Friday, August 7, 2009

sproutin' seeds

Yesterday business was a little softer than the three previous days. Shouldn't come as any surprise. I think we will hold it down a little tomorrow at the markets. Prediction is rain. Sure will be uncomfortable for the afternoon wedding cake deliveries.

On Tuesday this week, Arturo made a batch of "Yogurt and grain cake". He makes a cake mix with non-fat yogurt, and he uses egg whites instead if eggs, so it's 99.9 percent fat free. We buy pasteurized grains, pre-soaked grains that we only use in this product. We add a little cinnamon and whole toasted hazelnuts. It really is pretty tasty. It sells very well when we make it. We bake it in large three pound rings and sell it by the pound. We have it all cut up and wrapped and priced near each register. It seems he waits until someone places an order for it before he makes it. Pretty often people will order an entire cake. A batch will make four ring cakes, and we usually sell out quickly.

Last night I had a discussion with Mark. He was setting up the grain "soakers" for today's sourdough grain bread production. Whole grain sourdough is one of our more popular loaves at the farmer's markets as well as everywhere else. We probably sell ten or a dozen loaves of six grain bread in our store daily. We make a blend of millet, flax, unhulled sesame, sunflower seeds and oatmeal. We buy fifty pound bags of each, and scale twenty five pounds of each(scaled when I'm present, otherwise just eyeballed) into our spiral mixer, and they run it to blend them. We scoop it all into a plastic rolling bin and work out of that. We soak the seeds at sixty four percent hydration and use them at different percentage levels, in the dough, depending on how seedy the final product should be. Friday is such a big production day that there isn't room in our refrigerator for all these buckets/tubs of soaker. Since it seems it's really turning to summer, last night we added salt to our soakers. There isn't any magical proportion. Whatever salt you add to the soaker, must be subtracted from the salt added to the dough. I think last night he added three ounces to fifteen pounds of seed mix. the salt gets dissolved in the water and poured over the seeds. We do this because, just like every other seed, as soon as water comes in contact with it, it begins to sprout. Chemical changes take place. Membranes start to deteriorate, germ and endosperm come together, etc. The warmer it is in the bakery, the faster that will happen. The salt inhibits that. The enzymes activated in sprouting will play hell with the wheat protein. That's why you can't add raw garlic to a bread dough. The enzymes in garlic are so strong, they will almost turn a dough to liquid. Probably never wondered why bagel bakers, only use toasted garlic. Roasting garlic will denature any enzymes in the garlic.

Have a good day. I just got here and discovered a 7am, chocolate mousse torte order. The order was accepted late yesterday, after I left. The mousse guy gets here at 8am.

Happy Friday.


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