Yeah, it’s been awhile hasn’t it? Well, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things, and I have an interesting flour to showcase… But, first for the noobs, there will be a new bread produced Thursday afternoons. It’ll be the same for the month, then will change the following month. This is meant to be fun, and slightly experimental, so it is possible that something just might not come out right and it will not be available. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the project, we will not take orders, and please don’t be too upset if there is no bread available! I will do my best to get bread to all 3 stores as quick as I can, but you can count on it by 2:00 at the latest. First come, first served!
We were approached last year by Kevin at North Country Farms in upstate NY about flour he is milling. He has taken on quite a project, and gets at the heart of “local”. Most wheat is sourced from the midwest, but it is starting to be grown in random places around the country. Kevin is sourcing NY state wheat within 300 miles of his mill! The non-organic flour is stone milled at cooler temperatures to keep the grain from heating up and destroying all the nutrients. According to Kevin, “all of the farms are bordered by Lake Ontario, St Lawrence river and Adirondack mountains. This region allows for long cold winter days/nights and long warm summer days/nights which create great soil for the grain...”
We are buying Whole Wheat and “White” flour from North Country Farms. The white flour in particular is very interesting in that it is not at all white in color, but more of a light tan. In fact, it’s “white” flour in name only. It is considered a “high extraction” flour, meaning some of the bran and germ remains rather than sifting it away. In this case, 15% of the bran and germ remains. One can think of it as a very UN-refined white flour.
Some of the North Country Farms flour makes its way into all of our breads except Pain de Mie, Durum and French Baguettes, where it would make the bread too dark. Check the North Country Farms website to purchase the flour direct from the mill in small quantities for your home baking. The flour has made a difference in our breads, and Kevin has been a joy to work with! We’re currently using about 1500 pounds per week of NCF Whole Wheat and White flour in our daily production. As our busy season starts to kick in, we could use over 2000!
This months bread will be a simple french style Pain au Levain, made 95% with North Country Farms “White” flour. The combination of levain (french for sourdough or natural leavening) and NCF White flour produces very unique bread. I will be interested in hearing feedback!
Bread will be available Thursdays after 2:00pm at all 3 of our stores.
NCF Pain au Levain
North Country Farms “White” flour