Ingredients

Grains

I can mill these on request, but if you are at the Carrboro Saturday Market just get them direct (where applicable) from Brinkley or Red Tail Grains. Most commercial flours you buy are likely a blend of multiple varieties or at least from different farms. The characteristics of locally grown grains can vary widely from year to year and may or may not reflect what is typical for their variety. See my Flour Strength Table for some help on how to buy or blend what you need from my available supply. Grains can also be milled to varying levels of fineness. The most coarse is a cracked grain. The next most fine would what I use for my bread flour and I think what would have been termed a "graham flour" in the old days. The next level of fineness is a pastry flour and then perhaps a cake flour. Because of my relatively small stone mills, my ability to produce super fine flour is very limited, but I can do a medium or fine sift which has a similar effect. I can crack all my grains too which produces something like a steel-cut oat rather than a rolled oat shape with minimal fines. If you want the grain whole, then the discount off the quoted price is $0.75/lb. I have several grains now in-stock from Wheat Montana which are "Certified Chemical Free". They use conventional fertilizer, but no other chemicals and test it to confirm this.

Wheat

  • Red Tail Grains NuEast Hard Red Wheat: This is a bread wheat bred to do well in our climate by NC State based researchers. Currently working on the 2018 crop. Probably 12% protein. ($1.75/lb)
  • Spelt

    2018 crop from Red Tail Grains. (they use organic methods). Spelt is similar to golden wheat in that it doesn't have the distinctive bitter tannin flavor of a red wheat, but it has a wider range of flavors. Yes, it does have gluten, but some people tolerate it in Spelt better than they do wheat. (Probably 11% protein) $2.50/lb

    Other Grains

    • Buckwheat: Purchased from Natural Way Mill, but source unknown. Certified Organic. Buckwheat is not a cereal grain but is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It is gluten-free, but like everything from my bakery is likely to have some gluten contamination. $2.25/lb.
    • Oat: Product of Canada (mostly likely Saskatchewan). Certified Organic. It is gluten-free, but like everything from my bakery is likely to have some gluten contamination. $2.00/lb.
    • RiceA short-grain brown rice purchased from Natural Way Mill, but source unknown.$2.50/lb
    • Rye:From 2018. Grown by Carter Farms (certified organic). The variety is Wrens Abruzzi - a combination forage/grain variety. It's an heirloom Rye with a nice mix of flavors and a smooth finish. $1.50/lb
    • Corn:I currently am using a "flour" variety of yellow corn (certified organic). I'll be switching to a Bloody Butcher variety of Dent Corn from Red Tail Grains next. ($2.75/lb)

    Everything Else

    Baking Soda: Plain baking soda with no Aluminum or other additives

    Baking Powder: Aluminum-free Rumford Baking Powder.  Ingredients consist of Monocalcium Phosphate, Bicarbonate of Soda, Cornstarch (From Nongenetically Modified Corn).

    Dairy (Milk, Butter, Yogurt): I currently useMapleView Farmfor my milk and butter. The farm is only a few miles from me, treats the land and cows with some sustainable/healthy practices, and with their use of glass bottles really reduces the packaging. I get butter from them in a 20lb box too so eliminate most of the packaging with that. Dairies have gone out of business in North Carolina at a frightening rate so it is important to support the ones we have left and I'm open to try to help a new one re-establish as well. For other items like yogurt that I am unable to obtain from MapleView, I currently make my own from their whole milk.

    Dark Chocolate: I use bulk dark chocolate bars and chop them to create my own chunks or melt it for a filling. Ingredients: Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier), contains soy, may contain traces of wheat, milk, eggs, tree nuts)

    Dried Fruit:My fruit comes from Trader Joe's currently. I use their organic raisins and Turkish Apricots and also their Montmorency tart cherries.

    Honey: As of August 2018, I've switched to a local supplier - King Cobra Apiary. It had been a while since I had a local beekeeper able to do the amount of honey I need and Ali is very conscientious and skilled. The bees have a diverse diet with a "delicious light honey every spring and summer, and a darker, richer honey in the fall" Also "the bees are treated with only organic pest controls, and the honey is always raw and straight from the hive".

    Nuts: Most of my nuts are just conventionally grown that I get via Costco. I'm currently using pecans from Georgia sourced via EcoOrganics.

    Olives: I use a black brined olive that comes from Lebanon that I get via Mediterranean Deli. It has a rich flavor like a Kalamata and is my favorite addition to my sourdough hearth bread.

    Salt: I use Redmond Real Saltbecause it is unrefined and unpolluted. I haven't noticed a significant difference baking with it versus other salts, but I can get it in bulk and has all the trace minerals of a sea salt, without the current ocean pollutants.

    Starter Culture: You might see the term starter, sourdough, or even mother, but for breads they are all talking about some probably fairly unique collection of wild yeast, bacteria, and probably other organisms. I currently label mine as "Russian Starter Culture" because it was collected from the village of Palekh - two hundred miles Northeast of Moscow - by Sourdoughs International. I had a South African culture I also baked with for a while from them, but I stuck with the Russian because of the more pronounced and cheesy flavor that my customers were looking for in a sourdough. Both cultures were recommended for use with whole grains. There are lots of ways to take care of your culture and they could vary by culture, but here are my Sourdough Culture Care Tips.

    Sugar: I use organic sugar with a very light golden color and good flavor. It is sourced through a family owned mill in Paraguay that has been producing the finest quality Organic Whole Cane Sugar in the world for over a century. There seems to be some debate on this, but I believe this sugar is somewhere in between the molasses content of something like Sucanat/Rapadura which has all the molasses and refined sugar which has none.


Flour Strength Table

Baked Good ExampleFlour StrengthProtein
High sugar cakesVery weak soft8%
Heavier CakesMedium soft9-9.5%
MuffinsMedium soft9-9.5%
Drop cookiesMedium soft9-9.5%
Pie CrustsStrong soft or medium hard10-11%
CrackersStrong soft or medium hard10-11%
Cinnamon Rolls75% strong hard, 25% medium soft
Croissants80% strong hard, 20% very weak soft
Pan breadsStrength needed varies widely, but probably want at least a strong soft or the equivalent in blended flours
Hearth breadsStrong hard12%+
PastaVery strong hard15%+
Breading for fried/baked itemsRice Flour; Soft Wheat; 2 Parts sifted soft wheat/1 part corn OR Kamut (Really anything will do though in a pinch)

Sourdough Culture Care Tips

Basic Feeding

  1. Pull out of fridge and use half (Eat other half or use in two recipes). Note: Dark liquid on top is OK - just mix it in.
  2. Mix 1/2C flour and up to 3/4C water w/starter to make a batter-like consistency.Save 1/3C starter in your jar and use the rest to start your recipe.
  3. Put in warm place to get working (85degrees doubles in about 2-3 hours, 95deg. would make it go faster.) Ready when a bubbly foam covers the top.
  4. Starter to save in jar: Now add 1/3 C flour and enough water to make the same runny consistency as before. Let get a little active in same warm place (about 1+ hour) and then put into fridge. It will keep easily for multiple weeks, but will just be slower to restart the longer it has sat.

Recipe Notes

  1. Sourdough Pancakes: 1C sourdough, pinch of salt, pinch of baking soda, 1 egg
  2. Sourdough will go slower than pure yeast usually, but should double every 2 hours at 95 deg. Take starter volume and only mix in enough soaker dough to double volume of sourdough culture. Dough will be soft and pliable but still hold its shape when ready, but if it goes too long and acidity increases too much, dough could start to weaken/tear.