Wheat, Lesson Four
Not wishing to make this complicated, we are just going to talk about storing and using 2 kinds of hard wheat.
Red or bronze hard wheat:
this has a bit smaller grain with a reddish/bronze hue. The taste is strong. Not too many years ago, red wheat was the only kind most people could buy for their food storage.
White or golden hard wheat:
this has a bit larger grain with a blondish/golden hue. The taste is lighter than red wheat, but still has the whole wheat taste and characteristics. People prefer it for the lighter taste quality it has. Also, it is a good choice for using in desserts.
If we made an all red wheat bread loaf and an all white wheat bread loaf, then put them next to each other, you would see that the white wheat bread baked up a bit higher naturally.
Both of these hard wheats have similar nutritional and storage values.
Of course, you can choose just one kind if preferred. I like to store both kinds. But to start off, you should probably just choose one kind Most people these days prefer to store hard white wheat only; how about starting with that? Or, it may be a matter of cost as to what you end up choosing.
The actual differences to be concerned about with wheat will be the moisture and protein content....
What we want to look for in wheat storage is low moisture and high protein. The protein fraction in wheat is crucial to the development of the gluten structure of dough, thus a higher protein makes great bread flour. Recommendations vary as far as what is best percentage, but I'd say look for storage wheat with 12% or more protein and 10% or less moisture content. Always ask before you buy. You will be looking for high protein and low moisture hard wheat. Because I continually use and rotate, I have wheat with varying moisture content and protein. Just stay within the guidelines. I found 15% protein once, that was really nice, but usually it's been around 12 to 14%. Always insist that the wheat you buy is 10% or lower moisture.
The moisture content will make a slight difference in how much liquids are needed for right dough consistency, which is why breadmaking cannot be exact.....sometimes it needs more or less liquids. If you stay determined to learn bread/dough making, pretty soon you can tell by feel if you need more or less water. This brings us to another point: when making whole wheat bread, the dough needs to stay a bit 'sticky' so when it's baked it won't crumble. If too much flour is added, it makes a smooth dough but a crumbly baked bread. This does not apply to bread/dough made from white flour, with the white flour it's okay to allow the dough to be smooth but not too 'heavy'. I remember when dough conditioner was not available, thus to make whole wheat bread as 'light' as I could, I had to really experiment. Here is the bread recipe I came up with that turned out best....
Health Dynamics of America Bread
The name is long....the bread is truly good......
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 c. warm water
2 T. oil
2 T. honey
2 and 1/2 c. red whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached flour
2 T. cornstarch or potato starch
1 T. soy flour
2 tsp. lecithin granules
3 T. nonfat dry milk powder
1 and 1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 T. dry yeast
Place ingredients in a bread machine in order of list. Use regular setting/medium crust. Important to the success of this bread: dough needs to be quite sticky to the touch as it mixes: add 1 T. warm water at a time after dough starts mixing if it isn't sticky enough.
These are my go to wheat muffins. I kept finding recipes for way too sweet wheat muffins with too much oil/butter that might work for an occasional dessert, but to me, not right for meals.
1 c. red or white whole wheat flour
1 c. unbleached flour
3 T. dry milk powder
1/4 to 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. + 1 T. water
1/3 c. oil
1 large egg
Line muffin tin with paper cups. Heat oven to 400°. Mix whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, dry milk, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together: water, oil, and egg; add to dry ingredients. Stir all, just until moistened. Using an ice cream scoop: place batter into each paper-lined tin. Let sit for about 5 minutes, undisturbed. Put into heated oven, bake 15 to 18 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and bounce back to touch. Makes 12 muffins.
A whole wheat muffin recipe with honey:
Whole Wheat Pancake Mix
6 cups white whole wheat flour
1 c. dry milk powder
3/4 c. powdered dried whole eggs
2 T. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 T. baking soda
2 tsp. sea salt or salt
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Store in gallon zip-loc bag in refrigerator. Mark date made. Use in 3 months.
To make whole wheat pancakes:
1 and 1/3 c. mix
1 and 1/4 c. water (start with this, add more if needed)
1/2 T. cider vinegar
Combine w.w. pancake mix, water, vinegar. Add more water if needed. Ready to cook on medium heat. Makes about 12 pancakes.