Barley baguettes made with a yeasted biga – again 50% of the flour is wholegrain barley and of that 10 to 25% [depending on the day] is our own “Wintwax” winter-habit hulled waxy variety. The rest is our beautiful mutli-colored hull-less winter food barley, also milled as a whole-grain on our stone-mills. Both varieties were bred here at Oregon State University by the denizens of Oregon State University’s BARLEYWORLD. The lack of AMYLOSE in the waxy barley flour gives an outstanding softness and moistness to the crumb. Too much though leaves the bread too soft to support itself: we need that retrograded amylose network. Too much waxy starch also reduces the flavor formation in the crust: clearly messing with the water activity too.
Off to make a “Willamette Valley Sourdough Barley” the autolyse is ready to mix.
Great discussion of the bread-making process by award winning, erudite, and articulate baker Craig Ponsford. Craig is a past chairman of the board of the Bread Bakers Guild of America and won the French and Specialty Breads category in the 1996 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in France, the win helping to energize the artisan bread movement in the USA. Craig is incredibly generous of spirit as I have luckily come to know over the last year.
On the theme of community grains keep your eyes out for the Kneading Conference West in the state of Washington September 2011, where if plans go right I will be presenting on formulating barley flour into hand-crafted breads. This is a new extension of the well regarded Kneading Conference in Maine. The barely work is part of our push to reintroduce barley as a mainstream food. The major partner in this is our barley breeding program led by Pat Hayes.
Other proponents of barley as food can be found at…
Thanks to Martin Lersch at Khymos for being on the ball and posting about this very interesting series from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and introduced by Prof. David Weitz the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics.