Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Book Review - Wheat Cookin' Made Easy

Wheat Cookin’ Made Easy by Pam Crockett
I was first introduced to this book when I went to a class presentation using some of the methods in this book. It has been several years since I attended the class but I still remember so many things I heard that night which for me, means it was very interesting. One of the things I remember first of all was that as the presentation was given, the large group gathered was constantly given samples of different things prepared from recipes in this book. This was where I was first introduced to cooked wheat berries served in juice concentrate – a pleasant surprise. Everything that was prepared and demonstrated was very good.

I also remember that after the class was over, there was a very long line waiting to purchase the book and sign up for the soon to be released DVD which is a great accompaniment to this book.

The book itself is a fantastic cookbook full of recipes for cooking with whole wheat, but it is also a great resource book. It is chock full of recipes for things I never imagined making with whole wheat. This book takes cooking with whole wheat to a higher level than just making whole wheat bread.

One of the things I remember most from the class which is well illustrated in the book, is that with a little variety you can do so many different things with wheat and they all taste good.

This book has over 300 pages of recipes in several different sections such as; breads and biscuits, breakfasts, crackers and pastas, desserts, sourdough, kid’s corner, main dishes, muffins and sweet breads and Soups and salads.

There are also instructions for sprouting wheat, growing wheat grass, making bulgur wheat and making gluten. The recipes themselves are also extremely varied. Recipes included are for Old Fashioned Corn Bread, Whole Wheat Soup Bowls, Soft Pretzels, and Homemade Whole Wheat Noodles with detailed instructions for those who have not made noodles before.

Lots of recipes for sweets too including Gumdrop Bars, Homemade Wheat Brownies and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. In the Kid’s section there are recipes for Salt Dough Ornaments and Salt Map Mixture. And as I mentioned before there is a whole section of Sourdough recipes that look tempting.

The main dish section has some very interesting recipes such as Boston baked wheat and broccoli wheat casserole as well as several Pilafs, Mexican and Italian main dishes too. From the Soup and Salad Corner there are recipes for Carrot, Pineapple and Wheat Berry Salad. This one was very good!

If you have some wheat and want to start using it, then buy this book. If you just want to get started in Preparedness and Food Storage and plan to buy some wheat you better buy this book so you will know what to do with it.

I am very impressed with this cookbook and whenever I have a question about wheat or what to do with it, this is my go-to book. This book has so many more ideas on how to cook with wheat besides just using it to make bread. Pam Crockett's DVD that goes along with this book is a treasure as well (you can find it through Emergency Essentials at www.beprepared.com) or www.amazon.com .

I would recommend this book along with its DVD to anyone interested in adding wheat to their diet! One warning however, when you read and study this book you’ll find yourself getting more excited to use wheat in so many different ways. I’m including one of my favorite recipes from the book below.

Whole Wheat Soup Bowls
Pam Crockett
1 c. milk
2 eggs
¼ c. butter
4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
4 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1¼ t. yeast
¾ c. shredded cheese; Colby jack, cheddar, Swiss or Monterey Jack.
Preheat oven to 350º. Add the first 7 ingredients to your bread machine, following the manufacturer’s directions. Select basic white bread cycle on your machine. When the cycle is complete, remove dough from machine. Punch down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Generously grease the outside of 6 – 10 ounce bowls. Place them upside down on greased cookie sheets, allowing 3” between bowls. Divide dough into 6 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough into a 12x6” rectangle. Sprinkle about 2 T. cheese onto half of each rectangle to within ½” of the edges. Moisten edges; fold each rectangle in half to form a 6” square. Seal edges. Drape dough squares over the bowls, pressing lightly. Immediately place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. These bowls are wonderful for soups, stews, beans or chili. For a great dessert bowl; omit the cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Fill with ice cream, fruit or rice pudding. *This dough can also be made by hand without a machine.

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