The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wheat

davidjm's picture
davidjm

I was up for a challenge recently, so I decided to try the Poilane-Style Miche from Peter Reinhart's "Bread Baker's Apprentice."  It's a 10 cup wheat, 100% wild yeast loaf.  It is also the cover picture of the book.  What a loaf of bread!

I ended up doing a variation on the recipe.  After 6 days of working on it, the final loaf turned out much better than I could have hoped.

As you can see, it rose much more than I expected.  I had made a deep cut in a pound-sign pattern, and the crust still broke at the edges from rising.  I have taken to using the "hearth-baking" steam technique outlined in Reinhart's book.  So the crust was thick and had two discernable layers on the pallate:  The outside was crispy, while the inside part of the crust was chewey (also a feature of sour-dough, as I understand it).

The crumb was somewhat irregular, but didn't have the big holes.  I don't think I could have expected it though given the style of loaf.  It was chewy, cake-like, and moist. 

The taste was really tangy, because I purposefully increased the percentage of starter.  I was concerned about it rising enough.  Although, next time, I think instead of doubling it, I'll only do 1.5 x's as much starter because it was a bit too tangy.  Here is my short version of the variation I followed:

Seed culture:

  1. One cup of rye to make seed culture
  2. next day (or when ready) add another cup of rye (1/2 cup water)
  3. Remove one cup of 2 cup mix and add another cup of rye
  4. Repeat step 3 on the fourth day

Barm:

  1. Take 2 cups of rye starter and add: 2.5 cups white and 2 cups water.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.  Ready next day.

Firm Starter:

  1. One-half of Barm (which amounts to 2 cups or more) + 2 cups wheat + 1/2 cup water
  2. Set it out and let rise.  Then refrigerate overnight.

Dough:

  1. Add all of starter + 6 or more cups of wheat + 3 and 1/4 tsp salt + 2 and 3/4 cups - 3 cups of water.  (My final loaf was an 8 cup total mix.  I followed the recipe, but it wasn't enough water for 10 cups.  So I've adjusted this variation to have more water and thus more flour.)
  2. I proofed it in a large mixing bowl with a towel lining.  It worked great.
  3. Two rises at 70 degrees F (it's about winter here) until it doubles.
  4. Punch back very gently.  I just lifted the dough out of the bowl and flipped it upside down to punch back.  Reinhart seems to think with these style loaves, it is best not to completely de-gas it.  It worked for me.

So there you go.  A great tasting loaf with nothing but flour, salt, and water.  Praise God!  Enjoy with a cup of Irish Breakfast tea and a steaming bowl of oatmeal.

Barkalounger's picture

Wheat Seeds?

October 12, 2008 - 9:11am -- Barkalounger
Forums: 

Does anyone have a good online source for small amounts of wheat seeds?  I have a very small plot of land (very small - 4'X4') and a I realize I won't get much of a yeild, but I want my kids to see how bread gets to the table from beginning to end.

 

I've found a few places that sell 3, 6, 9 pound bags online, but I need much less.  And, since I procrastionated, I suppose I'll need to grow spring wheat instead of winter.

 

Thanks!

 

phxdog's picture

Roasting Grain before milling?

June 21, 2008 - 12:05pm -- phxdog

Anyone try roasting wheat before grinding it? I saw an episode of "Good Eats" on Food Network where Alton Brown (Host) recommended roasting wheat berries in a heavy pan before soaking and using them in cereals. The idea was that the heat changed some of the simple sugars into more complex (flavorful) compounds.

I wonder if this would effect grinding, gluten development, rise (not as much sugar for the yeast), etc.? I found a few discussions on roasted flour here, but not roasted whole grains.

Phxdog (Scott)

okieinalaska's picture
okieinalaska

whole wheat bread

CrumbCrumb

 Whole Wheat RollsWhole Wheat Rolls

 I tried Kippercat's whole wheat roll recipe she posted a few days ago.  I LOVE IT!  The dough was lovely to work with and I even managed to shape the rolls so that they looked as good as they tasted.  I took the photos above, it was hard not to slice that loaf as soon as I could though!  But right after pictures, we cut it, LOL.

I didn't have instant yeast so I tried to add just a bit extra of active yeast.  I also added a little extra water to proof it (both times).  Also I let the biga and soaker sit for 4 hours on the counter while I went drove to town and shopped and took longer than I thought I would.  When I was making the main dough  and I added the yeast I forgot to add the extra though. I think it could have used it. 

I only had one small loaf pan so I weighed out a pound of dough for it and the rolls were 5 oz each (I got a dozen rolls).  The loaf was too small and the rolls were too big, LOL.  The rolls rose wonderfuly but I baked them after the loaf so they had a little longer to rise.  The loaf I should have let rise a little longer but I was still amazed at how light it was.  We ate half of it still warm with butter and honey.  I had some for toast this morning and as it is toasting you can smell the honey in the recipe. Yumm... my 7 year old dd loved it. My son ate it on a sandwich and had toast but he says he doesn't like it.  But he did eat it which is something he normally won't do if he doesn't like it.

