Grains and Bread Making Ingredients
Ingredients Descriptions and Photos

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How Mary and Frank and Friends Eat

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Ingredients Descriptions and Photos
Grains and Bread Making Ingredients

(Amaranth)  Amaranth is a very small grain which is a native of South America.  The actual size of the amaranth grain can be seen in the photo to the left.  Amaranth is high in protein, calcium and iron.  From our experience, amaranth is only available in health food stores and from food cooperatives.  Amaranth can be used in its whole grain form like rice, or in other dishes, or it can be ground into flour and used in many baking recipes, as multi-grain bread.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Baking Powder)  Baking powder is used in baking non-yeast breads, cakes, and muffins, and causes the dough to rise by producing tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide that get trapped in the dough, just as yeast does.  It is a leavening agent composed of different chemical formulations of an acid salt (various), and an alkaline salt, usually baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).  There are two types of baking powder: single acting, which contain such chemicals as calcium hydrogen tartrate (cream of tarter), calcium phosphate, or calcium citrate, which begins to work at room temperature as soon as the wet ingredients are added to the dry ingredients; and double acting, which also reacts at higher temperatures during the baking process, and usually contain an aluminum salt, such as calcium aluminum phosphate, which may be harmful to health because of its aluminum content.  To keep baking powder fresh and to prevent the moisture in the air from starting the chemical reaction, it is best to store baking powder in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.  If you wish to avoid the aluminum, and use only the single acting baking powder, a less expensive substitute can be used: for every teaspoon of baking powder called for in the the recipe, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar to the wet ingredients.  Happy baking!
(Barley)  Most people are familiar with pearl barley, but whole grain barley has a much fuller flavor, as well as being more nutritious.  Barley was also an important grain in Biblical times, being the grain that Ruth gleaned in Boaz's field some 3,000 years ago.  We purchase our whole grain barley from the co-op or from a health food store.  We use whole grain barley as one of the ingredients in bread and in other recipes containing barley.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Barley, Pearl) Pearl barley is a barley that is polished to give it "market appeal".  Barley is an ancient grain, being mentioned in early historic writings.  Barley is mentioned in the Bible as one of the crops of Egypt (Exodus 9:31), and was an ingredient in the bread that God told Ezekiel to bake (Ezekiel 4:9).  33 grams of barley (1/4 cup, dry) contains no fat, 24 grams of complex carbohydrate (96 calories), 3 grams of protein (12 calories), and 5 grams of dietary fiber.
(Corn on the Cob - Bicolor)  Most people probably think of corn on the cob as a vegetable, but it is really a grain.  There are several common varieties of corn on the cob: yellow, white, and mixed white and yellow, which is pictured here.  In our experience, we have seen only the yellow variety sold frozen either on the cob or cut.  We have found a variety of flavors in corn on the cob depending on where it is grown and how long it has been since it was harvested.  The longer it has been since the corn was harvested, the more bland the flavor, and the more "gummy" the texture.  We have found it best to buy only fresh corn on the cob that has a nice green husk.  We could not find any nutritional information for bicolor yellow and white corn on the cob, but estimate that it should be somewhere in the middle of the nutritional information we have for white corn on the cob and yellow corn on the cob.  To enlarge the photo, click on the photo or link.
(Corn on the Cob - White)  Most people probably think of corn on the cob as a vegetable, but it is really a grain.  There are several common varieties of corn on the cob: yellow, mixed white and yellow, and white, which is pictured here.  In our experience, we have seen only the yellow variety sold frozen either on the cob or cut.  We have found a variety of flavors in corn on the cob depending on where it is grown and how long it has been since it was harvested.  The longer it has been since the corn was harvested, the more bland the flavor, and the more "gummy" the texture.  We have found it best to buy only fresh corn on the cob that has a nice green husk.  See the enlarged photo and the nutritional chart for raw white corn on the cob by clicking on the photo or link.  We could not find any nutritional information for cooked white corn on the cob, but it is probably very similar to the differences between the raw and cooked information for yellow corn on the cob.
