web analytics
Red Fife Wheat - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

Announcement

Collapse

Forum Issues Update

We are continuing to work diligently to resolve the issues currently being experienced with the PhotoPlog. Thank you for your patience!
See more
See less

Red Fife Wheat

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Red Fife Wheat

    While Caputo sounds like the queen of pizza flours, I've been reading lately about a growing trend toward flour from various heritage wheat varieties in the artisanal bread-baking community and others seeking to preserve genetic diversity in foods.

    One that's caught my eye is Red Fife wheat flour, Canada's oldest wheat and the genetic parent to most wheat now grown in North America. It's supposed to be excellent for bread, with a wonderful flavour, and is particularly prized by sourdough bakers.

    It originated in 1842 in Peterborough, Ontario, not far from where Canuck Jim is located.

    "It is a landrace, meaning there is a genetic variability in the wheat, which allows it to adapt to a diversity of growing conditions. It can be hard or soft, white or red and be planted in winter or spring. Its adaptability and final characteristics are directly related to the genetics and the way it interacts with the environment."

    Getting hold of some to try in some breads appeals to me on a number of different levels (as does using heirloom tomatoes for pizzas).

    Has anyone else tried any heritage flours?

  • #2
    Re: Red Fife Wheat

    The 100-mile diet, locavore eating, slow food movement - it all seems to be part of a trend toward "roots" eating (no pun intended). The New York Times noted this in yesterday's Dining section: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/10/di...ng&oref=slogin
    Un amico degli amici.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Red Fife Wheat

      Great article!

      It just reinforces my impression that the loss in food diversity in the last hundred years or so has been ep(idem)ic, and much to our detriment, though we generally aren't even aware of how much we have lost ... just in taste alone!

      I only wish my thumb was greener and I had more time (not to mention a longer growing season!) so I could focus on growing forgotten heirloom varieties of all sorts of vegetables and fruits. I've been intrigued for some time by the notion of a back yard where every living thing in it would be edible, medicinal or otherwise useful in some manner. Retirement project, perhaps.

      That idea in the article though, of a front lawn replaced by wheat - it's kind of got me thinking ... would that be just one mowing a year, at harvest time ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Red Fife Wheat

        I love this kind of thing! I've been trying to get our lawn to be a wild flower refuge for butterflies etc, but the neighbours keep complaining about the "weeds"...

        The local shops have a food line with forgotten species of friut and veg. Do any of you have those blue potatoes? They're yummy!!

        Sarah, can you get hold of some of that Red Fife Wheat? I'd say go for it! And then tell us all about it.
        "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Red Fife Wheat

          I love this kind of thing! I've been trying to get our lawn to be a wild flower refuge for butterflies etc, but the neighbours keep complaining about the "weeds"...

          The local shops have a food line with forgotten species of friut and veg. Do any of you have those blue potatoes? They're yummy!!

          Sarah, can you get hold of some of that Red Fife Wheat? I'd say go for it! And then tell us all about it.
          "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Red Fife Wheat

            It's probably easier to get the seeds than to get the milled flour but I don't think sowing or milling are something I want to take on at this point! I'll be looking for some flour though and let you know if I'm successful.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Red Fife Wheat

              PHP Code:
              Do any of you have those blue potatoesThey're yummy!! 
              I forgot to say yes, we can get them - organic ones - and I agree, they're delicious - but why does everything organic (nice bonus, but not a must-have for me) or different (more likely to be on the must-have list ) have to be soooo expensive???!!!

              I guess I really need a veggie patch ... but I'd need to cut down a few trees to have enough sun ... but then I'd have more wood for the oven ... but then ... hmmm, time will tell.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Red Fife Wheat

                I wouldn't like to trade my veggie beds for anything. Not even shade in the backyard... nothing compares to my own veggies, picked right before dinner. But then, I seem to be a frustrated farmer. I also want to have fruit trees, berries, and bees, but I think I'll have to wait for some more room for those! Only so much fits on a city lot, unfortunately.
                Elizabeth

                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Red Fife Wheat

                  It nice here, because Swiss farmers (and consumers) are really into organic, rare species food, so the prices aren't all that much higher than for regular products. I mean they're higher, obviously, but not prohibitivly so. (One good reason for Switzerland not to joint the EU there... might well be the only one, but still.)

                  I tried growing blue potatoes a couple of years back and guess what? They need far more care than regular ones, and the yield is a lot lower.

                  Milling your own flour... there's a good idea. Who would have thought that building an oven could cause so much extra work!?
                  "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Red Fife Wheat

                    This was in the paper this morning, I thought you might be interested, Sarah. It speaks to the larger needs we have for sustainability.

