I have been promising a review of Sue Gregg's book "An Introduction to Whole Grain Baking… with Blender Batter Baking & the Two-Stage Process" for quite some time now, and at long last, here it is!
The day that I finally broke down and bought this book was one when I had yet another baking disaster (the last in a very, very loooong string of disasters). Though I was giving it my all, this soaking method of baking was at best only working for me inconsistently. I had some things that turned out great (cornbread, pancakes) and others that were miserable flops (muffins, quick breads), and some that were in between (attempts to modify my yeast bread recipes).
I am pleased to tell you that after nearly a month with this book, and having tried quite a few recipes so far, I haven't had any true flops, and have had many rave reviews!
When I first received the book in the mail, I will admit– I was a bit disappointed. It had a lot of teaching material in it that I just didn't really care about. I already knew about whole grains, different types of grains, oil use and storage, alternative sweeteners, etc. I worried that I had wasted my money on a book that was primarily teaching and had far fewer recipes than I had hoped for.
As I got into the book, however, my feelings began to change.
True, some of the material felt irrevelant to me, and yes, it had less recipes than I wanted. But some of the teaching material was so incredibly helpful, such as the yeast bread section. Sue is very much a teacher, and her explanations of how the kneading process works, for example, really helped me to grasp more of the why's and how's in making excellent, consistent loaves of bread.
The recipes include cornbread, coffee cake, pancakes/waffles/crepes, muffins, scones, zucchini bread, etc. as well as yeast recipes for bread, buns, pizza dough and others, and both sprouted and sourdough bread recipes. So far I have tried cornbread, pancakes, scones, and yeast bread, dinner rolls and pizza dough. Every recipe has been easy to follow and has produced really good results! The next recipes on my list to try are banana bread/muffins, coffee cake and sourdough bread (all of which I'll tell you about when I try them).
The book also comes with a teaching DVD, which I am embarrassed to say I haven't even watched yet! I will definitely get around to it sometime soon, but for now, the time just hasn't really been there. I'm sure it's helpful though, especially for beginners, just to see exactly what she's doing!
Who do I recommend it for?
If you are just starting out and learning how to properly prepare your grains, I would highly recommend this book. It provides so much valuable information, in a very understandable and readable format, as well as very detailed, predictable recipes that will make you feel so successful!
If you have been at it awhile, but feel like you need a bit of help to get the hang out it more or are just not a natural at baking (ahem… that would be me!), then these recipes would be great to help you establish a really good foundation for this style of baking, and give you something to work with when you're ready to start modifying and playing around on your own a bit more.
If you're already successfully doing two-stage baking, using Nourishing Traditions and/or creating your own recipes, etc. and have been at it for awhile, you may find this book too elementary and not worth the money.
Because I accidentally ended up with an extra copy of the book, I'm excited to offer it as a giveaway!
Would you like to win this book? Here's how:
- Leave a comment, with your name and email address, to be entered into the draw.
- The giveaway will run until next Wednesday, May 28, at 4pm.
- Contest is open to US and Canadian residents.
Although I am not affiliated with her books at all, if you don't win and you're interested in purchasing the book, you can purchase it from her site at www.suegregg.com.
Frugal Fridays is hosted by Biblical Womanhood.
Edit: This giveaway has now ended- thanks for participating!