The Fresh Loaf

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San Francisco Sourdough Culture: King Arthur Bread Flour vs Milled Whole Wheat

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loydb's picture
loydb

San Francisco Sourdough Culture: King Arthur Bread Flour vs Milled Whole Wheat

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

Comments

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

....from the whole wheat fed to the starter or from the high extraction flour?  I don't know how you would tell without testing both starters with both flours.  I haven't baked much with sifted fresh ground wheat, but I find the flavor of fresh ground wheat berries much better than whole wheat flour I purchase from King Arthur.

FF

loydb's picture
loydb

I posted notes on my results from similar experiments on this thread (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25425/different-flours-sourdough-starters-charateristics), but I haven't actually tried it with this particular starter strain. I want to do at least one more pure KA round, but this time give it the much longer proofing times (overnight) recommended in Classic Sourdoughs as opposed to the 4-5 hours I've been using per BBA.

I suspect that *anything* is improved by the addition of home-ground wheat. Like you point out, the flavor is far superior to bagged.

 

 

linder's picture
linder

Agree that anything is improved by the addition of home-ground wheat.  The difference between home-ground wheat and KA Whole Wheat flour (which is good) is enormous - LOTS more flavor  to the home-ground stuff.  I'd also be willing to bet that wheat grown in different areas of the country also tastes different, even if it is the same kind of wheat (hard red winter, hard white, etc) - kind of like terroir with grapes? 

loydb's picture
loydb

I was a homebrewer for many years, and I always knew that my barley flavor would vary depending on where Austin Homebrew Supply got a shipment from the particular week I went in. Baking doesn't go through the grain at quite the accelerated rate that brewing 5-10 gallons/week does, but I'm fascinated by the differences in flavor among the five whole grains I buy in 25# lots - Hard Red Wheat, Hard White Wheat, Soft White Wheat, Durum, Rye. The combinations are infinite.

 

breadbakin fool's picture
breadbakin fool

I was wondering exactly how you get the  "85% extraction" whole wheat from your freshly milled wheat berries.  Do you just sift the freshly ground flour, or do you do multiple grinds at different degrees of fineness and sift between grindings?  I haven't quite figured this out yet.  Since I've purchased my grain mill, I've usually just used the flour just as it comes out of the grinder.  It works fine and produces great bread, but I am curious about trying different degrees of extraction and would like to understand how it's done with a home mill. Thanks,

  Terry

loydb's picture
loydb

I mill the grain, then run it through a #30 seive. It lets about 85% by weight pass through.

 

loydb's picture
loydb

I've now made two more loaves using the San Francisco starter culture, one with whole wheat, the other with (mostly) KA  bread flour. Both have good flavor (the KA batch in particular tastes less like 'flour'), but there is no 'sour' at all. I think I'm going to bail on this starter and fire up either the Russian or Polish one from the same source.