Friday, July 31, 2020

Rye Renditions

Considered a weed, rye was deemed the poverty grain. It grew where other grains could not survive, in cold and wet areas. Rye was grown in New England during colonial America and on soil that could not support wheat-the Southern coast and mountain interior. While it grows here in West Virginia, my farmer-miller friend quit growing it when consumers didn't buy the flour.

Why rye said I? Rye has fiber throughout the kernel-in the endosperm, bran and germ. With a lower glycemic index than many grains, it helps to keep one feeling fuller longer, controlling weight and diabetes. To me, it's the variety in grains, produce and protein that I choose to keep me healthy and my meals enjoyable.

 While my favorite way to use rye berries is ground into flour for bread, I like the flavor, color and texture of the cooked berries in salads and grain bowls.

I cook the berries in my programmable pressure cooker for 30 minutes. The cooked berries can then be reheated as a grain base for a hearty meal or combined with other grains as a side.

Grinding the berries in the countertop flour mill produces a whole grain flour. Many commercial rye flours are refined and sifted, missing the bran, some fiber and nutrients. Few commercial rye breads are whole grain. If the label says whole rye-it contains all parts of the kernel.

Not everyone likes the taste of rye bread with caraway seed, as in this Black Russian Bread. Without the caraway seed, the flour is quite sweet.

Pasta dough made with rye flour is soft and sticky and requires a thicker dough. I added roasted pecans to this rye dough. The noodles fell apart but tasted heavenly. 

So here's the recipe I used to make the rye and wheat bar cookies (100% whole grain). 

Rye & Chocolate Bar Cookies

(16 Cookies)

Line an 8 X 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Beat eggs and sugar. 
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
Add olive oil and vanilla.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla

In a separate bowl, mix flours, baking powder and salt.
1/2 cup whole rye flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir in chocolate.
3/4 cup chocolate chips (60% cacao)

Add dry mix to egg mixture, stirring just until flour is no longer visible.

Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Remove from pan to cool on rack.


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