This week I am going to bake a loaf with whole wheat flour and cracked and sprouted Red Fife wheat. I have sprouted the berries and refrigerated them and cracked the wheat using my table top mill.
You may recall that Red Fife is a heritage varietal that came to America via Scottish immigrant farmers to the Ottawa Valley in Canada and spread throughout the U.S. Its use declined, as with other varietals, after WWII and standardization took hold across the national food supply chain.
Interestingly, the standardization and uniform product quality that this supply chain brought is us easy to take for granted: if you buy flour in a supermarket anywhere in the country, it will perform to the same level when baking, even thought invidual wheat crops vary widely in protein, moisture, gluten content and flavor.
I think the next evolution in our food infrastructure will be the enablement of "Mass customization" (An idea from Silicon Valley), where we can gain the benefits of our amazing supply chain (speed, efficiency, cost) with access to bespoke food products (Organic wheat from a family farm in North Dakota.).
We'll see: in the meantime, I will be baking for you.
Your Canadian Baker