WW breads with 20% Rye, and another (final?) attempt at Millet bread
I quoted a government source the other day that suggested pearled millet was poised to become the next big grain, like corn. But after a couple of days experience with it (baking it into bread, making a porridge, and making some patties for a meal), I have to say that I have my doubts.
|millet mush having a bit of sourdough added to it|
In order for pearled millet to approach the importance of corn or wheat or rice, someone has got to solve the problem of millet's rapid staling or rancidity. Its oils may have to be removed, as they are in wheat, and if the oils go, there has to be some fortification added; or its oils may be further processed, as they are in corn, and secondary markets like corn fructose or ethanol will have to be found in millet for this to happen. Neither wheat nor corn end up being healthy when they are so transformed. And millet will suffer the same fate, I'm afraid.
With the last couple of breads (the millet loaves) going stale before I could eat them -- literally before my eyes, even as they cooled from the oven -- I was forced to make some more bread the very next day.
Just in case the millet loaf I was making bombed again, I mixed up some whole wheat with 20% whole rye flour, with a hydration of about 84%. It was retarded overnight in the fridge.
Then, because my sweetie's all purpose millet loaves were also hardening on the kitchen counter before she could eat them, I thought I'd at least try one more millet loaf before calling it quits with bijri flour.
I made an loaf with 60% AP, 30% bijri, and 10% ww flour. This was at about 78% hydration.
But I made a mistake with the ap loaf: I had completed my folds and was bench resting it for 30 minutes prior to shaping it when I fell asleep on the couch. I didn't even hear my ipod's duck alarm going off in the next room. I was gone.
At about 3 in the morning, the cat roused from his spot under the neighbour's barbecue, where he was safely out of the rain, and he knocked at the window. His wet furry paw sounded like a squeegee being rubbed against the glass next to my ear. I heard that. I got up and fed him, and realized my bread had been bench resting for 4 hours. There was a bit of oozing happening, but I formed it the best I could and set it in the prepared colanders. I was a bit worried about what might happen to this bread: would the gluten be already peaked, and even now unwinding? Would the yeasts be spent?
I decided to go ahead with it and see what would happen. After all, some old recipes advise you to knock the bread down twice.
I put a loaf of the millet and a loaf of the ww&rye in the freezer for a day when I won't be able to bake.
The rye worked fine. This is a bit more rye than there is in the official Tartine Rye bread recipe (and there is no AP flour in this one, either). There are some awfully wide holes in places in this bread. Doesn't hold jelly too well because of it. But the crumb is quite pliable and it tastes good.
The millet loaf again performed poorly in the oven. I didn't see any rise in it. This is not the way to make millet bread, I've determined. Nevertheless, there is evidence of a lot of yeasty activity in the airy crumb. I was happy to see that, since I have been refreshing my wild yeast daily for a while, thinking that it was a little sluggish. But because of the long bench rest, this loaf is probably quite a bit over-proofed, and the gluten is likely weakened because of it.
I'm still quite happy with it.
Unfortunately, the bread was (barely) acceptable, the next day, for my sweetie's breakfast. She had entirely rejected the millet loaf based on the weight of the bread, literally setting it aside as she ranted about how inedible my tough loaves are.
I quietly cut her a thin slice and she tried it. "It is good with peanut butter," she reluctantly said, after complaining for several minutes that there was no breakfast bread in the house, and all this bread I had made is just "lunch bread."
Notes to Myself
- Still not a fair trial of millet flour in a bread, since it had such a long bench rest. Will it stale quickly like the last loaves, even though I didn't include the hulled millet? Time will tell. So far, the loaf tastes fine and nutty.
- The millet porridge that I fermented with a few tablespoons of whole wheat starter was a revelation in taste. I loved it. But I gave it to my wife to try, and she wrinkled her nose. "Ugh," she said. "It tastes like nutty yogurt." Exactly! I would eat this plain, like yogurt. And if you add a bit of fruit (and perhaps some sugar or some maple syrup, if you must), you have a dessert.