I think this will be the recipe I use all the time now.   It will be interesting when the instant yeast gets here to see if and how the bread changes.  Next time I will make a bigger loaf and rolls about 3 oz in size.

Thanks KipperCat for posting the recipe.   

okieinalaska's picture
okieinalaska

Whole Wheat RollsWhole Wheat Rolls

I am a magazine junkie.  The checkout stand is my downfall.  I love in particular cooking magazines, craft magazines and just anything creative.   

A couple of weeks ago I bought the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Baking magazine. The pumpkin praline pie on the cover won me over instantly, but inside I found another treasure....some recipes from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.  Six different recipes with wonderful mouth watering photos of the end products.  I was determined to try them.

Right away I made the Cheddar Onion Fantan Rolls....I didn't care for them.  Personally I don't like onions in bread so I am not sure why I thought I would like these, LOL.   Sorry, no picture of those but I did try the wheat rolls today. 

I made a double recipe, let them rise, made the rolls and then let them sit in the fridge overnight. This morning I took them out and let them rise.  The end result, they were pretty good but I know I can do better.  Usually I make cloverleaf dinner rolls but I didn't have the time or the energy last night to do that so I tried to just roll them into balls and set them next to each in the pan (not touching).  Most turned out ok but I think they would have looked much nicer as cloverleaf rolls.  The double recipe made 31 rolls. 

We took them to our Church Thanksgiving Feast today (along with a huge amount of sweet potato casserole).  I had expected a lot of people but there was less than 30 of us.  I think everyone was just as surprised as I was as there were 4 very large turkeys and a ton of other food.  Even after dinner, 2nd's, 3rd's and taking home leftovers I have a little bit left of everything.  (which was fine with me, LOL)  Speaking of the sweet potato casserole, it had rave reviews and they loved it.  I will def. make it every year from now on.

 Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrated it today. : )

Amy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Many many months ago, in Austria far away, a sourdough starter was supplied from a baker, good and qualified. The Austrian starter was dried and traveled to China where part of it mixed and grew nurtured in the presence of Chinese all purpose flour and later with Austrian Rye flour. Sometimes it sat out to grow, sometimes it sat in a refrigerator, one time even froze but it lived long and prospered and provided many a loaf of bread. Then it was dried. This happened at various times in the last few months.

It might be interesting to compare the starter 6 months ago and now, making two identical loaves and see if the SD has changed in flavor. Two very different environments. A change in starter flours and water not to mention treatment. Will they taste the same? Will they rise the same? Have I changed the characteristics of the starter from the original?

First part of experiment requires re-hydration of dried starters, then feed and stabilize, keeping them separate but treating them alike. Then to use in a recipe and do blind taste tests. Mad scientist has her baggies of dried starter ready and they are February dried starter, April, and August, a control has been made using no starter. 10g of each dried starter was placed into a jar and 40g water was added, after 10minutes 15g of rye flour was stirred in. Each is covered with butter paper and just sitting there waiting for action. One interesting observation...April dried starter smells like cream cheese. (it should be noted that this sample was stored in glass for a long time and the others in plastic baggies...hmmmm)

pmccool's picture
pmccool

In spite of the crazy, rainy weather of the past week or two, farmers in Kansas and other Great Plains states are trying to get the wheat harvested whenever field conditions allow. On my way home from work this evening, I saw these guys making their way across a field:

Wheat harvest, Johnson County, KS

As soon as I got home, I gathered up my camera and my 5-year old grandson and headed back to the field so that he could see what a combine looked like and what it did. And to grab these pics, too. Yes, those are office buildings in the background of the picture, above. Johnson County is home to a number of Kansas City suburbs and more farm land gets paved every year for subdivisions, shopping centers, office parks, etc. Hard to complain about it too much, since I'm part of the problem.

Here's a closer shot of the combine as it crossed our line of sight:

Wheat harvest, Johnson County, KS

This last shot shows one of the two combines at work in the field stopping to unload into a waiting semi-truck trailer:

Wheat harvest, Johnson County, KS

In this shot, you can see a traffic light and part of a house in the background.

My grandson was quite impressed by the big machinery, even though he didn't completely understand what was going on. I tried to explain how the kernels from the stalk of wheat that I plucked for him were the part of the wheat that was being harvested and that it would be milled into flour for breads, cookies, pies and so on. I know he understood the food end of it and he knows what flour is; I just don't think he has a concept of how something growing in a field could be turned into those things. It will come, eventually. At least he has had an introduction to one of the steps in the process.

Oh, and for the curious among you, it's winter wheat. It was planted in October or November of last year.

PMcCool

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