To mark the launch of our heritage flours, we sent samples to some of our most trusted bakers to gain valuable feedback. The flour is softer than normal breadmaking flour (we have written a list of tips and advice on handling it for best results here), so it was important to us to hear how it performed for other bakers. The first words are coming back from these test bakes, and they are both useful and hugely encouraging. We think these flours produce delicious results, and it is gratifying to read that some of the most experienced sourdough enthusiasts in the UK think so as well. Read on for their experiences, tips and flavour profiles.
Baikhous – Reserve Champion and Gold Award winner, Scottish Bread Championships
‘I have dished out sample baiks to some of the chefs already using our sourdough, as well as some family. All feedback chimed with my own thoughts – really exceptional flavour qualities for a wholemeal bread. In particular, none of the aftertaste that can be prevalent in some brown breads.
‘From a baking perspective, I noticed a few things. For the home baker, I would advocate use of tins and a preferment to get the best out of the flour. Baskets will always be my preference but it will take some tweaking to nail the timings for best results and this was the first run. The addition of some strong bread flour to the tune of 20/25% might also allow them to build confidence in the dough before attempting a full wholemeal as the gluten structure is certainly quite delicate.
‘The only ingredients I used were fully Scottish as always and amounted to the heritage flour, water and salt. The dough was fuelled by some Baikhous starter that was fed up overnight along with the bran from the Rouge d’Ecosse. I would be intrigued to see how it behaves with a little malt added next time. The flavour was tremendous but I know there is more potential to the crumb. That said, I am happy with the outcome for a 100% wholemeal and there is nothing dense or gummy to the bite.’
‘I treated it almost the same as when I make my stoneground 100% wholemeals. I did 100% wholemeal Rouge d’Ecosse, 85% water and salt. I retarded over night in the fridge as I do with all my sourdough.
‘I found it quite a weak dough and by the time I got to final shaping I felt I had to put it in a tin rather than a banneton, otherwise I may have a pancake when I baked it. They did rise almost double from when I put them in the tin and had a good oven spring. For a wholemeal I feel they have a very good crumb. I have 1kg left so I will make again and reduce the water a bit and perhaps put 20% white in. With more practice with this flour I could get better results, but for a first time I’m pleased.
‘The taste is delicious, very rounded, wholesome, a chewy very moorish crumb and the colour on the loaf is very golden.’
Katia Lebart, The Wee Boulangerie – Bronze Award winner, Scottish Bread Championships
‘We have made a first trial with the flour: a sourdough with 75% Rouge D’Ecosse.
‘First, I was surprised by the properties of the flour. I was poised for much more trouble, but it is actually quite a strong flour, though it does relax very easily – so banetton proofing felt like a wise choice.
‘Second, it was really absolutely delicious – the breadth of flavours from the flour took everyone aback – including my kids who scoffed a full 800g loaf that evening.
‘We are now giving the flour some rest time to see what changes that makes.’