Maris Widgeon From Green Acres

Mark has been continuing his milling practice, this week with Maris Widgeon flour. The results are a beautifully silky white flour, that is creamy in colour and has a great taste.

The Hagberg Falling Number for this grain in the harvest 2020 was 219 which is lower than the standard for bread flour accepted by large roller mills at 250 (to 350). However, the baking performance of this grain is great when using commercial yeast (I used fresh yeast). It makes a lovely, well risen loaf with a good flavour. The crumb is a creamy beige and visually appealing. The stoneground white flour is lighter in colour than the Mulika.

Maris widgeon yeasted
Maris Widgeon tin loaf made with fresh yeast

I struggled with making a sourdough loaf though. The first two attempts were heavy and dense. The third was better, but still a little gummy.

The first sourdough was made with an overnight retard. The second was an ambient proof. For the third I shortened the ambient proof as I suspect that the low Hagberg Number of 219 might be making for higher enzymatic activity. With the longer fermentation time of sourdough enabling the enzymes to break down the gluten and make for a heavier and gummier loaf. I welcome thoughts on this and how to overcome the problem in the comments.

Maris widgeon sourdough
Maris widgeon sourdough. Half wholemeal/half stoneground white

Overall the flour makes a great tasting loaf. I just need to work out a schedule that works for it with sourdough fermentation.

It made a great pizza base and focaccia when I made a dough with fresh yeast. It tasted amazing with a delicious crunchy crust and soft crumb.

Maris widgeon focaccia

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