(Corn on the Cob - Yellow)  Most people probably think of corn on the cob as a vegetable, but it is really a grain.  There are several common varieties of corn on the cob: white, mixed white and yellow, and the yellow, pictured here.  In our experience, we have seen only the yellow variety sold frozen either on the cob or cut.  We have found a variety of flavors in corn on the cob depending on where it is grown and how long it has been since it was harvested.  The longer it has been since the corn was harvested, the more bland the flavor, and the more "gummy" the texture.  We have found it best to buy only fresh corn on the cob that has a nice green husk.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Corn Masa Flour)  Corn masa flour is made from dehydrated, finely ground whole grain corn and lime. It's primarily used for making tortillas and other Mexican, and Central and South American recipes.  We also use the corn masa flour as a coating and dusting flour, as a thickening agent, and in baking.  We could not find the nutritional information for the whole grain masa flour with lime.  Since we use only whole grains, we could not be completely sure of the actual nutritional content of this flour, which we believe is somewhere in between the nutritional information for whole-grain and masa flours, which can be seen by clicking on the photo or link.
(Corn, Popping)  Popcorn is usually considered a snack food, but when air-popped, it is quite a healthful food, unlike oil-popped and candy coated popcorn, and potato chips.  We usually air-pop our popcorn in our microwave oven in a special container we purchased specifically for this purpose, or in a hot air popping machine.  While the so-called gourmet popcorn may produce slightly larger volumes of popped corn, we have found that the price difference is unjustified, and usually purchase store, or either organic or non-organic off-brand popping corn seed.  Unfortunately, we have found some very poor quality organic popcorn, and, as a result, usually purchase a store brand at a local supermarket at about $0.50/lb.  For popcorn recipes, go to our Snacks sub-section. To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Carob Powder)  Carob powder is produced by grinding the roasted beans from the pods of a Mediterranean evergreen leguminous tree.  For many people, including us, carob has taken the place of cocoa and chocolate.  And, unlike cocoa and chocolate, carob has no caffeine and almost no fat.  And since carob is sweet, it requires much less sweetener than chocolate and cocoa.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Kamut)  Kamut brand wheat is the registered trade name of Kamut International, Ltd., who cultivated a viable grain that was supposedly found in a jar in a pyramid in Egypt and planted it in the United States.  This could be the Egyptian wheat mentioned in the Bible (Exodus 9:32).  The nutritional values of kamut are compared with conventional wheat (Kamut).
(Lecithin, Soya)  We primarily us soya lecithin as an emulsifier in our bread recipes.  It is also used as an ingredient of dough enhancers: for every cup of flour, we use 1 tsp. of soya lecithin, 1/8 tsp. vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and 1/8 tsp. of ground ginger. Lecithin is a mixture of fats: glycolipids, triglycerides, and phospholipids.  It also produced naturally in our livers, when the person is eating a healthful diet. Every cell in the body requires lecithin for building the cell walls, for without it, the walls would become hardened.  Soya lecithin is extracted from soy beans using hexane and then refined.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Lentils)  Lentils are legumes (beans) that have been cultivated for thousands of years.  The actual size of a lentil is about 1/4 inch.  They are mentioned in the Bible in 2 Samuel 17:28, 23:11 and in Ezekiel 4:9 where they are one of the ingredients of Ezekiel's bread.  Nutritional information: a 1/4 cup (dry) serving of lentils (32 grams) has no fat, 19 grams of complex carbohydrate - 10 grams of which is digestible (40 calories) and 9 grams in the form of dietary fiber - and 8 grams of protein (32 calories).  A serving of lentils also provides 15% of our daily requirement of iron.
(Millet, Yellow)  Yellow Millet is an ancient grain that was grown in Biblical times.  It is mentioned as one of the ingredients in Ezekiel's bread (Ezekiel 4:9).  The actual size of a grain of millet is approximately 1/16 inch across.  A 1/4 cup (dry) serving (46 grams) of millet has no fat, 26 grams of complex carbohydrate (104 calories) of which 14 grams are dietary fiber, and 13 grams of protein (52 calories).  A serving of millet also provides the following daily requirements: vitamin C - 4%, calcium - 2%, and iron - 25%.
(Oats, Rolled)  Rolled oats are a processed form of the whole grain produced by steaming and passing between steel rollers.  This helps it cook faster.  A 1/2 cup (dry) serving of rolled oats (39 grams) contains 3 grams of fat (27 calories) of which 0.5 grams is saturated fat, 26 grams of complex carbohydrate of which 22 grams are edible (88 calories) and 4 grams are dietary fiber, and 5 grams of protein (20 calories).  One serving of oats also supplies 10% of our daily requirement of iron.
(Oats, Irish (Steel-Cut))  Steel-cut oats are also called Irish oats, particularly when made into oatmeal.  They are a cut, but otherwise unprocessed form of whole grain oats, which have a more robust flavor than rolled oats when making oatmeal, though they do take more time to cook. Steel-cut oats differ from rolled oats which are flake oats that have been steamed, rolled, re-steamed and toasted. Due to all of this additional processing they have lost some of their natural taste, goodness and texture, which the steel-cut oats retain.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Quinoa)  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a native "grain" or seed of a high Andes pig weed that has been widely used for food in Peru.  It is high in protein, calcium, and iron.  The actual size of quinoa can be seen in the photo to the left.  From our experience quinoa is only available in health food stores or from food cooperatives.  Quinoa can be used whole like rice, or in soups, or ground and used in baking, as in multi-grain bread.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
(Rice, Black Sticky)  Black sticky rice, or kao niow dahm (kao is rice; niow, sticky; dahm, black), as it is known in Thailand, is also called black sweet rice, black glutinous rice, and Indonesian rice.  The wonderful flavor of black sticky rice makes it a favorite in Southeast Asia, where it is primarily used for breakfast, puddings and other desserts, but we have found that it also makes a great bed for cooked Oriental fruit and veggie recipes.  We could not find any specific nutritional information for black sticky rice.
(Rice, Brown)  We buy and eat only whole grain brown rice, like this or other varieties.  Brown rice retains the bran and germ which contain many of the nutrients and the fiber.  Brown rice also has more flavor, which some people describe as "nutty".  This is really the natural flavor of rice, which has been removed from "white rice" along with many of the nutrients.  See nutritional charts below by clicking on the photo or link.
(Rice, Brown Basmati)  Brown basmati rice is a stronger flavored whole grain rice that is a native of India.  Recently, we have seen brown basmati rice that has been grown in the United States.  It is a great addition to curry flavored dishes.  We purchase our brown basmati rice from health food stores or from a food co-op.  As its popularity grows, we expect that it will become available in most supermarkets.  The photo to the left shows the actual size of the rice.  Brown basmati rice is more nutritious than the polished white variety; and we believe that it is always better to eat whole grains, rather than processed grains.
(Rice, Wild)  Wild rice is a native American grain that is as old as recorded history.  The harvesting of wild rice traditionally was done along streams and lakes where it was growing naturally.  In more recent years, wild rice has been "naturally cultivated" to increase the yield.  However, wild rice is still several times more expensive than any of the other types of rice we have encountered.  At more than $3.00 (US) per pound, it remains a gourmet delicacy.  Wild rice takes a little longer to cook than brown or basmati, but if cooked together with other types of rice and allowed to remain in the pot for another 15 minutes after cooking, it will be tender.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional, click on the photo or link.
(Rye)  Rye is a relatively modern grain of unknown origin; there is no mention of it in ancient writings.  The food value of rye consists of 1.5% fat, 73.9% complex carbohydrate, and 12.2% Protein.  The balance of the rye grain consists of 1.9% ash and 10.5% water.
(Rye Flakes)  Rye flakes are made from whole grain rye berries or groats that have usually been cut and steamed to soften them, and then rolled between steel rollers to form the flakes. This is very similar to the way that rolled oats are make. Rye, however has sweeter taste than oats. Rye flakes can be cooked in water or apple juice to make a breakfast cereal, or added or substituted for oats to make cookies or bread. They can be purchased from most health food stores, coops, and some supermarkets. We could not find the complete nutritional information for rye flakes that we have for most of the other ingredients we have posted, so we posted a partial list from one of the producers of rye flakes.
(Sesame Seeds)  Sesame seeds come from the seed pods of Sesamum indicum. They were used by the Assyrians as far back as 1,600 - 3,000 B.C.E., depending on the reference source. We use sesame seeds as an outer coating for some of our bread and roll recipes, and as an ingredient in dips, dressings, and other recipes.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
(Spelt)  Spelt is another of the ancient grains mentioned in the Bible.  It is recorded in Exodus 9:32 as one of the grains grown in Egypt.  Isaiah wrote about spelt in his book (28:25), and spelt was one of the ingredients in Ezekiel's bread (Ezekiel 4:9).  A 2 oz. (56.7 grams) dry serving of spelt contains 216 calories, consisting of 1.67 grams of fat (15 calories), 42.25 grams of complex carbohydrate (169 calories), and 8.1 grams of protein (32 calories).
(Wheat, Hard Red)  Even though wheat is mentioned in ancient writings, it is not the same as the commercial wheat we have today.  Our present day wheat is a variety of hybrid wheat grains which were developed from about 1920.  From what we have learned, this hybrid wheat is more allergenic than the traditional "wheat".  A 100 gram (dry) portion of wheat contains 1.9 grams of fat (17 calories), 72.7 grams of complex carbohydrate (291 calories), and 12.3 grams of protein (49 calories).  (See Kamut for a detailed comparison of nutritional values between our modern day wheat and Kamut.)
(Wheat, Hard White) We like the hard white wheat berries for grinding into flour, because it seems to make a lighter texture and sweeter tasting bread. Hard white wheat is the newest class of wheat marketed in the U.S., but it is not new to the rest of the world. Wheat in this class has a hard endosperm and white bran. Except for the absence in color in the outer seed coat and being typically more prone to weathering, hard white wheat is identical to hard red wheat. The white bran color does not alter the starch characteristics or protein functionality of the kernel. We could not find any nutritional information specifically for hard white wheat berries or flour, so we inserted the nutritional chart for whole wheat flour.
(Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid))  At first thought, it might seem strange to include vitamin C powder as a recipe ingredient; however, vitamin C has been found to be a dough enhancer when used in conjunction with Ginger and Soya Lecithin.  The ascorbic acid strengthens the gluten bonds so that the rising dough is better able to retain the gas bubbles.  The ginger accelerates the yeast, and the soya lecithin acts as an emulsifier. Typically, for every cup of flour, add 1 tsp. soya lecithin, 1/8 tsp. ground ginger, and 1/8 tsp. ascorbic acid powder.  We purchased our vitamin C powder (ascorbic acid) in the health food store.
(Yeast)  Yeast are single-celled plants.  They are fungus that ferment starches and sugars.  One of the by-products of this fermentation process is carbon dioxide gas which forms little bubbles in bread dough and causes it to rise.  These fungus plants are killed during baking.  We purchase our yeast in bulk (1 or 2 pound packages) and store in tightly sealed glass jars in our refrigerator .  We have found two forms of commercial yeast: the one pictured above left is an enlargement of the "bead" or granular form of dried yeast clusters, and the other, (Yeast 2), pictured right in an enlargement, is the extruded form of commercial yeast.  Note that the "cylinders" of yeast have become polarized, and that the static electricity and magnetic field causes them to stick together end to end.  As far as performance in baking, there is no difference in various forms of yeast.