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Sunday, January 21, 2007

More Whole Grains and a try at Falafel

Two new recipes came out of the kitchen yesterday.

First, another recipe from King Arthur's Whole Grain Baking, Maple-Walnut Bread. This bread calls for maple flavor, something I have not been successful in finding locally, so I had to order it from King Arthur. It would be silly to order a tiny 1-ounce bottle of flavoring and pay for the shipping, but I also needed their pre-cut parchment sheets and some mini-diced crystallized ginger. Side note: Their parchment sheets are great. They cost $18.50, but since I also use Silpats, these sheets last a long time in my house - I'd estimate that my first bunch lasted me over a year, but then again, I'm doing a lot more baking these days, so I'm not sure how long they'll last these days. Still, these are one convenience item that I think are worth every penny.

But on to the bread. This bread has a subtle maple flavor that is pleasant, but not overly sweet. I would definitely recommend adding nuts for a nice textural interest - the walnuts are perfect with the maple flavoring, but pecans would be nice here too. I would also recommend using the maple flavor if at all possible - the flavor that comes through is fairly subtle and I think that leaving it out would result in fairly bland bread. The only change I made to the recipe was to use raw turbinado sugar - just another effort to step away from using refined ingredients. This kind of sugar is still too expensive for me to justify using on a regular basis, but I'd like to try to use it here and there and in this case, it seemed to work quite nicely.

Edited to add: I weighed my flour for this recipe and found that even though I was using King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour, the volume measurement was still almost a full 1/4 cup more than when I measured it by weight. Had I used the volume measurement, the bread most likely would have been too dry. This bread is just moist enough - could possibly a little more moist for my liking. I also cut back the walnuts to 1 cup and there seemed to be enough for my liking.

The next dish we tried is something I used to make way back in the days when I wasn't eating meat, but have not tried for a very long time. Originally I wanted to try the falafel recipe from the January issue of Cooking Light, but after reading the reviews, I decided that there were probably better recipes out there. I really wanted to try the recipe that Joe posted a while back, but I didn't have any dried garbanzo beans, so I decided on a different recipe, also from Cooking Light.
This recipe was just okay. I felt the falafel were fairly lacking in flavor - I've definitely had better. I used the arugula and the cucumber sauce from the January 2007 recipe. The cucumber sauce was pretty good, but I'd really like to try it with a tahini-based sauce. So, next time it will be the falafel recipe that Joe posted, along with this tahini sauce from Cooking Light. One good thing - the boys seemed pretty receptive to falafel, so I'm hoping this can become something on our regular rotation once we find a recipe we really like.

5 comments:

  1. Mmmm. Love Falafel. You're very ambitious to try making it. I have my eye on that King Arthur Flour cookbook. I just bought the Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain baking book and plan to start trying a few recipes from there, probably starting with whole wheat pizza crust!

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  2. Hi Kalyn. The falafel really were not hard to make at all. Perhaps not good for a busy weeknight meal, but not terribly labor-intensive.

    I will keep my eye on your blog for your review of the Bob's Red Mill book - I'm curious about that one as well.

    Funny - I'm making one of the whole grain herbed pizza crusts from the KA book tonight! :)

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  3. Oooh... I've had my eye on the Bob's Red Mill Book as well. I love my KAF Whole Grain Baking book. Your bread looks great!

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  4. I hope you get a chance to try that recipe - Jeff and I were both surprised that we liked it. I bet a tahini sauce would be awesome... I have a half a jar of tahini in the fridge, but not sure how I want to finish it up yet!

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  5. Joe - Dried garbanzo beans and tahini are on my shopping list, so I hope to be trying it in the next couple of weeks. Your picture made me want to scoop it right off my monitor. :-D

    I'm trying to rediscover some of the things I used to eat when I didn't eat meat and this is one thing on the list. I'm sure I'll be making hummus too since it also uses garbanzo beans and tahini.

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