Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tips Hints with fresh ground grains

Spelt Grain which looks, tastes and bakes like wheat flour, but is a sweeter wheat without the bitter taste of white wheat and higher in protein The flour is excellent for bread making. pasta, cakes and cookies where you want light or whiter bread. Recipes from spelt flour require a lot less mixing time to develop into dough. The dough absorbs less water than regular wheat flour dough. The rest of the bread-making procedure can be handled like any other bread or roll dough.

Hard Red Winter or Spring Wheat, has a high gluten and protein content necessary for bread making. This what has a nutty, wheat flavor, produces dense “brown breads”

Hard White Spring Wheat (also called Golden 86 or Prairie Gold) also can be used for bread making. It is a hybrid - the bitter compounds in the bran have been breed out from the hard red wheat. where you want light or whiter bread.

Soft White Wheat is called pastry wheat and is finer, with little gluten and is excellent for pastries, pies, biscuits, cookies and muffins - when you need flaky and delicate flour.

Durum Wheat is high in protein, but makes a lemon yellow meal flour called semolina flour and is a high-protein variety used for pasta making.

Kamut Grain can also make yeasted breads. There are many other nutritional grains, but must be combined with wheat (for its gluten) to make yeast bread. Some people who have wheat allergieses can tolerate Kamut breads.

All Purpose Flour is a combination of 80 percent hard red winter or white winter wheat and 20 percent of soft wheat.

Rye is an earthy, strong-flavored grain similar to wheat. It does contain some gluten. Medium rye flour is a mixture of rye flour and wheat flour. Pumpernickel or dark rye flour, is a coarse grind with much of the bran left in, which makes a very dense bread.

Rice flour can be freshly ground from brown or white rice. It is well known, in bread and pizza making, as the best flour for dusting, as it absorbs moisture slowly. Because of the lack of gluten, it cannot be used to make a yeasted loaf. A bread can be made with rice, but must be mixed with other flours such as Soy or Tapioca flour. Rice can also be used for cakes, biscuits, and pancakes.

Barley is an ancient grain and is extremely high in minerals. It is a grain that will make a sweet and crumbly bread.

Oat groats are richest in proteins and minerals. Oat flour is fine ground for bread and has a creamy, sweet flavor. Oat flour is low in gluten so it can not be used to make bread, but can be mixed with wheat flour to add fluffier and texture to bread, muffins, pancakes, etc. Roll these fresh oats and use them as a topping on your bread alone or in combination with wheat flakes or corn flakes.

Corn is a popular grain with a sweet flavor and is the ingredient in corn bread, tortillas, Johnny cakes, hushpuppies. Popcorn can not be used to grind for making flour as it is very hard and will damage a grain mill. Only dried corn can be used.
Millet is a small yellow grain with a mild, sweet flavor. Millet is a seed of an annual grass. Millet can produce a bread with a crumbly texture or can be made into a good sliced bread for people who have Celiac Disease.

Buckwheat is not a wheat, but is a grass belonging to the sorrel family. Freshly ground buckwheat is excellent in combination with wheat for pancakes and a small amount for a wonderful bread.

Soy Flour is ground from toasted soybeans and contains 40 to 50 percent protein. A musty- flavored grain, soy flour is fifteen times richer in calcium and iron than wheat.

By varying the grains used, one can precisely tailor a flour for a specific recipe. For example:
A mix of 3:2 hard red wheat and soft white wheat makes soft yeasted rolls.
10 - 20 % rice flour makes for crunchier cookies.
A 3:1 mix of soft wheat and oat flour makes a cake flour suitable for the most delicate chiffon cake.

Beans can be added to breads, but substitute 1/3 - 1/6 in place of whole wheat flour. These flours do not contain enough gluten in themselves for successful high rising yeast bread making.

Wheat flour contains the highest amount of gluten. Gluten is a protein, part of the grain that develops elasticity when it is kneaded. It is the substance that traps the carbon dioxide given off by the fermenting yeast thus expanding and stretching, giving texture and rise.

Vital Wheat Gluten - This is a must for a lighter yeasted bread. The gluten is extracted from high protein wheat. It is also a binder, making dough more elastic and gives it a boost. It also helps to compensate for the damage done to the gluten in your bread dough due to the bran’s jagged edges which occur during the mill process.

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