The whole grain trend that is sweeping the nation is alright with me. The health benefits of whole grains are great, but the flavor is what keeps me coming back for more. They just taste good, and they make even the simplest thing more interesting. Kim Boyce schooled us all a few years ago, and I am happy each time the lesson is reinforced.
We now have Tartine No. 3, a book focusing on whole grain baking. I was excited for the release of this book, and again it is well-executed. But again, it is for another sort of baker. In this third book even the tea cakes, scones and galette doughs require leaven and poolish. I have no doubt that the results of the effort would be delicious, but again— I’m not doin that.
I made two versions, rye with pecan and barley with cashews. I loved them both. I liked the rye and pecan on its own, though it was also nice with raspberry jam. It had a kind of linzer cookies flavor, which you could enhance with some added spice. The barley and cashew was outrageously good with a spoonful of plum jam in the center (I think apricot would delicious too).
50/50 Sablés (from Tartine No. 3 by Chad Robertson)
The complete recipe is available here, along with more notes. Their version looks less hydrated than mine, not sue why but it sounds like both were successful. I followed the recipe exactly, except that I chilled the formed cookies in the fridge for a bit so they better held their shape in the oven. I did that because I was making thumbprints, probably not necessary if you’re not planning on filling them.
- 186 grams nuts, pumpkin seeds, or cocoa nibs
- 186 grams flour
- 133 grams (2/3 cup) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 133 grams (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, cut into pieces at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Spread the nuts or pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and toast until golden in color. (Cocoa nibs are already toasted, so if making the cocoa nib-buckwheat version, skip this step.) Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the nuts, pumpkin seeds, or cocoa nibs, flour, sugar, and salt and pulse until very finely ground, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and add the butter by hand, a few pieces at a time, massaging the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms a dough. (If the dough seems dry and is not holding together, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together.)
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it together with your hands into one cohesive mass.
Roll the dough into two logs, each about 15 by 1/2 in/38 cm by 12 mm, then cut each log into 1/2-in/12-mm slices and roll each slice into a ball. Transfer the balls, spacing them about 1/2 in/12 mm apart, to parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking to ensure even browning, until the cookies are golden around the edges (depending on the nut-flour combination used, the golden hue will be more or less noticeable; with the cocoa nib and buckwheat combination it will be less noticeable, with the cashew-barley combination, more).
Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool completely. The cookies will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.
*** It is also worth noting that there are some very serious errors in the Chamomile Shortbread recipe. Like, it is a disaster. The publisher has assured me that they will correct the errors in the next printing- but I guess tread lightly with this book. Where there is one error, there are usually more. Ugh.
January 20th, 2014 at 11:46 am
I’ve been way too swamped since the year started to even drop by the bookstore and page through the new book, but I have been excited about it ever since I found out it was being published, so I’m glad that you’ve had some success with it so far! Do you think that cherry preserves would have any place with these cookies? It’s about all I have left from my stock of jam. Also, scones with a preferment…what? That might be too much even for me.
January 20th, 2014 at 11:50 am
Ha, Katie- I thought of you. You’d be up for tackling the recipes in the book and I hope you do. And yes! cherry would be great in the pecan rye and probably in some of the other combos.
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:
January 20th, 2014 at 11:53 am
I’m so excited for this book!! These cookies look FAB!
January 20th, 2014 at 12:03 pm
at last! something to do with that bag of barley flour sitting in my pantry!
A Toast to the Good Life says:
January 20th, 2014 at 12:04 pm
These look delicious! And I agree about the whole whole grains trend… I am a fan too!
January 20th, 2014 at 12:40 pm
These look beautiful! I will do some experimenting of my own soon. :)
January 20th, 2014 at 12:57 pm
I posted about Tartine No.3 today too! I agree, some of the recipes look daunting, but I am looking forward to diving deep into them. The chocolate rye cookies I made were super easy to put together and totally delicious.
January 20th, 2014 at 1:12 pm
I had a straight-up mad scientist on my hands when I checked out the first Tartine book and my boyfriend decided it was bread or bust. The jars of suspicious starter experiments around our place are finally gone and I am firmly, happily in the no-knead camp.
Thanks for breaking down a cookie recipe from Chad’s new book! I hope you work out a way to make chamomile shortbread, too. That sounds delicious.
January 20th, 2014 at 1:20 pm
Yossy- those look beautiful! Curious to hear what else you find in the book.
January 20th, 2014 at 1:32 pm
Thank you for this pleasant surprise. I think it seems daunting at first, but just think after a few attempts…wholesome goodies will come more naturally to create. (At least that is what I tell myself.) Happy Nesting.
January 20th, 2014 at 3:50 pm
I think apricot sounds really good…and possibly dulce de leche! They look so yummy!
January 20th, 2014 at 5:13 pm
I feel exactly the same way about tartine 2. I sat down and read it. It was beautiful and inspiring. But no: I ain’t doing that. Would much rather just buy the bread if it takes that much trouble! The cookies on the other hand, I can get behind that. Lovely stuff.
