Tybalt & Paragon Wheat Varieties – Stoneground White Flours

I bought both of these flours from Anne at Felin Ganol Watermill in Wales, just like I did with the Amaretto flour here.  It’s very unusual to buy flour by single wheat variety, most mills will mix a combination of different wheats to produce their bread flours.  I feel I’m in a privilege position with Anne to be able to do this.

What this experience has taught me is how each variety does indeed have its own character, in holding their shape, oven-spring, crust formation, crumb mouth-feel and final taste.  Tasting stoneground white flours is like tasting different leaves in your salad bowl, hard to tell you in detail how they differ but you do notice the difference on tasting, they really do taste of different flavour grasses!

Both of these are Spring wheats. Paragon has what growers call  good characteristics  meaning it’s a high protein wheat, but the yield is lower than say Tybalt from my reading.  Tybalt is classified as  lower quality characteristics  because it’s a lower protein producing wheat.  None of this classification has any meaning to the baker.  If we’re looking at the end product of flour, the loaf, then flavour, crumb mouth-feel and crust are the only judging criteria for us.

Tybalt, the photo above and below is not seen as the best choice from a grower’s point of view selling it to the bread market because next to Paragon it won’t reach the possible dizzy heights of 13% protein.  For the purposes of you and I however, who can handle low protein wheats as shown here in the Amaretto 10.5% post, Tybalt is a wonderful flour to use.  Quite different from the Amaretto flour, Bikerboy and I are in debate to who prefers which and why.  

I’ve become a fan of Tybalt because of its incredibly soft crumb feel and strong flavour, I would say if you’re a lover of roller white flour then this is a good conversion into stoneground flour because of its softness.

Above is my first attempt with Tybalt, I used a little too much water and it spread too much for that reason.

I only had a kilo bag of Tybalt to try, the second attempt is below on the right.

At the same time of baking the second Tybalt loaf I experimented with Paragon, above left.

When mixing the doughs I forgot to label them and had no clue which was which.  I hadn’t baked with Paragon before and only once with Tybalt, it wasn’t until they were baked and cut I could tell which was Tybalt.

Tybalt cut below, has a great tasting crust, caramel colour and notes, colours very quickly.

Paragon below.

Again a good colour crust.  For maximum affect on the sweetness of the crust leave your dough overnight in the fridge and then a long proving time before baking will bring out the natural sugars.

This second loaf of Paragon below was made last night.  Only 66% hydration, its 12.9% protein, was quite surprised how airy the crumb is on those figures but was left for 8-9 hours on final rise, which always helps with open crumb.  Baked it for a tad too long..great thick crust.

Tybalt

Good Points – wonderful soft crumb, great mouth-feel, it has an amazing aroma on mixing and when cutting into warm crumb, reminds me of a barn recently filled with fresh cut wheat.  Great tasting crust and strong flavour on the crumb.

Bad Points – not as good at holding its shape as some other flours, darkens quickly so good idea to turn oven down after 20 mins by 10C, doesn’t have as dramatic oven-spring as say an Amaretto loaf or even the Paragon, can have tendency to squat especially if using a ripe levain.

Paragon

Good Points – handles easily and holds its shape well, good oven-spring, good crust.

Bad Points – not as flavoursome as the Tybalt

Both of these are good tasting flours, and I’m talking here about personal preferences which may or may not be the same as yours.  For pure flavour I would go for the Tybalt but then you have to deal with handling it and accept it may not give as dramatic oven-spring as the others.

Out of the three; Amaretto, Tybalt and Paragon, Amaretto has the most amazing late oven-spring which results in a great ripped loaf, Paragon’s oven-spring is more conventional.

Trying out these single wheat varieties has clearly shown how each one has their own personality.  I can see how a mill would mix up different ones to achieve their idea of optimum bread flour.

There’s also good reasons for example to grow mixed wheat in a field like Roland does in Cucugnan here, growing 12 different wheats in a field, or like John Letts does from the Oxford Bread Group, he tells me he can grow up to 400 different varieties in a field!

Like I stated in the beginning of the post, I’m pleased to have had the change of experimenting with single wheat varieties and I urge you to do the same, it’s a very enriching experience for a baker.