I had a long chat with one of the extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer, Stuart Meier, about all things floury, and came home with a couple of bags of their locally grown wheat flour. It's a high-protein (great for bread) wheat grown in the UK, but it was disappointing to learn that it's not organic. Turns out it is virtually impossible to grow 'bread' flour without using a whole heap of chemicals in the process and that if you want to bake with organic British flour you have to find ways to work with tricky low protein varieties. Except...
A few days later an email popped into my inbox with a link to this article. The first bit isn't news - well not to me. It's all true but nothing we haven't heard before. And then, after about the 5th paragraph it starts to get really interesting. You see, it seems it might just be possible to grow high protein wheat in the UK organically.
Now I don' know about you but this really floats my boat. I love bread, I love eating it and baking it and I really want it to be something that is sustainable, something that is made from ingredients that aren't air-freighted half way across the world or that use carcinogenic pesticides in the process.
I will bake some loaves with the flour I brought home from Oldland and no doubt they will turn out well at 13% protein but I'm a lot more excited about the couple of bags of YQ flour I've ordered (if you haven't clicked away to read the article yet, that stands for Yield and Quality - the two things pioneer Martin Wolfe was aiming for with his landrace wheat crops in Wakelyns farm, Suffolk).
I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime if you want to find out more, I have two spaces left on my workshop, Baking with Ancient and Heritage Wheats on the 6th November.