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Tritordeum flour experimentation

alfanso's picture

Tritordeum flour experimentation

Tritordeum flour experimentation and summary.

Recall that Tritordeum  is a recent grain developed in Spain these past few decades and is a hybrid of wild barley and semolina with the advantage of numerous health and sustainability benefits.  

I returned home from our recent trip to Barcelona with a few kilos of the flour to satisfy my curiosity.  And so it has.  I’ve now run four iterations using the flour with differing combinations.  Hardly a scientifically sustained approach, but enough to give me a notion as to how the flour performs.  The two versions of tritordeum that I have are T150 and T65.

I liken the T150 to our Whole Wheat flour and the T65 to our AP flour.  I found the T65 much more suitable for baguettes than the T150.

For the first two runs I used 20% pre-fermented flour and then switched to 15% for the final two runs.

For the final three runs I “autolysed" the levain as well.  So you can clearly see that I am breaking most rules of scientific research.  But that really wasn’t the point of this exercise.  Not at all.

In both mixes at 70% total hydration, the dough still maintained its extensible characteristic although nowhere near my first difficult excursion using this flour last Autumn.

In both mixes at 65% total hydration, the dough was more compliant and did not lead to a runaway shaping experience.  I’ll also posit that this dough could much more easily be applied to batard or boule without the minor shaping difficulties I experienced rolling them out as baguettes.


In all 4 runs I treated the dough similarly, except for the differing autolyse approaches.   
  • 100 French Folds, 5 min. rest, 100 French Folds.
  • 2 hour bulk rise with letter folds at 45, 90 and 120 minutes.
  • Retarded for about 6-10 hours before divide and shape.
  • Back to retard for a total of somewhere between 14-18 hours.
  • Preheated oven to 480dF, Bake at 460dF.
  • 13 minutes with steam, ~13 minutes more, 3 minutes oven venting

 Run #1.  Using T150

  • Total Dough: 80 / 20 flour mix @ T150 / (high protein) Bread Flour. @70% total hydration.  
  • Levain: 100% hydration with T150 tritordeum.  20% pre-fermented flour.


Run #2.  Using T150

  • Total Dough: 50 / 50 flour mix @ T150 / AP Flour. @70% total hydration. 
  • Levain: 100% hydration with T150 tritordeum.  20% pre-fermented flour.

Run #3.  Using T150

  • Total Dough: 50 / 50 flour mix @ T150 / AP Flour. @65% total hydration.
  • Levain: 75% hydration with T150 tritordeum.  15% pre-fermented flour.

Run #4.  Using T65

  • Total Dough: 50 / 50 flour mix @ T65 / AP Flour. @65% total hydration.
  • Levain: 75% hydration with T65 tritordeum.  15% pre-fermented flour.


In summary, I was much more comfortable and confident of the dough for the final run.  The conversion from 70% hydration to 65% made a significant difference in the handling of the dough, as well as the final product emerging from the oven.  The taste is quite good.  I don’t think that the change from 100% to 75% levain hydration made a whit of difference but I had made both in advance some weeks ago in anticipation of using both.

I can’t discount the value of repeated handling and familiarity using the flour.  If I were to incorporate this flour into a regular regimen, I would use the 4th and final run as my gold standard.  It just performed beautifully and I think that the 50/50 flour mix at 65% hydration makes this a top quality dough to work with.  Unfortunately the downside is that this flour apparently still has little distribution in Europe and is not approved for sale yet un the US.

And again, for those who think that one cannot achieve an open crumb at lower hydrations, here is more evidence that it can be done.


Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Thank you Alan. No excuses now for not getting a more open crumb at lower hydration. Lovely write-up and even more lovely bakes.

Might be interesting to see what a bake with tritordeum is like in comparison to a durum/barley mix. Now I wonder what proportions one would do?

Must see if I can get hole of some of this flour.

P.s. oh wait a second there's a third grain in this mix...

The Tritordeum® is a new cereal that is a natural born from the combination of durum wheat (Triticum durum) and barley and wild Hordeum chilense). Thel Tritordeum is a species grown in a natural way. Over 30 years of selection have produced a new crop cereal that brings great health benefits and ensures a low environmental impact. The Tritordeum® is a great basic ingredient for a wide range of cereal-based products .Products Tritordeum ® have a taste and aroma are unmistakable and stand out for the pleasing golden color.

David R's picture
David R

I think it's just two grains, with a little bit of clumsy wording leading the mind in the wrong direction. Hordeum chilense is a wild barley. I think the writer first put simply "and barley", and then intended to correct/improve it to read "and wild Hordeum chilense", but accidentally ended up with both. (Or is making a very subtle reference to Matthew 21:5 and the uncomfortably bow-legged king. 😁)

I don't know whether the wild barley itself is worth trying to bake with - it may give a poorly-performing flour on its own.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

But it is not just a wheat x barley (Triticum aestivum x Hordeum vulgare) hybrid.  These are not your mother's wheat and barley, but "primitive" species.  See here.  So Tritordeum flour is not just a mix of wheat and barley grains milled together to create a new product.  Indeed, some physical properties (e.g., Alan's open crumb at low hydration) may be unique to flour generated from this hybrid.

