Thursday, November 03, 2011

Another Tip of the Hat to Heartland Mill

Way, way back in Spring of this year, Mrs PG and I stopped in Marienthal, KS to pick up an order of flour at Heartland Mill. While I'm a impulsive buyer of flour most of the time, I ordered five different types knowing that I had room in a freezer for storage until I decided to open up the packages. The flour is packaged in an old fashioned cloth flour sack with a cellophane type liner for the flour. I like how they do that.

The loaf in my first picture today is a lean sourdough loaf made with 33% white whole wheat flour from Heartland Mill. The flour combined well with my stock Dakota Maid bread flour and proved to be easy to handle.

Lately, I've been trying out different hydration starters between 70-85% hydration levels out of curiosity because I can. The starter in this loaf was somewhere in the lower 70s, maybe 75% so I wasn't surprised that I had to add 15g of water during the mixing stage.

The flavor of this particular loaf was decidedly sweet despite the lack of any sweetener in the dough. I attribute that character to the flour since I didn't do anything extreme or unusual in making the loaf. The crumb isn't at all dense and the loaf makes a really nice sandwich better. I think I'll try this flour out in building up a starter for a while to see if it works as well as the HM Golden Buffalo for feeding a sourdough. When I run through this 5 # bag of flour, I'll look for more at the Bad Seed Farmers Market in KC, MO.

140 g 75% starter
133 g Heartland Mills White Whole Wheat Flour
100 g water

Main Dough
all of starter
all of soaker
267 g Bread Flour
166 g water at 92F
9 g kosher salt

The starter took about 10 hours to hit its stride due to the warm, not hot, weather conditions. The room temperature was about 73F. The soaker sat at room temperature for about  4 hours while I waited on the starter. Autolyse stage lasted 30 minutes and the shaped loaf spent an overnight retarded proof in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. It took 1.5 hours to warm up at room temp and be fully proofed. I threw ice cubes on an airbake sheet pan for steam for 15 minutes at the beginning of the bake which began at 450F.

We had some very welcome rain pass through yesterday but it was no where near enough to relieve the drought conditions. If any of the predicted snow fell overnight, I didn't see any on the ground this morning. When I dug up a 2 meter x 2 meter patch of my garden for planting garlic, it was quite evident that the rain didn't penetrate very far. I'll be mixing in my mushroom compost and composted cow manure to amend the soil by Saturday with the goal of starting the planting next week. Time isn't of the essence in the planting since the ground usually doesn't freeze around here until the second or third week of December. I've planted garlic as late as the last week of November some years back with no problem at harvest time. Most of the garlic of planting size is hardneck with one softneck type. I've long since forgotten the names of the varieties but since they taste good, have adapted to the local climate, and thrive despite my less than professional care, they're all good.

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.

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