The Berea College Farm produces a variety of certified organic staple grains like wheat, barley, rye, oats and corn. These crops are grown in rotation with hay crops and pasture to protect soil quality and ensure adequate crop nutrition.
Much of the grain is used to make baked goods like bread in the College Farm Store.
Mature crops are harvested with the combine and the grains are dried, cleaned to remove any weed seeds, stones or other debris, and stored until milling.
Grains are milled as needed using a stone mill to produce whole-grain flour which consists of the starchy endosperm, the germ and the bran.
The flour is sometimes further processed by sifting to remove large pieces of bran which affect how the dough rises.
Basic bread dough is composed of just four ingredients: flour, water, yeast and salt.
Other ingredients can be incorporated as well, such as herbs used to make focaccia.
The bread-making process begins by thoroughly mixing the ingredients and allowing yeast time to consume sugars and generate carbon dioxide. This is how bread dough rises.
After bulk fermentation the dough is divided and portioned into loaves.
Next, they are shaped and topped with oil and herbs like oregano, thyme, basil and garlic for final proofing.
Then the loaves are ready for baking in a hot oven until the internal temperature reaches 190°F. Bread, like this focaccia, is just one of the many savory and sweet products made from the College Farm grains.