One issue my great-grandmother felt worth recording for prosperity is that whole-grain oatmeal is painful to eat.  As a child, she refused to eat her’s because it was so painful and her parents made her sit, sit, sit, sit until she did.  She still wouldn’t eat it.  She lived on a remote mountain in the high sierras in 1870, and there weren’t a lot of choices in the dead of winter.  Whole grain oatmeal was not the water-soluble fiber we consider wholesome today.

The Brooklyn Bread Lab  has just opened and gives classes on how to make real whole grain bread with sourdough starter. The chewy brown bread, that claims to be whole grain, is made with white flour and processed bran, but no germ.  That’s why you need to grind your own wheat if your want to make what you imagine is whole-wheat sourdough bread. They also claim you won’t gain weight eating ‘real’ whole grain.  That might be true for oatmeal, but I can gain weight eating rye crackers. I’m still going to try their bread.

If you want to be mesmerized by grain, read a book by Peter Rhinehart. His recipe for whole-wheat bread makes a soft sandwich bread.  The trick is letting the grain become hydrated for at least 12 hours.  Peter is not dismissive of white flour or even sugar, but he can discuss sprouts, seeds, grape skin, and teff as well as the many ways to create an inviting hearth.  He travels around the world just to taste the bread!