{Grain Brains Challenge} mixed flour crepes

Editor’s Note: We’re starting this week off with a BANG!

I’m pleased to announce that Amy is completing her ‘Scaling Up the Northeast Grain System’ series with next month’s FSC Podcast dedicated to the topic.

For her next series, Amy is partnering with her close friend and cookbook author Alan Richardson. They have created a challenge for themselves: Grain Brains Challenge. This challenge is way to put their passionate exchanges on whole grains into practice in their kitchens, and yours. Alan & Amy pitched the series to me and without a doubt I welcome their series to FSC. They will both be posting their monthly challenge posts, with recipes, here on FSC. To kick things off, Amy & Alan will go back-to-back, so Alan’s post is tomorrow. Welcome Alan, its an honor & a pleasure to have you apart of the FSC Community, and hello Grain Brains Challenge -Christina

Grains Brains Challenge 1

A recipe challenge that will help you get whole grains into your mouth,
not just your kitchen.

+++

The New Year is a tempting invitation to reinvent the self. I’m going to exercise! And exercise self-control. And finish everything I start, not just dessert.

But a few weeks into January, you realize that your self will rise the same as the sun. On lucky days you’ll see the beauty of that repetition. On less lucky days, you’ll feel thwarted by your ambitions.

Crepe Workstation
Crepe Workstation

One method I have to manage my goals is accountability. I have a writing bully and we check in twice a month to see how we’re doing on fiction projects. I have an art buddy, a friend I write poems for once a month based on prompts we send each other. And this year, I have a kitchen buddy to help me open up my grains repertoire.

I am as guilty as anyone of buying grains because I should, not because I want them. Grains and vegetables share an obligatory healthy air. I let kasha and millet languish in my cupboard like so much celery root in the crisper. I think hmm, I should sprout wheat berries, so I fill a jar at the coop, put that jar away, and find it years later, when only chickens might be interested in them. Even staples have a shelf life.

The trick to actually using the food you buy requires forethought and follow-through. Recipes and partners help on both these fronts, so Alan Richardson and I are going to start a conversation on getting whole grains into your mouth, not just your kitchen.

The plan is to goad each other with this challenge. Inspire by inspiration. I have some questions I want to answer. Like, exactly what am I going to do with buckwheat flour? Can cornmeal stand without wheat flour in cornbread? Is it possible to create a quick version of that Incan stew I made in the land before kids?

This is how happy a wholegrain pancake life can make you.
This is how happy a wholegrain pancake life can make you.

My launch recipe is a star I mined last year in the vein of grain exploration. I started making these mixed flour crepes in November, and they went into heavy rotation.

You can top yours with sugar, powdered or not, or yogurt and jam, or just yogurt or just jam. Use some beautiful eggs, the kind with the most orange yolks you can find so these orbs will shine on your griddle and on your plate before you roll them up and devour them.

If the word crepe intimidates you, think of it as thin cakes or flatcakes. You don’t need a special crepe pan. My gear of choice is a flat 12 inch griddle. My flour of choice is Farmer Ground Flour.

IMG_1306

RECIPE: MIXED FLOUR CREPES

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup rye flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs

METHODS

Whisk together dry ingredients, add milk and eggs and whisk again. Let batter sit at least 10 minutes before using. Better still, set in refrigerator for an hour or overnight.

Heat griddle to medium hot – 350°F if you have a gauge – and put a teaspoon of butter on the pan. The butter will get a little brown if your griddle is hot enough. Pour about a third of a cup of batter, and swirl pan to get to the edges. This should be very thin, almost frighteningly so. Don’t worry. These thin cakes don’t have far to travel, just from pan to plate.

Once the top looks dry and set, flip it once. If you miss centering it, the griddle should be slick enough to take a readjusting shuffle. After another minute, the crepe is done. Slide it off the pan, return the pan to heat, and add just a half teaspoon of butter. Add more batter, repeat, and take your applause. The combo of rye, cornmeal and wheat make for a very nice taste.   

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