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For more than 10,000 years, grains have been the staples of Western civilization. The stored energy of grain allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering and build settled communities—even great cities. Though most bread now comes from factory bakeries, the symbolism of wheat and bread—amber waves of grain, the staff of life—still carries great meaning.
Today, bread and beer are once again building community as a new band of farmers, bakers, millers, and maltsters work to reinvent local grain systems. The New Bread Basket tells their stories and reveals the village that stands behind every loaf and every pint.
While eating locally grown crops like heirloom tomatoes has become almost a cliché, grains are late in arriving to local tables, because growing them requires a lot of land and equipment. Milling, malting and marketing take both tools and cooperation. The New Bread Basket reveals the bones of that cooperation, profiling the seed breeders, agronomists and grassroots food activists who are collaborating with farmers, millers, bakers and other local producers.
Take Andrea and Christian Stanley, a couple who taught themselves the craft of malting and opened the first malthouse in New England in 100 years. Outside Ithaca, New York, bread from a farmer-miller-baker partnership has become an emblem in the battle against shale gas fracking. And in the Pacific Northwest, people are shifting grain markets from commodity exports to regional feed, food and alcohol production. Such pioneering grain projects give consumers an alternative to industrial bread and beer, and return their production to a scale that respects people, local communities and the health of the environment.
Many Americans today avoid gluten and carbohydrates. Yet, our shared history with grains—from the village baker to Wonder Bread—suggests that modern changes in farming and processing could be the real reason that grains have become suspect in popular nutrition. The people profiled in The New Bread Basket are returning to traditional methods like long sourdough fermentations that might address the dietary ills attributed to wheat. Their work and lives make our foundational crops visible, and vital, again.
Author: Amy Halloran
As American as apple pie? How about As American as freshly baked bread? Before we became reliant on mass-produced supermarket loaves, the United States had a rich history of homemade bread recipes, from flaky and light Southern biscuits to hearty Boston Brown Bread … not to mention the uniquely tangy San Francisco Sourdough. Adrienne Kane has unearthed these vintage recipes, given them a modern twist where appropriate, and collected them all in United States of Bread. Both novices and experienced bakers can delight in these American favorites, including Pullman Loaves, Amish Dill, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, New York Flatbread, Wild Rice Bread Stuffing, and lots more. United States of Bread is a charming collection that will inspire everyone to get in the kitchen to celebrate America’s home-baking legacy.
Author: Adrienne Kane
Written by Mother Earth Living Food Editor and Mother Earth News Contributing Editor Tabitha Alterman, Whole Grain Baking Made Easy is an in-depth guide for bakers who want to maximize the nutritional value of their breads, pastries and desserts while experimenting with delicious new flavors of many different whole grains and other real food ingredients.
Try more than 75 recipes for whole-grain baked goods (all with full-color photography) featuring amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, durum, einkorn, emmer, oats, quinoa, rice, sorghum, spelt, rye, teff and different types of whole wheat. Alterman’s recipes are accessible yet thorough, with explanations of technique that will not only ensure success with her recipes, but will also make you a better cook.
Whole Grain Baking Made Easy also includes thorough instructions for grinding your own grains, from choosing a grain mill to making it easy to fit homemade flour making into your life. It’s not necessary to make homemade flour in order to enjoy the recipes in this book, but Alterman shows you how easy and worthwhile it can be to take the extra step toward self-sufficiency.
Whether you want to bake low-gluten goodies, maximize the nutrition in your desserts, become more self-reliant, learn how to find time to make your daily bread, master sourdough at last, or learn how to buy and use heirloom and heritage grains to replace white flour in everyday recipes, Whole Grain Baking Made Easy puts you in charge of the grains in your diet from start to finish.
Author: Tabitha Alterman
Bread. Cheese. Wine. Beer. Coffee. Chocolate. Most people consume fermented foods and drinks every day. For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed the distinctive flavors and nutrition resulting from the transformative power of microscopic bacteria and fungi. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods is the first cookbook to widely explore the culinary magic of fermentation.
"Fermentation has been an important journey of discovery for me," writes author Sandor Ellix Katz. "I invite you to join me along this effervescent path, well trodden for thousands of years yet largely forgotten in our time and place, bypassed by the superhighway of industrial food production."
The flavors of fermentation are compelling and complex, quite literally alive. This book takes readers on a whirlwind trip through the wide world of fermentation, providing readers with basic and delicious recipes-some familiar, others exotic-that are easy to make at home.
The book covers vegetable ferments such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and sour pickles; bean ferments including miso, tempeh, dosas, and idli; dairy ferments including yogurt, kefir, and basic cheesemaking (as well as vegan alternatives); sourdough bread-making; other grain fermentations from Cherokee, African, Japanese, and Russian traditions; extremely simple wine- and beer-making (as well as cider-, mead-, and champagne-making) techniques; and vinegar-making. With nearly 100 recipes, this is the most comprehensive and wide-ranging fermentation cookbook ever published.
About the author:
Sandor Ellix Katz is a self-taught fermentation experimentalist. He wrote Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods—which Newsweek called "the fermenting bible"—in order to share the fermentation wisdom he had learned, and demystify home fermentation. Since the book's publication in 2003, Katz has taught hundreds of fermentation workshops across North America and beyond, taking on a role he describes as a "fermentation revivalist." Now, in The Art of Fermentation, with a decade more experience behind him, the unique opportunity to hear countless stories about fermentation practices, and answering thousands of troubleshooting questions, he's sharing a more in-depth exploration of the topic.
Author: Sandor Ellix Katz