Books for cooks ‘Simply Ancient Grains’

“Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well.”

Linked to health issues ranging from carbohydrate intolerance to celiac disease, it is obvious that we have become much too reliant on refined white wheat flour. In this book, award-winning author Maria Speck demystifies “ancient grains,” demonstrates how easy it can be to use them, and introduces her Two-Step Method to speed up the cooking process. Give it a test drive with the waffles that follow.

Ten Speed Press. $27.50.

Adapted from “Simply Ancient Grains”

Makes about four 7-inch Belgian-style waffles

Ingredients

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (120 g) whole grain spelt flour or white whole wheat flour

3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (115 g) whole grain teff flour

3 tablespoons coriander sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (see cook’s note)

1 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 large eggs

2 1/4 cups whole or low-fat milk

4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange), preferably organic

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

4 (1⁄2-inch-thick) pineapple rings (from about half a 4-pound fruit)

1 to 2 cups whole or part-skim ricotta, for serving

Directions

Cook’s note: To make about 1⁄2 cup coriander sugar, grind 4 teaspoons whole coriander seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and combine well with 1⁄2 cup turbinado sugar. Or use plain turbinado sugar and add 1 teaspoon. ground coriander to the flour mixture.

Start the batter the night before, or at least 8 hours before: Add the spelt flour, teff flour, 2 tablespoons of the coriander sugar, yeast, and salt to a large bowl (at least 4 quarts) and thoroughly whisk together. Add the eggs to a medium bowl and lightly whisk to combine. Gently whisk in the milk, zest, and vanilla. Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until smooth, followed by the olive oil. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.

The next morning, remove the batter from the fridge. Position a rack about 4 inches away from the broiler and preheat for 5 minutes on high. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. Place the pineapple rings on it and sprinkle them with the remaining tablespoon of coriander sugar. Broil until the slices caramelize and are blistered in spots, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off the broiler, then transfer the sheet with the pineapples to a low oven rack. Loosely cover with aluminum foil.

Place a wire rack inside a large baking sheet and transfer the sheet to the center rack of the oven, this will keep the waffles from getting soggy. When the pineapple slices are almost done, preheat the waffle iron. Gently whisk the batter to combine; it will be thin. Grease the waffle iron with oil or coat it with cooking spray. When a drop of water sizzles and briskly evaporates on the surface, add a scant 1 cup of the batter to the center (or as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions). Close the lid and cook until the waffle emits a toasty scent, turns golden brown, and can be removed easily using tongs, 4 to 5 minutes. Place on the wire rack to keep warm. Continue until all of the batter is used, lightly greasing the waffle iron in between as needed.

To finish, place a broiled pineapple ring onto each waffle (or cut into quarters to place onto waffle segments). Top with a good dollop of ricotta and sprinkle with coriander sugar. Serve at once.

Reprinted with permission from “Simply Ancient Grains” by Maria Speck, copyright 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.