Archive for August, 2011

Honey Wheatberry Bread

 What do you do with extra (cooked) wheatberries that’s not a grain salad?  Bake bread.  Although I had never heard of it, there’s a childhood favorite made by Oroweat known as Honey Wheatberry Bread.  Maybe it’s Canadian, I thought, because I’ve never heard of friends purchasing the bread, nor have I seen it on store shelves.  (Sorry, Canadians, I don’t mean that in a bad way.)  But when I searched for it, the ubiquitous product came up everywhere from Walmart to Amazon.  Bakers and bread consumers alike waxed poetic about this bread so I found the recipe below and gave it a try.

Simple to prepare, this all-natural bread has a nutty flavor, hearty texture, and an insanely rich and buttery aroma.  It tastes fairly substantial, but that didn’t stop FHE from pairing it with leftover prosciutto and delcaring the combo a match made in heaven.  It doesn’t hold up as well on the counter as store-bought bread (obviously), but days-old leftovers are perfect for custardy french toast.  This has become one of FHE’s favorite breads and gives me reason to pick up extra wheatberries at the store.

Wheatberry Bread, from A Year in Bread



3 cups of water
3/4 milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup wheatberries (I’ve read bulger also works)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp instant yeast
1/4 cup honey (or 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1/4 cup melted butter
5-6 cups bread or all-purpose flour
1 tbsp salt


  1. Soak wheatberries in 3 cups of water for one hour. After an hour, leave the wheatberries covered and cook on medium heat until the wheatberries are soft and are popping open. Let cool. Puree in the blender until desired consistency, you may need to add a little more water.
  2. Note from A Year in Bread about wheatberry consistency in the bread: 

Do you like your wheat berries smooth or chunky?

There are two distinctive states of wheat berries: smooth and chunky. You need to decide which form you want your wheat berries to take and prepare them differently based on your desired results.

On one end of the continuum, there is the nuts-and-seeds style of bread, with fairly intact wheat berries. While I like this effect occasionally, particularly when making rolls (add a smidge more yeast, too), the berries have a tendency to stick out of the dough and aren’t what I usually want from this bread.

Totally opposite this is the Oroweat bread that set me on this quest. This bread, oddly enough, has no discernible wheat berries.   For a texture more akin to the Oroweat bread, let the cooked wheat berries cool to body temperature, ~100F (38C) and then smoosh, or not, to your heart’s content with an immersion blender or a regular blender.

  1. In mixing bowl, combine wheat berries, milk, yeast and whole wheat flour. Mix until well combined, cover and set in a warm spot until bubbly, 20 – 30 minutes.  Add the softened butter, honey and 5 1/2 cups of bread flour.  Mix until it forms a shaggy mass.  Continue to add flour, a tablespoon or two (or more at first), until the dough stops readily absorbing it.  Mix for another minute, two if mixing by hand.  The dough will still be a bit rough.  Cover and let rest on the counter for 20 minutes.
  2. Add salt.  Spread a cup of flour on the counter and knead for 4 – 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Knead.  Roll the dough in flour, put it in a clean bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk (about an hour).Turn the dough out on a lightly floured counter, divide in half and shape into loaves.  Grease two loaf pans.  Put the shaped loaves in the pans and let rise until doubled in bulk (about an hour).
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake bread for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn out of pans onto cooling rack for at least an hour.  (Note: I baked at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.)

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These cookies are crisp on the edges and cake-like in the center.  Delicate and mild in flavor, the zucchini is present only for aesthetic purposes.  Enjoy them straight, or sandwiched with a rich cream cheese filling (marshmallow is also delicious!).

Oatmeal Zucchini Bread Cookie Sandwiches, adapted from Martha Stewart


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (original recipe is 1 1/2 sticks)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (original recipe is 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar (original recipe is 1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated zucchini
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used reduced fat Neufachel)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Beat 1 stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. Beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix in zucchini, oats, and walnuts. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden, about 17 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
  4. Beat together remaining 1/2 stick butter, the cream cheese, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon filling onto the flat side of 1 cookie, and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining filling and cookies.

