Homemade Flour for Pain de campagne
The French typically use 10-17% rye flour and T80 flour for the rest.
Here in New Zealand I have limited choices. But I have a flour mill. So I've been making a flour close to T110 as follows:
- Hard White Spring wheat from the Canterbury region (organic, bio-gro, Demeter). We don't grow much hard red winter wheat down here, AFAIK.
- Fine grind through my (somewhat annoying) hand cranked Country Living Mill. Often I do a course grind, then a second pass find grind.
- Sift (bolt) through 18 hole-per-inch standard kitchen sieve.
- Sift (bolt) again through a finer (0.5mm?) honey strainer.
I calculated the extraction rate by weighing the final flour (734g) versus the original wheat (835g), giving 88% extraction rate. This is in line with French T110 flour, so I will assume it has an ash content of around 1.1%.
On the market I can buy either High Grade flour (11.5% protein, similar to American All Purpose flour), or Plain Flour (10% protein). I purchase the former from a reputable brand (Champion). I presume it is akin to French T55 flour, which has an ash content around 0.56%.
Mixing these two flours in a ratio of 1:1, I get an ash content of 0.83%, which is smack dab in the middle of T80 flour's ash content.
I'm rather chuffed.
So my final mix is:
- 450g Champion High Grade Flour
- 450g Homemade bolted wheat flour
- 100g Homemade coursely bolted rye flour (kitchen sieve only)
Since my breadmaking goal is to simply have one starter and one bread that I settle on, and then focus my efforts elsewhere, I'll be using this flour both to feed my starter and to make my bread.
Happy baking everyone!