Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Dough conditioners, wheat flour, and wheat berries
A question from Valynn:
I made the wheat bread again, this time with a pinch of citric acid. It didn't seem to change anything. My bread was ok inside but the outside was not very soft. It crumbled when I cut it, same as my first loaf. I'm not supposed to add all four conditioners am I? Do you have any ideas to make the outside softer? I'm doing half wheat half white flour.
Yes -- by all means, add all four of the dough conditioners listed in the additional notes of my recipe, especially if you wish to use 100% whole wheat flour. :) I use Prairie Gold Hard White Wheat flour and add all four conditioners. If you use some all-purpose flour, you may need smaller amounts of the conditioners. We found what worked best for our whole wheat loaves and put those measurements in the additional notes of the recipe. :)
To make the outside softer, I suggest buttering the loaf after it is shaped (before rising) and buttering it again immediately after being baked. Be sure to cover the dough and/or freshly-baked bread with a clean towel. And as soon as it's cool, slice it and bag it! Another softer-crust tip can be found here (step #4).
Source for organic flour?
A question from Debbie:
I remember that recently you listed an organic flour source but can't locate it now. I live near the Cleveland area (Amherst) and just recently started my farmers market featuring artisan breads and bagels. I would love to find a local source for organic flour to avoid the high cost of shipping. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
The organic flour source I mentioned previously wasn't local for me; the family who owns that farm are friends of ours who bring our orders when they come to visit. ;)
Most of my flour isn't organic. I use Wheat Montana which is chemical-free. I order from a co-op that is coordinated by a lady near my town. (Here is where the order is placed, for those curious about prices. I buy in bulk, i.e. 25-50 pound bags.)
I suggest checking at nearby health food stores or bulk food stores and trying to find out about bulk ordering or any possible local health food co-ops.
And while we're on the topic, does anyone know the difference between "organic" and "chemical-free"?
Flour/wheat berry equivalents
And a question from Susan:
The regular white flour I've been using runs 2.2 cents/ounce. I've found wheat berries for 2.7 cents an ounce, but how much flour does that equate to? I know that some where I've got to consider the health benefits and their value, too. I guess what I've really meant to ask is how much flour do you get from each milling? How many cups of wheat berries is equal to what amount of flour?
When comparing prices for flour and wheat berries, the price per ounce is the price per ounce. What I mean is that a pound of wheat berries makes a pound of flour. A pound of flour takes up more space in the container, but it is still the same weight.
I think that generally, 1 cup of wheat berries makes 1.5 cups of wheat flour. (The volume increases by about half.)
To participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Post a kitchen tip in your blog, with a link to this post. Then come here and add your name, tip subject, and URL to this post! Links must be family friendly, as always. If you don't have a blog but would still like to share a tip, just leave a comment here with your tip! Everyone's ideas are appreciated. :) Note: Please link to your individual post, not your blog's main/front page! Thanks for participating! :)