The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Rye Berries Smell Like...Farm?

bakergrun's picture

Rye Berries Smell Like...Farm?

I recently purchased a bag of rye berries from Caste Valley Mill and I noticed that the grains (and milled flour) smell very pungent—kind of "farm-y." It isn't a very pleasant smell! Does anyone have experience with this kind of smell from rye berries or with grains from Castle Valley Mill? I haven't tried baking with the flour yet. I just fed an offshoot of my starter with the rye flour to see how it behaves, and to see if it smells bad after fermenting.

I otherwise only have experience purchasing rye berries from Maine Grains. They smell much better—kind of earthy, but without the hint of manure. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Just enough to mill for a pancake. Wash under running water in a sieve, roll on a flat towel and spread out spaciously to dry on a cookie sheet. (See tempering instructions)  Then mill.  Make a pancake.   If it doesn't improve, it won't.  

I can think of a dozen ways the grain can pick up the smell but it comes down to farmers and millers being aware that grain does pick up aromas from where it grows (near a barn yard) equipment used during harvest (where stored and if washed) storage location (near animals) before being transported. Walk thru an active animal barn or walk by the upwind side of a stockyard and your clothes and hair pick it up immediately, but after a good shower, it washes off.

My father would often tell the story of his brother going off to school after doing his chores on the family farm.  He often would skip the shower and this didn't go unnoticed by their single one room school house teacher.  One day when she made exceptional fuss about it, he crossed his arms gave her a stern look and replied, "You just don't know what a good man smells like!"  

I can't tell you the number of times this line has been used by family members.