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These Barley-Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies Are the Perfect Introduction to ‘Bread and Roses’

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The use of edible flowers in cooking and baking—along with freshly milled flours from heirloom grains like einkorn, buckwheat, and spelt—are having a moment.
Rose Wilde takes advantage of both in Bread and Roses: 100+ Grain Forward Recipes featuring Global Ingredients and Botanicals, a recent Food52 Baking Club pick. (Snacking Bakes by Yossy Arefi is our next selection—join us to bake through it!)
“Flowers have long been consumed and it’s time they were brought back onto the plate with more intention and abundance,” Rose writes in the introduction. Most members incorporated flowers into their bakes via botanically derived ingredients such as rose water and orange blossom water. Far fewer shared bakes featuring flowers as decor, but for the author, this is still a victory—using blooms for flavor, not just decoration, is her self-proclaimed mission.
She also celebrates the grains of the world, and organizes her globally focused book by region and ingredient. The chocolate chip cookie we excerpted from her first chapter, “Asia: Rice, Barley, Buckwheat,” quickly became one of the club’s most-baked recipes from the book. But there were other favorites, too—here are a few:

The Spelt Morning Buns.

Photo by Alisson Olivia

Alisson Olivia made the Spelt Morning Buns, “I’m not an experienced baker other than weekly sourdough with my 3-year-old starter,” she said. But even though she said she “wasn’t sure” at some points in the bake, the end result was worth the effort. “This is the best thing I ever made.”

The Buckwheat Cake.

Photo by Alexis Bowles

One of the most ambitious bakes of the month came from Alexis Bowles, who tackled the Buckwheat Cake with Buckwheat Milk Tea Soak, Yuzu Curd, Coconut Custard and Torched Meringue, splitting the work over two days.
“This cake was a journey, a very delicious one with 5 components to it,” she said, heaping praise on the buckwheat milk tea soak. “I toasted my own groats in the oven and the soak was very straightforward with a nutty and sweet flavour reminiscent of soy milk. Could drink it on its own and I will be adding the leftovers to my own bubble tea.”

The Einkorn Olive Oil Cake.

Photo by Joanne Bruno

Joanne Bruno also took on one of the layer cake projects, Einkorn Olive Oil Cake with Rose Hip Custard and Pistachio Buttercream and had a lot of notes. For one, “The rose hip custard was good but the rose flavor was very subtle. I would use more next time.” She had to scale down on the icing, adding that it too didn’t have enough pistachio flavor, and said the layer cake would benefit from being served as standalone olive oil cakes, without any icing at all, to appreciate the flavor.

The Spelt Kachapuri.

Photo by Monica Cortarlea

As Rose Wilde notes, working with ingredients like botanicals and heritage grains can have a bit of a learning curve—and the results can vary based on the freshness of your ingredients.
The book includes recipes for savory bakes, too. Joanne Bruno made the Spelt Khachapuri and called it “total cheesy comfort food.”
Monica Cotarlea, who loves to bake with spelt flour, also made the Khachapuri, and suggested other savory ingredients would work well as a filling, like mushrooms or ground meat.

The Corn Cookies.

Photo by Alisson Olivia

Along with Rose’s section on flavored sugars, which many members loved, her cookies seemed to be the spot that our bakers felt most comfortable with.
Alisson Olivia baked the Corn Cookies with Candied Mango and Red Peppercorn Sugar, noting that while she isn’t a “cookie person,” the cookies from this book really worked for her.

Photo by Amy Bachrach

Photo by Alicia Fidanza

Above and beyond Rose’s suggestions, many members opted to mill their own grains for flour. The most common choice? Barley, to use in the Barley Miso Chocolate Chunk Cookies.
“I ground Italian barley with a coffee grinder and it worked perfectly,” said Alicia Fidanza.
Ophelia Yang Chafigoulline also tried her hand at the cookies. “I’ll be honest—I had my doubts. The funkiness of the miso was VERY pronounced when I tried the raw cookie dough. (My teen son said they were “disgusting.”) But lo and behold, post bake, the umami of the paste made the cookies moist, rich and so earthy. They got rave reviews. Even the skeptical teen decided they were worthy for the middle school bake sale.”
Others simply made substitutions, like Amy Bachrach. “I replaced the barley flour with rye flour since that’s what I had,” said Amy.
Trent Vernon used a milling attachment on his mixer, “I didn’t feel like ordering an entire bag of barley flour, so I ended up milling some pearled barley.” For him it was worth the extra effort. “ I really did love them,” he said.

Up Next In the Baking Club
In June, the group is covering Snacking Bakes by Yossy Arefi. To bake through it with the group, head to Facebook and request to join the Baking Club. Then:

• Get the book(s) either by purchasing, borrowing from the library (or by sneaking a copy off your friend’s bookshelf).

• Read and cook through the book.

• Share your opinions by posting a photo of what you make from the book and include your review. You can (and should!) also share on Instagram or TikTok as well by tagging your photo with #f52bakingclub

• Don’t forget to check out our Cookbook Club too!

Are you a Rose Wilde fan? What’s your favorite recipe from her book? Tell us below.

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