Wheat – it’s produced in almost every single state in the United States. In fact, more wheat is grown worldwide than almost any other crop. That’s because wheat is the essential ingredient for an international food staple – bread.
Carter Farms is a family-run operation located in the sandhills of North Carolina. The farm grows two types of winter wheat, has a pick-your-own strawberry in the spring and operates an on-farm roadside market.
Hostess Lisa Prince visited with Billy Carter to learn the difference in the two types of wheat. The soft red is perfect for Southern staples likes cakes, pies and biscuits. The hard red is used by millers in bread making. Winter wheat is planted in early fall, grows all winter and is usually harvested in early summer.
La Farm Bakery in Cary is one of the bakeries that use hard red winter wheat from Carter Farms.
Lisa visits with Master Baker Lionel Vatinet to learn a little about the bread making process. After giving Lisa a lesson in the seven steps of proper bread making, he shows her how to roll out four basic bread forms: rolls, boule, batard and baguette. Below is his recipe for La Farm Bread.
Place flours, salt, starter and water in mixing bowl. Begin mixing at low speed for five minutes. After five minutes, increase speed for two more minutes. The temperature of the dough should be between 72 and 80 degrees. The dough should be soft to the touch and moist feeling, but should not stick to fingers. Place dough in a bowl that has been lightly dusted with flour. Cover with plastic and let rise for one hour. Fold the dough by lifting each of the corners of dough and folding them into the center. Cover the dough with plastic and return to a warm, draft-free place for another hour. Repeat this folding process a second time, and let it rest for another hour.
Since you are making one loaf, no dividing is needed. Shape the dough into a boule. Lightly dust a banneton (or bread-makers bowl used for proofing) with flour. Place the dough in the banneton, seam side up. Throw a light film of flour over the top to keep the plastic from sticking and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Let the dough proof for two and a half to three hours in a warm, draft-free place. Place a piece of parchment paper on a bread peel. Turn the dough onto the peel, bottom side up. Using a single-edged razor blade, score the loaf, just barely breaking through the skin and cutting about 1/8 inch into the dough. Bake at 450 degrees for about forty minutes until the bread is a deep golden brown with a crisp crust and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.