I can’t remember the last time I was as excited about a cookbook as I have been about The Homemade Flour Cookbook, written by Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella, just published a few weeks ago. (And you know I get excited about a lot of cookbooks.)
It’s not only because it’s by one of my favorite bloggers, someone who is at once wildly talented and also the opposite of self-important. When you sit down with Erin, like we got to last year, you find out she’s funny and honest about her own shortcomings and, only after quite a bit of talking do you realize, also one of the most hard-working people you know. When we met her, she was a teacher and a blogger and planning her wedding and getting ready to move and writing a cookbook. You know, no big deal. She has since turned in a second manuscript for what will be her second cookbook, but if you’re reading this and thinking she’s Superwoman, all you have to do is read posts like this one or this one to hear her pop all bubbles of pretension, telling you she is a person just like me and you. Most people can’t be that honest. That is so refreshing and gives me great respect for this girl, but it’s not why I’ve been talking about her book to anyone who would listen to me for months.
It’s also not because of how beautiful the book is, filled with the crisp, attractive, wood-backdrop shots that define Erin’s site—although, looking through the book, you can’t help but notice them and want to have everything you see, kind of the way you feel when you go to Naturally Ella and see magazine-worthy photos of recipes organized by type of grain or season or dietary needs.
It’s not because it’s from the same publisher we’re working with, Fair Winds Press. It’s not because we’ve loved everything we’ve made from it already, including spelt dinner rolls, a buckwheat Dutch baby and these nut flour crepes, which I first made almost a month ago when Tim was out of town and haven’t stopped making since.
Here is the real reason I am so eager to tell you about this new cookbook: it’s approachable. Wildly approachable. It doesn’t matter if you’re the person who stocks two dozen flours in your pantry at all times already or you’re the person who’s never stepped outside the comfort zones of all-purpose flour: The Homemade Flour Cookbook gives you user-friendly, inspiring, vegetarian recipes for 30+ different homemade flours, made from traditional grains, gluten-free grains, beans, nuts and seeds. We’re not talking about obscure, complicated recipes, either; we’re talking about recipes for easy sells like pizza made with chickpea flour or chocolate doughnuts made with ground sorghum or light and delicate crepes made from ground nuts of all things (!!). It’s no hyperbole to tell you that the first time I looked through the cookbook, I felt kind of overstimulated because I wanted to make EVERYTHING, and I still feel that way now.
One more thing worth mentioning, because the book’s title is, after all, about homemade flour: If you have a grain mill, great! Erin shows you how to use it to make flour from everything from black beans to flax seeds. If you don’t have a grain mill but do have a high-speed blender, great! She explains how to use your Vitamix or Blendtec to do the same job, too. And if you don’t have tools to blend your own flours but do have an interest in learning more about things like buckwheat, pumpkin seed meal or chickpea flour, you’re in luck! All the recipes in the book work just as well with packaged flours as they do with home-ground ones. The Homemade Flour Cookbook is like an incredibly helpful, foolproof guide to learning what to do with the rainbow of flours available today. ps to Erin: we are so proud of you and for you and want you to know we’re cooking your recipes in our kitchen all the time.
Fair Winds Press is giving away another copy of Erin’s book to one of you guys! Hooray! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Winner must be in the United States, the United Kingdom or Canada to qualify. Or if you know you want it (and you do!) go ahead and head over to Amazon, where this week they’re running a match program where you buy the book and get the Kindle for $2.99.
disclaimer: we received a review copy in addition to the giveaway copy from Fair Winds Press. all opinions expressed are our own.