital gluten.

Tips for Kneading the Dough By Hand
Try to get all the flour incorporated within two minutes of mixing so you will have even gluten development.  Too little flour will cause the dough to be too sticky to work with, which is your signal to add more flour.  Since whole grain flour absorbs moisture more slowly, be sure not to add too much flour, or, as you mix and knead, the dough will become too dry, resulting in crumbly bread.  Add more flour gradually, in 1/2- 1  cup portions.  It takes practice to add the right amount.

 A rhythmic process called “kneading” develops the gluten in the  bread dough by straightening the gluten strands and causing them to become smooth and elastic.   Place the slightly flattened dough all onto a lightly floured surface, and fold the dough  over toward yourself.  Press the folded dough together, pushing down and away from yourself with the lightly floured heels of both hands.  Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the process by folding the dough and pressing away, turning and repeating.  This “kneading” is a rhythmic motion, repeated many times.

Knead the dough by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough.  It is a common mistake for beginners to add too much flour.  When hand kneading, if you will oil your kneading surface and your hands with 1-2 tsp of oil, this will reduce stickiness and help you avoid adding too much flour.  Remember, if your dough is too sticky to work with you will need to add additional flour.

A Fool-Proof Way to Knead Your Bread
If you are new to kneading bread dough, an older wiser woman told me how she determined if her bread was adequately kneaded.
She said, “Say the Lord’s Prayer as you knead, making one kneading stroke per word and then repeating the prayer at least twice”.  Many ladies have told me that this method alone solved their dilemma of determining how long to knead the dough.

With experience you will eventually master the kneading process and learn to “feel” and recognize when the gluten is developed.

Step Four: Recognizing When The Gluten Is Developed
You can recognize when gluten is fully developed by taking a golf ball sized portion of dough and gently stretching the dough in opposite directions using your thumb and forefinger of both hands.  If you can stretch the dough thin enough to see light through without the dough readily tearing, you have sufficiently developed the gluten.

If after 7-10 minutes of kneading the bread dough, the gluten doesn’t seem developed, it is most likely because you are using low protein flour or because you are new at kneading bread dough.

There is no way to increase the gluten content and development at this point. More kneading after a certain point does not mean more gluten development.  In fact, it is possible to over-knead the dough, and if this does occur, the gluten begins to break down and the dough becomes a sticky mess.

Finish making the bread according to the instructions below.  The finished bread may be a bit heavier and denser than you like,  but I suspect the bread you have made will smell wonderful and be delicious even if it is a bit heavy and dense. 

Just view this as a “learning experience”.  As I have said before, there are no failures in bread baking, only learning experiences.  Expect to have them.   Bread that we call “learning experiences” is usually enjoyed by the family anyway or it can be salvaged by turning the baked bread into croutons, bread pudding, bread crumbs, or feeding the ducks.

If you find your bread heavier or denser than you and your family enjoy,  you will want to add vital gluten into the recipe next time to improve the texture of the bread.   Often, baking with Montana grown hard wheat (which is higher in protein content) may solve that heavy/dense bread problem in the future.

Step 5: Let the bread dough rise (1st rising - optional)
When the gluten is fully developed, allow the dough to rise in a greased mixing bowl.  Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel to keep the dough from drying out.  This step is often called “proofing” (not to be confused with proofing the yeast).  Proofing is a baking term for allowing bread dough to rise, generally  outside of the oven.  Although this step is optional, proofing will develop texture and flavor, gluten framework, and help make light, fluffy loaves of whole wheat bread.  If you are in a hurry, this step can be skipped.

The activity of the yeast ferments the flour, causing the development of carbon dioxide gas to develop.  The carbon dioxide is captured by the gluten which causes the bread to rise. 

The optimum temperature for yeast activity is 85-100°F so use a slightly warmed oven, top of the refrigerator, direct sunlight or any other warm place, if possible.  Otherwise, the first rising period done at room temperature will just take longer, which is nothing to be concerned about.  Normally the first rising period  takes about 30-60 minutes.  (The first raising of the bread can be skipped if you are in a hurry, but flavor and texture of the bread improve with each raising.)

