Sparrow, Raven, and Red Tail

I confess that part of what I love about buying flour from K2 Milling is that the flours are named after birds.  Last week I used sparrow spelt flour and raven rye.  This week, those two birds will show up again, along with their pal red tail, the red spring wheat.

2013-03-24 18.16.14-2

These birds have personalities.  Red tail is red, and dark, a sturdy and reliable wheat.  Sparrow is quirkily clumpy, lighter in colour, and high maintenance.  Raven is the darkest of all, with fine dark bran, and a mysterious nature. One of these days I will figure you out, raven.

I feel like celebrating this week! Pannier is more than 50% sold out (thanks to you!) and it is soon to be Easter weekend, so there are two special breads on deck.  The miche is special because it has a high percentage of white flour compared to my other breads, at 70%.  The rest is made up of our friends red tail wheat (18%), sparrow spelt (9%), and raven rye (3%).  I grew up baking almost exclusively with white flour because it is easy and because it is a joy to work with in its pillowy softness.  Most of the time at Pannier I prefer to keep white flour to a minimum for several reasons, not the least because there is no white flour that is both local and organic, but–it is a special occasion.  The miche that I make can be traced back to Gerard Rubaud, a venerable baker in Vermont that I would dearly love to visit one day.  I learned it from Shiao Ping who has generously shared the recipe on her blog.

The miche will be paired with my ever-so photogenic little poppy stars and sesame braids.  So much fun to make, and to eat!  These pretty little buns are made with 60% red tail wheat which makes the cut of being both organic and grown and milled in Ontario, but the rest–the seeds and the white flour will be merely organic. I am looking for local replacements for the seeds, but until then, I will use what I have.