Grains and grain flour
You can mix different kinds of grains for different tastes. Suppose you want to try making different bread recipes; all you have to do is experiment. Wheat is different from other grains because it makes gluten, which helps bread rise. Bread made with other grains (rye, corn, or oats) must be fortified with wheat flour or gluten to rise appropriately. Be careful with the amounts and kinds of flour since different flours act differently. Use soaked grains to make better bread because they don’t rob moisture from your bread. After you acquire a certain level of experience, you can make bread according to your preferences and requirements. You can use a bread machine to make it easier.
Rye flour is a type of flour that has lots of fibre, like whole wheat flour. People usually use rye flour to make their bread darker and more filling. Sometimes they mix it with other types of flour to make different kinds of bread, like rye or pumpernickel.
White and medium rye flours are not a whole grain; dark rye flour is whole grain. When you use dark rye flour, your bread will be slightly darker and won’t rise as much.
Types of rye flour
There are several types of rye flour available on the market.
White (also called light rye) flour
Light rye flour comes from the inside of the rye grain and is lighter in colour and less strong in flavour than regular rye flour. This type of flour is similar to all-purpose flour because it lacks the fibre-rich bran and oily germ found in whole-grain rye flour. Light rye flour will make your bread lighter and rise higher than regular rye flour, and it will still have the classic rye bread flavour you enjoy.
Standard, medium and dark rye flour
The most common type is standard rye flour, made from ground whole or sifted rye berries. It comes from grinding rye berries, which makes it darker and stronger than wheat flour. The flour can be milled from the centre of the berry, but not including the germ. As the miller takes more from the centre, the flour gets darker. Dark rye flour is milled closer to the outer bran layer of the berry than medium.
Pumpernickel (also called whole rye) flour
Pumpernickel flour is a type of rye flour made from whole rye berries that are coarsely ground. It is darker and denser than regular rye flour and is often used to make German-style bread. It has all parts of the rye grain, including bran, endosperm, and germ. Pumpernickel flour is usually whole grain and coarse-grained, but checking the package is still important. A 100% pumpernickel loaf will be heavy and dense because it has low gluten-forming proteins. But if combined with bread flour, pumpernickel makes moist, hearty and relatively high-rising bread. Pumpernickel flour is used to make all kinds of flavourful yeast bread.
Flour mix for making bread
Mix bread flour (or whole wheat flour) with rye flour to make high-rising rye bread. Add 1/2 -1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten for each cup of flour to compensate for the lack of gluten in rye flour. The more white flour you use, the higher and lighter the loaf will be. Experiment with the amounts of white and rye flour to find the texture you like best. If you want denser rye bread, reduce the salt and add more yeast. Bread made entirely of rye flour will be dense and taste bitter.
Rye dough isn't as supple as wheat dough
Making bread with rye flour is challenging because it doesn’t have enough protein to make the gluten structure needed. This means it’s harder to handle and knead. The dough is more like clay than elastic, stickier and less bouncy. Adding too much flour will make your bread dense and dry. If you’re making rye bread for the first time, you might be surprised by how it feels.
Can I bake rye bread in the bread machine?
I always do. It depends on your recipe. The only way to find out is to try it, as each recipe will have different requirements. To make rye dough using a bread machine, add all the ingredients and start the machine. After 10-20 minutes, check the dough and add more flour or liquid if needed. The rye dough will not be as smooth as wheat dough, but that’s okay – leave it in the machine for an hour, and it will rise perfectly.
Seeds and rye bread are natural partners
Seeds will deliver that signature “deli rye” flavour you’re probably looking for. Adding caraway, fennel, or anise seeds will enhance the mellow flavour.
Bran is the coarse outer part of wheat or rye, which is removed when making flour. It can be added to bread in small amounts to make it more nutritious, hearty and flavorful. Bran can also make bread texture better.
Cracked wheat is made by taking wheat and cutting it into small, angular pieces. It has a rough texture and can be used in a variety of recipes such as bread, cookies, muffins, and scones to give them a nutty flavour and crunchy texture. You can cook it like cereal and add it to the bread pan or mix it into the dough or batter.
Wheat germ is a tasty addition to bread, giving it a crunchy and nutty flavour. Although it is not flour, you can still add it to your recipe without replacing or reducing the amount of flour needed. This will ensure that your bread doesn’t turn out flat and will still have gluten.