After the dough has doubled in size, punch down the dough, divide it into two equal pieces and shape the loaves.  Use 1 tsp. oil on your kneading surface or on your hands when it is time to shape the dough.  This keeps the dough from sticking and avoids using excess flour.

Step 6: Shaping bread loaves
After the dough has risen once and been punched down with your fist (this deflates all the air bubbles), you will want to shape the loaves in a round cylindrical shape, the length of your bread pan.  (8” cylinder for 8” pans, 10” cylinder, 10” pans, etc.)

I take the dough, stretch the dough around the tops, and sides of the “cylinder” I try to shape with my hands and pinch this stretched dough together, underneath  the loaf or cylinder, into a seam.  I roll the bread dough shaped into a cylinder like a rolling pin with my hands to make sure all the air bubbles have been removed and the loaf is nice and round and smooth.

When I’m content with the shape of my loaf, I put the dough. seam side down, into the greased bread pans and lightly grease the top of the loaf with oil or melted butter.  For the prettiest highest rising bread loaves, use 8” X 4 1/2” loaf pans filled 1/2 to 2/3 full of bread dough.  

Step 7: Raising the bread loaves (2nd raising)
The loaves are ready to bake when the dough has doubled in size.  So if your pan was only filled half full of  bread dough, it will be time to bake when the loaves reach the top of the pan.  This second raising period, usually takes about 30-60 minutes depending on the temperature of the place you allow the dough to rise. 

Don’t be in a hurry and allow the bread to rise too quickly.  Rapidly risen bread loaves often have a weak structure and tend to fall or collapse before the baking time is over.
Another way to determine if the loaf is ready to bake, is to lightly press the corner of the loaf with a pinky finger about one half inch.  If the dough holds the shape of the indentation, it is ready to bake.  If the dough springs back to the original shape, allow more rising time.
 
Step 8: Bake the bread!
Bake fully raised bread loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350°F pre-heated oven. Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top, sides and bottom are a golden brown color.

 A more reliable and much less subjective method for determining if the bread is baked through requires the use of an instant read thermometer.  I have just discovered this method in the last year, and must say, I have had much more reliable results when using the temperature of the thermometer to determine done-ness.

The bread is baked through and considered done when the instant-read thermometer reaches 180-200°F.  I have used 190°F with consistent results.  In general, it is better to overbake bread than to under bake it.

When the bread is completely baked through, remove the loaves from the bread pans to cool on a cooling rack to release steam.  If you like, spread some melted butter on the top crust to keep it softer.  

For best slicing results, allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.  (Who can resist just just one slice of hot, steaming, out-of-the-oven bread?)
After the loaves are cooled, slice as evenly as possible and store in good quality re-useable bread bags.  Any bread that will not be consumed in a few days should be frozen or given away, as homemade bread will stale after 3-4 days.

The above information has been excerpted from An Introduction to Baking Bread  ebook by Marilyn Moll. 

Urban Homemaker

Understanding the Two Stage Process - Maximizing Nutritional Value

Understanding the Two-Stage Process
Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Whole Grains

by Sue Gregg

Reprinted by permission from SueGreggCookbooks.com

Just because you've switched from white flour to whole grains does not mean that you are getting all the nutritional value. In fact you may also experience new problems with digestion and assimilation. That is because whole grains contain phytic acid in the bran of the grain. Phytic acid combines with key minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestinal tract.

Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the grain before cooking or baking will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid, releasing these nutrients for absorption. This process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For many, this may lessen their sensitivity or allergic reactions to particular grains. Everyone will benefit, nevertheless, from the release of nutrients and greater ease of digestion.

The first stage of preparation in making baked recipes, is to soak the whole grain flour in an acid medium, usually a cultured milk such as kefir, yogurt. sour raw milk or buttermilk as in quick breads. When water is used as in yeast breads, or sweet raw milk, or almond or coconut milk as non-dairy substitutes, apple cider vinegar, whey (liquid poured off yogurt1) or lemon juice is added in proportion of 1 tablespoon per cup).

