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Friday, June 3, 2016

Book Review: The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book

Besides buying pizza on a regular basis, I occasionally bake it at home. Beyond that, I frequently bake in general. A week rarely goes by that I don't bake at least one loaf of bread.
Those breads often include some whole wheat flour that was ground in our home flour mill. I use home-milled flour on a regular basis. So I was happy to receive from publisher Robert Rose a review copy of The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book by Sue Becker.
Becker clearly believes in her subject. In the introduction, she describes whole grains as "a nearly perfect food." From there, she spends roughly the first half of the book ("All About Home-Ground Flours") covering a general description of the history and benefits of using home-ground flour, the basics of how to do so, as well as a rundown of the various grains that are available to the home baker. Becker offers particularly good advice on choosing and using a grain mill.
Part 2 covers recipes, which run the gamut from basic yeast-risen breads to quick breads, muffins, biscuits, cookies, and just about anything else made from flour. As is typical of books I've gotten from Robert Rose, the recipes are also complemented by two sections of full-page color photos.
The only thing I found wanting in the book was that it doesn't discuss how to create white flour at home. The author seems to assume that if you're grinding your own flour, you want to use whole-grain flour. That's probably true for most people, most of the time, but I'd like to try making my own white flour, which necessitates removing the bran. (I think it's a fairly simple process of sifting the flour, but I was hoping for some guidance.) The book's only suggestions are to use various combinations of whole-grain flours.
That aside, I'll be consulting this book when using my whole-wheat flour, and it may embolden me to try some other grains as well. (Kamut, anyone?) I'd recommend it for any home baker who wants to get into grinding and using home-ground flour, or who simply wants to incorporate more whole grains into his or her baked goods.

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