Tritordeum flour experimentation

Tritordeum flour experimentation and summary.

Recall that Tritordeum  is a recent grain developed in Spain these past few decades and is a hybrid of wild barley and semolina with the advantage of numerous health and sustainability benefits.  

I returned home from our recent trip to Barcelona with a few kilos of the flour to satisfy my curiosity.  And so it has.  I’ve now run four iterations using the flour with differing combinations.  Hardly a scientifically sustained approach, but enough to give me a notion as to how the flour performs.  The two versions of tritordeum that I have are T150 and T65.

I liken the T150 to our Whole Wheat flour and the T65 to our AP flour.  I found the T65 much more suitable for baguettes than the T150.

For the first two runs I used 20% pre-fermented flour and then switched to 15% for the final two runs.

For the final three runs I “autolysed” the levain as well.  So you can clearly see that I am breaking most rules of scientific research.  But that really wasn’t the point of this exercise.  Not at all.

In both mixes at 70% total hydration, the dough still maintained its extensible characteristic although nowhere near my first difficult excursion using this flour last Autumn.

In both mixes at 65% total hydration, the dough was more compliant and did not lead to a runaway shaping experience.  I’ll also posit that this dough could much more easily be applied to batard or boule without the minor shaping difficulties I experienced rolling them out as baguettes.

 

In all 4 runs I treated the dough similarly, except for the differing autolyse approaches.   

  • 100 French Folds, 5 min. rest, 100 French Folds.
  • 2 hour bulk rise with letter folds at 45, 90 and 120 minutes.
  • Retarded for about 6-10 hours before divide and shape.
  • Back to retard for a total of somewhere between 14-18 hours.
  • Preheated oven to 480dF, Bake at 460dF.
  • 13 minutes with steam, ~13 minutes more, 3 minutes oven venting

 Run #1.  Using T150

  • Total Dough: 80 / 20 flour mix @ T150 / (high protein) Bread Flour. @70% total hydration.  
  • Levain: 100% hydration with T150 tritordeum.  20% pre-fermented flour.

 

Run #2.  Using T150

  • Total Dough: 50 / 50 flour mix @ T150 / AP Flour. @70% total hydration. 
  • Levain: 100% hydration with T150 tritordeum.  20% pre-fermented flour.

Run #3.  Using T150

  • Total Dough: 50 / 50 flour mix @ T150 / AP Flour. @65% total hydration.
  • Levain: 75% hydration with T150 tritordeum.  15% pre-fermented flour.

Run #4.  Using T65

  • Total Dough: 50 / 50 flour mix @ T65 / AP Flour. @65% total hydration.
  • Levain: 75% hydration with T65 tritordeum.  15% pre-fermented flour.

 

In summary, I was much more comfortable and confident of the dough for the final run.  The conversion from 70% hydration to 65% made a significant difference in the handling of the dough, as well as the final product emerging from the oven.  The taste is quite good.  I don’t think that the change from 100% to 75% levain hydration made a whit of difference but I had made both in advance some weeks ago in anticipation of using both.

I can’t discount the value of repeated handling and familiarity using the flour.  If I were to incorporate this flour into a regular regimen, I would use the 4th and final run as my gold standard.  It just performed beautifully and I think that the 50/50 flour mix at 65% hydration makes this a top quality dough to work with.  Unfortunately the downside is that this flour apparently still has little distribution in Europe and is not approved for sale yet un the US.

And again, for those who think that one cannot achieve an open crumb at lower hydrations, here is more evidence that it can be done.