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loydb

This is my latest endeavor in home-milled grain pasta. I began by milling 5 oz durum wheat, 2.5 oz hard red wheat, and 2.5 oz hard white wheat. I didn't do any sifting this time.



To the ground wheat I added:

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground annato powder



In a blender, I combined

2 room temperature eggs
One whole chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

I poured this into the mound of flour and began working in. Overall I added probably 2 tablespoons of warm water as I worked everything into a cohesive whole, then kneaded by hand for 12 minutes. The dough was really, really stiff.





The dough rested for 3 hours, then I rolled it out and ran it through the spaghetti cutter on my Atlas.



While the noodles hung to dry, I had three thick-cut pork chops to which I'd applied a dry rub that morning. They were cut into cubes and browned in a mix of olive oil and butter. After the were nicely browned, I dumped the following into the pan on top:

8 oz. sliced mushrooms
Diced red, yellow and orange sweet peppers (1 large ea)
1 diced onion
3 finely diced cloves garlic

This cooked down on the stovetop for 20 minutes. I stirred in an 8 oz can of tomato paste, then added a cup of stock (I used chicken because that was what I had open in the fridge. Beef would have been fine, as would vegetable for that matter). A pinch of kosher salt and a healthy grind of black pepper, then into a 350 degree F oven with a lid on for an hour. When done, cook the dried pasta for 4 minutes in boiling water, then add to the pan and mix for a couple of minutes. Chop some fresh cilantro and add at the last minute.

The result was great -- I'd been a little worried that the noodles were going to be too strongly flavored; I didn't want it to taste like chile powder. Apparently my guesses on quantities worked out, because they had an obvious taste without being overwhelming.



 

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loydb

I got some of the San Francisco sourdough culture from http://www.sourdo.com/. I decided to make two different starters -- one that was fed nothing but King Arthur Bread Flour, the other fed nothing but home-milled hard red and hard white wheat. Both produced extremely active cultures within 4 days of 12-hour feedings. I used the basic sourdough bread recipe from BBA, using KA Bread Flour for one, and an 85% extraction sifting of hard red wheat (13%) for the second. Both were given a light wash of egg yolk whisked with milk before the seasame seeds were sprinkled on. They had a 5 hour bulk fermentation and a 2.5 hour final proof.

The KA rolls were crunchy on the outside, but were very much 'white bread'-like on the inside. My wife likes them, I'm thinking about turning them into french toast. They have almost no sour flavor at all, and not much depth. The whole wheat rolls, on the other hand, have a more assertive sour flavor (but still nowhere near King Arthur's New England sourdough). They also (unsurprisingly) have way, way more flavor overall.

I'm going to keep both alive and separate and try again in a few weeks. I'll also try a much longer bulk fermentation.


King Arthur Bread Flour 


Whole Wheat

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loydb

Last night was my second attempt at homemade pasta using home-milled flour. While my first attempt (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25340/experiments-pasta-milling-my-own-flour) was delicious, I tried a few new things based on comments there and reading elsewhere.

 I started out milling a 50/50 mix of durum wheat (14%) and hard white wheat (13%). After milling, I used a #30 mining pan (yes, as in 'gold mining.' It fits perfectly on 5 gallon buckets and large containers like the one shown) to sift out some of the bran, ending up with 85% extraction by weight. I ended up with a little more than 2 cups of flour.

Next, I medium-chopped three cloves of garlic and sauted them in a tablespoon of butter for 5 minutes or so, then added 6 oz of fresh spinach, sprinkled lightly with kosher salt, and cooked 3-4 minutes, until nicely wilted. Moved to a seive and let drain and cool a bit for 20 minutes.

After draining, I put the spinach/garlic mix into a blender, added two room-temperature eggs, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil (remember there's butter and salt from the spinach). Blended up, and poured into a well with the flour.

I worked this in with a fork until it became too much to stir. After ending up with an excessively wet dough last time, I was determined to sneak up on the proper hydration this time. I dumped the still-dry mixture onto my board, and began working in water by hand until it just came together.

After about 12 minutes of kneading, it came together into a nice dough that felt like Play-do. It wasn't at all sticky, nor was it noticably dry. I sprayed it with olive oil, put the lid on the container, and then went about my day. I got back to it four hours later. I put it on a lightly floured board, rolled it out to about the thickness of a pencil, and fired up the Atlas.

This time, I only had to add a tiny, tiny bit of flour to the sheets between setting 3 and 4, and they cut perfectly. They got to dry for right at an hour while I worked on everything else.

Here's the final dish. Toasted almond slivers, mushrooms, onions, garlic and green peas with shrimp. The pasta was cooked for around 4 minutes, then mixed in with everything for a couple of minutes in the pan. It had a great flavor, and was sooooo soft, almost like udon.

 

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loydb

The first batch of sourdough biscuits I made (see below in the blog) were fantastic. So, of course, I had to wildly tinker with the recipe. This time, I decided to mill soft white wheat (3%) to use for the dry flour portion of the recipe. I figured there would be enough bread flour in the sourdough starter. 

I was wrong.

I got no oven spring at all. They taste good, but are dense. I told my wife they were flatbread. I don't think she bought it...

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loydb

I finally got a new pasta maker to replace the one I destroyed via water and overestimating my ability to remember how to reassemble it. :) This time, I went with a motor! I stuck with an Atlas 150, which was a great machine for me until I went all Mr. Fixit on it.

