Over the last couple of weekends I have purchased berries (grain) and flour by visiting a couple of local sources, which is a real treat.
I drove up to Grass Valley, and met Reed Hamilton who runs Grass Valley Grains to purchase a couple of bags of hard red winter wheat (The mainstay of American baking.) Reed is from a farm in Southern Illinois and worked from many years as a general contractor in the Sierra foothills; he decided to try his hand at growing wheat in the area (difficult to do on smaller plots of land) and milling, which he does currently. I will be grinding these berries myself and using the resulting whole grain flour, which includes all the bran and the germ, in many of the loaves I bake for you.
This past weekend, I drove up to Southern Oregon to meet the folks at Camas Country MIll near Eugene. the Hunton family grow some wonderful grains, including Emmer and Einkorn and a local varietal called Edison, which does well in damper Pacific Northwest weather. The family has been farming in the area for several generations and now focus on growing and milling heritage and ancient varietals of grains and other grain-like crops. Interestingly, they grow teff - the seed used to make the flour that is the basis for the Eithiopian bread Injera and ship the flour to Eithiopian communities all over the U.S.
I am jazzed about using these varietals to bake for you and will be experimenting to figure out what mixes of flours and additions will be most tasty.
This Week's Bake
This Friday evening I will bake raisin walnut mulit grain loaf for you, with whole grain flour, rye and organic white flour. I have increased the percentage of raisins and walnuts so it should turn out sweet and rich - great for toasting or served with blue cheese.
Your Canadian Baker