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 Let's Talk Flour
 Wheat Flours (whole & white)
 Which One to Start With
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Glenda
3 Posts
Glenda
Waterville MN

Posted - Oct 30 2018 :  12:27:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello!
I'm Glenda and a brand new reader to Wild Bread.

I borrowed the Wild Bread book from the library and skimmed the whole book the very first day. After re-reading most of it over the next few days, I decided I needed my own copy and to try this way of making sourdough. I've had varying success with a starter purchased from King Arthur. The most success being pizza crust. The least success with knowing how to make the best bread and keep the starter healthy.

After telling my husband all about Wild Bread, he told me to buy the things I need. So I bought the book, the baking dish, and the bowl. Next I will need to get the proofer and the flour. But I have two questions about the flour.

1. Which one should I start with? Is it simply a matter of preference? I do not own a flour mill, so will need to purchase pre-ground flour. Is one more economical than another? The three I'm torn between are the White - Wheat, Kamut, and Einkorn, in that order. Any advice?

2. In the book there is the note on not using any other store-bought yeast, or having store-bought yeasted breads in the home while nurturing the mother. Is this a problem if I have the mother living in the proofer? The earliest I can start a sourdough culture is the week of Thanksgiving. This starts the busy baking season for me and I know there will be all sorts of other things baked and brought into my kitchen till after Christmas. I'd rather not wait till it is all done to start, but I also really want to be successful! Any advice?

Thank you!
Glenda

Ashley
287 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Oct 30 2018 :  3:26:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Glenda and welcome! I'm so happy you found Wild Bread! I hope that you're met with great success as you start your mother.

To answer your questions, let's talk about the flour first. What kinds of breads do you like best? White-wheat will produce light, lofty loaves while Kamut will produce slightly more dense, earthy loaves. Einkorn is similar to white flour in texture, but any freeform loaves will have less structure than those made with the other flours. The first few weeks that you're getting your mother started, you'll find that the loaves lack the "oomph" of breads made with store-bought yeast (as your mother builds strength, this will improve). If you choose a flour such as Kamut, this will be more pronounced as breads made with this flour are naturally more dense. On the other hand, Kamut is really a wonderful flour to work with. I guess my best advice is to think about what you want in terms of flavor and texture.

Regarding using store-bought yeast and bringing store-bought yeasted breads into your home while you're cultivating your mother, it's best to be conscientious about it and at the very least make sure yeast/breads are kept a distance away from your mother. If you're baking yeasted breads, is there another place you can tuck your mother while doing so? And can you store yeasted breads in a sealed container in a cabinet away from you mother?


Happy baking!

Ashley Ogle
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Glenda
3 Posts
Glenda
Waterville MN

Posted - Oct 31 2018 :  07:29:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Ashley,

We like all sorts of breads, but our favorites are the ones we eat when we are in Germany - full of flavor, variety of seeds and nuts on some, pretzel breads, etc.. We don't necessarily love rye breads enough to make a full sourdough, an occasional loaf of that or mixed with pumpernickel is enough. We also enjoy having bread that is good for an occasional sandwich, so free form and standard loafs are all ones we choose. My kids love sandwich form more than free, and my husband and I are the opposite. Ha! But as my kids are slowly getting older and soon to be out of the house, I'm not too worried about only catering to their taste.

Yes, I can find a place to tuck the mother while making other yeasted breads as well as store the yeasted breads in a sealed container. That is easy enough! Now to another question.

Can I keep the mother in the proofer? Or is it better to just keep her on a counter. I would guess the temperature in my kitchen in the winter is about 68, but there are often drafts as there are either doors or windows on each of the four walls. I know I will need the proofer for proofing the bread each week, but I wasn't certain about nurturing the mother.

And one more question. My husband told me last night that if I really like doing this type of baking and would prefer to grind the wheat for flour, he would buy me a home mill. So, if that is a possibility down the road, would one of the flours (white-wheat, kamut, or einkorn) be better to start with considering our tastes and the flours abilities?

Thanks for all your help. I'm such a researcher before I actually jump in and do something and that is what is helping me choose Wild Bread method over another.
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Ashley
287 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Oct 31 2018 :  09:15:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Glenda, based on your preferences, it sounds like Kamut might be closest to what you like in breads. Einkorn is still a possibility, as long as you don't mind freeform loaves with a little less structure. It's a very finely milled flour, and the flavor is slightly sweet. I always think of it as a flour particularly well-suited for dessert-type breads. Since you prefer breads with full flavors, another flour to consider is sprouted wheat. The benefit to this flour is that it will make lofty breads like white flour, but it has more flavor. It performs beautifully when made into freeform loaves as well as in pans.

You also asked about milling flours. Kamut mills great, in fact, I think that the flour is much improved when milled using our WonderMill. If you go with einkorn, keep in mind that it's had most of the bran and germ removed, so if you mill this flour at home, it will be slightly different from the milled einkorn you buy--even of you sift out the bran and germ. You could, however use Einka flour, which is the whole-wheat version of einkorn. This flour has more flavor, and while the freeform loaves have less structure that say, white flour, they have more structure than breads made with einkorn flour. I also mentioned that you might like sprouted-wheat flour. The primary thing to consider if you plan to convert to milling at home is that you would need to sprout the wheat berries prior to milling (the are instructions for sprouting grains pages 198-199), or buy sprouted grains. The source for sprouted-wheat flour recommended in the book also sells sprouted red-wheat berries.

I know I threw the other two flours you hadn't mentioned into the mix, but I thought they had some benefits worth mentioning.

Regarding storing you mother in a proofer, with the potential for drafts, I would keep your mother in a proofer during the colder months. The problem with cooler temperatures is that while wild yeast likes a specific temperature range, lactic acid bacteria doesn't seem to be as particular about temps, so it will flourish and take over your mother, creating breads with little loft and a strong sour flavor.

I'm happy to answer any questions you have, and I can definitely relate to thoroughly researching something before diving in.

Ashley Ogle
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Glenda
3 Posts
Glenda
Waterville MN

Posted - Oct 31 2018 :  09:45:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks again! This is giving me lots of information to ponder. My gut response is to choose Kamut. But I'm going to look a little into the sprouted flours and re-read Wild Bread with an eye towards using one of these flours.

Now, if only I didn't have plans to be out of town various days in the next two weeks, I'd start sooner!

Glenda
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