Healthy Baking by Jordan Bourke

Healthy Baking: Nourishing Breads, Wholesome Cakes, Ancient Grains and Bubbling Ferments by Jordan Bourke is more than a beautiful baking book with an eye toward healthful alternatives. It also includes recipes devoted to savoury dishes such as Baked Sweet Potato and Beetroot with Roasted Freekeh and Salmoriglio and Whole Baked Cauliflower with Cumin Tahini that are baked.

Bourke is the author of the award-winning title, Our Korean Kitchen, which was written with Rejina Pyo, his wife, and shares 100 dishes, from Korean staples such as bibimbap and kimchi to stir-fried spicy squid, sesame & soy-marinated beef and pecan & cinnamon-stuffed pancakes. 

Healthy Baking shares a wide variety of mindful recipes that are unique and tempting some with an international touch such as a Kimchi Sourdough. Other recipes shared are Red Onion, Girolles and Pine Nut Tart which is not only visually stunning but easy to make and good for you with a spelt pastry crust, Chocolate, Tahini and Pecan Rye Cookies that look delectable, and Roasted Carrots with Kamut, Thyme, Hazelnuts and Garlic Yoghurt which look spectacular. Dozens of recipes for breads, wraps, desserts, tips on grains and other ingredients round out this delicious title. 

Many thanks to Orion Publishing and the author for sharing this tasty recipe with our members. Please head over to our contest post to enter our giveaway for three copies of this title open to EYB members worldwide. 


kimchi, egg and avocado on sourdough
This is one of the dishes I make when I am trying to convince a sceptic that kimchi is one of the best ingredients in the world. The frying mellows out the sharper, more acidic notes, while adding in a slightly charred caramelised flavour that is sure to win over the most ardent kimchi-phobe. It always works. This dish can be eaten at any time of day. It has all the components of a sublime weekend breakfast or brunch, but is just as delicious at dinnertime.
serves 2

2 tbsp olive oil, for frying
200g kimchi, chopped into bite-size pieces 
1 tsp honey
½ tsp roasted sesame seed oil
2 eggs
2 large slices of spelt sourdough bread
1 small garlic clove, peeled
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
1 avocado, stoned and sliced
80g feta, broken into chunks
sea salt and pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. When very hot, add the kimchi and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring from time to time, until it starts
to caramelise. Turn down the heat a little, add the honey and sesame seed oil and fry for another minute. 
Remove from the heat and leave to one side. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in another frying pan over a high heat. When hot put in the eggs and fry
for 3-4 minutes, until the egg whites are crispy around the edges and the egg yolks are still a little runny.
Toast the sourdough, then scrape the garlic over the top of each piece of toast, rubbing it into the surface. Season with a small pinch of salt and drizzle over
some extra virgin olive oil. Spoon the kimchi over the toast, and top with the
avocado, fried egg and feta. Season with a little pepper and serve immediately.

spelt sourdough loaf
I find the most time-efficient way to bake a sourdough loaf is to start on a weekend evening, finishing it off the following morning. This recipe makes one large loaf, which is enough to last my wife and me a week. We keep some fresh, slice up the rest and freeze it, ready to be thrown into the toaster when needed. Bear in mind that if you opt for 100 per cent spelt flour, your loaves will not have the same dramatic oven spring as bread containing wheat flour, due to the lower quantities of gluten, which gives bread its structure. However, this does not affect the flavour, so if you are keen on a 100 per cent spelt flour bread don’t let this fact put you off.
375ml water
75g active starter
240g wholegrain spelt
300g white spelt flour, or
strong white bread flour
10g salt
rice flour, to dust the proving basket and work surface
1 round proving basket, or a mixing bowl lined with a clean tea towel
Ovenproof, heavy-based pot with a lid, roughly 22-24cm; a cast iron pot is ideal
step 1
In a bowl, combine the water and the starter. Don’t worry if lumps remain in the starter – this is normal. In a second, larger bowl combine the flours and the salt. Add in the water and starter mixture and thoroughly mix together, ensuring there are no lumps of flour. Cover with cling film and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.
step 2