As little as 7 hours soaking will neutralize a large portion of the phytic acid in grains. Twelve to 24 hours is even better with 24 hours yielding the best results. Brown rice, buckwheat and millet are more easily digested because they contain lower amounts of phytates than other grains, so 7 hours soaking is sufficient. Other grains, particularly oats, the highest in phytates of the whole grains, is best soaked up to 24 hours.

There are two other advantages of the two-stage process. Several hours of soaking serves to soften the grain, resulting in baked goods lighter in texture, closer to the texture of white flour. This is especially helpful when making blender batters, where the initial blending may not smooth out the grain as much as desired. Secondly, this is a great step in convenience, dividing the task into two shorter time periods, cutting the time needed to prepare the recipe right before cooking and baking when you feel rushed to get food on the table. Doing food preparation tasks in advance is is a great convenience facilitator. The two-stage process fits right in.

I believe that the sensitivity to whole grains that people frequently have may be minimized by uti-lizing the two -stage process in recipes, in ad-dition to enhancement of nutritional value. As Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD point out, "...virtually all preindustrialized peoples, soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads, cakes and casseroles." (Nourishing Traditions p. 452).

Many are overwhelmed by the thought of doing the two-stage process. This is because it is a paradigm shift, something completely foreign to our normal way of doing things. For decades it has never been part of cookbooks with whole grain recipes. Thus a variety of questions arise, such as, "Do I soak the grain and then grind it? Do I grind the flour and then soak it? How will I use the soaked flour or grain in the recipe?, etc." I just say, "Follow the recipe, it is part of the first step."

The process is built into every recipe in this book. As you become familiar with the basic two-stage preparation for either a quick bread or yeast bread, you will easily learn how to adapt it to any recipe that does not follow two-stage preparation. The only time that separate preparation is needed is when the method used is sprouting the grain. There are some wonderful advantages in using sprouted grain, however, so I have interoduced it in the Yeast Breads section, although sprouted grain can be used in both quick and yeast breads.

Evaluating the Importance of the Two-Stage Process

While the whole truth is probably not yet known (recall Proverbs 25:2 ), phytates are not all bad. Research shows that they may be involved in curbing free radicals in the body that contribute to heart disease and cancers, as well as preventing excessive mineral build up in the body, especially of iron, which also contributes to free radical formation. It is thought that it may be the phytates in the bran layers of whole grains, in legumes and in nuts and seeds that are providing these protections. Thus the inclusion of these foods in the diet against a diet that relies primarily on white flour products and on a high proportion of fiberless meats and dairy products becomes a further plus. The value of phytates, on the other hand, does not warrant ignoring the value of the two-stage process. First of all, neutralizing phytic acid to release nutrients bound up in the form of phytates is not 100% accomplished except under ideal conditions of temperature and pH. Attempting to control these conditions, at least in home baking, is not a worthwhile endeavor beyond inclusion of an acid medium and room temperature for a suggested range of time, or the practice of making sourdough or sprouted breads. Second, taking a realistic view of our habits is useful. Home baking not withstanding, commercial whole grain products not processed adequately will find their way to our tables (as whole grain pastas, commercially purchased breads, e.g.). In any case, since many people lack essential minerals and have difficulty with the digestion of gluten in grains, the two-stage process plays a valuable role in baking with whole grains.

Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CNN, author of The Whole Soy Story, points to the Hebrews as an example of consuming both leavened and unleavened bread. The former, which was produced through the fermentation process from wild yeasts was practiced most of the time. The latter, unleavened bread, was part of the the Hebrew preparation for Passover in early spring, "a natural time for fasting, a practice that encourages detoxification." Daniel suggests that these yearly short periods "might have been a very effective way to rid the body of any heavy metals through the action of phytic acid." On the otherhand, Daniel reminds us that "Decades of research on the phytates of real foods have shown that phytates are antinutrients--more likely to comtribute to disease than prevent it."1

To conclude, I suggest that occasional consumption of whole grains that are not processed by one of the three two-stage methods (soaking, fermenting, sprouting) is not likely detrimental to health2 and may contribute a plus, while those that are properly processed as the main dietary choice will be greatly beneficial to health.