                    Sustainable farming vision takes root at Catawba Farm - Roanoke.com

                    I hope they make it work! We need successful models to follow and support!
                    Elizabeth

                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Red Fife Wheat

                      Elizabeth, it's taken me a while (hard to get to the computer these days ) but I wanted to say thanks for posting this article on sustainable farming - sounds like a great project they've got going there!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Red Fife Wheat

                        I love the way so many of these posts are so timely when it comes to what I'm doing. My husband is the one with the green thumb and strong back when it comes to gardening. His dream is for us to live off everything he grows. So far he gardens about an acre of land. 2 summers ago he harvested the winter wheat (by hand and sickle) that he had planted as a cover crop the previous fall. It has sat in 5 five gallon buckets since then. I finally decided it was time to do something with it and figured out how to thresh and clean it. I've done one bucket so far. It's a lot of work because I don't have the equipment to do it properly. First I dump it in a bed sheet and stomp on it to separate the wheat from the chaff. Then I soak it in a large cooler so all the hulls come to the top and the seeds fall to the bottom. I remove the hulls then dry it on our large countertop outdoors or in our food dehydrator and then sift it again to get these little black things out of it. Those little black things were in my first attempt at bread and it was gritty. I grind it into flour in my little coffee grinder. Yesterday's bread was great. It seems like so many steps to clean it and it's very time consuming but very gratifying at the same time. Here are some pictures of the wheat before and after. As you can see in the after picture there are still some hulls on some of the seeds. I'm wondering how long the seed will keep and if it should be frozen or something.

                        Here's another thing I'm wondering, my freezer is packed with homegrown vegetables as are my cupboards with canned ones (enough tomatoes for pizza more than once a week), nearby hunters give us venison, we buy our beef and lamb from local farmers and we bake our own bread, why are my grocery bills still near $200.00 every week?
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Red Fife Wheat

                          The wheat looks really good. I'm sorry it's a pain to get to the end product, but it sounds as though it's worth it. The color of the wheat berries is beautiful. I don't know about storage. I know whole wheat flour goes off, but I don't know about the intact berries. Did one bucket make the container of berries, or is there more from that bucket?

                          I don't know about your grocery trips, but mine are always a lot more expensive when I don't use a list... but here, at least, the bills are waaay down with only 1 kid left. Even the toilet paper consumption is way down!

                          top things costing me money these days (at a guess, not sure): junk food, soft drinks, dog food, cheese, coffee, chicken and fish, and lunch meat for my sandwich dependent husband. Oh, and wine. But I don't usually buy that at the grocery store. I don't eat much junk food, but dh eats some. He's one of those people who can eat a salad and lose 5 pounds. I'm not. Oh well.
                          Elizabeth

                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Red Fife Wheat

                            Wow, those berries are great and I commend your efforts to turn them into flour and make bread - there must have been a huge sense of satisfaction when you bit into a slice of that bread!
                            I would love to be far more involved in the process of getting my food from field to table; I think we've become way too removed from it over the last century, and we're the losers for it.
                            But there does seem to be a bit of a pendulum-swing back to a more hands-on connection with our food - we oven builders are a part of it.

                            Grocery bills?! I'm not even going there!! Of course, it doesn't help that our grocery stores now sell wine, furniture, pharmacy fare, housewares, TV's, etc. ...
                            We often detour now, on our way home from work, to a very small grocery store that is way more user-friendly and mostly just stocks food. They don't always have everything I want but I'm not enticed by things I don't need, the staff are way more friendly and helpful and I can get in & out of there in a quarter of the time I would spend in the Superstore (yes, that's its actual name!). It's also open 24-7 .

                            Sarah

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Red Fife Wheat

                              I cleaned more wheat this weekend. Now we have about 16 lbs of berries. It's kind of fun actually. After seeing me clean it my husband decided maybe he should plant a lot more next year.

                              I was watching Oprah the other day (I'm always embarassed to admit that) and they were talking about Blue Zones, places where where people live the longest. What the areas all had in common was that they got lots of exercise, mostly by growing their own food or tending their land. They also ate food grown locally. None of them mentioned gym memberships. Sardinia was one of the blue zones. A centenarian credited eating bread, cheese and red wine to his longevity. I like that. All these areas were rural. I made my husband watch this (I recorded Oprah) and it just convinced him we need to work harder in the garden.

                              I also shop at a superstore where I end up buying more than I need. I should try going to a small grocery where I'm not tempted to buy stuff that's not necessary. I live in a rural area though and the nearby grocery stores (if you can call them that) sell Boones Farm so I can't get wine, olives, good cheese................. They do have good meats and local produce though but I don't really need that. What would be nice would be if many of us on the forum lived near each other and could trade and barter more. Or could have a community garden/farm. Elizabeth, I know and hour and 20 minutes is a long way to drive to garden but if you wanted to use some of our land to plant a crop that doesn't need a lot of care you're certainly welcome to do that. We have lots of open land that gets lots of sunshine.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X