Week 6B: Carrot-cedar-sunflower sourdough

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I really really want this to work: plump spring-harvested carrot and parsnip (grown by Melvin Yoder and Vernon Stoll–such great names!) in a whole wheat sourdough flavoured with cedar leaves and sunflower seeds.  It could be great!  But it could also taste too much like tree, in which case I will default to something a little safer, like rosemary or dill.  I came up with this recipe nursing my fever last week, and am testing it right now.  Mostly carrot with a little parsnip for added sweetness, and cedar leaves infused in sunflower oil to liberate their flavour.  Young cedar leaves are just loaded with Vitamin C–also good for me to munch on as I beat back this cold.

I decided to use a 70% whole wheat sourdough as my basis, but (of course) I’m experimenting with yet another new flour.  This one is called gold finch, and its a local soft wheat flour from K2 Milling.  Normally, I associate soft wheat with pastries and cakes, but I learned from Calantha Elsby, who makes beautiful breads at the Elora Bread Trading Company, that one does not always want high protein content (read gluten content) for sourdoughs.  This came as a complete surprise, so of course I had to check it out.  Mark at K2 sent me the protein breakdowns for his whole wheats:

Gold finch ~ 9.0%
Osprey ~11.5%
Red tail ~13.0%

To put that in context, the all-purpose flour you buy in the store is probably between 10.5-11.5%, while anything labeled bread flour usually has more, up to 15%. So for my bread experiment this week I’m comparing a 50:50 mix of osprey and gold finch–so, a kind of all-purpose flour–with 100% osprey, which is more like straight-up bread flour.

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The great thing about not being a practicing scientist anymore is I can do experiments where I don’t control for all of the changes I make. I mean, I really don’t think the gold finch flour will make the bread taste more or less like tree. The other great thing is I only have to convince myself, which saves repeating the darn thing 29 times.  And that is *so* great.

2 thoughts on “Week 6B: Carrot-cedar-sunflower sourdough

  1. We may be an n = 2, but I would say this bread was a success! Objective measure: it took us less than an hour to finish our share!

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