Previously, I'd been using store-bought flour. Last night was my first try with it using flour I milled myself, though I hedged my bets on this one with around 33% King Arthur Bread Flour. I didn't find a lot on milling pasta flour using the search, so hopefully my experiments will aid searchers somewhere down the line.

Attempt #1
I didn't think to take pics of anything but the final product, I'll do better on the next run, promise. All grains are from Pleasant Hill.

I started out with 6 oz of durum wheat (14%)  and 2 oz of hard white wheat, milled fine, mixed with 3 oz KA. By the time it was all said and done, I easily added another 1-2 oz of KA.

Put the milled flour in a bowl, make a well, crack two room-temperature eggs in it, add a couple of healthy pinches of kosher salt (1.5 t maybe?). Whisk with a fork to blend in flour from the edges. When it gets too dry, pour in a little bit of room temperature water (I ended up using just over 3/4 cup of water). Eventually it becomes too heavy to stir with a fork, switch to a spatula or spoon or whatever you use. I chose to hand knead this instead of using my DLX, so I have some sense memory of the dough development as experiments progress. 

After it comes together in the bowl, move to a heavily-floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Mine was really, really soft and damp, and I used a lot of KA flour by the time the kneading was done. It still felt really soft, almost like focaccia. Put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I let it sit 45 minutes. 

I rolled it out about 3/4" thick (using a lot more flour), cut off a chunk about the area of slice of cheese, and started running it through the Atlas. Lemme just say right now, if you're thinking of buying one of these, get one with a motor. It's so nice to be able to work solo, and it takes less than 3 seconds to move the motor from the flattening rollers to the cutter and back. I folded it back on itself a couple of times at setting 0 and setting 1, then progressed until setting 4, their recommended thickness for the spaghetti cutter.

Moved the motor to the cutter, and ran the first sheet through. It was a gummy, messy disaster. Fortunately, it was going to be discarded anyway (as per the recommendations for first-time use).

Clean up, consult the manual. If it fails to cut, add flour to the dough and run it through the rollers.

I liberally sprinkled the cutting board, cut off another square of dough, floured both sides, and ran it through at 0. Folded, floured, repeated. Move to 1, same thing. As it got thinner, I sprinkled flour on the sheet of dough and gently massaged it over the surface, then flipped and hit the other side. Finally, I sprinkled some flour directly on the cutting rollers. 

I should talk here about the texture of the dough. I didn't do any sifting, so all the bran was still in the dough, which felt kind of grainy. When at the final thickness, I could feel the bran in relief when spreading on the KA flour. This was the first thing that concerned me.

Back to the rollers -- this time, everything came through the cutter mostly intact, but the individual strands of noodles were, in some cases, still clinging to each other, looking vaguely like a computer ribbon cable. This was the second thing that concerned me.

I hung the noodles on the drying rack, and the bran in the tiny noodles made them feel almost like they'd been rolled in sand. This was the third thing that concerned me.

At this point, my wife is on the way home from work. I have a bunch of noodles that I'm pretty sure are going to be a gummy, grainy mess. Oh well, I've got dried pasta in the pantry, I can always break it out if necessary.

The noodles hang out and dry for around 45 minutes. Now, they feel like dry, sandy ribbons. I'm not optimistic.

I throw the noodles in 6 quarts of boiling salt water to which I've added 1 T of olive oil, and boiled them for 4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so to keep them from clumping up, then drained them in a collander before adding them to the sauce for about 90 seconds on the stove.

Fearing the worst, I added some fresh-ground asiago and parmesan and tried some.

They were fantastic.

Nothing stuck together, and there was no grainy-ness. It was amazingly tender. 

Heartened by the success, I'm going to try using more fresh milled flour next time, perhaps only using the KA for adjustments (which would still end up being a couple of ounces if it runs to form).

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loydb

After seeing http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4507/concord-grape-focaccia, I knew I had to try it, and grapes were on sale at the grocery store. It's cooling now, dinner soon!

 

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loydb

I've been disappointed that all the sourdough biscuit recipes I found included baking powder. A search here, however, revealed David's attempts at an all-sourdough version (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/21967/sourdough-biscuits-trying-real-thing-take-2).

I keep 8-10 oz of starter at 100% hydration in small quarter containers in the fridge. Yesterday it had been 7 days since I fed my King Arthur New England starter. I divided into a 3 oz portion and a 5 oz portion. Both were fed 1:1:1, and left on the counter. After 5 hours, the 3 oz batch (now 9 oz) was returned to the fridge. I left the 15 oz batch on the counter overnight in a larger container. It was bubbling wildly this morning. I followed David's recipe with the following alterations:

1) All butter. I had no lard (rectified that at the grocery this afternoon, I'll try again with 50/50 lard/butter). I used a food processor to mix the chilled butter with the AP flour (KA bread flour in this instance), sugar and salt. I hand mixed in the starter, and just barely got it to hold together as per David's advice. After a 45 minute rest, I did the 4x stretch/fold/roll.

2) Nearly a 5-hour proof. They hadn't risen enough after 2.5 hours, so I went to the grocery store. When I came home, they were nearly doubled, and got to sit another 45 minutes while the oven warmed.

3) 19 minutes @ 425 versus 15 mins.

 The biscuits are light, and perfectly sour with just a little butter (also great with honey). We'll be having them with spiral ham and Tillamook cheddar tonight.

 

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loydb

 

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loydb

I haven't been baking for a bit, and apparently the starter that I thought was frozen in my freezer, wasn't, so time to make some new. This is on day #4 using the BBA starter recipe. Glad I put a plate under it :)

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