The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

triticale

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proth5's picture
proth5

As the few of you who read my posts know, 2011 was the year when I wanted to concentrate on formula development.  But as I found myself winding up the year and looking on to the next, I thought it might be time to look through my vast collection of “vintage” recipes and pull out something from a distant and fading past.

This almost always leads me to the collection of recipes from my grandmother. Of course, at this festive time of year, I am the one tasked with baking a treat that is known only as Grandma’s Brown Christmas Cookies. While not a secret family recipe, it is not worth posting here as it involves an ingredient that is somewhat difficult to obtain (and may or may not be especially legal to have) and large numbers of tiny cookie cutters – which, frankly, are not easy to come by.  No, it is my job to turn that out for the relatives until my death – when no one will make it anymore.

But, there are recipes that are more accessible to the average home baker and this year I decided to resurrect the making of “Crispy Cookie Coffeecakes.” I will reproduce the recipe as per the original (in hopes that this miracle of the “interweb” may preserve it after my inevitable demise) – and the offer my changes.  So here it goes, another “don’t tell the doctor, but we’re baking PA Dutch stuff” recipe from my grandmother.

CRISPY COOKIE COFFECAKE

1 package or cake Fleischmann’s Yeast, active dry or compressed

¼ cup warm, not hot, water (cool to lukewarm for compressed yeast)

4 cups sifted flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1 cup (2 sticks) Blue Bonnet Margarine

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk scalded and cooled to lukewarm

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, lemon rind, ¼ cup sugar.  Cut in margarine with a fork.  Combine eggs, milk, dissolved yeast and add to flour mixture.  Combine lightly.  Cover tightly. Refrigerate overnight. Divide dough in half. On a floured board roll each piece into 18” x 12” rectangles.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixed with cinnamon. Roll up tighty beginning at the wide end.  Cut each roll into 1” slices.  Place cut side up on a greased baking sheet.  Flatten with palm of hand.  Bake at 400 degrees F. about 12 minutes.

Makes 36

 

My changes

Butter instead of margarine.  I cut this butter into smallish cubes and kept it chilled. I did convert the flour to 4.25 oz per cup and weighed instead of measured.

I noted with great satisfaction that my grandmother dissolved – not proofed - the yeast and then used a scant 2 teaspoons of instant yeast mixed directly into the flour mixture.  I used reconstituted powdered milk and increased the quantity by ¼ cup while omitting the lukewarm water.

I used a dough blender to cut in the butter. 

While I was doing that, I had a flashback to blitz puff pastry.  Because that was what I was making.  My grandmother didn’t go into the folding process, but this was blitz puff pastry dough.

The dough is quite alarming when it goes into the refrigerator, but in the morning turned out to be a lovely, soft dough.

I rolled it out into the 12 x 18 rectangle (liberal flour is needed on the board) and then folded it in thirds and rolled it out again. I consider that future iterations might well include better folds, but I had a busy baking schedule ahead of me and I wanted to get on with it.

I goosed up the cinnamon sugar mixture by using half brown sugar.  I baked on parchment paper lined half sheet pans (the cinnamon/sugar filling runs a bit, so containment is helpful.)

I had to bake the things for 17 minutes.  I had a distant memory that when I used to eat these they had frosting on them, so I concocted a quick butter/vanilla/powdered sugar/milk glaze and spooned it on when they had cooled slightly.

Yum.

Now back to Sherman’s planet where I once more take up my ongoing triticale quest.

“My teacher” gave me a memorable quote something to the effect that if one is working with grains that might not be considered optimal for baking, adding enough sugar, butter, and cream will almost always move one closer to success. So I am shamelessly stealing a formula from “my teacher” and tailoring it to my own obsession – triticale

Scones

Mostly Whole GrainTriticale flour                 545 grams            100%

Sugar                                                                     136 grams            25%

Baking Powder                                                  33 grams              6%

Salt                                                                         3 grams               .5%

Butter (unsalted, diced pliable soft)        136 grams            25%

Currants tossed in a little extra flour        109 grams            20%

Eggs, Large                                                          60 grams              11%

Buttermilk                                                           204 gram              37.5%

Heavy Cream                                                     289 grams            53.1%

Cinnamon sugar mixture – or just sugar

In the formula above, the 60 grams is really one large egg.

The flour is about 85% extraction, sifted through a #50 mesh, with the bran milled to a powder.  It’s a nice flour, not exactly silky, but much finer than standard whole grain.  The original formula calls for whole wheat pastry flour, but be bold home millers – try the triticale!

