The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Experiments in "blending" vs milling/grinding.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Experiments in "blending" vs milling/grinding.

Mini Oven wrote a comment about blending (in a mixer) whole soaked grains, that is, whole berries, when you don't have a home mill to grind them into flour.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/62830/advice-pls-grinding-small-amount-rye#comment-450870

I decided to try that. It worked, by later adding some pre-milled store-bought flour, along with some dry whole chia seed, and dry rolled oats, to the blended "paste" in order to get the hydration right.  

To be clear, I added the store-bought flour, chia, and rolled oats to the paste in the mixing bowl, not in the blender.

https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/66477/26th-bake-11252020-ww-semolina-chia-oats

On a second attempt, I tried it without adding flour, but just adding dry whole chia seed and dry/uncooked rolled oats to get the hydration right. But the crumb was still too moist and gummy. 

https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/66489/27th-bake-11272020-100-blended-soaked-berries

In both tests, the "old fashioned" thick rolled oats still remained a bit chunky/chewy, while the "quick oats" (not "instant") dissolved better and were not identifiable.

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Note that blending in the mixer developed some gluten before the berries were fully liquified -- in other words, gluten formed before all the chunks were blended away.

My Vitamix blender also noticeably warmed the paste, which I think had a bit of a tangzhong efffect.

I should have used the Vitamix "plunger" to get the paste more even, but instead turned off the machine and used a silicone scraper to move the chunks down lower for even blending.

Don't blend too long in an attempt to liquify 100% of the wheat-berry chunks, as that will overheat the paste, and ruin part of the gluten.

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I blended with the minimum amount of added water so as to minimize the amount of other ingredients, and maximize the amount of soaked wheat-berries as a fraction of  the total dough.

However, if that is not your goal (you want the blended berries to be a smaller fraction of the total dough) more water in the blender/mixer will result in less heat being generated, and less gluten being formed, allowing you to blend away more of the chunkiness.

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Note: The Vitamix is a powerful beast.  With less powerful blenders you may need to use more water in relation to the berries.

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