Cracked Wheat

                                                        Cracked Wheat

This months bread is another naturally leavened bread that has raw wheat just barely “cracked”. It was lightly cracked in my homebrew mill into large chunks, then fermented overnight. The fermentation of the cracked wheat, in addition to the natural leavening gives a very interesting flavor and aroma to the bread.

 

55% of this bread is whole grain between the whole wheat and the cracked wheat, but you’d never know from the lightness of the finished loaf. In addition to the whole wheat and cracked wheat, the bread also contains North Country Farms excellent stone ground “white” flour from upstate New York. NCF White is a sifted flour, where the mill removes most of the bran, but the germ remains. It’s a stone ground white flour in name only, more closely related to whole wheat.

2014-03-27 14.58.30 2014-03-28 07.28.07

Ingredients:
AP Flour

North Country Farms White flour

Organic Whole Wheat Flour

Organic Cracked Hard Red Wheat

Water

Salt

 

Pane Integrale

                                                Pane Integrale 

2014-02-27 17.58.23 2014-03-06 14.53.01-1

This months bread will be Pane Integrale. In Italy, bread with whole grain flour may be called Pane Integrale. Indeed, the literal translation is “Wholemeal Bread”. There doesn’t seem to be a particular style of bread, just that it contain various proportions of whole grain flour. The bread may have commercial yeast or “lievito Naturale” (natural leavening). It may be rustic, or refined. It may be baked in a pan in a modern convection oven or on the hearth of a 500 year old brick oven.

Ours will be a variation on ciabatta, with 50% of the flour whole wheat and the rest our standard Canadian All Purpose flour. It will be leavened with a very small amount of commercial yeast.

Lynn says this type of bread is best with olive oil, cheese and cured meats. Take her advice, she knows what she’s talking about!

Ingredients:

Organic Whole Wheat Flour

All Purpose Wheat flour

Water

Salt

Yeast

 

Sesame Levain

2014-02-13 16.20.33

This months bread will be a simple, naturally leavened, bread made with toasted Sesame Seeds. The dough itself is ½ Organic Whole Wheat from Heartland Mill in Marienthal, Ks., leavened naturally with no commercial yeast.

 

I’m trying to use more and more whole grain in our breads since most of the new research on gluten intolerance points to highly processed white flour as the real issue! Whole grain also tastes better! Of course, a natural leavening makes for more interesting bread versus commercial yeast!

Ingredients:

AP Flour

Organic Whole Wheat Flour

Water

Salt

Organic Sesame Seeds

 

Malted Barley Bread

The first bakery I ever worked in was called The Bread Garden in Berkeley, Ca. It was way ahead of its time, predating legendary bakeries like Acme Bread in Berkeley, Ca and Bread Alone in Boiceville, NY. These were the bakeries that started making Artisanal european style breads before anyone in the US knew what they were. To Americans, bread was white, squishy, pre-sliced mediocrity found in the bread aisle at the grocery store.

David Morris, owner of The Bread Garden, died of cancer at the young age of 65 in April, 2013. He was one of the few certified Master Bakers in the US; a quirky, generous man with an interest in beekeeping, wine making and homebrewing beer. As a homebrewer myself, we shared an interest, and he shared his famous Malted Barley Bread recipe. David gave me my first bakery job, and I like to think Seven Stars wouldn’t be what it is without his influence over 20 years ago.

                                   morris2-225x300

You hear about breads made with spent grain from the brewing process. Unfortunately, spent grain is just that. Spent. The first step in brewing happens in the mash tun. Adding water to malted barley, at the correct temperature, converts starch in the barley to sugar. This sugary liquid, called wort, is then run off into the kettle, boiled with hops, fermented and becomes beer. What is left in the mash tun is the spent grain. Lots of texture, but not much else. This spent grain is generally used as feed for cattle or pigs. David used the actual, sugary mash in a loaf of bread, something only a baker that was also a brewer would do! To this day, I’ve yet to see a “beer bread” recipe that uses this technique. I’ve taken Davids recipe and added a local twist. Not only is the mash added, but the majority of the water has been replaced with Barstool Golden Ale from Pawtuckets own Foolproof Brewery.

Malted Barley Bread is based on classic French Pain au Levain, but adds the mash from a pale ale and Foolproofs excellent session beer Barstool. The levain adds mild acidity balancing the sweetness and texture of the mash. The raw dough is rather sweet, but the finished loaf less so since the sugar created has been partially fermented in the same manner as the beer. This bread tastes like a brewery smells!

2013-12-19 15.18.14 2013-12-19 15.01.19

Raise a glass in honor of David as you eat this bread!

Ingredients:

AP Flour

Heartland Organic Whole Wheat flour

Weyermann Pale Ale Malt

Foolproof Barstool Golden Ale

Water

Salt