For those of you who have been having trouble accessing the blog lately, I sincerely apologize. There are some weird problems going on, that neither me nor my husband has really had time to fix, and that our various service providers aren’t taking very seriously. I hope to get this sorted soon, but I don’t know how long it will take. Thanks for your patience.
As it is, in a few hours I am about to hop on a plane with a 15-month-old and fly to Nebraska. I should really be packing, or mopping the floors so I don’t come home to find ants having a frat party. But it has been a long week, baby is napping, and I need to do something with my butt on a couch. Blogging is definitely more productive than watching more House of Cards. So I’ll give you a quickie, as my bread experiments continue, functioning website or no.
Round 2 of the Gluten Reintroduction Experiment kept all variables the same except for the type of wheat. Still sprouted, dehydrated, hand-ground flour, but this time using that Prairie Gold wheat variety available cheaply in quantity.
With my fruit fly problem threatening to return, I went for a slightly more enclosed sprouting system. I walked to Do-It-Best and sprung for a little bag of cheesecloth, so I could sprout my sprouts in their jars instead of open in a colander like last time. Thus I had on my kitchen counter that odd sight, made familiar to me in my browsing of other bloggers’ sproutings, of mason jars full of wet wheat upended in a pie plate. This set up allows the grains to drain and stay aerated at the same time.
My previous experiment sprouting pearled farro resulted in barely-visible sprouts after nearly three days. In contrast, I had left these Prairie Golds for only 36 hours before I noticed their almost obscene fertility! Their little shoots were getting tangled in the cheesecloth.
I rescued and rinsed these little stinkers, then put them in the oven. A dehydrator will definitely be a necessity if I continue sprouting, as the oven was jam-packed with two cookie sheets and two pyrexes, overlapping each other precariously, and that was just barely more than enough grain for one loaf. That isn’t sustainable.
Plus oven-dehydrating still isn’t working for me. I only left them in for 7 hours this time, taking them out when the grains were crunchy, but I’m sure I still roasted them.
But before I get a dehydrator, I definitely need to get a proper grain mill. (Thank goodness for birthday and graduation money.) Two hours of shoulder-tearing work, involving much whimpering over and fussing with the coffee grinder, resulted in three cups of flour. And it still wasn’t fine enough to pass the “rule of thumb.” (The phrase comes from rubbing flour between your thumb and forefinger to see if it has any big bits. Thank you Tudor Monastery Farm for this tidbit.)
I used the same “Wednesday bread” recipe I from last time. But if last week’s bread rose only a little, this week’s did not rise at all. The finished bread was the same size as the original lump of dough I threw together.
Mercifully, it is not inedible. It is soft enough for its ridiculous density. I just cut it really thin and treat it like a cracker, loading it up with butter and strawberry jam. So, a bit of a failure as far as baking is concerned, but functional enough to test the chemical substance on my body.
The next attempt will involve sourdough! Though I honestly may wait until I get my hands on a grain mill. My wrists can’t take this any longer.