Bolted wheat sourdough

Most people are familiar with whole wheat bread. Many have strong opinions. But few are familiar with a middle path between white flour and wheat: bolted wheat.

White flour is ground wheat with the bran and germ filtered out. May family generally prefers the clean, slightly sweet taste of white bread to the heartier, slightly bitter taste of whole wheat. Even when I dial back the whole wheat content to 20%, some family members have been known to turn up their nose. Adding sufficient sugar can help, but defeats the theoretical health benefits.

Bolted wheat is whole wheat where some bran is filtered out, but the germ remains. When ground with home mill like the Mockmill, a quick sift with a fine sifter (e.g. 40 mesh) will trap some of the coarse bran. This tempers some of the potential bitterness and also helps the bread rise. Bolted wheat flour can also be purchased online.

I have been using a 20% bolted wheat recipe (with bread flour for the remaining 80%) several times with no disparaging glances from family members. It adds a slightly browner hue and a more complex taste without challenging less adventurous palates. I grind my wheat right into the sifter resting on a sheet of parchment paper. I tap the sides of the sifter until all but the large bran particles remain, and use the parchment to add the sifted flour to the white flour.

I don’t waste the bran, but rather use it to line the banneton cloth to prevent sticking and sprinkle the remainder on top (which will become the bottom when it goes into the clay baker) to enhance the crust.

They say making mistakes is the first step in learning. I must be learning a lot.

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