And here we take a mental detour to comments made by “my teacher” – who like me grew up with the Imperial system and has not the reverence for the metric espoused by so many on these pages. Yet, because of certain extenuating circumstances, this formula had to be written in grams.  There were dark mutterings about people feeling that they had to measure everything in grams to bake good bread and strange oaths about never seeing the day come to pass when a scale was needed that measured in fractions of grams. At this point, I swear, I didn’t even say anything, when my teacher looked me directly in the eye – “Yes, when you deal drugs, you need that accuracy.”  For one of the very few times in my life – I had no snappy retort.  You see what I endure – and yet, I am proud to call this person “my teacher.”

(BTW: for you metric enthusiasts, I’ve spent over half a century baking with pounds and ounces, I have a feeling for them.  Half a pound – I know what that looks like in several different ingredients.  A kilo?  Beats me. When I work with people who are new to baking, I use pounds and ounces, but suggest that since they don’t have the years invested in that system that they start fresh and create their references in metric.  Seems like the sensible blending of the worlds to me.)

But back to the scones.

Mix the dry ingredients and the sugar. With paddle attachment of your favorite mixer, blend in the butter until it looks like small peas. Add the currants (I actually used dried cherries, chopped up a bit), mix and then add the liquid all at once.  Mix to a soft dough.  I actually mixed the triticale version a bit longer than I would have mixed wheat.

Use a scoop of desired size to create rounds on parchment lined sheets (I used a standard ice cream scoop sized disher).  Egg wash the tops.  If desired, sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar (I use the formula from Advanced Bread and Pastry) and bake either in convection or standard oven at 350F for 13 – 18 minutes.

Also, yum. I’ve baked this formula with wheat and the triticale texture is very, very similar. They are very delicate scones in either medium and do with some cooling before they can be eaten without excessive crumbling.

And so, as promised, a picture:

Happy Baking!

Pat

proth5's picture
proth5

You’ve heard that expression, right? It isn’t that it does it well – it’s that it does it at all.

In that vein, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why we love the wheat from America’s Heartland. The gluten is strong and tolerant – mix it gently or intensively, it stands up.  Throw it in the retarder – it just gets stronger.  Put it in a poolish and let it go slightly over ripe – well, it won’t be perfection, but it will still make decent bread.  Shape it aggressively and it still holds together.

Wheat is grown other places and some of it is not so generous, but as I have recently been reminded, one can still produce pretty nice bread.  It just takes more emphasis on process and technique.

I especially think about this as I return to my quest for good bread from that bad boy grain – triticale.  I’ve read some works by researchers from the University of Colorado that claim it can be done.  After some moderate progress towards my goal, I fell apart big time.  I was producing bricks.  Bricks with nasty, wet centers.  No reason to post anything about those – they were just inedible.  I began to think that triticale lobbyists had somehow sponsored and influenced these results.

After taking a break for a long, hot summer that made baking too much to endure, doing some traveling, studying, and being somewhat absorbed by the little hobby that pays for all this, I finally had a chance to get back to my work.

Of course, I had received some serious inspiration about working with lower protein wheats.  As it turned out, my instincts were mostly correct – pre ferment a large percentage of the total flour in a firm levain based pre ferment – use a short bulk ferment – and bake in a hot oven.  Some finer points, though, I had neglected.  Some of those things were salting the pre ferment to slow down the action of the yeast and enzymes, keeping the hydration moderate (I was particularly inspired by a remark about high hydration and sperm counts, but that’s a story for another day), developing the dough carefully and shaping really gently but firmly.

So I tempered and milled up a batch of triticale.  It was perhaps 75% extraction or so and contained only the bran that made it through my next to finest sieve.  The researchers had used white flour in their studies, but I was convinced that I was up to the challenge of the "mostly white" flour.

The photo below shows the triticale flour on the left next to some all purpose flour for a comparison.  It was a nice flour, in my opinion, just a little sandy from the bran. (Yes, need a better camera – or a better photographer)

I used a formula for commercially yeasted lightly enriched bread with 30% of the flour pre fermented in a firm levain.  Into the levain I added 1.8% salt – the same percent as in the overall formula.

I decided that I had been a wimp in developing the dough in a mixer because the studies showed that triticale had low mixing tolerance, so I decided to use "slap and fold" method to develop the dough.  At least if I was holding the dough in my hand, I would not be in constant fear of breaking down triticale's low quality gluten.

