Baking with whole grains: tips for success

grainhorizon

grainhorizon

Properly stored, whole grains can last almost forever. To avoid pantry moths, keep grain in covered containers in a cool, dry place (the freezer is great) until ready to use. Whole-grain flour is another story, however. It should be stored in the freezer, but for the best flavor, flours should be used soon after milling.

Try experimenting with different grains and different combinations of them. Thanks to the variety of grains available, you can try using spelt, emmer, rye, triticale … Find your perfect flavors and create your own “house” flour blend!

Whole-grain flours can feel gritty when you work with them, and they need a little more time to absorb liquids. Especially in bread recipes, like the chapati, you’ll get better results if you let your dough rest: a sticky dough can become supple and easy to work with.

A common warning when baking is that a lot of stirring can toughen up baking goods. That is true with flours that have had the bran removed (like all-purpose flour)––overworking forms gluten strands that can toughen up your baked goods. But in the case of whole-grain flour, the bran “cuts” the gluten strands and keeps things tender. This is why the pancakes in this recipe don’t become leaden hockey pucks, even after taking many spins around a blender.

Want more whole-grain goodness? Read on!

Going with the Grain

The Hardwick Loaf

Finding Your Perfect Flour

Blender Milling

Recipes

Blender Pancakes

Cheddar, Black Pepper & Chive Bread

Walnut-Pear Cake

Whole-Grain Chapati

The Hardwick Loaf: Hyperlocal bread

hardwickloaf

hardwickloaf

Baking with fresh local flour at home is something every baker can try, but how’s a local grain lover who doesn’t bake going to get their fill? Fortunately for bread lovers, plenty of local bakeries are using local fresh-milled flour in their goods. Rose32 co-owner and master baker Glenn Mitchell is one, and he goes hyperlocal with the bakery’s Hardwick Loaf.

The Hardwick Loaf could be considered a nearly 100% local loaf of bread (salt being the only ingredient not sourced locally). Mitchell purchases the wheat for this bread from Hardwick farmer Stan White. The wheat variety White grows on his farm, located less than three miles from the bakery, is called Redeemer.

Mitchell describes this Hardwick-grown, hard red winter wheat as the “best wheat for me.” Each week he mills between 30 and 40 pounds of Redeemer himself (another 100 pounds of Redeemer goes to Four Star Farms for finer milling there). This whole-grain, coarsely ground flour goes into the Hardwick Loaf. Mitchell uses a sourdough starter to leaven the bread. It takes about 60 hours for one batch to go from grain to oven.

Many of Rose32’s other breads are made with local wheat: Henry’s Harvest, the Local Loaf, and the Market Loaf use fresh-milled Redeemer and/or fresh-milled flours from Four Star Farms in Northfield.

If you are making a trip to Rose32 for a local loaf, it’s best to call the bakery at 413-477-9930 for availability as not all bread types are baked every day.

Find local flour in the breads at:

Rose32 | 413-477-9930 | 412 Main St., Gilbertville | Rose32Bread.com

Tart Baking Co | 413-584-0717 | 192 Main St., Northampton | www.facebook.com/TartBakingCo

The Hungry Ghost | 413-582-9009 | 62 State St., Northampton | HungryGhostBread.com

Want more whole-grain goodness? Read on!

Going With the Grain

Tips for Success

Finding Your Perfect Flour

Blender Milling

Recipes

Blender Pancakes

Cheddar, Black Pepper & Chive Bread

Walnut-Pear Cake

Whole-Grain Chapati