The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

White Sonora Wheat

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Crider's picture
Crider

White Sonora Wheat

I'm a sucker for heritage or heirloom wheats. I wanted to get 25 lbs of soft wheat berries and had started an order for them at Azure Standard ($10.50, organic) but then I remembered there's a farm nearby named Full Belly that I know sells Sonora wheat flour at farmer's markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. 


So I emailed them and they sell Sonora berries (25lbs @ $37.50, organic). That price is up there in the foodie stratosphere, but what the heck. After all, you can't get Sonora at your neighborhood grocery! I drove over the hill and picked it up at their farm in Guinda, California.


This morning I milled some up in my little Retsel mill and used stone wheels. I usually sift my flour through #30 and #50 sieves and then put the stuff caught in the #50 back through the mill again for a more finer flour, then use the stuff caught in the #30 for that rough whole wheat texture. I was surprised that almost all of the stuff left on top of the #30 was bran and almost none of the stuff left on top of the #50 was pure endosperm. I had unintentionally ended up with classic bolted white flour in the sifting tray on the first grind! I decided that I might as well have white refined flour for the first go-round with this Sonora, so I milled some more to bring up the quantity of flour I needed for the formula.


It tasted great, of course. Maybe I'll try it again and let the white flour age a couple of weeks, maybe not. It made some very nice scones. 

proth5's picture
proth5

our earlier discussion - a lot of professional millers advocate the one pass approach when working with stone burrs.


Sounds like an interesting wheat - have you seen any lab tests on flour made from it - like alveograph readings? (Or you can send your flour to a lab and get the results yourself...)


My guess is that if you have pure whire flour, and you want to use it for bread (since the write up didn't seem to have much to say about bread - but did mention bread) you will want to age it and possibly malt it.


Nice work.


 

Crider's picture
Crider

Sorry I didn't make that clear. So I doubt I would be able to make a decent risen loaf out of it. 


I'm thinking that milling characteristics were just as important in the old days as they are now. So maybe it's to be expected that it would behave that way and maybe it didn't behave so well when those roller mills and hammer mills took over in the milling business. 


Then again, maybe I lucked out with the grain happening to be just right in moisture and my little mill being just right for a softer wheat. 


I'll try the folks at the Whole Grain Connection to see if they've run any lab tests on Sonora. They're the Johnny Appleseed of this wheat. I sure would like to find a heritage hard wheat to try milling with.

proth5's picture
proth5

with soft until the write-up in the link mentioned yeasted breads - which kind of threw me.


There is a growing interest in these local wheats - I'm lucky - my local wheat is hard red winter. And some bakers are making breads with wheats typically thought to be unsuitable for breads by applying special techniques.


Since my local wheat is an obvious one - I hope to be travelling to some other locales this year and getting some hands on with wheat from other regions...


 

charbono's picture
charbono

According to this newsletter http://sustainablegrains.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/WGCNews4.pdf


Sonora wheat reached 15.6% protein in 2001 in the Capay Valley where you bought your grain.  However it's usually sold as soft wheat.  Full Belly can probably tell you the protein of the particular lot you bought.


 

Crider's picture
Crider

I wonder how they got that much? Anyway, there's a baker down in Berkeley that uses the wheat and sells a sourdough loaf he calls, "Full Belly Whole Wheat", so I suppose there are people who know how to handle soft wheat and make a loaf out of it! Gets a darn good price for it, too.

linder's picture
linder

Hi,

If you live in San Francisco and would like to try some White Sonora Wheat flour, Eatwell Farm will be selling organic white sonora wheat flour at their booth at the Ferry Plaza Saturday Market.  It's pricey, (I think $8 for 3 lbs.) but may be worth an experiment or two.  The protein percentage of their flour is listed at 15%.  I'm going to get some and see how it works combined with my 12% protein red winter wheat. 

Linda

cmsurfmuffins's picture
cmsurfmuffins

The Pie Ranch in pescadero farms and mills their own Sonora Wheat Flour. I am not sure on the exact protein percentage, but look them up. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

story in the forum, out of the  Arizona  Republic about how a local miller had re-opened the Hayden Mills in Tempe and talked a local farmer into growing Sonoran Wheat in the Sonoran desert again, the desert that gave the wheat its name.  He now mills Sonoran white as a result.  It makes as good a white tortilla as any flour can....as as good as La Fama..... my go to flour for tortillas.  I've been told by several folks you can't make bread with soft white wheat but .......they are all wrong.  I use soft white wheat like Sonoran to make bread all the time.  In fact, it makes the greatest crumb in baguettes you have ever had.   I know Ian uses it too and if I remember correctly, his latest masterpiece has some in it.   It makes so awfully nice bread. 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Good subject. I've been thinking about this subject for some time.

I wonder if the product offered is Sonoran 64 or trure Sonoran Wheat?  High protein flour matches descriptions of flour used in Gold Rush sourdough bread. Has anyone tried making SFSD bread with this flour?

Wild-Yeast

linder's picture
linder

Wild-Yeast,

I made some San Joaquin Sourdough bread (dmsynder's formula) using half Sonora white flour (supposedly 15% protein from Eatwell Farm, Dixon, California) and my home-milled hard red winter wheat from Walton Mills wheatberries).  It came out well - smells delicious.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Thanks Linder. That's a beautiful loaf. Wondering if you can post a crumb shot and describe the taste?...,

Wild-Yeast