OUR SUMMER INTERN: a study on pastry flours


We are a month into a 2 1/2 month long summer internship with Johnson + Wales student, Desiree Bridges. The weeks have flown by and we are all learning a ton.  Beyond exposing Desiree to the craft of milling, Ive set her to the task of a study on our pastry flours. And since my background is in bread baking, i jumped at the opportunity to learn more about our pastry flours and their various applications. 

Of course there has been a goodly amount of study and research done on the characteristics of wheat: soft wheat (pastry wheat),  hard wheat (bread wheat), and all purpose blends of the two--and we have no interest in reinventing the wheel-- but historically, the results from such work have led to improvements in variety selection or breeding or blends, milling techniques, and/or machinery. Our goal is different. We are approaching this as bakers and our objective is to discover the best application for each of our pastry flours as well as an all purpose blend. Instead of changing the ingredient to meet our recipe, we are changing the recipe to meet our ingredient: a stone ground pastry flour.

Desiree began by doing basic pie dough/long flake crust also known as pate brisee and pate sucree with each of our pastry flours: whole wheat pastry, 85Pastry (high extraction), 75Pastry, and Crema. She next moved on to doing simple vanilla cakes. We felt these two exercises would establish bookends that could define the spectrum by which we would explore the various characteristics of these flours 

Between these bookends we intend to discover our favorite application of each of these flours. In the next few weeks we will be posting recipes on our recipe blog  along with commentary as to why we chose the specific flour or favor profile for the recipe . AND-- for anyone residing in WNC-- most exciting, we've partnered with Fletcher Village Bakery on this project so that Desiree can have access to a commercial kitchen to see how these  recipes test on a production level. Stay tuned for updates on that, as she will be producing various pastries that underscore the unique character of these flours--  pastries that will be made available through Fletcher Village Bakery in the coming weeks

We are -- at the moment-- also assessing 2016 crop so we will be able to apply all of these recipes to our new crop and assess any differences. Fun fun!  

from the ground up,