And I just saw this ad in the fabulous Manor store food hall in Lugano.  Then came home to find Alan's post. 

Now kicking myself for not buying some Manor Mezzaluna :-(.  Did buy another beauty though that I'll post when I get a chance.  Them Ticini sure bake some fine breads.


David R's picture
David R

Sorry if my post seemed to perpetuate the idea of mixing grains - I assumed everyone knew it was a hybrid, and was trying to show that I thought two "parents" were involved and not three.

If the mixing idea worked, then basketball teams could hire half of their players brilliant but slow moving and under 4 feet tall, and the other half of the team nine feet tall but can't remember why everyone is dressed strangely and running around, and why is that short person throwing things and shouting at me. 😁

alfanso's picture

and like working with that type of flour, then you surely would take to this flour as well.  Even setting aside all of the health aspects and sustainability/erosion and drought resistance, the flour is a refreshing change from the standard white/WW/rye/spelt... combos.   For me, a pity, as it is not that easy to get my hands on more of it, as attested in earlier blog entries.


alfanso's picture

since last year you said the same thing after you declined a trip to France with your wife as I was reporting on my meeting Ms. Bouabsa.

But apparently you have the opportunity to travel back to Il Bel Paese often enough that you should leave some room in your checked bag for a few K of this stuff.  Just know in advance that working with a dough with tritordeum at the 100% of the flour level may be a frustrating task at the least.  At least as far as rolling out baguettes.  I think that it may be more manageable as a batard, but my singular experience rolling baguettes last year with tritordeum was not for the chicken-hearted and probably best left to a pro with prior experience.  However, in a 50/50 mix, as in "Case Study #4" above, the dough was wonderfully easy to work with.


alfanso's picture

Working with Mr. Hamelman's breads these past very few years, I've had a few in the mid-60's hydrations that revealed an open crumb, including his vaunted Vermont SD, so it certainly is not unique to this flour.  What I have remaining from this flour is mostly the T150.  There is enough of the T65, ~275g, for one more round of baking before it has been exhausted.  Too bad, because I'm just getting the feel for this flour and I like it.  It has a brighter taste than the T150 to me, and I'm much more interested, both baking and tasting, breads that are predominantly (more than at least 50%) made from a "white flour".

It looks as if the flour is soon to make its way to the UK, and if not, just a quick R/T through the chunnel should be the ticket ;-) .

And as you've now seen, this is a hybrid from the two types of grain.


not.a.crumb.left's picture

and could not agree more that durum flour is a lovely flour to make a difference from usual rye/ww/spelt mixes... It is sad that you cannot get it again as certainly cracked it with this bake! I often use Rimacinata and now ordered some different durum from Shipton inspired me to open that bag sooner than later...  Kat

alfanso's picture

to the other side of the pond.  Not the first time I came home with a few Ks of flour from the Old Country.  Last year it was 8K of T65 AP flour from France.  I still have a fat few bakes with the T150 flour as that was the vast majority of what I brought home - basically all I could eventually find at a grains store there.

I find that for me a 60/40 or 50/50 mix of semola r./AP flour to be good combinations - unless you want to tackle the Pane di Altamura/Matera breads, and then even your levain is supposed to be 100% semola r.  Very workable at 65% hydration.  

The last time I ran out of semola rimacinata and my usual Italian market was closed for renovation I went down to the local Italian bakery and asked the head baker if he could sell me some.  He ordered it in while I was standing there, pretty cool as he doesn't usually carry it.  And a day later I walked home with ~10K or so tucked into my wheeled shopping cart.

Have fun with it and thanks, alan

dabrownman's picture

thing - how much gluten is in the flour.  If it has a lot of gluten then you can up the hydration.  If it doesn't then you can cut the hydration back and still have a open crumb and bread that looks normal.  Tough to get an open crumb with a lot of whole grains as your #1 shows.  Sad;y we never know how much gluten we have in the flour but we can tell when we do slap and folds for sure.

Lucy made a a baguette to show her respect for her fellow older apprentice in Miami.

Love this post but just wish we knew how it tastes.  Does it taste like barley and durum?

Happy baking Don Baggs

alfanso's picture

so I can't really compare.  But the tritordeum definitely has some of the durum flavor shining through, a bit sweet.

Castaga and her Pop are touched that Lucy thought about her before taking a lunge at your ankles, or was it between nips?  Here's the old gal resting this morning.  We have June 4th marked as a black day on our calendars.