January 20th, 2014 at 9:39 pm
I live on the same block as Tartine and still have all three cookbooks (all gifted but I’m a heavy hint-dropper). Numbers 2 and 3 in particular are visually stunning, but I’m yet to get a good starter going (even with the same climate conditions as the bakery!). That said, I will keep trying, and keep standing in line at 4pm to buy their bread, because it’s just that good. Thanks for highlighting these cookies, which I might otherwise have overlooked in the bread obsession!
January 21st, 2014 at 11:43 am
Being able to pick up a loaf of Tartine bread on the way home after work is one of the joys of living in the Bay Area, so I agree that it’s fine to leave the bread baking to the pros! But you should check out. Chad’s recipes for bread ‘leftovers’ in the back of the no. 2 book. Really yummy stuff!
January 21st, 2014 at 8:26 pm
mmmmm, i just got my copy of t-3 in the mail, and dog-eared that page on impact. thanks for the feedback on the iterations — so many to choose from, so little time!
January 22nd, 2014 at 1:05 pm
Something tells me there might be in error hiding in this recipe as well. Seems to me you would need to significantly up the amount of sugar called for if you chose the cocoa nib route.
January 22nd, 2014 at 1:46 pm
Hmmm, Olivia- I am not sure if that is an error or a difference in taste. 2/3 cup of sugar is still a pretty healthy dose of sugar, even with the bitterness of cocoa nibs. If ou give it a try, let us know!
Lisa @ Garlic and Zest says:
January 23rd, 2014 at 3:08 pm
I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t had a carbohydrate in almost 3 weeks, or because these just sound so unusual with the nuts and grains — worth breaking a fast for? Maybe! Thanks for escape!
January 24th, 2014 at 1:00 pm
I’ve made these cookies several times, and they truly are amazingly delicious.
As for the bread in Tartine Bread: Tim, you should go for it. It really is amazingly easy. I realize I’ve been baking bread for a couple of decades now, much of it with starter instead of packaged yeast (although I do have a massive canister of yeast in the freezer because I bake so often), so I realize that “easy” is subjective…
…but the basic Tartine Bread process took my bread to entirely new heights.
About starter: ten years ago, I bought my initial starter from King Arthur Flour, rather than trying to raise my own. It’s still alive and doing well in my refrigerator. You don’t need to feed it every day — when I’m not actively baking, I’ll sometimes let it go 1-3 weeks in the fridge without a feeding. Before I start baking with again I give it a full 24 hours of regular feedings and voilà! it’s back.
January 24th, 2014 at 1:28 pm
Thanks for the encouragement, David! Yes, “easy” is indeed subjective (24 hours of regular feedings?!). Maybe someday I’ll get into home bread baking, but for now I will gladly support my local bakery. ; )
Janice (@KtchnHealsSoul) says:
January 25th, 2014 at 12:58 pm
Gorgeous thumbprint cookies! I am totally addicted to preserves and these look like the perfect way to incorporate more jam in baking! And using alternative grains/flours is so much fun and the flavour is phenomenal, especially with jam, right! I haven’t bought this book, but it’s definitely going on my list :)
January 25th, 2014 at 2:34 pm
The Tartine books have been on my wishlist for a while, but at this side of the Atlantic they are not in the bookshops. So I can’t browse a copy to see if it’s worthwhile. Perhaps these cookies will win me over. They remind me much of the thumbprint cookies from the Tassajara recipe book by Edward Espe Brown, and those are my all time favorite standby cookies. I like to snack on them when coming home from work and at every other moment of the day.
January 25th, 2014 at 6:46 pm
Goodness, these are delicious. So far I’ve tried walnut/buckwheat and hazelnut/barley, both with lingonberry jam. I formed the dough into cookie shapes, filled the indentations with jam, and then chilled for about 45 minutes. They were still really soft when they came out of the oven but firmed up enough to hold together for eating.
I don’t have a kitchen scale (!) but was able to get acceptable measurement conversions through some googling. For buckwheat flour, 186g was about 1.5cups, while for the barley flour it’s more like 1.25cups.
salvegging @ salvegging.blogspot.com says:
January 28th, 2014 at 4:08 pm
mmm. so glad you posted ; 0 been meaning to get to these and tried today it with buckwheat/almonds, filled with plum jam. The buckwheat can be a little hard to work with and benefits from chilling. super delicious with that nice sandiness, and easy though. the great thing about working with grams is you can divide recipes more easily. i got a nice small batch by dividing the #s by 6! xx
February 4th, 2014 at 5:41 pm
Mm, sables! Maybe my favorite genre of cookie. I’ve been constantly baking Alice Medrich’s nibby buckwheat cookies since last winter, but I could do with a remix, probably! Thanks for an easy ratio.
J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats says:
March 12th, 2015 at 10:45 am
So glad you pointed out the errors in the chamomile shortbread cookies, I was going to make it with some leftover kamut flour I had!!