The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Saskatchewan Canada

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Hello from Saskatchewan Canada

Hello everyone I am so excited to find this site.  It is so nice to have a group of like minded people to babble away to that are interested in bread and baking.  I am very impressed with the knowledge and insight that is avaliable here.  I am sure that my beginner skills will blossom now.

A little about myself, my name is Holly and about a year and a half ago my family and I moved from a large city in Canada to a farm in southern Saskatchewan.  The Canadian prairies are known as the bread basket of the world. . . . or so my Dad used to say.  Anyway I am quite literally surrounded by fields of wheat and rye and you name it.  I began to think,  what a crying shame it is that I drive into town to buy bread (and nasty, wicked, ugly stuff too)  when all this beautiful wheat is literally in my back yard.  So one thing lead to another and now I am baking bread with that beautiful wheat.

Marvin a farming friend grows purple wheat.  It is a specialty wheat that really is purple and is very high in protein and gluten and antioxidants and all the other things that make blueberries so very healthful.  But it is a very wonderful wheat for bread and Marvin being the sweet guy that he is has been giving me a couple of 5 gallon pails full.  So happy day for me because I am as happy as can be to be milling my wheat and baking my bread.  I only wish that I could share this wonderful wheat with everyone here.  I am sure that you all would be as tickled with it as I am.  Marvin says that this years crop has been bought up by Pepperidge farms, I hope that they treat it well, it really is something special.

But it is only since I discovered this site that I realize that there is so much more to bread and I am so very excited to learn and experiment and share and learn some more.   Wonderful.  I hope you don't get tired of me.

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Welcome Holly, I'm sure lots of the bakers here would love to be able to try and bake with purple wheat! Does it colour the breads you bake with it as well or does it lose its purpleness when cooked, like purple string beans?

Richelle

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Any idea if they have distributors in Alberta?  I'm in Edmonton, and I'm suddenly rather curious about your purple wheat. :)

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Thanks for the welcome Richelle,

Yes it does keep its color but it isn't a purple like barney.  It turns out to be a deep rich mahogany sort of brown, most people ask if I add molasses, which I don't.  Once I figure out how to post a photo I will do that.

Thanks for asking

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Hello Fancypantalons,

Thanks for your question.  I have no idea if there is anyone in Edmonton selling the purple wheat.  I know Marvin said that his whole crop this year is going to Pepperidge Farms and last year some Japanese company bought it all up.  They make a puffed wheat cereal with it which apparently is really popular over there.  He had some samples of it nobody here liked it. 

Somebody else locally here was asking to buy some as well.  If you are really interested I might try and ask if he would sell some directly to you.

But really there must be more than one farmer that grows this stuff right? 

Let me know if you want me to ask him.  Talk to you later

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

The only problem is grinding, as I don't yet have a mill... though, access to intriguing local grains might make that an attractive option. :)

Yeah, sure, if it's not too much trouble, I'd be curious to hear what the options are (ie, what volumes he's willing to sell in, etc), or even if he knows other growers that might be closer to Edmonton.

Marni's picture
Marni

Welcome Holly, It sounds beautiful where you live.  I'm sure you'll have lots of fun on this site- so many people sharing their expertise.  I've learned so much here. Enjoy.

Marni

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Welcome to the Fresh Loaf Holly. I know you will enjoy the interaction here. There seem to be lots of Canadians here but we have members from all over the world and the diversity of breads highlighted here is amazing.

I look forward to seeing your breads.

Eric 

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hi Holly,

Welcome.

>I only wish that I could share this wonderful wheat with everyone here.

I wish you could too!  It's great that you can, essentially, look out your window at fields of wheat and bake bread from it in your own oven.  Talk about local foods!  You lucky devil!

:-Paul

holds99's picture
holds99

The purple wheat you describe sounds very interesting.  You're certainly fortunate to have Marvin as a neighbor, he sounds like a great guy.  I'm with you---in hoping Pepperidge Farm does something good with that terrific purple wheat.

You're sure to enjoy enjoy TFL.  Lots of nice people here.  Looking forward to seeing some of your posts. 

Good luck with your baking,

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Wow, Holly, that sounds so cool to have wheat fields out your window. Purple wheat sounds pretty awesome as well! What are you using to mill your wheat?

Oh yeah, welcome to TFL from New Haven, Connecticut. Please show us the wheat as well as the bread you bake!

Soundman (David)

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Thank-you for the warm welcome.  There sure are a nice bunch of people here. 

 Actually to be completely honest this year across the road was a monster field of sunflowers and our quarter was canola.  So at one point this summer we were very literally in a sea of yellow flowers.  But the wheat was just a short walk down the road.

As for my mill I bought a Nutrimill last year and I have been very happy with it.  I have been a little paranoid about making sure the wheat is clean and dry enough.  But I bought a few 5 gallon pails with the gamma seals and that seals out moisture and bugs.  So that eases my mind.

Now the photo thing.  Boy I would love to post some photos but I am having trouble figuring it out.  It seems like my photos are too large??  I don't know.  If you can steer me in the right direction for some help on this I would appreciate it.

