Introducing Our Purple Stoneground Flour
One of the most exciting recent additions to the FPM product range is our AllGrain Purple 100% Stoneground Wholemeal.
If you’re scratching your head wondering what a Purple Stoneground Wholemeal is, let us fill you in. Read on to learn more about its history, its benefits and how to incorporate this speciality product into your baking.
A Trip Through History
To understand the benefits of this unusual flour, we need to take a closer look at the wheat it is made from. East Africa is known as the birthplace of “purple wheat”, its likely origin in the area now known as Ethiopia.
Discovered in 1872 at the coast of the Red Sea, this ancient grain has never been cultivated in large qualities and therefore has kept its original purity throughout the centuries.
Now, approximately 150 years later and on the other side of the world, this unhybridised species of ancient grain is grown in Australia. FPM sources purple wheat from Austgrains Pty Ltd. It is grown by Oscar Pearse on a property called Richmond in the Moree district of northern NSW.
What Makes It Purple?
The husk of the purple wheat seed contains anthocyanins, a water-soluble vegetable dye, which give the seeds a distinctive purple colour.
Purple wheat berries
Regular wheat berries
Our stoneground milling process for purple wheat preserves 100% of the wheat germ and bran, meaning that bread made from this purple flour boasts a similar unique purple colour – as well as the usual flavour and nutrition benefits of stoneground flours.
Anthocyanins are also found in blueberries, raspberries and black rice (among other foods), and are what give red wine its deep red colour. Purple wheat is the first type of grain in which these pigments have been identified in such large quantities. Research suggests that the concentration of anthocyanins in purple wheat exceeds typical wheat varieties by ten to fifteen-fold.
Are There Any Health Benefits?
Anthocyanins have been shown to have antioxidant properties, however, there is still limited scientific evidence to suggest that humans feel the antioxidant effects of consuming foods rich in anthocyanins, despite them often being marketed as “anti-cancer”, “anti-ageing” etc. It will be interesting to see if clinical trials in the future demonstrate that anthocyanins have beneficial effects or lower the risk of disease.
Ancient grains like purple wheat have, however, frequently been identified as being more easily digestible than some modern wheat varieties.
Anecdotally, bread made from these flours is often easier for gluten-sensitive stomachs to handle, so it might be worth seeing if purple flour works for you. As always, we recommend checking with your GP first for advice.
How Can I Use AllGrain Purple 100% Stoneground Wholemeal?
There’s no shortage of ways to incorporate purple flour into your baking!
As any good baker knows, one of the most exciting things about making bread is the experimentation – trialling different flours, grains, hydration levels, bulk fermentation and proofing times – and seeing how it changes the outcome of your final loaf.
With this in mind, we encourage you to give it a go in different ways. AllGrain Purple 100% Stoneground Wholemeal can be used just as you would our standard AllGrain 100% Stoneground Wholemeal, whether you are making sourdough loaves, bread rolls or other products.
Start with a ratio of 75% Bakers Flour and 25% Purple Stoneground Wholemeal, and see how it goes from there, adapting for your own tastebud’s preferences. You might like to try incorporating linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or rye flour to create unique and interesting loaves.
Or perhaps test out a Purple Wholegrain Ciabatta, combining the qualities of a classic Ciabatta with the benefits of purple wheat to produce a juicy, elastic crumb and delightful crust!
Thoroughbread Bakery in Kirrawee, NSW uses our AllGrain Purple 100% Stoneground Wholemeal product to make a Purple Wholemeal Sourdough Batard in 800g and 1.1kg sizes, as shown on the right.
From the FPM Test Kitchen:
Here are some recent loaves baked in our test kitchen using 50% AllGrain Bakers Flour and 50% AllGrain Purple 100% Stoneground Wholemeal:
So why not give it a try?
With an unusual colour and interesting flavour profile, it’s the perfect introduction to stoneground flours.
AllGrain Purple 100% Stoneground Wholemeal is available for delivery across Australia in 25kg bags, or directly at our mill at 1 Showground Road Tamworth NSW.
Check out the full product specifications in our datasheet.
For more information and pricing, please contact Katherine on email@example.com or 0401 552 954.
University f. Bodenkultur in Vienna
Dr. Bernhard Watzl, Dr. Karlis Briviba, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Rechkemmer, Ernahrungs Umschau in Nutrition Look Around 49 (2002), Journal 4, page 148.
Abel & Schafer Inc. Purple Wheat Factsheet
AustGrains Pty Ltd