In restaurants and at home, “ancient grains” are getting a lot of attention because of their loaded health benefits and great flavor. They include: quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”), a staple the Incas called “the mother grain”; spelt, a cereal grain mostly used as a wheat substitute in baked goods; amaranth, which was a favorite among the Aztecs and the Native Americans, is a flour substitute for wheat; buckwheat, native to Russia, is most often used by home cooks as a flour to make pancakes; millet, the smallest grain, originated in Ethiopia; barley, the oldest of grains, originally grown in the Middle East and North Africa, is popular as an addition to stews and soups (try our Beef and Barley); and rye, which was first cultivated in Germany, is a favorite for making bread.
Homemade pizza is becoming a Sunday ritual for us. A little rye flour added to the dough gives it extra flavor. Make it early in the day and place it in a large bowl next to the fire (or in another warm spot). It will magically rise to a wonderful dough.