Possible Rope in Bread - Please Help!
Long time The Fresh Loaf lurker (such a fascinating site; I’m always learning new things), but first time poster. I think I may have rope in my bread, and I’m at a loss as to how to get rid of it.
I’ve been baking bread for multiple decades with no issues, but this summer some of my basic 100% whole wheat bread (non-sourdough) started displaying possible rope signs – wet sticky inside and off, slightly sweet smell after sitting at room temp for several days. I cleaned everything with a vinegar solution as best as I could, and then, because we were moving, I boxed everything up.
We’ve now moved and we needed some quick bread so I mixed up several loaves of soda bread (flour, sour milk, baking soda, salt) using a bowl, spoon, and cookie tray that had not been used with bread before (all of my normal kitchen stuff is still in boxes). The first several loaves were devoured within a day or two, but one loaf did manage to make it to day four when it started displaying a sticky, tacky inside and that off smell. Argh!
The only things in common between the soda bread and the earlier yeasted loaves were the wheat berries and the grain mill. Is it possible for rope to be on the wheat berries themselves? I’m using berries from Wheat Montana that were purchased in the last several years. I can’t say for certain if I’ve recently started a new bag of them as I transfer the bags into buckets and use from the buckets.
If rope can be on the berries, could it also have gotten into the grain mill? It’s a KoMo mill, so I can take it apart and brush and vacuum it out, but would that get rid of rope if it were in it?
Any advice anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated! Since I normally use a mix of hard red and hard white in my bread I was going to brush out the mill and then try making more soda bread with just one type of wheat at a time to try to better determine if the wheat could be to blame. If rope couldn’t be on the berries themselves or if rope could be on the berries and brushing out the mill won’t get rid of it in the mill then I’m stuck as to what to do next.