All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Barley, Buckwheat and Oat supplemented WW Sourdough bread

A Barley, Buckwheat and Oat supplemented WW Sourdough bread

In the recent past, I've made a 10% Barley loaf, a 10% Buckwheat loaf, and a 10% Oat Flour loaf.  Check those breads for info on the health benefits of barley, buckwheat and oats.

Now it is time to combine the health benefits of all three of these grains into one 70% Whole Wheat Sourdough loaf.  As usual, I'm following the Tartine methods, although (as usual) this is not a Tartine Bread recipe.

1/3 cup each of barley, oatmeal and buckwheat

Ingredients for the loaves without extra grain

Adding the boiled grains to the dough:

Comparison of the 2 doughs at bench-rest:

Actually, today I made two versions of of this Barley/Buckwheat/Oat/WW loaf.  To one of the doughs, I added 1//3 cup each of Buckwheat, Barley and Oatmeal, that I had poured boiling water over and left overnight.  The grains were first placed in a thermos, so the temperature was kept high for the entire soaking.

I weighed each of these ingredients before adding water to them:

    •    Pot Barley 62g
    •    Buckwheat 44g
    •    Oatmeal 32g

The next morning, I conserved the liquid for the bread.  I had to add a little bit extra water to it, but most of this second dough's hydration was from these boiled grains.  The water was cooled, but it was still slightly higher temperature than room temperature, and of course, warmer than the usual cool water that comes from my double-filtered water from our sand-point.  And right away, even before I added the grains to this second loaf, after turning it a couple of times in the bowl, I knew that this dough was substantially different in feel.  It was far more slippery.  I could stretch it a long, long way, and it wasn't elastic enough to snap back.  I knew I was going to have problems with it.

Why this water should have acted this way in this dough is a curiosity for me.  Was it merely the temperature?  Was it due to the way the yeast in the starter became super-activated due to the increased starch in the water?  Was it because there was mucilage (i.e. liquified gums from the grains) in the water?  Was it an alteration in the pH?  I just don't know.  But when I added the grains to the dough, it just got worse.  I could stretch this dough really really far, but it seemed to be flaccid, it had no snap.  The other dough, supposedly the same hydration (75%) seemed tight and less stretchy, and snapped back when folded.
the flopped bread
Hence the flop when I put this grain-filled dough into the dutch oven.  It had expanded beyond the rim of my banneton, and I knew I was going to have problems with it, so with the worst of the two doughs, I upended it first onto a pizza peel, coated liberally with cornmeal.  This was a disaster, as it twisted coming off the peel and into the dutch oven.  The second loaf, I decided I would not bother with the pizza peel, and I upended it directly into the dutch oven.  These breads were flat and flaccid.  Nothing I could have done about it except add more flour much earlier on in the process.

These loaves are tasty, but although they are supplemented with other grains (for health reasons) they do not taste any different than an ordinary whole wheat sourdough bread I make.  The one with the grains is a lot more moist, and the moistness keeps it fresh longer.


Despite the problems I had in forming those loaves due to the sloppiness of the recipe, I think I prefer the loaves with the added grains.  Even if occasionally -- long after eating bread -- you sometimes find yourself spitting out a black buckwheat husk.

Notes to Myself
  • The problem with adding wholegrain buckwheat to the bread is that the boiled grain leaves its husk behind. I'm sure its entirely indigestible (not that, in the days of our awareness of the uses of fiber, that is a bad thing). Even after boiling and soaking overnight, it is really tough, and the teeth can barely chew through it. After chewing and swallowing some bread one can generally still find a bit of black buckwheat husk in one's teeth. Not a selling feature of this bread.
  • I have been thinking about buying a digital pH meter (something like this one) to test my sourdough and the various hydrations I add to the dough.  But lots of other bread heads have done this already: it might be simply cheaper to go through their results and do a metastudy of it, and devise a simpler kitcheny method to determine pH and peak times for starters.
  • I really have to fix my old doughed-up camera, or get a new one.  This old Fujifilm camera really sucks for taking closeup bread photos.  These photos are all blurry and crappy.

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