The flavour of bread is a product of many factors – how much sourdough starter is used, how long the dough is fermented, how much salt is used, and of course the qualities of the flour being used. Flour flavour is a product of genetics and growing conditions - and how much bran and germ is removed by the miller. White flour has had all of its bran and germ removed, and therefore has less flavour and fewer nutrients than wholemeal flour, but is useful for carrying the flavours of foods eaten with it.
The germ of a wheat grain contains nutritious oils and amino acids that the seed needs to germinate and grow into a seedling. These oils start to oxidise and degrade as soon as the germ is crushed and separated from the flour during the milling process, so to extend shelf life most of the germ is removed from industrially-produced wholemeal flour. The best way to capture the natural flavours and aromas of wheat, and to maximise its nutritional content, is to use freshly milled flour that has retained its germ. Because the oxidation process occurs fairly quickly, the best way to ensure this is to mill your own grain, and to pass it through an open sieve that removes only the coarsest particles of bran before it’s used for baking.
This new blend of winter wheat grain (Triticum aestivum) supplied by Heritage Harvest contains a 70:30 mix of Squareheads Master, a traditional ‘heritage’ variety that has been grown in the UK for at least 150 years, and Maris Widgeon, a hybrid wheat developed in the UK in 1964 which is still grown for thatching and organic flour millling. The Squareheads was grown in low input conditions for producing thatching straw near Bungay, Suffolk in 2017, and was threshed by Edgar Collyer and his team - the last mobile threshing machine contractor in the UK. The Maris Widgeon was grown on the Duchy Home Farm in Gloucestershire and is certified organic. The grain was double cleaned using a vintage (1895) Gooch & Sons grain cleaner, and was polished with a modern Heger ‘brosse à grains’ to ensure it is of the highest quality for home milling.
For best results, this grain should be tempered for 15 minutes with 2-3% (by weight) added water mixed in with the grain as thoroughly as possible to ensure even coverage (misted onto the grain if possible). This will help the bran separate from the underlying endosperm, and improve the texture of bread made from both wholemeal and sieved brown or white flour.
For best results, temper this grain for 15 minutes with 2-3% (by weight) added water mixed in as thoroughly as possible to ensure even coverage. This will help free the bran from the endosperm, and improve the texture of bread made from both wholemeal and sieved flour.
Ingredients: English wheat grain – a 70:30 blend of varieties Squareheads Master (1870) and Maris Widgeon* (1972)
Grown in the UK
Allergy advice: contains GLUTEN
Store in a cool, dark and dry place.
Nutritional data: (Typical values per 100g)
Energy 1365 kj / 325 kcal
Fat 2.3 g (of which saturates 0.5g)