Friday, May 22, 2009

Wheat and the weekend

The required weather conditions to grow winter wheat can only be found across the middle of the country, from east to west. If you go to far north and the freeze takes place to early. If you go to far south, it happens to late. So the middle, plain states are the only suitable, geographic choices. Many, many folks that bake and bakers alike, yes, there is a difference(will cover it another day) think that the baking process starts when you press the start button on the mixer. Totally not true. Back in the fall, it all began. A farmer opened the ground and dropped wheat seeds in the void. He pushed the earth back over the seed and watered it. Within 24 hours, the membrane between the germ and endosperm was enzymatic ally denatured. The germ and endosperm came together and started a sprout. The enzyme that caused the degradation is “protease”. Thanks to nature’s plan it remains a part of the wheat. So it grows into the next season’s wheat and so on. The good and bad news for us bakers is, that it remains in our flour until the enzyme is denatured by the heat of the oven. So as the growth cycle of the wheat is halted, so is the activation cycle of the enzyme protease. It remains dormant in the wheat seed, as well as our flour until it is hydrated in the mixer. The other side of the equation is, once you add water to it, the clock starts. Sorry, I find it very interesting. Enough for now.

Tomorrow at the Green City Market we will be offering Harbor Country Bread. It is a sourdough loaf made with a little honey, a little butter, the added richness of buttermilk, tart organic cherry juice, dried Michigan cherries, and a little grain for crunch. First time for this one, should be delicious!

Talk to you tomorrow. We will be open on Sunday, 8-3. We’re gonna try and keep the store full of buns, weather’s gonna be nice!


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