I’ve just received all of Sue Gregg’s recipe books. If you don’t know who Sue Gregg is, she’s an advocate of whole food cooking and teaches people how to cook the whole foods way.
She encourages soaking of grains a la Sally Fallon, another whole food champion.
When using whole grains, the outside of the grain, or bran is still intact so the grain is far more nutritious. However, there is a belief that the bran contains phytic acid which can cause malabsorption of certain minerals, particularly calcium. Therefore, soaking in an acid medium is recommended to break down this substance.
Soaking also makes whole grains easier to digest. Ancient peoples always soaked grains prior to using them for flour.
The problem with this method is that you generally need to start either first thing in the morning or the night before. I’m getting used to this as we’ve been incorporating more legumes into our diet, so each night before I go to bed, I stop and think…..’do I need to soak something before I turn in?’
This particular recipe only needed a three hour soak, so I played with it yesterday. Sue Gregg tends to use one flour whereas I like to blend together a mix of different ones. You can muck about with the blend to suit yourself or what you have in the pantry. Rolled oats, brown rice, kamut, quinoa would all be nice. I’ve used barley in this recipe and barley does contain gluten. However, the type of gluten in barley is much easier to digest than that found in wheat.
Her recipe used almonds and rolled oats for the topping, but I had some leftover pecan topping, so I just used that.
Oh, and there’s no coffee, it’s a type of cake, like a Tea Cake.
Pecan Coffee Cake
Blend on highest speed of blender or food processor until reasonably fine. (This took about two minutes in my TMX):
150g pearled barley
3/4 cup yoghurt or soured milk and 1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup warm honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
80g rapadura or coconut sugar
50g toasted pecans
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the batter, grind the grains and seeds in food processor or Thermomix until fine, about two to three minutes on high speed.
Add the liquid ingredients (except eggs), blend for a few seconds and leave to sit in a warm place for about three hours. I just left the batter in the Thermomix bowl. You could put it in the Thermoserver.
Meanwhile, make the topping by blending ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 165C and grease and line a 20cm round or square tin. Make sure lining goes above tin so you can pull cake out using lining. If you tip it upside down, the topping will go everywhere. (ask me how I know….)
Blend the batter for a couple of minutes. This will make the batter lovely and smooth since the grains are now soaked. Add the eggs to the batter and blend another minute or two. Add blended rising agents and spices and mix to incorporate.
Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle topping over. Press topping in gently with palm of hand. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake springs back when gently pressed. Remove to a wire rack.
Serve warm or cold.