These pictures are from my first tests with Speerville Flour Mill’s Red Fife hard wheat. All tests used a 100% fresh ground rye starter culture with only Red Fife flour. I had three flours to work with and unfortunately did not keep track of the pictures well in terms of which is which exactly, but they were:
1. Fresh-ground from the kernels: this loaf was over-hydrated for sure, but only slightly. The picture was taken after I cut into it a little too soon after baking since usually these loaves need at least a day to set up rather than the usual 2-3 hours for a typical loaf. By the next day the crumb was firmer. Then I gave it away to someone and didn’t get a better picture! The actual colour was darker than the picture below. The taste was the best I’ve ever had from an all-wheat loaf.
2. Whole White – a Speerville original grind which sifts out the bran but leaves in most of the germ (if I understand correctly). In any case, whether it is with this Red Fife or normal hard red wheat, it is a truly delicious grind, and one which Maritimers have been fortunate to have available for decades now. I am pretty sure this is the right picture. My new camera doesn’t zoom in well and often takes wobbly pictures since it refuses to flash or whatever so you can’t see the crumb clearly; but it was slightly shiny and delicious, springy but not as rubbery/resilient has normal hard wheat, but perfectly fine that way. If this is what wheat was like in the old days, and seemingly it was since this strain has not been modified, then I fail to ‘grock’ how modern wheat is a substantive improvement. Flavour-wise, whether the whole grain or the whole white, this Red Fife is more aromatic, softer, deeper, clearly more delicious. It has a soft gluten which feels much like spelt to the touch, but the grain isn’t quite as water soluble, though it feels to me, intuitively, that it is closer to spelt that way and therefore very user-friendly, digestion wise. Certainly it doesn’t have the overly strong gluten structure of modern hybrid varieties.