Hows the weather in Connecticut?? 

 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Holly,

The photo thing comes up a lot around TFL, so I'm glad we're discussing it early for you. Lots of people get frustrated by the roundabout method, but it's not too bad once you've done it a couple of times.

There is a size limit on your photos for use on TFL (640 X 640 pixels). Many of us use digi-cameras whose resolution exceeds that limit, so you need to either 1) use a hosted service like Photobucket or Flickr or somesuch, which must automatically resize for the sake of their own servers, or 2) adjust the size (resolution) of the pic on your hard drive.

Here are both a link to the FAQ on the subject and some excerpted text from same:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2960/posting-photos-faq

If the images are on your hard drive and you don't have a place to host them...

Click on the little camera icon. Then click on "upload" and "browse", which allows to you select a picture from your hard drive. Add a title and then click "preview", then "submit", which stores the photo on Fresh Loaf's server. This gives you yet another box, in which you may want to change the photo's alignment, then click "insert", at which point your photo will finally be included in your message body. This is the place at which the system tells you that the photo size may be 640 by 640 at most.

(Back to my own response) A monster field of sunflowers sounds very lovely in its own right.

I am just starting to mill some of my own flour. I don't expect to get caught up in milling ALL my flour, because I don't have that kind of time. But I'm starting to use my KA with the grain mill attachment. There are lots of useful posts on TFL about the available mills and what they do and how to maximize them.

If you have more questions about the photo thing, post and we'll keep working on it.

Soundman (David)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What happens when you soak and boil it?  

Mini O

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Now I am sure that soaking and boiling wheat is something that I am going to learn all about from you wonderful folks here on TFL.  But so far no I have not done that.  Could you tell me about this technique?  When is it used and what do I do with the wheat after ward?  Do I try and dry it and mill it then?  I am sorry I am very ignorant about this.  But I am very eager to learn.  Please explain.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Basic cooking instructions (hard wheat):  Add 1 cup grain to 3 cups boiling water.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 2 hours (50-60 minutes if presoaked).

This would make a cooked grain that can be eaten in a number of ways.   I like to do this when I get a new grain and eat some of it and experiment with sweet, sour, salads, hot, cold, salt  just letting my imagination go.  Sometimes I put the cooked grain into loaves (a good place to start) or look for a recipe, trying the grain in all kinds of ways.   

It might be possible to dry it and mill it.  I don't know.  Might be worth a search in the site under milling.

As I don't know anything about it, I would like to learn more, how it tastes, what it looks like, etc.  Purple, cool.

Mini O

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Hello Holly,

I was talking with my son who is a musician on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea at the moment  and he mentioned a couple he works with that is from your area. He is a musician and she is a dancer on board in the musical show. It's such a small world I thought I would mention it and see if any bells go off.

Eric 

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Hello there Eric,

Sorry no bells are going off.  But a cruise ship in the Mediterranean, Hmm.  Maybe a in person meeting might help any bells that are a little stuck.

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Thank you very much Soundman David for photo installation instructions.  I have been playing with this and I think I have it.  Okay if this works out this photo will be of  a cup of purple wheat.

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Those berries are such a gorgeous color, Holly!

I'm glad I could help with the photo thing. I banged my head against the size limitation till I finally gave up being stubborn and found the FAQ, and I want to save anybody else the frustration. ;-) 

I'm actually looking for sources of wheat berries myself. A couple of times I ordered hard spring wheat berries online, only to be told the supplier no longer stocks the wheat berries. Rye berries yes, wheat berries no. I'm sure I'll solve this problem soon, meanwhile I use my good ol' King Arthur flour.

Now I want to see the bread that results from milling and baking that purple wheat!

Soundman (David)

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

So MiniOven I tried cooking the wheat and it was wonderful.  It really smelled like honey when it was cooking but it didn't taste as sweet as it smelled.  But still very good.  I have been adding it to my oatmeal for breakfast and it was so nice and chewy and very nutty tasting. 

So I will post a photo of the wheat after I cooked it.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well this one should be worth about 3,500.  I think I am still doing something wrong as far as the photo thing is concerned.  That last one is sure a whopper.  But I will try again.

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Hello Mr. Soundman David I am needing help I think.  No one elses photos are so rudely huge.  I opened a photobucket account and resized them to the medium size (320X240).  They are so puney on the photobucket site but here they are the size of Saskatchewan. Ha  Anyway I must be missing a click or something.  I humbly request and graciously accept your help.  Oh I should mention that no matter what size I make them on the photobucket site they still come out like this over here.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Before you post comment, use preview, to see the size, go down to the lower box (changes won't happen on the preview example) and click on the corner of the picture frame. A grid will appear and you can click and drag the grid smaller to fit. Worth a try to go back and edit your photo.

Those berries look great, rich dark color and ...don't ya just want to put them into a dough? 