At the beginning the dough was quite a mess.  I was reluctant to put (triticale) flour on the bench as the studies showed that triticale dough at lower hydrations became short and inelastic, where triticale dough at 68% hydration (the hydration of my formula) was elastic, although sticky.  Finally, though, I came to the conclusion that discretion is the better part of valor and added flour to the bench.  After some minutes of slapping and folding, I had dough that could be described as elastic.  I actually kvelled.  I had never gotten really elastic dough from triticale before.  Had this been a wheat dough it would have been nothing special, but this was triticale…

After 20 minutes bulk fermentation, I gave it stretch and fold and it actually stretched.  After 30 minutes it got another stretch and fold (And it stretched! Again! And didn’t cement itself to the bench!)

Clearly I was on to something here, but I had made a vital miscalculation.  I had an appointment to get to and I would not have time to proof and bake the loaf.  So I shaped it, popped it into the proofer (uncovered!) for 45 minutes and then loaded it into a 425F oven set to turn off after thirty minutes and rushed off.

Had this been my usual wheat in the bread, I could have retarded the loaf, but I remembered dire warnings about retarding low protein wheat and so thought better of  it.

Amazingly, the baking technique was effective although it accounts for the thick crust.

And if I got a big shred like that on a wheat loaf, I would reconsider the degree of emotional investment I have given this bread baking thing.  But for the first time ever I saw evidence of decent oven spring in a triticale loaf (in case you were wondering, I do consider that it might have been under proofed…).

The crumb was pretty tight (but this is what I want in a panned loaf) but fairly strong and soft.  The taste is delicious.  It is.

It isn’t there, yet.  It isn’t a photo to make a person drool (maybe tribbles - do tribbles drool?) – but it is significant progress on a grain that most folks simply dismiss as unsuitable for bread baking.  Look – triticale will not ever bake like hard wheat-  I'm not delusional – but I’m more convinced than ever that acceptable bread can be made from it.

So to the source of my inspiration (and you should know who you are) – thank you – you helped me turn this little project around.

Until the next batch…

 

 

proth5's picture
proth5

 For the one or two of you following my continuing work with triticale, the Great Triticale Crisis of 2011 had me down to my very last bag of tribble food which finally I decided to mill.


In the meantime, with the help of MiniOven, I found a paper from researchers at Colorado State University that contained the vital Mixograph and Absorption numbers that might help me make a breakthrough.  Turns out that hydrations over 68% produce an elastic "wheat like" dough from triticale while lower hydrations produced the putty like dough that had convinced me to treat triticale like rye.


The Mixograph results showed that triticale would have a lot less mixing tolerance than wheat (had to be careful not to overmix) and the researchers reported that they had no success using a Hobart dough hook, but better results with the paddle attachment.


The work in this paper was done with white triticale flour, so I decided to mill a "closer to white" flour than I had been using.  I followed my standard wheat milling process to get about an 85% extraction flour.


I decided on a very simple formula with 30% of the flour pre fermented in a 68% hydration levain based pre ferment.  4% shortening, 4% milk powder, 2% salt, 1.2% instant  yeast, 1% honey, and 69% water. (Calculation of the weights left as an exercise for the reader - it's really just a basic "sandwich loaf" formula - loaded pretty heavily with yeast.)  I mixed for about four minutes with the Kitchen Aid paddle attachment, the switched to the dough hook - which worked well for me -  for another 2 minutes.


The dough was a very soft, sticky dough, but was fairly elastic with what I would consider low/ moderate gluten development.


Thinking that I was now dealing with more of a wheat like dough than a rye, I gave it an hour of bulk fermentation - during which it actually doubled - which had not happened before with the triticale dough.


It was a mess to shape and my shaping flaws probably influenced the crumb , but it doubled nicely in the pan.


I baked it for 35 minutes at 375F and for the first time in my experience with triticale dough, got some oven spring.


The results are pictured below. 


 


Not shredibly soft or fluffy, but for a near whole grain flour of a grain that is considered inferior  for bread baking - not bad at all.  Although light can shine through the slice, it was sturdy and stood up to handling and soft butter. I should have included something to show scale, but it is a nicely sized slice for a sandwich.


I am informed that my new shipment of triticale is winging its way to me as I type and I'll be able to continue this general track of baking.  Next time I will lower the hydration somewhat  (to take the hydration of the honey into better account)and give it a longer bulk ferment with a fold.  In general I don't feel the need to do intensive mix for these panned breads and the Mixograph readings tell me that I can over-mix very quickly, so I don't think I will be increasing mix length by much, if at all.


As an aside, some of my reading tells me that triticale was once considered an acceptable bread grain and was widely used in the North American West, but the structure of farm subsidies encouraged wheat production and triticale became less used for human consumption and because of its high yields and superior protein content was used for more for animal feed.  It forces me to think about how policies determined in some far away corridor of power can impact what we eat and how we think of things.


