Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Spelt is Back

  Way, way, way back in the Spring of last year, Mrs PG and I stopped off at Heartland Mill in Marienthal, KS. Part of my purchase was a 2# bag of spelt flour. Upon return to our home, I promptly placed it out of harm's way in the freezer for future use.The future arrived a short time ago when I decided to open the bag and use the flour in a new loaf.

Stylistically, I think it can be classified as either some kind of country loaf or bauernbrot. These classifications have been so loosely interpreted over the years that even a raggedy home baker such as myself can make a claim to either name. As has been said before, if it tastes good, it is good. This has turned out to be a very good bread despite the lack of any name or title.

Once again, I followed my now familiar procedures to prepare this loaf. Because I was already planning to bake a pizza for supper, I did time the proofing of the loaf to take advantage of an already very hot baking stone for better oven spring. The satisfactorily open crumb confirmed my expectations. My slashing doesn't show up well, more camera operator error, but I was trying to get an alternating cut pattern. Maybe it will work out better in the next loaf.

Starter:
160g, 75% hydration white flour starter

Dough:
267g bread flour
100g white whole wheat flour
33g spelt flour
280g water at 85F, plus 10g correction during dough mix stage
9g kosher salt
All of starter
Attention to detail, patience, and time

While there is a new rumor of widespread soaking rains by Wednesday or Thursday, the expectations have inadequate foundation for the moment. Even if the rain does arrive, the current drought and predicted drought conditions through September do not bode well for the greenery in my yard. Our poppy plant has browned out entirely though I have no idea if that means it's dead. We may have had an abundance of day lillies at the beginning of spring but some of the plantings have succumbed to the persistent heat wave. A few of my peonies are fading fast as well. If the peonies hang in for a couple more weeks, I should be able to trim them back and save them for next year. Tonight's local area forecast called for temperatures around 106-108F for Tuesday and Wednesday. That ought to provide a lesson or two in gardening.

The Kansas State University Extension Service will be coming to town next Saturday morning with a class in bread baking. The focus will be on bread shaping and on the utilization of whole wheat flours and grains in breads. It sounds good enough that I'm making the class a kind of gift to myself. The class will be taught by a representative of the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Visitors to the blog this week have included guests  from Ecuador and Ireland .

Comments, humor, and questions are welcome.




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