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.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Whole Wheat and Hemp Bread

 Whole Wheat and Hemp Bread

This bread was a disaster, and still turned out fine.

First of all, my sourdough starter was slightly past optimal raising ability, because I waited an hour longer than I should have to begin mixing.  The starter was viable, just a teensy bit old.

Then, I thought for sure that using 1/3 ground hemp in my dough would certainly require a lot more water than usual.  I have successfully used 80% hydration with straight whole wheat.  I started this dough with 75% hydration, expecting to add another 5% with the salt, using Tartine methods.  But I was tempted to add some more wheat flour, since the dough was really sloppy.

I didn't though.  I persevered, trying to stretch and fold this gritty dough, every 30 minutes throughout the bulk fermentation period.  The gluten didn't develop well.  I was wondering if I should put it in a tin -- and it probably would have done better that way, but I didn't really have time to prepare the tins before I had to scoot out the door for our wedding anniversary luncheon.  I dropped the dough in bannetons after a final fold.

The final oddity of this bread: we have several industrial-strength dehumidifiers going off in our kitchen the last few days, ever since the waterline into the upstairs toilet failed and we had a flood that spilled down through the kitchen ceiling and through the kitchen cupboards.

The insurance company is trying to dry everything out.  These things are noisy, and we are at wits end, dealing with the ensuing insanity of living in the midst of what sounds like a 747 takin off in our kitchen, and having to step around these things all day long.  But that's not the worst of it.  It looks like our kitchen is going to be undergoing some major renovations in the near future.  Not sure yet the extent of it all.

The only effect its had on me so far is this loaf.  Mixing, fermenting and proofing it were problematic in the noise and wind of these dehumidifiers.  But as the loaf was slightly too wet, I wasn't too worried that the loaf would dry out too much.

But we were late getting back from our luncheon, so the dough was somewhat overproofed.  It rose grandly from the top of the bannetons despite the dehumidifiers.  That meant it sagged badly when it hit the hot dutch oven.  I scored it, and the dough utterly deflated.

That's the story of these flat loaves.

I've used hemp seed in bread before (200mg), but I've never used ground hemp prior to this.

I've only mentioned hemp seed's unique omega-3 oils in the past -- but its whole nutritional qualities are excellent, its amino-acid profile is complete, and it is unfortunate that this grain has 'other properties' that have lead to its being so rigidly controlled.  It is simply a fluke of fate.  If wheat had as many exorphins as hemp has cannabinoids, wheat too might be one of our restricted grains.  If hemp had gluten, we might forgive it containing a narcotic, since we could make bread with it alone.  Alas, this seed has been given a bum rap due to the over exploitation of its other interesting qualities.

It has been widely studied (although selfnutritiondata's page on hemp seed doesn't have all the latest data), but despite the benefits of this plant for fibre to make clothes and rope, and depute its superior nutrition as a food source, the pluses all fall on deaf ears because it contains what has become a controlled substance.

I want to emphasize that I bought this ground hemp seed legally at the bulk food store.

The crumb looks quite interesting, despite the fact that the gluten wasn't well developed.  It has a very soft texture, although I wouldn't describe it as mealy.  It holds together well enough, but it is quite moist.

The taste is quite good -- again, I'd describe it as interesting (Spock's eyebrows would raise slightly)-- but with a slight bitter note (that could be the result of some of the rancid oils in the hemp, who knows when it was ground?).  I would not describe it as nutty.  Or oily.  Hmm.  How shall I describe it?  I better eat some more.  Hmm.

Could this bread be the antidote for the symptoms known as "the munchies"?  Just asking.

I quite like the taste of it.  I'd make it again.

Notes to Myself
  • One good thing about the dehumidifiers and fans going off at rocket speed in our kitchen: my wife says "at least there are no more fruit flies."  They'll be back.
  • For next time: before cutting back on the amount of hemp you use, try something else: like developing the gluten and adding a soaker of hemp later, or reducing the overall hydration of the dough to 70%, or less of a proofing time.
  • SLightly salty. Back the salt content off to less than 1.8%.
  • Here's what I'd try next time:
    •  ww flour 66% 
    • ground hemp 34% 
    • wheat germ 5%
    • water 70% 
    • salt 1.8%

  • If that doesn't work, THEN try backing the hemp off to 20% of the loaf.

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