BAKING

Baking with heritage wheat is nothing like baking with a modern wheat, they just seem like two completely different species. Heritage flours do not have a very strong gluten unlike modern bread wheats so do not hold together that well and need great care for good results especially in the wholegrain form.

We only sell wholegrain for the very reason that we are producing flour for flavour and the wholegrain has the full wonderful flavour of these old wheats.

When these wheats were in their heyday  bread was a main constituent of the working persons diet and large fluffy loaves were not on the menu if you had to eat a lot of bread. Breeders were not much bothered with loaf volume and denser wholegrain loaves or flat breads were the usual fare.

For this reason if you want any loaf volume you are going to have to do two things, firstly use a 50/50 mix of heritage and strong white (I have been experimenting with Tesco's Atta Chakki flour as a partner and getting good results as well) to get a reasonable gluten lattice and secondly use a lot less water. Too much water and your bread will be flat and wet so I would advise no more than 65% hydration certainly to start with ( more with the atta).

Practice and take baby steps, I'm not  good baker and my best baking buddy is Mr. Panasonic but even I can produce a loaf that may not be real eye candy but has a flavour thats in a class of it's own.

Whatever baking you do these wheats can add a wonderful flavour but always bear in mind the lack of 'doughiness' they have and plan accordingly. For pastry add a little white flour to get a mix you can roll out, it needs to be a little warmer than normal and roll and handle it carefully as it is relatively brittle. It makes divine  pie bases and crust, adds depth to cakes and is great to experiment with as long as you are happy to do so.

 

Baking without yeast, sourdough or soda

If you are unable to find yeast, baking powder and don't make sourdough relax because for most of history no one had them but that

didn't stop people enjoying bread. Try Flatbread it's so easy you won't believe it all you need is flour, water, salt and a very hot surface. Here I am using the hot plate directly but you can use a frying pan, casserole or sheet of steel, baking stone anything as long as it's very hot. If it's not hot enough your dough will stick.

Put some flour into a bowl mix with a pinch of salt and water to make a stiffish dough. Dust a surface with flour and roll out a snooker ball sized ball of dough to finish as thin as possible maximum 1/8" and place on the hot surface directly without any oil. Leave for 30 secs and the dough should have risen a bit unevenly, turn it over, repeat twice more and its cooked. Total time approx 5 minutes and with good tasty flour it will be a treat, enjoy.