The Splendid Grain


This cookbook was a Julia Child Cookbook Award Finalist in 1998.

A Finalist in the Single Subject Category

The Splendid Grain
Author: Rebecca Wood
Publisher: William Morrow

The Splendid Grain  

The Splendid Grain Tip:

Rye Flour

"Whole grain rye flour is a shade darker than whole wheat flour and is available from natural food stores. Flour made from whole rye contains more flavor and nutrients, and more of the pentosan gums that cause dough to be sticky. Store whole grain flour, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for several months or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

"The rye flour you find in the supermarket, labeled dark, medium, or light rye flour, is degermed, with the dark flour containing more bran.

"Pumpernickel flour is a dark brown, coarsely ground rye meal, which contains coloring and flavoring agents. There is no industry standard for pumpernickel flour.

"I prefer making pumpernickel bread with whole-grain rye flour and my own choice of quality coloring and seasoning agents.

"Store these flours, tightly wrapped, in a cool dry cupboard."


Pumpernickel Bread with Currants and Walnuts

Makes 2 loaves

1 cup currants
2 cups water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup brewed strong coffee or grain coffee, at room temperature
1/4 cup 100 percent barley malt or unsulfured molasses
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 cups whole grain rye flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached allpurpose flour
About 1/4 cornmeal
1-1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

I believe in the old German and Scandinavian custom of giving as a house-warming gift the most basic of staples—a loaf of home-baked rye bread and a supply of salt.

Pumpernickel Bread

Combine the currants and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Set a sieve over a large mixing bowl and strain. Set the currants aside. Let the currant warer cool to 110F. When cooled, add the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is dissolved. Stir in the coffee, barley malt, cocoa powder, and salt. When well combined, stir in the rye and whole wheat flours and as much of the white flour as you can work in before the dough gets too stiff to stir Turn our onto a lightly floured work surface and let rest for 5 minutes. Begin kneading in the remaining flour. Knead for at least 10 minutes, or until the dough starts to get sticky.

Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise at room temperature in a draft-free spot for about 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Grease 2 baking sheets and dust each with 2 tablespoons cornmeal or enough to generously cover. Set aside.

Punch down the dough and pull it out to a wide circle. Add the walnuts and currants and knead for about 4 minutes, or until well incorporated. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a ball, molding the sides under and smoothing any edges together. Place 1 loaf on each baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm draft-free spot for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the Oven to 350F. Slash the top of each loaf in several places. Whisk together the egg and milk. Generously brush the top surface of each loaf with egg wash. Bake for 1 hour or until deep brown and crusty and it sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

The Splendid Grain
by Rebecca Wood
ISBN: 0-688-09766-9
U.S. $30.00/CAN $39.95
William Morrow, 1997
Reprinted by permission


About the Book

The Splendid Grain

by Rebecca Wood

The nonvegetarian grain cookbook American home cooks have been waiting for.

With 250 luscious recipes, along with eight pages of color photographs, The Splendid Grain dramatizes how you can incorporate extraordinarily healthful grains into your life without changing your lifestyle.

Grains can transform taste and texture in unsurpassed ways like these:

-Nutty, sweet oats form the delicious crust of fried chicken.

-Piquant quinoa heightens and absorbs the savory juices of gingered lamb .

-Hearty buckwheat becomes a sweet, delicate, Parisian-inspired crepe.

-Thai black sticky rice flavored with coconut makes unforgettable exotic banana dumplings.

The natural and native history of each grain is also explored along with its health benefits.

Cookbook Profile Archive


This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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