A Cold Front in the Rockies, and…
Who didn’t see this coming? Hands? Ah, well.
Triticale is my baking nemesis, my bête noir, and unfortunately my favorite grain. A cross between wheat and rye, it is very high in protein, but its gluten is of low quality. If you have ever heard a discussion about milling, you will hear that the protein content of wheat is higher as you get to the outside of the endosperm, but higher in ash and lower in quality. What does this really mean?
Well, if you’ve worked with triticale as much as I have, you know. In a 100% triticale mix, you will get some gluten formation (not like what you’d get in wheat) but it will not endure prolonged mixing (it will break down shortly after you think “It’s still pretty weak, I should mix a bit more.”) and certainly will not support lengthy fermentations and proofing. That is lower quality gluten.
But what I have found that if you use triticale at no more than 30 or 40% of the total flour in combination with a higher protein wheat flour, you can essentially treat the dough like a wheat dough. Anything more than that and you are working with something even more fragile than soft wheat.
The thing is triticale is delicious. And it was mentioned in Star Trek (the original series and DS9). So I keep baking with it.
Since I’m having fun with whole grain vienoisseries, I went for triticale croissants. I used the formula for hand mixed, hand laminated croissants from Advanced Bread and Pastry, and used freshly ground triticale for 30% of the total flour and a liquid levain of the wheat flour rather than the poolish.
The first time I tried this (well there’s a sure and certain indicator that perhaps success was not the result) I used my standard practice of putting the shaped croissants in the refrigerator for six hours or so, and then proofing and baking them. This proved too much for the delicate gluten, which puffed up nicely in the oven but gave out before the thing was fully baked. Delicious, but somewhat flat.
This time, I proofed and baked immediately after shaping. Got some nice shoulders and the lamination isn’t all bad, either. Here you go:
They really are extra delicious and, of course have all the crispy qualities of their wheaty cousins. I know they are extra delicious because I can’t resist the smell and must eat them – with most white flour croissants, I can send them off to my fans without even a taste. Triticale is used primarily for animal feed. Yeah, those cows get all the good stuff…
Until the next cold front - Happy Laminating!