I am more encouraged on the triticale quest than I ever have been.  People keep remarking that the bread is unusually delicious.  Time to get cracking on some real formula development.

proth5's picture
proth5

 


Once again Captain Kirk has saved the Federation.  A new shipment of quadrotriticale will be delivered to  Sherman's Planet.  But how are they to eat it?  Yes, it can be cooked liked rice or flaked and cooked into porridge.  But what if the good people of Sherman's Planet want sammiches?  What are they to do?


In the spirit of "never give up - never surrender" (uh - a different space epic) I am determined to create a formula to bake triticale bread. Thinking over the dense but tender crumb of an earlier try and determined to apply things that I have learned about dealing with less than "perfect" wheat varieties, I formulated a plan.  I was thinking a mildly enriched bread baked in a pan.  The Bob's Red Mill folks suggested treating the dough like wheat dough except letting it rise only once, shape, proof and bake.  I remembered that the dough really behaved like a rye dough and pondered that I should not do the first rise, but considered that the miller should know.


The formula is as follows:


 

Total Dough Ingredients

 

 

Percent of Flour in Levain

0.3

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

%

Wt

UOM

%

WT

UOM

Ingredients

Wt

UOM

Total Flour

100%

18

oz

100%

5.4

oz

Total Flour

12.6

oz

Triticale Flour

100%

18

 

100%

5.4

oz

Triticale Flour

12.6

 

Water

62%

11.16

 

60%

3.24

oz

Water

7.92

oz

Shortening(leaf lard)

4%

0.72

oz

 

 

 

Shortening(leaf lard)

0.72

oz

Agave Nectar

11%

2.016

oz

 

 

 

Agave Nectar

2.016

oz

Milk Powder

4%

0.72

oz

 

 

 

Milk Powder

0.72

oz

Salt

3%

0.504

oz

 

 

 

Salt

0.504

oz

Yeast

1%

0.216

oz

 

 

 

Yeast

0.216

oz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed

1%

0.144

oz

3%

0.144

oz

Levain

8.784

oz

Totals

186%

33.48

oz

163%

8.784

oz

 

33.48

 

 

Total Dough Ingredients

 

 

Percent of Flour in Levain

0.3

 

Final Dough

 

 

 

As you can see from the formula, I decided to preferment what is, for me, a very high percentage of the total flour in a firm levain.  I chose a levain so that the higher acid would bring some strength to the dough and a firm preferment, again, to bring strength rather than extensibility.

I also loaded the dough up with yeast, so that I would get as rapid a rise as possible.  I would depend on the pre ferment for flavor.

I milled the triticale to a fine, whole grain flour in three passes on the Diamant.

I mixed the pre ferment by hand and allowed it to mature about 10 hours.

Since this was a small batch, I pressed the mighty Kitchen Aide back into bread making service.  I am the type of person who has a sensitivity to pitch - and I will have to say that after some time with My Precioussss, the KA sounded like a little buzzing insect.  There was a time when I considered the KA to be a powerful mixer (and really, it sort of is) - what a long strange trip...

Anyway, the dough actually came together quite nicely, but always had the putty like quality of a rye. I don't particularly enjoy that feel but am starting to get used to it (I'd better - I really need to gather myself together and practice rye bread  - or bring shame upon myself later this year....)

Even with all the yeast, it took two hours of bulk ferment to get the dough to double.  Honestly, looking at the risen dough it had a nice, open quality.  For triticale, that is. 

I shaped the dough an put it into a high sided Pullman pan - brought back from Okinawa.

I allowed it to proof until double - 2 hours.  At that time the dough seemed exhausted and I popped it into a 375F oven for about 45 minutes.

As before, when I had proofed it much less (Oh, I don't write up everything I do...), the dough had zero oven spring.

What amazes me about triticale is the aroma.  The plumbing crew fixing up my bathroom plumbing kept telling me how great the house smelled.

The next day, sliced, I had reasonably sturdy bread with a sweet taste and that fine, tender triticale crumb - as pictured below.

Triticale Bread

I keep mulling over how much more open the texture was after the bulk ferment and have pretty much convinced myself that next time I will treat the dough like a rye and give more of a rest before shaping and capture all of that rise in the proof.  Rye bakers - advice welcome.

The taste - delicious.  Triticale is delicious and I don't know why it is so neglected.

The good people of Sherman's Planet will have sammiches today...

proth5's picture
proth5

I don't know if it is my enduring love of the classic Star Trek Episode (remember - the tribbles ate all the quadrotriticale) or longing for the wee great mountains and lochs of Scotland (one of my past "homes away from home") but lately I've been obsessed with triticale - the wheat/rye hybrid developed in Scotland.