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This is a delicious vegetarian pizza recipe.  (Yes, we added a scant amount of pepperoni.  It wasn’t me.  It was Rice Kernel and his Dad.)  The squasage mixture (so called because it is made from grated zucchini and takes on the flavor profile of Italian sausage) requires some idle time to prepare.  But the final product is a zucchini mixture that is remarkably flavorful and dry – nothing akin to its unprepared state.

Tomato, Mozzarella & Shredded Zucchini “Squasage” Pizza, from Delicious Living

2 packed cups grated zucchini

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon fennel seed
½ teaspoon coriander seed (or ground coriander)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
Whole wheat pizza dough, rolled into one 9-inch crust
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
¾ cup tomato sauce, or as much as needed to cover the pizza dough
About ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley or basil, for garnish
(Sausage, pepperoni, etc. optional)
  1. Combine all “Squasage” ingredients in a large, nonreactive bowl. Toss to combine.  Marinate 2 hours at room temperature, tossing ingredients every 20 minutes or so.  After 2 hours, squeeze zucchini and discard water. (Makes about ¾-1 cup.)
  2. Top pizza crust with tomato sauce and then top with sliced mozzarella and zucchini mixture. Grate a couple tablespoons of parmesan over pizza.
  3. Transfer to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Once done, sprinkle with another tablespoon of parmesan and garnish with parsley or basil.

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What do you bake when your vegan friend calls one afternoon and exclaims, “I’m ten minutes away – well, maybe five.  I just gave blood and I’m on my way home.  Can I stop by?” 

Now, I’m a scheduler by nature.  I’ve learned to roll with the punches, particularly with Rice Kernel, but I’d rather reserve surprises for someone a bit more spontaneous.  I knew my friend needed a pick-me-up – at the very least, for the sake of her blood sugar.  With a sparse vegan arsenal and the clock ticking, I recalled a green tea cookie recipe posting awhile back.  A one-bowl recipe with few ingredients (and no requirement for room temperature butter), this earthy cookie boasts a beautiful green hue and has a refreshing matcha flavor and a subtle sweetness.  The oats become nutty and crispy around the edges while the center retains a moist, almost cake-like quality.  Hardly a decadent cookie, my famished friend had half a dozen during her brief stay.   

Easiest Vegan Matcha Oatmeal Cookies, from Little Corner of Mine

Cookies are greener in person; camera lighter/user failure.

1 vegan egg substitute like Ener-G or 1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil (I used 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup canola oil)
1/2 tsp matcha powder
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp sugar (I’d love to find a way to replace with agave)
1 1/4 cup self-rising flour
1 cup old fashioned oats (I’d use more oats and less flour next time)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine wet ingredients.  Then add in dry ingredients.  Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, place cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack.  Store in air-tight container.

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Lemon, Zucchini & Chicken Pasta

Another recipe drummed up in response to the overflowing bounty of zucchini from our garden and our neighbors’ gardens.  While FHE has yet to adore the vegetable he considers slimy and bland, the fine shredding of the zucchini in this recipe (along with the extra step of squeezing out excess liquid) paired with shredded carrots and onions gives the vegetable medley a crunchy texture and carmelized flavor. 

Lemon, Zucchini & Chicken Pasta


12-16 oz shaped pasta, such as farfalle
2-3 zucchini, coarsely grated (liquid squeezed)
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
1 medium onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
1 cup fresh spinach
grated parmesan cheese, optional, to serve


  1. Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a few tbsp of olive oil (or butter) in a large, deep-sided frying pan over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent and carmelized, about 5-10 minutes.  Add zucchini, carrots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until zucchini is soft. Add chicken and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Add pasta, additional oil or butter, green onions, lemon rind and 1/4 cup lemon juice  to chicken mixture.  Cook, stirring, over low heat until heated through.  Fold in spinach.  Sprinkle with parmesan, if using.  Season with salt and pepper.  Can be served hot or at room temperature.

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