With a very lightly floured hand, to prevent sticking, stretch and fold the dough. To do this, take a portion of the dough from the base of the bowl, stretch it up and over and press it into the opposite side of the dough. Repeat this movement 4 times, turning the bowl slightly in between each movement so you work your way around the entire dough – see photos 1 to 4, pages 28-29. Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Repeat this process 3 more times, leaving 15 minutes in between each kneading. The whole process should take 1 hour, but only about 2 minutes of hands-on time. Once you have finished, cover the bowl and leave it out at room temperature overnight (or for at least 8-10 hours). If you live in a very warm climate, place the bowl in the fridge overnight.
step 3
The following morning the dough should have doubled in size and feel light and airy to the touch. If you refrigerated the dough, remove it and leave it to prove at room temperature for a few hours until it has doubled in size. Liberally dust your proving basket or bowl lined with a clean tea towel with rice flour. Make sure it is well coated, otherwise your sourdough will stick when you turn it out into your baking vessel. (If you are following these steps for the porridge sourdough or rye & maple sourdough, scatter the oats or rye flakes in a thin layer on the base of your proving basket.) Set it aside.
step 4
Lightly dust the work surface with rice flour, and gently tip the dough out on to it. Use a spatula to help coax all the dough out, and take care not to knock out too much air. The dough will be very soft and a little sticky. With floured hands, take 1 edge of the dough and pull it up and out, then back over itself into the centre of the dough. Work your way around the dough, repeating this movement as you go, each time pulling the edge of the dough out and then back in over itself so that the floured edges are now all puckered together in the centre, and the bottom surface of the dough is fully coated in the rice flour, see step photos 5 and 6 on page 28. The dough should feel a bit tighter at this point.
step 5

Flip the dough over so the puckered surface is facing down. Cup your hands around the ball of dough and bring them together underneath the dough, gently pulling the surface of the dough downwards – see photos 7 and 8 on page 29. Rotate a little and repeat this movement all the way around the dough until the surface feels smooth and tight. Transfer it into your proving basket with the smooth rice flour covered surface facing down and the puckered surface facing up in the centre. Dust with more rice flour, cover loosely with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for 1½ -2½ hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen, until the dough has noticeably risen, but not doubled in size.
step 6

Thirty minutes before the final rise is complete, put your cast-iron or heavy-based pot and lid into the oven and preheat to 240°C/220°C fan/Gas mark 9. When the final rise is completed, carefully remove the pot from the oven and gently, with the support of your hands so it does not lose its shape, invert the dough out of the basket and into the pot, so the puckered centre is now facing the bottom and the smooth surface (or oat/rye covered surface) is facing up. Take extreme care throughout this process, as the pot will be burning hot.
step 7
With a small, very sharp knife or blade, cut 2 to 4 shallow slashes into the surface of the dough, to allow the bread to expand during baking. Put the lid on the pot and place it in the oven. Immediately turn the temperature down to 220°C/200°C fan/Gas mark 7.
step 8
Bake the bread for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the crust is deeply golden brown, just a few shades shy of being burnt. This is important for both texture and flavour. To check the bread is cooked
through, tap the base. It should sound hollow. If not, bake for another few minutes and test again. Once cooked, leave to cool on a wire rack. Do resist the temptation to dive in while it is still hot, as this will release all the internal steam and affect the quality of the crumb. Once it is cool enough to handle, but still warm enough to melt butter, you can go ahead and slice off a chunk of your well-earned sourdough.

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HEALTHY BAKING: Nourishing Breads, Wholesome Cakes, Ancient Grains and Bubbling Ferments by Jordan Bourke is published by Orion as a hardback & eBook.  Photography (c) Issy Croker 

Post a comment


  • allthatsleftarethecrumbs  on  April 3, 2017

    This is definitely one I am looking forward to adding to my collection. I love reading about grains that I have not baked with before, and then trying out the recipes.