 Now 90% of the time, I am all about the research - reading, questioning, and studying before I make a move.  Of course, there's that 10% of the time where I just jump in - and the triticale was definitely in the 10%.  And as our story unfolds, we can all see why I usually do research.


 I tempered the triticale and achieved a 13% moisture reading.  I then milled it as I would wheat to about 85% extraction.  It milled mostly like wheat - although to get good bran separation, I needed to mill finer than usual.  But I would have been able to easily mill a "near white" flour as I can with wheat.


 I then proceeded to mix up my usual high extraction formula (levain based, 12% of the flour pre-fermented, lean dough, 72% hydration) with the aim to "go by the numbers" and see how triticale would be different.


 First bump in the road - when I brought the dough together, I realized that I had a dough with the characteristics of high percentage rye dough.


 As I passed the time between my 20 "folds in the bowl" - I did what I should have done and looked up triticale.  It was first bred in the laboratory in 1875 by a Scottish biologist and now is mostly available as a second generation hybrid (2 types of triticale are crossed.)  It is an interesting grain in that it has the high yield of wheat with the range tolerance of rye.  This in itself is interesting as it has the potential to produce a useable grain outside the range of wheat.  It is supposed to combine the taste of wheat with the taste of rye, which might make it interesting for those bakers who like a little rye in most of their baked products.  There are some claims that it is incredibly "good for you" although I take those lightly.


 Of course, the downside is that the gluten content is low and it is considered less desirable for bread baking than wheat - but more so than rye.


 So with the dough in the bowl, I decided to treat it somewhat like a rye dough.  Fortunately the base was already a levain.  I continued to mix it 6 times with the "fold in the bowl" method (as I would for a whole wheat - but it never did get any significant gluten development) then shaped it and put it in a banneton moderately dusted with a rice flour/wheat flour blend.  I allowed it to proof for 1 hour 15 minutes and it did rise fairly nicely.  It did not seem particularly over proofed, but seemed fragile enough that I wanted to get it into the oven.  For the first time ever, I "cheated" (by my definition) by using parchment on the peel as I just felt that it would not survive the slightest roughness while loading.  After a feather soft landing on the peel - the dough flattened considerably.  No need to score, but I did lightly dock it.  I baked it in a receding oven starting at 500F with copious steam.


 The result?


 Well, I wouldn't call it good (I gotta be me...), but I wouldn't call it bad.  It had a wonderful wheaty aroma while baking and did have a small amount of oven spring, but I was expecting a rock.


 See below - It was really, really flat.  I put an egg cup in the shot to give an idea of how flat it was.


Triticale Loaf


 


The crumb, however, although very fine was fairly light.  It was not really heavy. (See below.)


Triticale Crumb


 


The taste was actually quite nice - like red whole wheat with just a hint of rye.  Just enough to add complexity, but not to overwhelm the wheat. I probably should have let it settle for a day - but given that this was not destined to be a truly fine bread - I felt it didn't matter.


 Now this isn't a question of "what went wrong with my bread?"  I know what went wrong.  I went off the deep end and used a grain that wasn't going to give me the best results.  But it didn't give me horrible results and the taste was quite nice.


 The question is really - how do we take this somewhat marginal grain and make a much better bread?


 My thoughts are as follows:



  • Add wheat flour - this is the obvious one and one that I'd like to avoid for now.

  • Bake it as enriched pan bread - I should not have so much trouble with collapse and spreading.

  • Use commercial yeast to supplement the levain.  The oven spring with a levain is always somewhat less than with commercial yeast.  Oven spring may have made up a bit for the collapse.

  • Any suggestions?


 So I call upon the collective wisdom of the TFLer's to come up with suggestions...  I'll certainly be willing to try them if they seem reasonable. This seems like a grain that just hasn't had the right marketing campaign...


 Happy Baking!

kansas_winter_wheat's picture

Any interest in whole wheat/rye/triticale berries?

May 11, 2008 - 12:36pm -- kansas_winter_wheat

Hello everyone.  I'm posting this as a feeler for anyone interested in whole, unground wheat berries.  We're a small farm in kansas, and are currently looking to cater to home-millers by producing and shipping custom amounts of wheat/rye/triticale depending on the demand for each.  We currently will have hard red winter wheat available as of about july or september, and depending on the interest, can make hard white winter wheat, rye, and triticale(a cross between rye and wheat) available as needed (by next year)  Please e-mail your interests, i.e, what kind of product you wish to see, typ

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