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The Skagit Valley Artisan Reserve Line consists of 1-kilogram loaves
made with Expresso variety wheat, which is distinguished by its rust
resistant qualities and semi-dwarf height. The hard red spring wheat
variety is grown mainly in eastern Washington but in other parts of
the state, and is considered to be in ample supply. The origin of the
variety dates back to 2004, according to the Washington State Crop
"You can identify the flavors. It's a good wheat," DePasquale says. "I've
been playing around with different flavors, wherever I can find heritage
wheats. We needed to make this work commercially. We're a mid-size
bakery, so a certain amount of bread has to be pretty consistent. We
can't say to the customer that this will be available when it's available."
Similarly, Scott Fox, vice president of bakery for three-store Dorothy
Lane Market in Dayton, Ohio, speaks with great enthusiasm about the
Turkey Red variety wheat they use in their bread program at the DLM
Bakehouse. They sell a Turkey Red Wheat Bread made from local grain
that's grown 20 miles from one of their supermarkets.
"The farmer mills it fresh for us and delivers fresh flour two or three times a
week," Fox said in July. "They just harvested this year's crop last week, and
yield was up from 35 bushels to 45 bushels per acre. The protein levels were
over 14 percent, which is amazing from wheat grown in this area."
SKAGIT VALLEY BREADS
Danny Jones, the farmer, grew 50 acres of Turkey Red wheat this year, up
from 10 acres a year ago and 2½ acres the first year of the program in 2016.
including James Beard nominees and winners Alon Shaya (provides
pita dough daily for Saba), Nina Compton (Compere Lapin) and Justin
Devillier (La Petit Grocery). Bellegarde actively preserves the wholesome properties of wheat by stone milling all whole grain flours
in-house, providing the highest-quality product while preserving the
dietary quality of whole grains like wheat, corn, rye and rice.
"Like any good ingredient, flour is best when it is at peak freshness,"
says Morgan Angelle, one of Bellegarde's head bakers. "Within 48 hours
of milling, our grains become bread headed out the door to customers.
Because we know who grew, harvested, shipped and milled our flours,
we have the special advantage of knowing the ins and outs of our products that would not be possible without our own mill. We are producing
nearly 5,000 loaves a week - six varieties consistently, with the top
sellers being our country and baguette."
The ancient grain movement
Teff, farro, and sorghum offer unique flavors, colors, and textures that
can help differentiate breads and pastries, according to Tess Brensing,
food scientist and technical product manager at ADM. Teff is a very
small grain which can be used as a whole-grain or as a flour with a
dark tan color. Farro is ancestrally similar to wheat; it can be used for
an ingredient call-out and add a textural component when used as a
whole-grain. Sorghum is an easy to incorporate ancient grain that is
more neutral in appearance and offers an earthy flavor.
"I was shocked at how well the Turkey Red performed here," Fox says,
noting that the variety is typically grown in the central plains, not as
far east as Ohio. "It has a sweet, nutty flavor. Our head baker uses it
to make a poolish for a French style bread. We are really inspired by
sourdoughs. We have started a sourdough from Turkey Red. All of our
bread is baked for today."
"Teff and sorghum are also gluten-free, so they are great to use when
creating foods without using wheat flour," Brensing says. "With the use
of these grains, developers can appeal to health-conscious consumers
looking for purposeful, closer to nature ingredients that can help
deliver nutrition consumers desire in creative platforms with great
taste and a feel-good benefit. ADM offers a wide range of on-trend
ancient grains in a variety of formats to meet a variety of baking needs."
Dorothy Lane Market has partnered with local farmers Ed Hill, Dale
Friesen and Jones to grow the wheat, which has been a great source
of pride for all parties involved. Turkey Red wheat carries with it a
rich history and it's a hard winter wheat not typically grown in Ohio.
When milled, it yields a flour that is slightly sweet and nutty. Skilled
DLM artisan bread bakers work it into dough and bake this Turkey Red
Wheat Bread on a European hearth oven for a one-of-a-kind flavor,
available while supplies last each year.
Ardent Mills has a deep history of cultivating lasting relationships with
farmers, university research teams, customers and partners to identify,
source, grow and pioneer leading-edge ingredients. Ardent Mills is
committed to creating what's next in a new era of grain, including
ancient and heirloom grains, such as spelt and White Sonora in flours,
crisps and Individually Quick Frozen (IQF). Ardent Mills Great Plains
Quinoa is grown in North America and available in whole seeds, whole
grain flour, crisps, IQF and flakes.
"We demo it and tell the story of the bread," Fox says. "Our customers
love it. For foodies, they enjoy knowing we are using heritage grains
and that it's grown locally. They want to do business with local people."
Further, Ardent Mills operates The Annex by Ardent Mills. The Annex
is a team of experts dedicated to bringing a broad portfolio of plant and
specialty grain innovations to the industry, including ancient and heirloom grains, pulses, barley and organic products available in unique
formats such as crisps and IQF grains, perfectly cooked and ready for
In other cities, Bellegarde is a bakery in New Orleans providing fresh
flour and bread to more than 100 restaurants and markets in Louisiana,
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