The Fresh Loaf

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Functional and Flavor Attributes of Yecora Rojo and Rouge de Bordeaux

fredsbread's picture

Functional and Flavor Attributes of Yecora Rojo and Rouge de Bordeaux

Last Christmas my wife bought me some wheat berries from Barton Springs Mill. Unfortunately, she started a major allergen elimination diet not long after that because we thought our newborn was sensitive to something she was eating. That turned out not to be the case, and we're all back to eating everything we want, so I was finally able to compare the two hard red wheats that she got me (Yecora Rojo and Rouge de Bordeaux) to the regular hard red wheat I get from the LDS Home Storage Center. My main curiosity was to find out if any differences in bread quality would be worth the drastic difference in price ($18 plus shipping for 5lb from BSM vs $17.61 local pickup for 25lb of my regular wheat).

I compared one BSM wheat against my control per bake. Every loaf had 392g freshly milled whole wheat flour, 8g vital wheat gluten, 9g salt, 1/4tsp instant yeast, and 340g water.

RDB was the first one I tried. Chad Robertson writes in one of his books that RDB is more extensible, and that matched my experience in this little test. The RDB dough was more slack than the control at the same hydration. The dough spread out more during baking and didn't spring as tall. The main difference in flavor was that it tasted more like wheat bran than the control. Since the berries are smaller, I'm sure that it did actually have more bran in it, rather than just having a higher polyphenol concentration in the bran or whatever.

The YR had the opposite effect on dough consistency, which also matched my expectations based on Robertson's writings. The dough was very strong and springy, and I wonder if it would produce a strong dough even without added VWG. The flavor of YR is very pleasant, but hard for me to describe. It definitely has a stronger flavor than my control, but not in the same way as RDB. It reminds me of when I had cracked wheat cereal as a kid. It tasted more like wheat without tasting more like bran. However, this flavor was only noticeable when I ate it by itself, not when I used it for sandwiches. I've been thinking about what I could make to best appreciate the flavor, but so far I haven't thought of anything that I would want to eat exclusively unaccompanied. I'd also be interested to see if the flavor difference remains as strong if I use sourdough instead of commercial yeast.