I baked with White Sonora flour back in September - those of you who were subscribing then. White Sonoro is a Landrace variety wheat that was brought to America by the Jesuits in the 1600s. It grows well in low water conditions and, by the late 1800s dominated wheat production in the Central Valley. I found a family run mill in Arizona that sources and grinds White Sonora and purchased a couple of bags of flour and berries from them.
The sonora white berries (seeds) are small and round - almost like pearl barley - and, sitting next to a kamut berry (long and large), look like they are from a different species altogether.
White Sonora has a lower protein content than most baking flours so cannot be used on its own to make bread (it's gluten content is too low.) It can be used at a 100% for cakes (Cake flour has a lower gluten content than all purpose flour.)
A Note on Germination
I am germinating the White Sonora berries (Sprouting them) for Saturday's bake as we speak and it is a marvelous, mysterious process. Seeds need the right combination of water, oxygen and light (or lack thereof) for their metabolic machinery to be switched on. And when it is, things take off.
This Saturday's Bake
This Saturday I will bake loaves made with organic white flour, whole grain white sonora, sprouted white sonora berries and some high extraction flour.
The snack business is big. Very big: more than $124 BN in North America and $167 BN in Europe, according to Nielsen, a market research firm. The global soft drink (sweet drinks, fizzy and flat and water) market is over $531 BN. That's a lot of cola, even if some of it is sugar free. The industry built up around manufacturing, marketing and distributing these products is sophisticated and focused on selling more of its products each year.
Now, a can of Coke contains over 9 teaspoons of sugar (Orange juice has just as much.) Now, consumption of sugared sodas has begun to decline in the U.S., as consumers begin to take to heart the correlation between sugar consumption obesity and diabetes but we are highly conditioned to consume sweet, salty and fatty foods.
I am reminded of this whenever I hit a gas station convenience store, most of which are designed as carefully calibrated snack and drink selling machines. Marketers have spend years researching how people buy, what motivates them and how to move more snack products through an outlet. Over 90% of the the typical convenience store layout is devoted to snacks and brand managers for the salty snacks and soft drink brands are incented to grow sales volume expand product lines. And they do this ably.
This Saturday's Bake
This Saturday I will bake a recipe that I picked up when baking at the San Francisco Baking Institute, which uses 85% organic white flour and 15% 110 high extraction flour - the latter has the entire wheat berry milled to the consistency of white flour. The resulting loaf is as opened crumbed as a white loaf but a little more hearty
My buddy Tony - who built my oven, will be making pizzas in his wood fired oven tomorrow (Saturday) on Haight, just down from the farmers' market. 749 Haight. Come and try some!
Well, it turns out that the common fruit fly - Drosophila Mengaster - with one of the most studied set of genes in biology, does something quite helpful for us.
Scientists have figured out that the fruit fly and our friend Saccharomyces cerevisiae (That would be naturally occurring yeast) have a symbiotic relationship. It turns out that yeast hitches a ride in the fruit fly's gut, making it to plentiful supplies of sugar (e.g. overripe fruit) and, in turn, it ferments the sugars there and creates lots of aromatic chemicals that enable the fruit fly to find its way to more of the same fruit.
Actually, this is part of a chain of symbiotic relationshjps: you'll remember that naturally occurring sourdough yeast works with bacteria - lactobacillus - to consume starches and sugars in wheat flour, and help us make some fine bread. One could argue that you and I are part of this chain too - if the yeast and bacteria didn't help us make something tasty, I wouldn't be helping both organisms reproduce and prolong their species.
This Saturday's Bake
I will bake a seeded wheat loaf, with 1/2 a dozen kinds of toasted seeds (e.g. flax, sesame, sunflower) and some fresh ground whole wheat flour.
Your Canadian Baker