About Whole Grains
Historically only the rich could afford refined white flour, but with the
advent of the steel roller mill after the Civil War the refining process
became cheap and white flour became common place. For five generations now
white flour from wheat has supplied the basic ingredient for almost every
baked product. Now half of the American diet consists of white flour
products: bread, cakes, cookies, pastas, pizza, muffins, pies, tortillas,
If you’ve decided, however, to question the use of white flour and to
investigate nutrient rich high fiber-low fat whole grains, your are about
to embark on an adventure in new terminology. We will try to help you
avoid confusion with a few definitions.
Whole grain flours are made from whole wheat, soft wheat, hard wheat,
white wheat, red wheat, winter wheat, spring wheat, whole wheat pastry
berries, oat groats, rolled oats, pearled barley, hulled barley, barley
flakes, toasted buckwheat, raw buckwheat, sprouting buckwheat, Kamut®
spelt, millet, rye, corn, short grain brown rice, long grain brown rice.
The list goes on, and you won’t find most of these in a
As you walk grocery store aisles lined with thousands of products it is
easy to forget that throughout human history grains have been the basic
ingredient of "our daily bread." Indeed, this is the Creator’s
streams of God are filled with water to provide people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
Psalm 65:9 NIV circa 1000 BC
By using whole grains you can expect to reap the benefits of the
for Yeast Breads
red wheat usually designated as whole wheat in recipes contains the high
gluten content necessary for yeast breads. Along with three other wheats--hard
white wheat, Kamut® grain, and spelt--it will yield the desired results in the
Delicious Whole Wheat Bread recipe. Each grain will give a different rise,
flavor, texture, and color. All of them contain sufficient gluten (the
protein part of the wheat that stretches and allows the bread to rise as
the yeast multiplies in the dough) to make pleasing yeast breads. The high
gluten content makes wheat the ideal grain for baking yeast breads. Other
grains can be used for yeast breads, but the results are not nearly as
pleasing. When using other grains it is best to substitute only part of
the wheat flour with another grain or combination of grains. Use a ratio
of 2 parts wheat flour and 1 part of another grain or combination of
Winter Red Wheat is the customary wheat used for years in
highly successful yeast breads, usually referred to in yeast bread recipes
as whole wheat.
Hard White Wheat is
a more recent development of hard white spring wheat, comparable to hard
winter red wheat in nutrient value. It yields lighter colored yeast breads
with a softer texture and very pleasing flavor. Families transitioning
from white flour to whole grains may find it easier adapt to hard white
been known and used in Europe as far back as Old Testament times (see
Isaiah 28:23-29). Brought to America by popular demand of Europeans, it
was first introduced in commercial pastas. It has a very pleasing nutty
flavor and rises equally as well as common wheat. It is easily digested
and many who are allergic to wheat can tolerate spelt.
was introduced to the U.S. in 1949 when a US airman from
a farm in Montana received 36 kernels believed to have come from Egypt.
Its popularity spread after its national debut at the Anaheim CA Health
Products Expo in 1987. Used in the Delicious
Whole Grain Bread recipe, it makes a soft delicate cake like textured high rising bread. It is the highest of the wheats in
protein--about 17% compared to 12-14% in other wheats. Its chromosome
structure is different from various varieties of wheat. It is grown only
organically. These may be the reasons why 70% of people allergic to wheat
can tolerate Kamut® products. Kamut® pastas are the most pleasing flavored and
textured pastas for people not accustomed to whole grains. For more on the
story read about Bob Quinn, the man who coined the
Soft Spring Pastry Wheat works especially well in quick breads because of
its lower gluten content. Consequently yeast breads made with Soft Spring
Wheat will not rise as well.
Whole grains provide a goldmine of nutrients and dietary
fiber. Containing over 22 nutrients, they are especially high in the
B-vitamins and vitamin E and contain a wide range of minerals. Devitalized
white flours with the germ and bran removed have been striped of more than
70% of these life supporting nutrients.
Whole Grain Bread recipe
calls for olive oil. It will not leave an objectionable strong flavor.
Olive oil is primarily monounsaturated fat, the kind of fat that does not
raise bad cholesterol levels. An increasing amount of research indicates
that it helps reduce the incidence of breast cancer and possibly others.
It is a mainstay of the Mediterranean Diet, now considered the most
healthful diet by the World Health Organization. Extra virgin olive oil is
the best choice, but pure olive oil is also acceptable. Store it at room
temperature, tightly covered and out of the light.
If you are purchasing flour, look
for whole wheat flour. If you are purchasing whole grains, it is wheat
"berries," oat or buckwheat "groats." Most other
grains usually go by their names: rye, brown rice, etc. Also, grains are
available as "flakes." Whole barley for baking is termed
"hulled" barley, whereas "pearled" barley is more
refined. Millet may be called "hulled" millet.
DO I GET GRAINS AND FLOUR?
stores, food coops, and mail order companies stock whole grains and flour.
If you can’t find a local source, request a catalog from Sun Organic
1-888-269-9888 or see www.sunorganic.com.
DO I STORE GRAINS?
Most grains will keep for a few weeks at room
temperature if in tightly covered containers. They store best under cool
and dry conditions. The freezer is ideal. If you are storing a lot of
grain, you can reduce bug infestation (the eggs were deposited long ago on
the kernels in the fields) during warm and humid seasons by cycling
batches of grains through a freezer for three days at a time.
Whole Grain Dough recipe
is too generic for autobake machines. Try whole grain recipes
especially adapted for these machines found in books such as The
Breadman’s Healthy Bread Book by
WHERE SHOULD I BEGIN?
think of a loaf with a smooth arched top when they think "yeast
breads." We, recommend, however, if you are new to whole grains and
to yeast bread baking, that you start with quick breads. Recipe procedures
are much simpler and your chances for immediate success are multiplied.
After you've mastered quick breads move on to yeast breads under the
guidance of someone who has more experience.
Breakfasts cookbook is the best place to get started with quick bread
recipes. They include Blender
Batter Pancakes & Waffles, Blender Coffee Cakes, Blender
Muffins, and Blender Crepes. More
quick breads and yeast breads may be found in
Main Dishes, Soups & Muffins, Meals in Minutes, Lunches & Snacks, Yeast
Breads, and Four Food Storage Plans cookbooks.
an indepth cooking course designed to help families with high school students acquire mastery of
quick breads with an introduction to yeast breads see Baking with
Whole Grains Curriculum. The Delicious Whole Grain
with variations is found in the
Grain Baking cookbook.
On going nutritional research introduces time honored methods
of breaking down phytates found in grains to enhance nutritional quality.
See how it is done with
The Two Stage Process.
See also Sprouted
Breads and About