1The Whole Soy Story, by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CNN, Chapter 17, "Phytates ties that bind," pp. 221, 224, quotes by permission.

2However, to many gluten-sensitive and grain-allergic persons, the two-stage process may be beneficial on a basically consistent basis.

14

Urban Homemaker

Wheat Free Bread with Variations

Amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa are not true grains, so may be pure gold to
those who react to all grains! All will be found in most health food stores.
For best results, buy fresh amaranth and quinoa flours where there is a quick
turn-over - and smell it before baking with it to be sure it isn't rancid.(Best to grind your own it possible)


Also, buy whole UNROASTED buckwheat groats and grind your own flour in a
blender. This is easily done as the groats are not nearly as hard as grains
of wheat, so you don't need a special grinder or mill. Grind one pound of
groats in you blender, half cup at a time, in 7 minutes, and that includes
rubbing the flour through a strainer to catch and discard any large particles
that may be present.

The flavor and texture of this mixed-flour pan bread is superior to that of bread made from any one flour. While not a sandwich bread, this corn-bread-type-bread is wonderful with salad, soup or stew, or for breakfast (topped with a fruit sauce or a little all-fruit jam).

Yields 1 pie plate (6-8 pieces)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon amaranth flour 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unroasted
buckwheat flour 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
Water to make 1 cup liquid
stevia powder (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick
spray, or oil and dust with flour. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of
tartar, salt, and stevia powder or date sugar, if using, in a bowl and whisk
to blend. Measure the oil, maple syrup, and water in a 2-cup glass measuring
cup, and stir. Make a "well" in the center of the flour and pour in the
liquids. Use a rubber spatula to stir a few swift strokes - only until all
the dry ingredients are moistened. Transfer at once to prepared pan. Batter
will be quite stiff, yet when you scrape it into the pan, it still pours. (In
other words - although stiff, it's still a heavy batter rather than a dough.)
Bake about 20 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched,
and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes
before cutting. Best served warm.

Variations for a sweet bread:

Substitute pineapple, apple, orange, pear or white grape juice for the water,
and add an additional 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to dry ingredients. Resembles
coffeecake.

Variations for a spicy bread:

Following the recipe for the sweet bread, add ONE of the following to the dry
ingredients, whisking well to mix:

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (gives bread a very nice flavor!)
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg"




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Urban Homemaker

Why Mill Your Own Fresh Flours?

1. Fresh flours taste better and perform much better in whole grain recipes kneaded in Heavy Duty Mixer and Zojirushi Bread Machines.

2. Fresh flour contains all the vitamins and minerals missing in commercial flours. It includes the bran which is vital for a healthy colon and weight control.For information on electric grain mills click here.

3. Fresh flour is economical! It only costs about 25¢ per pound or less when freshly milled.

4. If you mill only the amount of flour needed, essential nutrients are preserved. Within 24 hours up to 40% of the nutrients have oxidized. In three days up to 80% of nutrients have oxidized.

5. Stale flours become rancid because the germ oils in the grain become rancid. Rancid oils and flours strain the immune system, speed the aging process and contribute free radicals into our bodies.

6. When you mill your flour fresh you may enjoy various grains such as rye, corn, oats, rice, amaranth, spelt, quinoa, and kamut, as well as beans. Different varieties of flour are good for rotation diets, economy, and variety in eating.

7.Baking Books for beginning whole grains bread enthusiasts can be at the Urban Homemaker website under books.

Download our free ebook called FAST AND HEALTHY RECIPES FOR BUSY WOMEN -Reliable Recipes for Busy Families.

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