  • Titch  on  April 3, 2017

    Yes I am open to trying different ingredients in my cooking how do you know if you don't like something until you have tried it

  • sgump  on  April 3, 2017

    I love alternative ingredients in my baking–particularly those that reduce sugar or fat (and increase fiber and other healthful goodies) without too adversely affecting texture or taste.

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  April 4, 2017

    I am interested in finding ways to create flavorful baked goods that include alternative grains. I am open to current tips to prevent nutritious bricks, ending up with baked goods with better nutrition and taste are more than welcome!

  • laureljean  on  April 4, 2017

    I'm moving more and more toward using ancient grains and alternative sugars in my baking. That means I'm always looking for recipes, cookbooks, and information that will help me in this transition.

  • Elena Rose  on  April 4, 2017

    I would love to try the injera recipe.

  • Siegal  on  April 6, 2017

    I love using alternative ingredients in baking. It makes the same old things new

  • hippiechick1955  on  April 6, 2017

    I have no issue with that. I usually modify recipes to suit what I have on hand. Plus living in other countries has taught me that not everything I need can be found so you have to be flexible with your recipes.

  • t.t  on  April 7, 2017

    I love experimenting, so alternative ingredients are intriguing.

  • fiarose  on  April 8, 2017

    i think using alternative ingredients is what brings me most joy in baking, as well as making me most interested in recipes and cookbooks that do the same. i love creativity and trying new things, especially when that means i can make it special, unexpected, and a little more healthy!

  • earthnfire  on  April 9, 2017

    absolutely open to trying alternative ingredients, especially if I can reduce or eliminate sugar and/or gluten

  • monique.potel  on  April 10, 2017

    we are just learning to be creative with ferments i think this is a nice addition to open our world

  • bstewart  on  April 10, 2017

    Yes — one of my favorites is subbing almond flour.

  • trudys_person  on  April 13, 2017

    I've been trying a lot of "alternate ingredients" in my baking. I have several friends who are GF … I've incorporated buckwheat, coconut flour and almond flour. I'll try anything once!

  • Aproporpoise  on  April 15, 2017

    The Spelt and poppyseed pitta sounds yummy

  • RSW  on  April 17, 2017

    always looking for 'alternative' or new ingredients.

  • veronicafrance  on  April 19, 2017

    Always happy to see a book with new sourdough recipes to try.

  • robinorig  on  April 21, 2017

    I love coming up with my own takes on recipes, substituting in other ingredients. I often look at several recipes of the same thing and then make my own recipe that is a cross between the others, too.

  • FireRunner2379  on  April 22, 2017

    I am definitely open to using alternative ingredients in baking. As a distance runner I am always looking for better ways to fuel my body and at that same time curb my cravings. I was born with a sweet tooth and it has been known to get out of hand!

  • edyenicole  on  April 22, 2017

    Yes, I am open to the idea!

  • Sofie168  on  April 22, 2017


  • imaluckyducky  on  April 24, 2017

    I frequently use alternative ingredients, so absolutely

  • kelliwinter  on  April 25, 2017

    I love trying new things, so, YES, I am so open to trying alternative ingredients in not only baking, but all cooking. You never know what amazing discoveries lay in wait

  • psarreira  on  April 28, 2017

    An amazing book to have, I always love to try different ingredients and I am looking forward to learn more with this book 😉

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  April 29, 2017

    I am interested in using alternative ingredients in my baking since I have a family that's health-conscious.

  • AnnaZed  on  May 4, 2017

    I already use all sorts of alternative ingredients in my baking.

  • lgroom  on  May 5, 2017

    Having lived overseas in a very remote country, I learned to make do and always welcome trying new things.

  • nadiam1000  on  May 9, 2017

    I am open to trying most anything and as a baker, I am always looking for new, and better flavor ides. I love adding savory elements like herbs or whole grain flours to sweet bakes.

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