The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from the frozen North

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Edthebread's picture
Edthebread

Hi from the frozen North

Hi everyone


 


I have been a lurker here for longer than I care to admit, and I thought I it was time to introduce myself.


I started out baking in the bread machine, and still use it to make our regular day-to-day loaves in the week.  I usually make 50% wholemeal, and I refined it so it turns out very nicely.  We usually slice and freeze it.  The only thing about it is that the kids don't like the crust so much as it's rather think when cooked in the machine.  When we use the same dough in the oven the crust is much nicer.


I learned everying I know about sourdough through TFL - a great learning tool.  Now I cook a sourdough with 30-50% wholemeal using the non-kneed method about once a week, and cook in in a cast iron pot.  It turns out great.


We live within strking distance of the King Arthur shop in VT, which sounds wonderful but is actually rather agonising as most of their speciality flour is procesed on machines that use eggs, and one of my family members has severe food allergy issues, including eggs.  So I have to limit myself to drooling over all their great flours etc. but not using any!  But if anyone knows of a good source of rye or semolina with no egg or nut contamination I'd love to hear about it.


 


Edthebread

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hello and welcome to TFL!


Too bad you can't use KA flour. Their products are generally very good, I find.


However, there is a well-kept secret not too far from you: a mill in New Hampshire that produces stoneground organic flour. It's called the Littleton Grist Mill, in Littleton, NH. It's a small operation, a mill restored from its 19th century glory. I have bought some flour from them and it was very good quality, but you need to know the milling is coarser than from big commercial mills using steel rollers. I'm pretty sure you won't find any eggs used in any of thier products.


Here's a link:


https://www.littletongristmill.com/cart/index.html


More or less all their flours are whole-grain, though they have one flour that is sifted to remove some of the bran and germ, which they call "White Whole Wheat", not to be confused with the kind of White Whole Wheat Kansas produces in large quantities. It's a good product, nonetheless.


I love their Whole Rye flour. As they say, it's heavy, dark and tangy. I looked on their website and see they have Wholegrain Spelt flour, which I want to try.


It's a real throwback. Your family might enjoy taking a tour of the place!


In any case, good luck with your baking!


Soundman (David)

Edthebread's picture
Edthebread

Thanks for the information about the mill at Littleton, David - it sounds great and I'll  definitely have to to check it out, especially their rye flour. 


Actually we can use some KA flour - but only the 'mass-produced' varieties (AP, WWW, Bread flour etc.), as they are processed and packed in a plant that does nothing but flour.  The flour we can't use are those packed in their plant that does their mixes etc, which often contain eggs.  These are the speciality flours (produced by others, presumably) that they just pack in smaller bags in their plant.  Things like the various types of rye, semolina and French or Italian flours.


 

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Ed,


I didn't realize that KA's rye was handled in the same plant as the mixes, which I never use. I had no choice for one product: I had to buy some of their Fancy Durum flour, because I couldn't find it anywhere on the east coast, and the few other suppliers in the Midwest would have doubled the price when you add in the shipping. Ouch.


As I said, I love Littleton's Whole Rye. It's fabulous. I have never used more than 20% rye in my recipes, however. I think I will try food-processing some of it to see how a finer version of it handles in a 30 or 40% rye recipe.


Good luck, and let us see some of your efforts!


Soundman (David)

Edthebread's picture
Edthebread

I checked out the Littleton Grist Mill flours on the website that you listed - the do look wonderful!  Have you tried making any bread from the multigrain flour?  If so what percentage of the multigrain do you use?  Do you typically buy from them online?

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi Ed,


I haven't purchased Littleton's Multi-grain flour. I have bought their Whole Rye, Whole Wheat, and the "White Whole Wheat" which is actually high extraction red wheat flour. The quality of the grain was universally excellent. The stone-grinding renders a relatively coarse flour. I usually buy flour online, but I called them and spoke with someone at the mill, and she took my order over the phone. If I were trying them out I would call them just to let them know who you are and what you're looking for.


I typically make a multigrain bread from individual elements. I.e. I have rye, oats, spelt, durum, whole wheat, etc. and blend them with bread flour. The ratio of bread flour to whole grains is a question everybody answers differently. I'm partial to breads with a fairly open crumb, so I tend to keep the ratio of bread flour anywhere from 60% to 90%, depending on the flavor I'm looking for. Some bakers want 100% whole grain, and that tastes good too. It just doesn't easily lend itself to a light and open crumb.


Using KA Bread flour as a base, adding in Littleton's flours gives a lot of flavor to the bread. I get a good rise and oven spring, so the coarser grind doesn't hurt at all.


Hope this helps!


Soundman (David)