(Also Posted to Newsgroup rec.food.sourdough)
I've been cooking with home ground hard wheat for a while and I have
observed that commercial yeast (in this case red star active dry) would
go haywire in the home ground flour. I mean forget using the french
setting on the bread machine, as the loaves would come out tasting
Reducing the yeast by 50% on all recipes and using a short rise cycle
does the job of creating loaves that won't smell like a brewery.
This lead me to trying an interesting idea: lets use some wild yeast
with the home ground flour.
I used some gold rush starter, and for starters, I first worked with
Bob's red Mill unbleached bread flour (Hard red Spring wheat
endosperm) just to gain enough experience with sourdoughs. My first
loaf was a veritable brick. Great door stopper. The next loaf rose a
little more, but still pretty flat. And I followed the instructions
Finally, I decided it was time to try out the big experiment: lets
use some home ground wheat.
I made a sponge using 1-1/2 cup starter (The starter was made using
unbleached flour) and 1-1/3 cup freshly home ground hard winter wheat.
After proofing overnight in the oven, something fantastic happened.
The goldrush yeast went absolutely haywire in the home ground flour.
The sponge smelled so bad like pure alcohol I threw it out.
I started over with new starter (1-1/2 cup starter, 1-1/3 cup home
ground flour) and this time I skipped the proofing altogether. I
just dumped the rest of the ingredients into the breadmachine and
pressed start for the french cycle. And 3-1/2 hours later, I got a
nice 3/4 of the way risen, flat top loaf of bread.
This was a wonderful loaf of bread with plenty of holes.
Conclusion: Wild yeast likes wild flour!
Looks like domestic yeast for bread making was created to
accommodate the modern over-refined flours.
Based on this experience, looks like I wont be using commercial
Has anyone had similar experiences?
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