Ancient Grains bread is a blend of 3 different grains collectively known as the “Ancient Grains” because they haven’t been manipulated over the years. These are supposedly the wheats that all modern wheat are derived from, and haven’t been bred for the sole purpose to produce white flour.
White bread is made from the Endosperm of the wheat seed, grain or as known in the bakery world, the berry. Over the years, the wheat seed has been bred to produce a larger endosperm, thereby increasing the yield to produce white flour. Thanks to a lack of need for processed food, these grains haven’t been manipulated as much, so retain more of their original makeup. Since there is less endosperm, the part of the wheat berry that helps trap gas, these grains tend to make rather dense, yet very flavorful bread.
Spelt, Kamut and Emmer are milled fresh, naturally leavened. Ancient Grains bread will be available in the half or whole loaf.
White Whole Wheat
Now that we have the mill we have access to things we never had before. There are hundreds (thousands?) of varieties of wheat out there. Most of what we get is a type of red wheat. By contrast, white wheat is much milder and sweeter in flavor, thanks to the light color of the bran. Occasionally, a supplier will have a few random bags of white wheat flour, but like anything a little different, it tends to be very old. Since we’re able to buy whole berries now, we can mill fresh and use the flour at its prime! This particular white wheat is sourced from one of our favorite mills in the country, Heartland Mills. It’s sourced from one farm in Kansas.
White whole wheat should not be confused with white, unbleached wheat flour, where the bran and germ are separated at milling. This is 100% whole wheat and shares all the nutritional value of traditional whole wheat. The variety is considered an albino, having very little color in the bran. This lack of color contributes to its lighter color and milder flavor. There is a minute amount of red wheat in this bread from the natural leavening.
We will slowly start incorporating more and more white wheat into our breads, in an effort to get more people eating whole grains!
Fresh Milled White Whole Wheat (99.6%)
Fresh Milled Red Whole Wheat (.04%)
WHOLE GRAIN THURSDAY IS HERE!
Our mill has arrived and we’re so excited. This marks a new chapter in Seven Stars Bakery and how we treat our products. Starting this week, we have begun incorporating some of the fresh milled flour into our breads. Soon, all of the whole grain that goes into any Seven Stars Bakery bread or pastry will pass through our stone mill imported from Austria, the majority of which is sourced in the Northeast, something that was unthinkable only 5 years ago! This gives us the opportunity to source different types of grain, and mill them fresh daily, much like you would grind coffee fresh just before brewing.
Going forward, I will not be using white flour in any of the breads available on Thursday afternoons. This will be a great opportunity to experiment with different types of grain, sourced locally or from around the country. There will be some unique sounding grains used. Many of which people with gluten sensitivities are able to eat. One of the biggest problems we have with sourcing interesting flour is that it is often very old by the time it gets to us. By milling the grain ourselves, we’ll be able to use the freshest flour, and never have to compromise.
Bread for February will be a 50/50 mix of Emmer and Red Wheat. Most wheat bread, whether whole grain or processed into white flour, is made with red wheat, of which there are 100’s of varieties. Compared to, less common, white wheat, it’s richer in color and flavor. Emmer is considered one of the “Ancient Grains”, said to originate in Syria around 8000 BC! Emmer is a type of wheat that is very high in protein, but low in gluten. That means, many people with gluten sensitivities can eat it, but it doesn’t make the best performing loaf of bread so the red wheat is there to give it the needed support. I would be interested in hearing if someone on the edge of gluten sensitivity can eat this bread since it has 50% Emmer. The fresh milled flour, and the flavor of Emmer is a unique combination, making for a very full flavored, rich loaf.
Fresh milled Red Wheat
Fresh milled Emmer Wheat
It seems most food trends originate in California, and this is no different! They’ve figured out a way to use the remains of the humble grape after wine making, and it happens to now be considered one of the “superfoods”, high in antioxidants, flavor and nutrition!
You can find grapeseed flour in pretty much any wine varietal. Chefs are using it in foods that would pair well with that particular wine. Since it isn’t actually a flour, rather the skins and seeds after processing, it can’t be used 100% in a bread, but the little that can be used imparts a very unique flavor and color to the bread. My friend, Craig Ponsford, claims he can make a shortbread cookie with no butter that smells and tastes like a normal shortbread cookie, claiming the Chardonnay flour has such a “buttery” flavor. Crazy!
This months bread will be Ciabatta with Chardonnay grapeseed flour. More information on grapeseed flour and its health benefits can be found here.
Maine Grains 75% extraction “sifted” flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Chardonnay Grapeseed Flour
This months bread is Toasted Buckwheat. Buckwheat itself cannot be made into bread if used 100%, so the bread is mostly made with wheat flour, augmented a little with buckwheat flour. Buckwheat groats, toasted to bring out more of their unique flavor are added generously, creating a very aromatic bread. Groats are the hull-less whole grain itself.
