Sourdough (rec.food.sourdough) Discussing the hobby or craft of baking with sourdough. We are not just a recipe group, Our charter is to discuss the care, feeding, and breeding of yeasts and lactobacilli that make up sourdough cultures.

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Old 03-12-2004, 12:20 AM
Randall Nortman
 
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Default Using intact grains

I've been wrestling with how to incorporate intact or cracked grains
(e.g., wheat berries, millet, oat groats, amaranth, quinoa) into my
doughs. In particular, I'm trying to figure out how to maintain the
water content of my dough at a particular ratio while also
incorporating a mix of several types of intact grains.

My first observation was that even when pre-soaked, many grains turn
into tooth-chipping pebbles in the crust of the bread, because they
dry out in the first few minutes of baking before they can cook fully.
Millet seems to be a particular culprit here. Therefore, I now cook
the grains completely before adding them to the dough, either by
boiling or in a rice steamer.

I've been cooking a measured weight of grains in plain water, then
weighing the cooked grains afterward and subtract the dry grain weight
to determine the amount of water that remains in the grains. I then
add the dry weight of the grains to the weight of flour to get a total
dry weight, then multiply this by my chosen hydration (typically 70%
for my whole-wheat doughs) to determine how much total water I need.
I subtract out the amount of water retained by the grains to determine
how much to add to the final dough. So in essence, I'm including the
grains in the hydration calculation as if they were flour, and
including the water they absorbed during cooking as if it were water
added directly to the dough.

I've found that this doesn't work very reliably, because different
grains seem to absorb very different amounts of water, and so the
hydration percentage needs to be different for every combination of
grains I use. I like to use lots of different grains together, and I
like to be able to tweak the mix without going through several trial
and error batches to get the recipe right.

Perhaps it is better to cook the grains, then drain (and rinse?) them,
allowing them to retain whatever amount of water they "want" to, then
ignore the grains (and their retained water) when doing the hydration
calculation. I worry with this method that during a long
fermentation, the grains will still exchange water with the dough,
altering the wetness of the dough. It seems that oat groats
especially would shed water into the dough, since they get so soft and
mushy when they're cooked.

Are there any options I'm leaving out? How do you (collectively and
individually) deal with intact grains? I'm also curious about what
percentage of "chunky stuff" others have been able to include in a
dough without turning the resulting bread into a brick.

Thanks for any advice.

--
Randall

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Old 03-12-2004, 03:58 AM
Amit.B.
 
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Default

Are there any options I'm leaving out? How do you (collectively and
individually) deal with intact grains? I'm also curious about what
percentage of "chunky stuff" others have been able to include in a
dough without turning the resulting bread into a brick.

Thanks for any advice.


you can try sprouting the the grains before adding them to the dough.
soak the grains with alot of water for 12-24 hours and then linen a
colander with some wet cheesecloth and let the grains sprote for about
2 days. just make sure that the cheesecloth stays wet. after that
rinse them and add them to the dough. it will add sweetness to your
bread(malt).
i dont think that there is a reason to calculate the grains as if they
were flour, just substract the amount of water they absorb from the
total hydration of the dough.

Happy baking
Amit
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Old 04-12-2004, 05:59 AM
Mac
 
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Default

On Thu, 02 Dec 2004 23:20:50 +0000, Randall Nortman wrote:

I've been wrestling with how to incorporate intact or cracked grains
(e.g., wheat berries, millet, oat groats, amaranth, quinoa) into my
doughs. In particular, I'm trying to figure out how to maintain the
water content of my dough at a particular ratio while also
incorporating a mix of several types of intact grains.

My first observation was that even when pre-soaked, many grains turn
into tooth-chipping pebbles in the crust of the bread, because they
dry out in the first few minutes of baking before they can cook fully.
Millet seems to be a particular culprit here. Therefore, I now cook
the grains completely before adding them to the dough, either by
boiling or in a rice steamer.

I've been cooking a measured weight of grains in plain water, then
weighing the cooked grains afterward and subtract the dry grain weight
to determine the amount of water that remains in the grains. I then
add the dry weight of the grains to the weight of flour to get a total
dry weight, then multiply this by my chosen hydration (typically 70%
for my whole-wheat doughs) to determine how much total water I need.
I subtract out the amount of water retained by the grains to determine
how much to add to the final dough. So in essence, I'm including the
grains in the hydration calculation as if they were flour, and
including the water they absorbed during cooking as if it were water
added directly to the dough.

I've found that this doesn't work very reliably, because different
grains seem to absorb very different amounts of water, and so the
hydration percentage needs to be different for every combination of
grains I use. I like to use lots of different grains together, and I
like to be able to tweak the mix without going through several trial
and error batches to get the recipe right.

Perhaps it is better to cook the grains, then drain (and rinse?) them,
allowing them to retain whatever amount of water they "want" to, then
ignore the grains (and their retained water) when doing the hydration
calculation. I worry with this method that during a long
fermentation, the grains will still exchange water with the dough,
altering the wetness of the dough. It seems that oat groats
especially would shed water into the dough, since they get so soft and
mushy when they're cooked.

Are there any options I'm leaving out? How do you (collectively and
individually) deal with intact grains? I'm also curious about what
percentage of "chunky stuff" others have been able to include in a
dough without turning the resulting bread into a brick.

Thanks for any advice.


Many grains can be rolled. Classic oatmeal is just rolled oats, as you
probably already know. You can buy grain rollers from the same sorts of
places where you can buy grain mills. I don't have any experience with
this, but it seems to me that rolling the grains would cause them to cook
much more quickly.

--Mac



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