Sprouted whole grain flour (also known as sprouted grain flour or sprouted wheat flour)
Sprouted whole grain flour is made from sprouted whole grains that are ground into a fine powder. It is lighter in colour than whole wheat flour, has a tender texture, and has a mild flavour. You can make your sprouted flour at home using a mason jar, cheesecloth, and grains. You can also buy it online or at certain stores. When baking with sprouted flour, remember that the sprouts are more water-dense, so you may need to adjust your recipe by decreasing the liquid levels slightly. You can also use cultured dairy products like buttermilk, kefir, or yogurt as the liquid in your recipe to mimic the flavour of traditional baked goods. Sprouted flour can be used in bread, pancakes, muffins, biscuits, cookies, and quick bread.
Ancient grains are an umbrella term for grains and pseudo-cereals not bred or genetically manipulated for centuries. People like these because they are “natural” and have not been changed. The outside of these grains is still there, and when they are made into flour, it has a stronger taste and is nuttier. When these grains are used to make baked goods, they are darker and denser. These grains are delicious, loved by many people, and can be used in many recipes. They make baked goods look different and have unique flavours.
Ancient grains applications
Ancient grains can be used in two ways. One is to make flour or meal, which is then used to make bread by combining different flours. The other way is to add the grains directly to the recipe without grinding or crushing. Many ancient grains are used in multigrain bread.
Ancient grains flour mix for making bread
Most recipes use bread flour because ancient grains have a limited amount of gluten. To make a recipe using ancient grains, you can replace some of the bread flour with an equal amount of ancient grain flour. You can use a blend of ancient grains, but adjust the ratios based on what you want the result to be like. Some grains, like Kamut, spelt, and barley, have gluten and can be easily substituted for bread flour. Adding vital wheat gluten helps with the lack of gluten in ancient grains. Sometimes, ancient grain flour can make baked goods drier, so add 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid to the dough. You can find a blend of ancient grains flour in specialty or health food aisles at the grocery store.
Ancient grains Storing
Store ancient grains in plastic containers or bags in the freezer, as they can spoil quickly at room temperature. If you have any leftover baked goods, keep them in a sealed container at room temperature for two days or in the freezer for longer freshness.
Spelt (also known as Dinkel or Farro)
To Germans, it is known as Dinkel, Italians as Farro and Americans as Spelt.
Spelt is a type of grass that looks like wheat. It is similar to barley or rye in how it is used. Its flavour is smooth, nutty, complex, sweeter and lighter than red wheat. Spelt has a chewy texture that is soft and moist in small amounts and dry in more significant amounts. You can use spelt flour in pancakes, quick bread, muffins, bread, cakes, crackers, pasta, and most baked goods.
Spelt flour mix for making bread
Spelt flour can be used instead of regular wheat flour in many recipes. Baked goods made with spelt flour may turn out more delicate and rise lower than those made with regular wheat flour. When using spelt flour, be gentle while handling it to achieve good results. You can replace all the regular flour with spelt flour or use a mixture of both flour types in varying amounts.
Emmer is an ancient wheat called a ‘hulled’ grain because it keeps its outer layer when harvested. People are interested in eating more organic and fibre-rich foods, so emmer has become popular again. You can eat emmer in different ways, such as whole or broken grains in soups, with water or milk, or boiled in water and butter. You can also make pasta, bread, or a replacement for rice. Emmer flour is “whole grain” and has a similar colour to regular whole wheat flour. Baked products and pasta made only with emmer have a dense and heavy texture and a mild taste compared to other grains like rye.
Emmer flour mix for making bread
Combining emmer and bread flour is an excellent way to promote eating emmer. Mix emmer flour with bread flour if you want your dough to rise. When baking with emmer flour, you will need more water. Add 1/4 cup more water for each 1 cup of water recommended.
Einkorn is better than wheat because it has more nutrients. You can turn it into flour and use it for bread and baking. It looks like whole wheat flour. Einkorn flour makes the product yellow, has more nutrients, and does not rise as much. The gluten in Einkorn is not as strong so the bread won’t be as stretchy. But you can make bread, muffins, cakes, cookies, and pancakes.
Einkorn flour mix for making bread
Einkorn is used similarly to whole wheat flour. It is lower in gluten than regular wheat flour, so be careful when mixing. Over-mixing can occur. Bread dough can be sticky, and cake batter can become gummy when using einkorn flour. In some recipes, you should reduce the liquid by 15-20% if using einkorn flour.
Kamut (also known as Khorasan wheat)
Kamut® is a type of wheat that was grown long ago in Egypt. It has big seeds that are humped, and it is a type of durum wheat. It is produced without any harmful chemicals. People in Montana own the trade name Kamut®. Canada sells the most Kamut® in the world, and Italy buys the most. Kamut flour has some gluten and is also a good source of protein and fibre. Kamut has more sugar than other wheat, so it tastes slightly sweet and has a nutty flavour. Kamut flour can make all kinds of foods, like bread, cookies, muffins, pasta, and more. If you use a little Kamut, it will make your food light and fluffy. But if you use it a lot, it will make your food crumbly.
