On Sunday I took on the task of baking 2 loaves of bread using the whole wheat flour from Bluebird grains farm. For the record, their 2 pound bag of flour makes 2 loaves of bread so my supply is gone. For this first batch, I followed the recipe from their site. First, I made a sponge using yeast, molasses, water, and flour and let it sit for 1 hour. Next, I made the mix using boiling water, molasses (and a little agave syrup as I had run out of molasses), flour, and flax seeds and let it sit for 1 hour. Both sat in my oven under the proof setting which maintains a 100 degree temperature.
After the hour, I mixed the two together. Then I added 3 cups of flour a half cup at a time until the mix came away from the bowl. The recipe then called for laying the dough out on a flour covered surface and kneading it "for 15 minutes". I kneaded it for about 11 minutes. By this point my experience told me that was enough. I put the dough back into an oiled bowl and covered with a towel. It went back into the oven until it doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Next, I punched the bread down and kneaded it some more (about 6 minutes). I formed 2 round shaped loaves, covered them with a towel, placed them on a baking sheet with parchment and let them stand another hour or so (until doubled in size again). I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees with a baking stone inside. Before placing each loaf in the oven, I buttered the tops of the bread with melted butter. They came to temperature in about 30 to 35 minutes.
Results? Well, you might have noticed that above I said that "For this first batch...". Yep, it's darn tasty. Their recipe came out a little dense, so I was glad that I stopped kneading when I did! However, the flavor produced by their flour is fantastic. It's nutty with the sweetness of the molasses (a quarter cup plus 1 teaspoon) just shining through. There's also a hint of fruit scent and flavor in the bread that's quite appealing.
We're giving away one loaf to the neighbors as thanks for letting us borrow some house cleaning supplies (to clean our siding). I may try and make their recipe next weekend using Bob's Red Mill wheat flour as a comparison. My guess is that it won't even come close to the flavors I got from this flour. Fantastic!