(This recipes appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
by Josh Johnson, Pastry Chef,
Guittard Chocolate Company
Years ago, whole grains were billed as an ingredient used for healthier options, often yielding less-than-ideal textures in an attempt at taking a healthier approach to traditional pastries and baked goods that we know and love. Yet, over the last few years a lot has changed. While there still may be some of that stigma to overcome, there’s so much more to the whole grain bandwagon than what meets the healthier eye.
Our friends at King Arthur Flour describe whole grains as “… the husked berries (kernels) of grain-bearing plants that are dried and left whole; sprouted, cracked and/or rolled; or milled into flour.” In short, using whole grains in your recipes will bring more nutrients to the nutritional profiles of your end-products, as they’re often less processed than a typical all-purpose flour.
But we’ve since discovered that they bring so much more than just nutrients. Whole grains bring a new world of flavor to traditional baked goods that you might not otherwise have been able to harness. Baking with whole grains and integrating them into your menu can add flavor complexity and richness. They add depth, texture and unique differentiation. Inclusions and ingredients take on a new life when made with mixes that use whole grains. Like the Black Emmer Carrot Cake – it’s loaded with flavor, as the naturally-sweet components of the black emmer complement the earthiness of the carrots and the rounded chocolate notes in the 72% cacao. Meanwhile, Raspberry Milk Chocolate Rye Scones combine bright tartness with nuttiness and creaminess to yield a balanced breakfast treat that will have you wondering what the secret ingredient is. It’s a nutrient-dense ingredient that brings with it a new range of complexity that adds intrigue and differentiation.
The evolution of whole grain use in kitchens started with hearth breads; from there, it has moved into mainstream baking like cookies, breakfast pastries, and quick breads. As with all agricultural ingredients, flour derived from an array of whole grains should be just as special as the sourcing of cacao beans, olives for oil, and grapes for wine. An important factor in the whole grain movement is how the farmers and millers have a chance to be recognized as key players in the baked good industry.
Staple ingredients haven’t always been seen as star ingredients, but the process of sourcing very specific flours milled from grains that are known for depth of flavor and nutrient density has completely transformed the role of this ‘staple’ ingredient. Much like highlighting the cocoa farmer who cultivates fine flavor cocoas with their pre- and post-harvest practices, the flavors that are developed by each miller are central to the flavors that can emerge in a final product. Knowing your millers, exploring different grains and integrating them into your baking will only add differentiation and distinction to your final products.
The three recipes that follow are explorations into just how versatile whole grains can be. Use these as inspiration for new and notable ways that you can bring whole grains to life with traditional or even unexpected ingredients.
Black Emmer Carrot Bread
Black Emmer is an ancient grain that adds nutritional value as well as a natural sweetness to baked goods. In this quick bread, it complements the brightness of the carrots. Our Santé 72% bittersweet chocolate, made with coconut sugar, adds caramel notes that pair well with the flours and mild sweetness of this bread.
Yield: 1 loaf
- 130 g water
- 3.1 g salt
- 34 g cracked wheat
- 106 g whole eggs
- 182 g coconut sugar
- 56 g honey
- 236 g shredded carrots
- 28 g applesauce
- 178 g black emmer
- 2.5 g Korintje cinnamon
- 3.2 g baking soda
- 1.4 g baking powder
- 80 g vegetable oil
- 36 g coconut oil
- 120 g Guittard Santé 72% bittersweet chocolate made with coconut sugar
- Cook the water, salt, and cracked wheat together until the cracked wheat is tender and the water has evaporated. Cool.
- Using a paddle attachment, mix the eggs, coconut sugar and honey until it is pale and has reached a very light ribbon stage. Add the shredded carrots, applesauce and cooled cracked wheat. Mix well. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Combine the vegetable oil with the coconut oil and drizzle into the batter with the mixer on low to medium speed. Add the Santé 72% chocolate and mix until combined.
- Grease and line a 9.5”x 3”x 3” loaf pan with parchment paper. Fill pan and bake bread at 330°F (166°C) for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly pressed.
Raspberry Milk Chocolate Rye Scones
In these scones, a combination of rye flour and rye chops enhance the nutty flavor of the pecans, while raspberries add a bright contrast to their nutty-sweet profile. The earthy flavor of the rye balances out the caramel notes in the Soleil d’Or 38% Cacao milk chocolate.
Yield: 12 scones
- 70 g rye chops
- 225 g whole milk
- 122 g all-purpose flour
- 65 g rye flour
- 25 g organic granulated sugar
- 10 g baking powder
- 1.5 g salt
- 12 g dried raspberries
- 115 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 28 g honey
- 100 g roasted pecans, chopped
- 160 g Guittard Soleil d’Or 38% milk chocolate, chopped
- 80 g fresh raspberries
- Egg wash
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Cook the rye chops and milk together, continuously stirring until the rye chops are tender and have absorbed the milk completely. Cool.
- Combine all the dry ingredients and begin cutting butter in using 2 bench scrapers. Once the butter is cut in and flaky, add the soaked oats and honey, and continue to cut in until a shaggy dough forms. Add the pecans, chopped milk chocolate and whole raspberries and cut in until a dough begins to form. Finish bringing the dough together by hand on a table that has been lightly dusted with flour.
- Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1 1/4ʺ. Egg wash the dough and generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cut into 12 triangles. Bake at 350°F (176°C) until they are golden brown and the center springs back when lightly pressed.
Chocolate Puffed Quinoa Bars
This is a bar that’s jam-packed with whole grains, protein, and texture – a mixture of quinoa and almonds combine together with 100% chocolate to build a complex and robust flavor. Honey and coconut sugar add a touch of sweetness, and it’s all enrobed in 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate for richness with a minimal sweetness.
Yield: about 24 bars
- 169 g honey
- 104 g coconut sugar
- 65 g water
- 45 g maple syrup
- 65 g egg whites
- 6.5 g salt
- 78 g Guittard cocoa butter
- 78 g Guittard Oban 100% unsweetened chocolate
- 52 g peanut butter
- 325 g toasted slivered almonds
- 65 g puffed quinoa
- 65 g puffed brown rice
- 117 g shredded coconut
- Guittard Oban 100% unsweetened chocolate, for enrobing
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish
- Combine the honey, coconut sugar, water and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat and once the mixture comes to a simmer, raise to a high heat.
- Start mixing the egg whites and salt on low speed with a whip attachment in a 5-quart mixer.
- Melt the cocoa butter and Oban chocolate together. Blend in the peanut butter and set aside.
- When the sugar mixture reaches 311°F (155°C), remove from the heat, and start beating the egg whites on high speed. When they reach soft peaks, carefully pour the hot syrup into the egg whites while they are mixing on high speed. Pour in a steady continuous flow. As soon as full volume is achieved, about 30-45 seconds after adding the syrup, gradually pour the chocolate mixture into the mixing bowl. As soon as the chocolate is blended in, remove the whisk and switch to a paddle attachment. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir until everything is fully combined.
- Pour the mixture into a prepared 11” x 12” x ½”-thick frame and roll out before the mixture cools completely. Allow to set overnight.
- Cut into desired sizes, enrobe with 100% Oban and sprinkle with flaky sea salt to garnish.
Photos by Audrey Ma.