Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Staff of Life revisited

It’s time for another bread baking post. I continue to adore baking. I still bake my bread in a camp oven inside my wood-fired stove oven, a la the NYT as I explained here [1]. I bake fairly good bread, averaging 6-8 out of 10 on my subjective rating scale, with an occasional 9.

Currently I’m reading Rick Gallop’s informative 2008 book Getting the Best from the Gi Diet [2]. Gallop classifies foods and drinks using the traffic light system: Red for high Gi, yellow for medium Gi, and green for low Gi. It’s simple and easy to remember. He says the only green-light bread (Gi 53 [3]) is stone-ground 100% wholemeal – because stone-ground flour’s coarser and retains more of its bran coating, so it’s digested more slowly. Steel-ground wholemeal bread’s a yellow-light (Gi 69 [3]), and white bread’s a red-light (Gi 70 [3]).

I haven’t made much 100% wholemeal bread, so last Saturday I remedied that. I used a recipe from Richard Bertinet’s superb book Dough [4]. It uses a poolish, i.e. a style of ferment introduced into France by Polish bakers [5]. What a great word. And what a great loaf it helped make (pictured). Admirable character and flavour. And not too heavy.
I used store-bought wholemeal flour which was finely ground and so not stone-ground. I’m looking to buy a hand-operated flour mill. I already know my local shop sells organic wheat. I’m excited. Fun times are ahead. Healthy times too.

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