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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


After working a couple of nightshifts, I was exhausted when I got home.  But I had some wild yeast culture I wanted to immediately use, so I set to work before going to sleep.  

I mixed up one of my stiff ww starters (300g) in 700g of water.  I would make a pan integrale, a 100% whole wheat bread.  What was different about this dough though: it was made with 50g of wheat germ, as an experiment.  50g of water was added with the salt, after a short autolyse.  So the final baker's percentages of these Pan Integrale boules was:

  • ww flour 100%
  • wheat germ 5%
  • stiff sourdough starter @ 50% hydration 30%
  • water 75%
  • salt 2%
What is missing: 50g of Wheat Germ
50 shades, baby
The reason I added 5% wheat germ to this loaf was due to something I'd read.  A fairly recent news report that said Canada's regulations on the labelling of whole wheat allow manufacturers to remove 5% of the ground whole grain and still call it "whole wheat". 

WTF?  Yep.  Check it out.  This is the gobbledy-gook from Health Canada.

I've been baking with whole wheat now for several years, intent on using whole grains.  And I didn't know this.  How stupid have I been?  How stupid are we all?  The baking industry, the milling industry, and even Health Canada counts on us all to be this stupid.

Of course, the part the millers remove is the wheat germ because this is what will make the flour rancid and ruin the flour's shelf life.  And this is really the healthiest part of the whole grain, full of taste and vitamins and life.  

Therefore every whole wheat bread I've ever made with a processed flour, bought from Arva or anywhere else, has been a sham.  It wasn't whole grain at all, at all.

The wheat germ has to go back, it has to.  That is the 5% I put back into the loaf.  Still a compromise from grinding my own grains, but the best I can do, if I don't grind my own grains.

This was a very dry dough, difficult to mix because it was not well hydrated.  I kept adding water to it with my hands, and eventually I just had to knead the dough to develop the gluten, it just wasn't well enough hydrated to do a proper stretch and fold.  After about 4 hours, I divided the dough, bench-rested it, shaped it and put it in proofing baskets.  Into the fridge it went, after about 30 minutes of proofing, so I could get some sleep.  I baked the loaves later that night, and they had been in the fridge about 7 hours.

I deliberately didn't score the loaves when I put them on the baking stone with steam.  I was still looking for a light brown crust.  So they baked at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes, then I backed off the heat to 350 degrees F for another 40 minutes.  Midway through the lower temperature portion of the bake, I turned the loaves, which had already exploded in places due to the unevenness of the steam through my cracked stones.

The loaves didn't see a lot of rise, but they did stand up nicely at this lower hydration, and there was no sagging.

And the taste?   I swooned.  I relished it.  I rolled my eyes.

"Where have you been all my life, baby?" I crooned in my best Christian Grey imitation.

If someone from Health Canada were here right now, I'd be looking for my keys to the Red Room of Pain.  This bread is as good as sex.  And it makes me want to hurt somebody, because we have all been lied to.

Notes to Myself
  • The idea of rebuilding the flour is not a new one to me.  Remember this peculiar bread you baked long ago?
  • Likely I will play with this recipe a bit more.  It could use more hydration, probably.
  • I've just finished the trilogy starting with Fifty Shades of Grey.  Hey, all the girls at work and all the girls at Yoga class are talking about it.  I wanted to know what the fuss was about.  Took me a while to read because I kept falling asleep.  It ain't literature.  I think Grey's sexiest feature is that he makes 100,000 dollars an hour -- and for that kind of money, I'd have rough sex with him too.

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