I received an intriguing cookbook, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, the other day. Thank you, Dawn!
After giving Nourishing Traditions a quick, rather cursory review, I decided to make the blueberry variation of their Basic Muffins recipe (page 482). The muffins recipe called for only whole wheat flour and no yeast. So, I didn’t expect to have to leave any extra time for rising periods. Great. I’d make them in the morning for breakfast.
When I opened the book this morning, however, and actually read the recipe, I found that there is a 12 to 24 hour period for soaking the flour in buttermilk. Now, realizing that there is something special about these recipes, I actually sat down and read what Fallon and Enig had to say about flour and why they use a long soaking period. Apparently, this process is an old, traditional, pattern in bread baking, which softens the whole grain flour, allows the dough to rise more easily, and gives a final product that is similar to “one made with white flour.” I assume the latter means the bread/muffin is lighter in texture, which is more typical of white flours, compared to the more dense, substantial texture of whole grain flours.
Given my not having carefully read through the recipe first, my would-be muffins are now in the first phase (that is, soaking) and will be completed tomorrow. I am looking forward to tasting them after using this new (to me!) technique.
Will keep you posted!