Local Flours Sours: Stoneground Whole Wheat (Part One)

My sourdough starter turned two years old a few weeks ago. I didn’t make much fanfare about it, but it has given me cause to think more about my baking lately.

Fine-tuning a recipe and process that works consistently for me has been a sourdough journey that has spanned nearly half a decade now, including multiple starters, a trip to San Fransisco, and routine baking through a global pandemic.

While I have found occasion to vary my flour compositon a little bit, I’ll be the first to admit that I have not strayed far from “big flour” products, in particular the kind that come in five kilogram bags from the grocery store.

With summer upon us, restrictions easing, and an emphasis on buying local, I suddenly find myself in the position to seek out, learn about, and experiment with a broader range of flour varieties.

This afternoon I found a small package of whole wheat flour grown, ground and packaged just a few kilometers down the road at a rural mill called Strathcona Stoneground Organics.

I figured this was a great excuse to kick off a new series on this blog I’m calling local flours sours, where I do some hunting down of a locally produced flour, bake some sourdough with it, and then do some casual evaluation on the outcome of the bread.

It’s not going to be an endorsement of the flour or a scientific-slash-professional evaluation of the product itself, but hopefully it inspires others to venture beyond the baking aisle in their grocery store as much as I hope it does for me.

For now, I’ve substituted 20% of the standard white flour in my sourdough recipe with one hundred grams of the richly aromatic flour from this little brown bag, and the dough is just starting its day-long journey towards the oven.

Check back for part two in a couple days.