From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Monday, April 4, 2016

Flour power

I used to think flour was flour.  How much difference could a brand make?

Take my journey into sourdough spelt bread.  I've always used Bob's Red Mill wholegrain spelt.  I mix it with some sifted (white) organic spelt from Small Valley Mills. I've made some good bread with this 60/40 mix (60/white 40/wholegrain).

There was sale on Arrowhead Mills wholegrain spelt.  Even marked down, though it was near 2ce the price of the Bob's Mill.  But I bought 4# to try anyway.  Does organic or brand make a difference?

Yesterday I made up 2 loaves using the Arrowhead mills.  Everything else was the same as the previous batch.  (I did, however, forget to add a vitC tablet.)

The dough stretched and folded the same as the previous batch.  Then I covered the 2 bowls overnight.  I was up at 2:30 for a bit so checked the bowls and saw that the folded dough had softened and spread out.  It was looking good. (7 hrs at that point)

At 7:00 a.m. (12 hours) both bowls had risen significantly!  The highest rise to date.  There were even bubble bumps! I dumped the bowls, folded the dough and filled 2 tins (slashing both tops).  I let them rise for another 1.25 hrs in a warmer oven (75F).  Again, they smoothed out and had more rise than previous batches.  And there were some bubble bumps again. (Note, this time I not only greased the tins with coconut oil, but powdered them with rice flour.)

Next, I popped them into a preheated 400F oven and, just for fun, I covered one of the tins with another tin, to simulate a dutch-oven effect.  Would it make any difference in the loaf?

After 35 minutes I took off the top tin and let both loaves go for another 10 minutes.  There.  Done.  And gee. The top tin DID make a difference! Instead of the side blowing out like the uncovered loaf, the covered one rose up from the middle.  And got higher.

When sliced, both loaves showed way more air pockets than previous loaves (lower right) and was much more springy.  Flavor was excellent (although no more excellent than previous batches; Remona is a mature starter and full of flavor).

So it goes to show.  Change things up.  Try to approaches. Keep 'experimenting'.  

Now I have to figure out if I want to pay 2ce as much for wholegrain spelt.  Also, I see that Small Valley Milling has an organic 'bread' spelt flour.  I'm going to have to check that out too.

Meanwhile, *munch* *munch* someone pass that butter!

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  1. I love experimenting with breads. I personally think brands make a difference. If you compare the nutrition label sometimes you see the difference...usually in the protein count. Once I began using King Arthur flour, I never looked back. The rise was higher, the bread lighter and has to be more nutritious. I called and found that the protein is way higher than what is even listed on the label. I don't buy organic however. That always increase the cost and I don't think it is necessary. As long as they don't use a herbicide for force ripening of the grain and KA doesn't.

    If I am going to spend my time making bread then I want the best possible results.....I can' convince my Sis and she still buys the cheapest 20 lb. bag that Sam sells.

    1. Well see, I have to stay with spelt flour as it has VERY LITTLE GLUTEN. I shouldn't eat gluten at all, but if you sour spelt it reduces the gluten even further. High protein/gluten bread is like poison to me. And I try to buy organic and non-GMO to further reduce my eating any glyphosphate/roundup and chemical fertilizers. I'm just happy I can HAVE bread at all right now. But yes, when I was baking 'regular' bread, I always bought the good stuff like you.