Buckwheat has a very unique flavor, especially when the groats are toasted. The name is confusing, considering it is not related to wheat, being a distant cousin of Rhubarb. The grain is used in all kinds of different foods from breakfast cereals, Soba noodles and savory crepes in Brittany, France. This bread is particularly tasty with a stinky, runny cheese.
Maine Grains Sifted 75% Extraction Wheat Flour
North Country Farms Whole Wheat Flour
Whole Buckwheat Flour
Whole Toasted Buckwheat Groats
Panettone has joined Stollen for our Holiday bread selection. This Italian bread is traditionally eaten once a year, but can be found year round. It’s easily identifiable in the grocery store in a festive box, with a long list of ingredients, including artificial preservatives to keep it fresh. Our Panettone doesn’t have any artificial preservatives, but due to the complex sourdough fermentation schedule, batter like consistency of the dough and high fat content, it will stay fresh for a month or more! Many refer to it as a cake for this reason.
This is a perfect bread to show off how manipulating fermentation times and temperatures, we are able to make a sourdough bread that is light, and devoid of sour flavor! There is a touch of yeast in the dough to give that extra little bit of lift in the oven, but not enough to really matter to tell the truth.
Panettone is loaded with candied orange peel, candied lemon peel, raisins and BUTTER! It’s great eaten alone, slathered with more butter or Americanized as french toast. Lynn says it makes the best bread pudding in the world. WOW. You might want to buy two loaves.
Available for 3 days only this year-December 22,23 and 24.
All Purpose Wheat Flour
Maine Grains 75% extraction Wheat Flour
Diastatic dry Malt
Candied Orange Peel
Candied Lemon Peel
This months bread will be baguettes made with more of the Maine Grains sifted flour.
Our French baguettes are made with white All Purpose flour, with a little bit of yeast in the Pre-Ferment as well as the final dough. Our Sourdough baguettes have a touch of the sifted flour in them, and no commercial yeast. The baguettes this month will be 100% sifted flour, with a little bit of yeast in the pre-ferment, in addition to natural leavening.
Maine Grains 75% Sifted Wheat Flour
Fall in Normandie, France brings Pain Normande. This bread is a specialty of the region showcasing the apples that have just come back from harvest. Bakers will either use some of the local “hard” or alcoholic cider, or fresh cider. Oftentimes, they will use fresh cider that has just begun to go off or turn sour believing that it helps with fermentation. Continue reading Pain de Pomme
Maine Grains Sifted Rustic
There’s a new miller in the house and we couldn’t be more excited! Not only are we able to showcase more and more whole grains and sifted flours, but all the flour and grain comes from the state of Maine. Considering most flour comes from the Midwest this is such a cool turn of events for us at Seven Stars. More New England flour… So exciting.
The Oatmeal bread from last month was about 75% grain from Maine Grains with the sifted and the rolled oats themselves. This months bread will be 100% sifted maine grains wheat flour in a rustic loaf similar to Integrale from several months ago. The big difference is that it will be be 100% sifted flour at 86% extraction and it will be sourdough.
A word on “sifted”, “bolted” or “high extraction” flour. For years, we didn’t have access to this special type of flour. It seems that more small mills are starting to get on the band wagon, and its great to see! Whole wheat would be considered 100% extraction, so this flour has 14% of the whole removed, mostly the larger bits of bran. What is left is a flour that lies somewhere in between whole wheat and white flour, however, unlike white flour it has all the oils that would not be present in a traditionally milled white flour on a roller mill. The higher the extraction, the whiter it becomes. This particular flour is closer to whole wheat than white.
Maine Grains Sifted (86%) wheat flour (Magog)
Click picture for larger image. Crumb picture for Michael Bernier next week:)
MAINE GRAINS OATMEAL BREAD
We were introduced to Maine Grains at last years Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, Maine and were impressed with the flour being produced, as well as the tasty rolled oats! The heart of Maine Grains is the Somerset Grist Mill also in Skowhegan. The goal of Maine Grains is to create a sustainable local grain economy, and they are doing an amazing job.
The mill sources grains solely from Maine farmers, then mills them into different flours and a variety of different oat products including cracked, quick cooking and more traditional rolled oats. I figured using the oats in a simple naturally leavened French style Pain au Levain would make for a nice, hearty loaf, with lots of whole grain. Their sifted wheat flour is also used generously.
Maine Grains Oatmeal bread will be available for the month of September on Thursday afternoons.
Sir Galahad All Purpose Flour
Maine Grains Sifted wheat flour
Maine Grains Rolled Oats