Tip - A Comparative Test of fresh milled Whole Grains
I decided to compare the following wheat berries in the 50/50. Each test used a single 50% Whole Wheat according to Maurizio’s instructions for his 50/50 Whole Wheat Sourdough.
A few pieces were sliced from each of the 6 bakes and frozen in labeled bags.
My granddaughter sat in on the test. She has a discerning palate. 6 plates where number and my wife, Patsy placed a slice from each bag in random plates. The results were informative for me, but when it comes to taste all things are subjective.
As expected , the white grains where most mild and the reds most intense. Below are our thoughts on each grain. It surprised us both that our opinions were often very much in agreement.
From most preferred to least.
#1 Turkey Red - We both agreed that this grain was our favorite by a long shot. The smell stood out from the rest. Very pronounced. Sweet, with a hint of cinnamon. I thought it smelled a little like fine pipe tobacco (my best description). Slightly bitter crust, soft textured and a moderate chew. Tangy and over all very complex.
#2 Red Fife - This one had a sweet flavor. As you chewed the yogurt like flavor began to build in the back of the mouth. The more you chewed the better it got. It had a faint wheat smell and a medium texture, not chewy and not spongy. Actually the crust on all of the breads had the slightest bitterness. I really think the dark bake attributed to that.
#3 Hard Red Winter Wheat - We thought this bread had a very nice and noticeable acetic tang. Like the Red Fife, the flavor continued to build with each chew. It smelled of mild wheat and was medium dense. Side Note - notice the different layers of color in the crumb below. I think it may be because of the diastatic malt. I used the full 1% for this, the first bake, but omitted it completely for all of the rest. If you have a different experience, I'd like to hear from you.
The remaining 3 grains are all white. It seems we strongly prefer the more robust flavors of red wheat. For those that prefer a more mild flavor the bottom 3 may be more appealing. The closest to store bought white bread was definitely the White Sonora. It have a very clean flavor that was mild in all respects. The last rankings are difficult since we favor the Reds so much.
#4 Sonora White - We placed this at the top of the 3 whites since the flavor was so clean. For those preferring a mild sandwich type bread, this may be the ticket. It absorbed water well during the mix and produced a fairly strong dough similar to the Hard White Wheat. Key descriptive word is, mild.
#5 Hard White Wheat - Non-eventful (to those that like the strong flavor of Red Wheat), but it did have a light tang. Once again, a mild flavor, which can be a great thing for those looking to bake a 50% whole grain bread and not run off the average person :-))
#6 Soft White Wheat - It had a mild taste. Taylor thought is was slightly malty, which was nice. This whole grain does not absorb a lot of water. I had to reduce the water and also add additional flour during the mix. The dough was more slack than the others, but boy, did it spring in the oven? I am beginning to think that weaker gluten springs better. I imagine the weakness can work to a benefit. Not sure about this, but it is my present thought at this time. I think this is why Trevor uses such a long premix for his Champlain.
Everyone's taste are unique. It is possible that your choices would be just the opposite as our's. Neither of us are professional taste testers, but we know what we like. I hope you find something valuable in the review.
I want to thank Maurizio for sharing his formula, it seems that many participating in this bake are giving it rave reviews.