Baking with soft white wheat berries

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by Country Living, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Country Living

    Country Living Supporting Member

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    I've been grinding hard white wheat berries to make bread for several years. I just got in some soft white wheat berries. Evidently the ground flour from the soft white berries needs extra moisture in the recipes and I just can't figure out the increase.

    I tried to make flour tortillas yesterday (it's usually pretty hard to mess up tortillas) and they came out too dry. Any thoughts on how much I should have increased the water?
    9oz flour
    1tsp salt
    1/3 C lard
    1/2 C water
    **I did add 1/2Tbsp of dough enhancer that was not in the recipe.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or shall I just keep plugging away until I find the magic ratio?

    IDoes anyone have a repeatable methodology on how much to increase the moisture in recipes when using soft white berries in any recipe?
     
  2. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    How did the dough feel in your hands when you made it.. comparable to when you use hard white wheat? There is no magic ratio when it comes to breads and doughs- due to the moisture in the air and the time of year that the wheat was grown and even where it was from. I bake things by how they feel even if I use a recipe. if your tortilla were too dry I would just add a bit more water as I made them.
    My standard tortilla recipe is not done by weight.
    2 1/2 cups flour about 1/3 cup lard but I use milk and water half and half about a full cup with a heaping teaspoon of sea salt dissolved into it... The milk and water should be really warm almost hot.
    I rub the fats into the flour by hand and then pour the hot milk/water/salt mix into it slowly and hand work the dough till just mixed- it should be soft but not gooey. Some days it takes all the milk/water/salt mix and some days it doesn't. Letting it stand for at least 30 minutes before cutting it into the pieces and then rolling the balls and letting sit again for a few more minutes before rolling it out to bake makes a difference too. I normally use AP type flour for tortillas but have used bread flour and whole wheat and each uses a bit different amounts on the liquids.
    All I can suggest is a bit of trial and error till you find the right mix for you.
     

  3. Reblazed

    Reblazed Member

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    Emerald ... can you think of any reason that mixing the flour and lard in large batches and storing it for future use would not work?
     
  4. Country Living

    Country Living Supporting Member

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    I wonder if I ground the soft white too fine. I didn't change the manual setting on the mill from when I grind hard white and the soft white came out very fine. I'll back off a bit and see if that works.
     
  5. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't think so as that is basically what jiffy biscuit type mixes are.. and bisquick if I remember correctly... They just use veg shortening as compared to lard.(more shelf stable).. If you make your own lard tho I would keep the flour/lard mix as cool as possible to keep it from going rancid.
    I know that when we used to hike and camp we mixed as much as possible at home in pre-measured baggies (even with powdered milk and the powdered buttermilk and powdered eggs mixed with the dry) and then put a sticker with how much water to add.
     
  6. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    I use an old hand cranking mill so I don't think my flour ever grinds too fine!:eek: But the finer it is the more liquid it might take, but since you do measurements by weight you should end up with close to the same product each time as flour is better to weigh than to "scoop" in cup measurements.
     
  7. Country Living

    Country Living Supporting Member

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    Emerald, do you use hard or soft white wheat in your tortillas and biscuits?
     
  8. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    hard white and red. But I buy AP flour by the 25 lb bags for biscuits and sometimes tortillas.. I also buy bread flour by the big bags. I just add fresh cracked wheat and fine ground wheat right before I make the dough. Sometimes I sift the wheat germ out to sprinkle on top but most time I just dump it all in. I have ground enuf for making all my bread before, but most of the time lately I just add extra cracked/ground wheat to bought flours. I spend extra and get good 100% whole wheat ground every so often.. But I know that I can do everything by hand if need be, but since I don't have to yet I don't! Hope that doesn't make me sound too lazy!:eek: I do have several other flours that I use in recipes also like rice, chickpea, three different corn types and semolina. I like to experiment.
     
  9. lilmissy0740

    lilmissy0740 Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I am a newbie just starting to store grain and grind my own as I need. But from what I understand, soft wheat is for more cakes and pastries and for improver for blending. It is lower in gluten than hard berries. So you will need to make this flour higher in gluten to make a good bread. Add some spelt, kamut or hard wheat. ex: 3.5 c of flour = 2.5 c of high gluten to 1 c of soft. Hope this helps.
    Would you happen to have any real good bread recipes you would like to share?
    TIA