Christina checking in to officially roll out our weekly “Food” Fashion Friday, where we have a lot of fun stuff planned, like food makeovers, Food+Apparel, and food related reviews, just to name a few.
If you like bread and you haven’t heard of Peter Reinhart, well, you should. The guy is a bread baking genius. He currently is a baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University, co-founder of the legendary Brother Juniper’s Bakery in Sonoma, California, and is the author of no less than five books on bread baking. This guy knows his bread.
I felt so lucky to get my hands on the latest of his books called “The Bread Revolution: Sprouted and Whole Grains, Heirloom Flours, and Fresh Techniques.”
What’s unique about this book? Well, the name itself says a lot. In a world where gluten is getting a bad wrap, and alternative methods are the talk of the town, this book is shedding new light on the subject.
Have you heard of sprouted grains before? Well, word on the street is that they are good for you! That they provide all of the value of a grain, but are easier to digest. Now how about that? I think it’s a fantastic concept. And this book is all about that. A good majority of the recipes feature sprouted grains of different varieties. If you want to learn some basics about sprouted grains, go here. A cool thing about sprouted grains as well is that they are claimed to be chock full of flavor so you don’t have to do a lot of the prefermenting as with other types of bread.
The book also uses a lot of ancient grains. What are ancient grains? I’ll let him define it. They are “heirloom varieties or grains that have undergone little or no intentional crossbreeding or hybridization.” Some people like to lump a lot of other stuff in here as well – quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum….and even some that aren’t even technically grains.
The book also have a fresh approach with some allergy friendly and gluten-free recipes using other types of flours such as teff and grape skin.
There’s also a whole section of sour dough primer which I am going to study religiously. You see, sourdough has been an intimidating thing for me that I haven’t dared try yet, but it is one of my goals this year to figure it out after being inspired by one of my husband’s friends who makes fantastic sourdough bread. It will happen in 2015!
Everything in the book looks absolutely amazing, but these three photographed breads really caught my attention: Sprouted Wheat Sweet Potato Brioche (I’m obsessed with sweet potatoes), Sprouted Wheat Chocolate Croissants (um, excuse me? croissants and chocolate? Yes.) and Whole Wheat Currant Pretzels (twist my bread and I’m a happy camper).
The book seems a little intimidating to me just because it’s a whole new concept of sprouted grains and I’ve never really gone into that realm before. So, while I do think it will be a lot of fun, I’m planning on really getting into this aspect of it when I have a bit more time (and not three crazies tugging at my legs at all hours of the day), and for now I’ll stick to my perfection of a sourdough starter and basic recipe.
The last chapter of the book is what really is interesting to me. Peter talks about a friend of his that has developed a food prebiotic (ProBiotein) from spent wheat that he says can aid in digestive health (it helps probiotic bacteria to flourish). I love this concept because I would love to see our medical world start working on healing our bodies instead of just treating the problem. We have to get to the source of the problem, and if there are ways to heal our guts, maybe all of the restrictive diets out there can be tempered a little! Just my little two cents on the matter. But I would love to explore this a lot more.
Despite all of the hate bread is getting these days, I love me some bread!
This book was received as compensation for this review from BloggingforBooks.org.
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