Mini O

Soundman's picture
Soundman

OK, Holly, I am glad to try to help. MiniOven wrote some interesting things in response and maybe those comments will help as well. Others with suggestions please pitch in here!

Your photos are coming in, and that is a good thing. I will look at my own uploaded photos on TFL and see if they aren't also LARGE.

The way I do it is on my PC, on my hard drive. I do have a Flickr account but I'm only inclined to use it for special photos, so I do the resizing myself and upload from there. The program I use is probably like others out there, but since it works well I will mention it here. It's called PicSizer (ver 3.0). It's a freebie, and isn't hard to use. If MiniO's comments didn't solve the problem and you want to try PicSizer, it can be downloaded here: http://www.majorgeeks.com/PicSizer_d5046.html

(You would probably choose one of the MajorGeeks TX sites.)

If you choose PicSizer and have questions, let me know on this thread and I am pretty sure I will be able to answer them.

Good luck!

Soundman (David)

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Hello again Soundman (David)

So I had tried downloading picsizer earlier but it kept coming back that the website has expired.  So I just tried it again and it still says the same thing.  So I guess I will keep posting the monster photos for a while until this is figured out.  Oh by the way Minovens idea didn't work either at least not on an edited photo.  Maybe on a freshly posted one it will.  So guess what.  Get ready for some more monsters.

About the wheat thing.  Nows the time to look into getting some wheat as harvest is just about done around these parts.  So go back and try those places again they probably have this years stock just coming in. 

I did see a post on TFL by a farmer looking to sell his produce.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7241/any-interest-whole-wheatryetriticale-berries

I noticed that he had no replies.  I wonder why??

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Holly,

I still have the zip file my PicSizer came in. Since it's still freeware, as I see, I can email it to you if you like. If that suits you, don't put your email address "as is" into a reply. Rather, spell out any punctuation, as in: joeunderscoresixpackathotmaildotcom.

Soundman (David)

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Holly,

I never saw the kansas_winter_wheat post. I just emailed KWW and await a reply.

Thanks!

Soundman (David)

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Re your pics..if you go the the FAQ's up above, then to Site FAQs, there is a whole section explaining picture posting. There a link to PicSizer and Picasa, resizing tools. This should get you on your way..

 Betty

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Thank-you everyone for the help with the picture thing.  I am just going to give up for now.  But in the mean time I will continue posting the whoppers.

So here is a photo of the bread.  I did use some of that cooked wheat, it kind of looked like it was starting to sprout don't you think?  Anyway I thru about a half cup in to my dough (I would have added more but I was afraid that they would turn into little bullets when they were baked) along with some flax and while I was rooting around in the fridge I found some hemp seed so I chucked some of that in as well. 

I really was gettting excited about everything I was reading on this site about sourdoughs and sponges and mashes, etc so I just had to try something.  What I ended up doing is the night before I baked I made a sponge by combining 4cups of milled wheat and 4cups of water and a tablespoon of yeast. The next morning it was a sponge alright that smelled of alcohol but it was a nasty mauvey grey color.  (Because of the dark wheat) I carried on with it and made the bread following my regular recipe the best I could after I messed with it so much.

It turned out really well.  The cooked wheat didn't harden with baking but actually soften a little more.  It made the bread a little chewy and you really notice the nutty taste from them, the flax and hemp probably help with that as well.  It is a very good declious bread with a wonderful flavor.

Just a side story.  I have been making my daughter's school lunches using this bread, the other kids where kind of making fun of her and her dark bread.  So one day I sent a whole fresh loaf with her to school.  The teacher found some butter and sliced up the loaf and everyone in the class had some.  All the kids loved it.  And now when she brings her dark sandwhiches to school they all are either jealous of her or try and trade lunches.  No one is making fun anymore.

Back to the bread.  So here are a couple of photos.  I have to say that the flash from the camera makes the bread lighter colored than in reality.  A couple of goals that I have is to make my bread look beautiful.  My bread is kind of plain looking and I need to learn to properly form a loaf.  So let me have it everybody.  What can I do to make it better.  That's what I am here for is to learn.

prairiepatch's picture
prairiepatch

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I can see why everyone likes it. And that beautiful dark color....could you be afraid... of... a... little more color? No? Then try letting the crust get just a little darker. (My last loaf just fell out of the pan after 19 min of baking so I just rotated it and set it back naked on the rack to finish. btw, just discovered the first square boule.) Another tip: rub just a tiny bit of butter on the hot crust when it comes from the oven, use a small pastry brush (or use a butter wraper)....try and see if you like it...does tend to soften the crust but does brings out the colors!

Mini O :)

what kind of computer do you have? 

Marni's picture
Marni

Those loaves are really great!  I felt like I could smell them.  Does the purple wheat have a distinctly different flavor than others?  I guess that's hard to answer, since each grain does taste different - oh well. I loved the posts of the whole grain and cooked grains too. 

Great Mom technique, sending the loaf to school! Do you have time to go and bake with the class?  If it's grade school, they'd love it!  But that's the school teacher in me getting carried away.

Thanks again for sharing your pictures.

Marni