Kamut flour mix for making bread
In bread recipes, you can replace 25-50% of the regular flour with Kamut flour. Quick bread recipes have been easily adapted to the addition of Kamut. Using 50% will change some things about the final product, like needing more water in the dough and being more nutritious. But it also makes the bread smaller and denser.
Barley is a tasty and chewy grain that can change the flavour and nutrition depending on how it is prepared. Barley contains gluten, so it is not gluten-free. Our ancestors grew barley a long time ago, and many people still enjoy it. Even though it’s less famous than other ancient grains like amaranth and quinoa, barley has a long and fascinating history dating back to the Sumerians. Barley was even used to make bread in medieval Europe.
Barley flour mix for making bread
Barley is a non-GMO (Genetically modified organisms) crop in two forms: hulled barley and pearled barley. Hulled barley is not processed much and is suitable for making hearty bread, pancakes, and quick bread. Pearled barley has had the outer layers removed and makes a finer flour. Although it does contain gluten, bread made with it tends to be dense with a nominal rise. So it’s best to mix it with wheat flour or other whole-grain flour to help it rise. You can experiment with different proportions of barley and additional flour. Brown sugar is helpful for yeast growth and adds flavour and colour to the bread. Because barley flour is fibrous and tough, it’s better to pre-ferment it to soften it and bring out the best flavours.
What is a Pre-ferment?
A pre-ferment is a mix of bread ingredients left to ferment before it’s put in the main dough mix. This helps the yeast become active, develop the dough, and create unique flavours.
How does it work?
A pre-ferment is when a part of the flour in a recipe is mixed with water and yeast. This mixture is made before adding the other ingredients. The mixture can be thick or runny depending on the amount of water used. When added to the mix, the yeast creates chemical reactions that improve the quality of baked goods.
Barley can give your baking a sweet, nutty flavour, whether sweet or savoury. If you use a little bit, your baked goods will probably be moist, but if you use a lot, they’ll be crumbly. Barley adds fibre and whole-grain nutrition to sandwiches, cookies, cakes, and more. It tastes good in pancakes and quick bread. Malt comes from barley, which you might find in a malted milkshake or used to make beer.
Some people want flour with less protein because it has less gluten. But if you can’t eat gluten, it’s best to choose a type of flour that isn’t made from wheat.
You can also make bread from various grains. The exact mix may be different depending on the brand you buy. You can also make it yourself with a flour mill and customize it to your liking. Multigrain bread is popular because it is relatively easy to make and has many nutrients, a unique nutty flavour, and a rustic texture.
How to incorporate multigrain into your recipes
Use different grains in your bread recipes for a tasty change. You don’t need special recipes. Replace about 25% of regular flour with grain flour to enhance flavour without changing texture. This is a great way to start. However, use less than 50% grains in yeast bread, or your dough will be difficult to handle, and your bread will be dense.
You can find the multigrain mix in pre-packaged form at many grocery stores. Here are some examples.
This coarse blend has 6 organic grains, like wheat, rye, corn, oats, Spelt, Kamut, and flaxseed. It’s high in fibre and gives you 6g of protein per serving. You can put it in muffins and bread for more texture and nutrition. You can also use it instead of rolled oats in any recipe.
10 Grain Bread Mix
This 10-grain bread mix is easy to use and healthy. It has a blend of different flours and some flaxseeds. You only need oil and water from your pantry. One package makes one loaf. You can make more than just bread with this mix, like bread pudding or croutons.
Harvest Grains Blend
This mix of different grains and seeds you can add to your baked goods. It includes oats, millet, rye, wheat flakes, and seeds such as flax, poppy, sesame, and sunflower. Adding it to your recipe will give your baked goods a crunchy texture and a slightly nutty taste. To use it, add up to 3 tablespoons of the mixture for every cup of flour in your recipe.
What are the basic ingredients to make basic bread?
The basic ingredients to make bread are like instruments in an orchestra; each one does a specific job and gives a unique flavour to the bread. The right amount of each ingredient is essential to get the best taste. When you bake bread, a reaction happens to make a final masterpiece.
Excellent bread is as good as the ingredients that go into it. The basics for bread are simple: liquid like water or milk, fat like butter or oil, flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Bread can taste better using additional ingredients, different grains and flours. There are also quite a few bread improvers that you can add to your home-baked bread, depending on what quality you are trying to improve.
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to step into the kitchen and prepare delicious meals to eat with a handful of close friends.
Have you made a Fast2eat Recipe? I love seeing your take on my recipe!