It seems since I learned about miller Fillipo Drago, I wanted to see him at work. I finally got the chance in my Sicilian pilgrimage this summer. Here are some of the sights and sounds at his mill in Castelvetrano.
Rimacinata is a term for the finest milled semolina flour (aka durum). Using my new mill, I started out with a pasta grade semolina flour (Bob's Red Mill); 70% semola and the rest wheat. The goal was to create home-made rimacinata. "
I left the dough to retard overnight after a long bulk proof. The next day I popped it into the oven and got a golden hued crust. The crumb was tight but open. It was also chewy. Before baking, it could have used a warm up period to adjust to the oven heat, but I was satisfied that this method can work when you don't have real rimacinata.
For a long while I wondered what it would be like to mill my own flour. So I ordered an German Komo mill, and, along with a sieve, made my first effort with some organic wheat berries. Now I am researching different opinions by bakers on tempering or just mill. Lots of new breads to bake!
Recently I purchased some flour from Anson Mills in South Carolina. I also added Red Fife to this order, along with double zero pizzaiola flour, which I usually avoid using because I dislike the Italian imports, in my opinion make the pizza seems bleached and is chewy in a bad way. So far, I've made a pizza, and was totally happy with the feel of the dough and it's flavor. I'll report on more as I keep baking!
Since I had a grain mill attachment for my Kitchen Aid, I decided to mill my own flour. I had milled some grains before, primarily rye, when I wasn't able to get access to certain types of grinds that aren't readily available in stores.
On a recent visit to a farmer's market, I had purchased farro and rye, intending to use rye in German style breads and farro for salads. Milling farro to make my own flour didn't come into my mind. In truth, I wasn't so sure what farro was, whether it was emmer, spelt or einkorn? William Rubel, bread historian and author, had originally introduced me to farro, writing about this Italian based "ethnobotanic." According to him, it "encompasses three hulled wheats: einkorn, emmer, and spelt," each very "different from each other, especially einkorn." But often, farro is mislabled for spelt. To clarify what type of farro I had, I got in touch with Gregory Mol,from Trumansburg Flour, who works for the mill which produces Cayuga's grain. It checked out that my farro was indeed emmer.
My grain milled, I decided to try making both pretzels and an adaption of an Italian bread "pane di farro". Like freshly milled whole grain flours that I had purchased before, emmer had similar characteristics to spelt. It was a very active dough. I decided using a higher level levain in the final dough, thinking that without added commercial yeast, it might give it a boost, since it was whole grain. The difference in the flour is also evident in comparing it to store bought flours, which always have a conditioned feel and flavor. My foray into home milling will continue with grains I have purchased, including, freekeh( a green spelt that is roasted), rye, and whatever local grains I can find.