Real Whole Wheat

whole wheat

I use whole wheat flour on occasion, but don't like it much. Has kind of a harsh flavor. The other day I got an idea. Last year I received a coffee burr grinder for xmas from my love. Works great for coffee, but what about grain? I added a couple tablespoons of hard winter wheat berries to clean out the coffee; a kind of dry cleaning. It worked well grinding the berries to flour and also cleaned out the coffee in the grinding mechanism.

I then proceeded to grind 150 grams of wheat berries which would make up approximately 1/3 the grain bill in today's kneadless boule. This time the boule was made from a sourdough starter I have. It's been around for about 6 years, a gift from a friend. I keep it in the fridge and refresh it a couple times before I use it.

I don't think I can make the entire grain bill from fresh ground whole wheat because:
1. It's too coarse a grind (even on the finest setting); this would cause the final dough to have an inadequate gluten network to get a good rise.

2. I have to find a reference, but flour requires a bit of aging prior to being useful for baking. About a decade ago, sodium bromate was used to accelerate this process, but was banned by huge committees who didn't understand the chemistry involved. They operated on the baseless assumption that all chemicals are deadly (the carbohydrates that makeup the dough are magic molecules, not chemicals). Off the soapbox and into the kitchen.

The dough was mixed from a cup of starter, water (350 g), salt (2t), unbleached white flour (350 g) and fresh ground wheat berries (150 g). It rose about 12 hours at room temp, was formed into a boule and tossed into a brotform to rise a couple hours. Then the proofed dough was carefully transferred to a preheated cast iron dutch oven and baked at 425-deg-F for an hour. Crappy result follows:

le flop

Ugh. Once in a while, I blow it and overproof. This loaf was rising kind of fast. Before placing the final proofed loaf in the oven, I zipped to Giant Eagle for PopTarts (I know) for the kid. When I returned, I realized I had lost my chance. I baked it anyway and I could tell it fell when it hit the pan. I posted it because this is the classic raindrop profile of a loaf that was over-risen prior to being baked. Once in a while, I like seeing these results. Keeps me in tune when the ideal time to bake is. Underproofed is always a better error. Oven spring can compensate for this error. Nothing can help an overproofed loaf.

Anyway, flavor was nice. Crumb just looks horrible.

Next... Aloo Parathas. Yum!