Last week I made 10 loaves from wheat I milled on the premises. The wheat was Mulika, a modern wheat, bought from Stoates mills in Dorset.
As I complete the process of milling, making and baking the journey I am on demystifies, its a little misty as I haven’t found anyone doing exactly what we are doing – growing wheat, making and baking sourdough bread from it – all in the most gentle, or with the lightest touches, possible.
I was trying to grow heritage grain, which I still aim but with an added, and crucial element, namely that making and baking bread (feeling, tasting etc), is crucial to inform the type of grain we will attempt to grow. The growing part is of course important: we need to be able to grow ‘the’ wheat well in the Devon climate, environment and topography for it to be sustainable. It wont be disastrous if we have to combine some Devon wheat with some European wheat. After all the current organic system ships its wheat (60 to 70% of most blends) from Kazakhstan and or Russia. So this process is three fold; Stop shipping our wheat form half way across the globe, grow the best bread making wheat we can here in Devon, source the best bread grains from around Europe (Try an grow, mill, make sourdough bread in Devon from them).
The bread from the Mulika grain was ok, good crumb and tasty, but not good enough. The crumb needs to be more open, the dough more springy and the flavours more developed.
Next week I’ll be milling more and working with hydration levels – the last batch were at 67% hydration.
Thanks for reading. Ill post pictures and notes next week.