Feeding the Tribbles Again...
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.