Last Sunday I held my third annual Bread Tasting Open House. This year I focused on a couple of areas - 100% rye flour breads, and a series of sourdoughs using different flours. For the latter the formula / recipe / technique was the same for all six of the breads; the only variation was that 25% of the flour was different. The six were:
- Amaranth flour
- Corn flour (whole corn flour, not the UK version or North American corn starch)
- Durum flour (re-milled from semolina)
- Kamut flour (stone ground whole Kamut)
- Rye flour (whole, stone ground)
- Teff flour
The general formula was:
- Bread flour - 75%
- Other flour - 25%
- Water - 72%
- Starter (100 hydration) - 19%
- Salt - 2%
With the starter, the overall hydration was 74%. Technique was to mix flours, water and starter and let sit for an hour, then mix in the salt (by hand and with very little mixing). All doughs fermented at room temperature for around 5 hours with 3 or 4 stretch and folds over the first couple of hours. The windowpanes on all of them were excellent - very strong and stretchy. Of all of them, the teff dough was the softest and the corn dough the silkiest. All doughs were then put in the fridge overnight and shaped / proofed in the morning.
The test batch I made first was proofed in floured oval bannetons, then transferred to peels and into the oven on the hot stones (pre-heated to 475F). The teff loaf was almost impossible - it was so soft and sticky that as soon as it was turned out onto the peel it spread into a puddle and stuck. Transferring it to the stones was very difficult and resulted in a bizarre shape!
All had good oven spring, but the corn flour loaf was the winner in this category - it nearly exploded in the oven! The rye loaf had much less spring than the others and the scores didn't open much (although when I made a second batch it had much better spring and burst).
Crumb on all of them was soft and moist, and quite open. The corn flour loaf had large holes and very moist crumb. The rye had a much closer crumb. The amaranth and teff had the most interesting aroma, with a sort of chocolatey sweetness from the teff and a lovely 'fresh hay' scent from the amaranth.
The results of the tasting were a bit surprising, actually. The corn flour loaf was the clear winner with the teff in second place and Kamut in third. The loaf made with 25% durum flour came in last! I asked people to vote for their favourite and their second favourite. Conversations indicated that people felt most strongly about both the amaranth and teff (they either really liked one or the other, or really didn't like it).
It was an interesting experiment! Here are some of the pictures:
25% Amaranth flour:
25% Corn Flour:
25% Durum flour:
25% Kamut flour:
Somehow I missed getting pictures of the Kamut loaf!
25% Rye flour:
25% Teff flour:
The Teff flour loaf was the mis-shapen one, so no picture of the whole loaf. :) When I made these breads for the actual bread tasting I baked the softest ones in the perforated Italian bread pans which made life a lot easier. These loaves not only looked lovely (crust and slashing was nice on all of them) but were easier to make more uniform slices. This photo shows (from top left to bottom right) two each of the Durum, Kamut, Rye and Teff loaves.
I just made a batch of the 25% Corn Sourdough for customers who ordered it after the bread tasting, and it turned out quite lovely!