Friday, November 6, 2009

Harvesting and Threshing Popping Sorghum

We planted two rows of popping Sorghum in the spring this year. We harvested most of the grain the middle of September before our vacation to Texas and the grain has been sitting and drying in my grow room ever since.

We finally found time to remove the grain from the stalks. I had no idea how it was done and there was virtually no information on the internet about it. We finally decided to put the stalks in a pillow case and then hit it against something hard. This worked pretty good but then had to figure out how to get the seed from the chaff.

I finally decided to put it all in a bowl with water. I removed anything that floated and kept rinsing until nothing was left but the heavier seeds that stayed at the bottom of the bowl. This worked well. We laid the seeds out in trays to dry. I think we probably ended up with 5 or 6 lbs of sorghum seed.

The seed pops great. At first I used some oil in a pan and heated until smoking and then put in seed a tablespoon at a time. Now I have an air popper we found at the DAV store and it works even better. One tablespoon of seed makes about 10 tablespoons of popped sorghum. It tastes better than popcorn. I found a recipe that calls for popped popcorn flour and makes a loaf of bread. 6 tablespoons of seed makes about 2 1/2 cups of flour.

Here is the recipe for popcorn bread using either popcorn or popped sorghum:

1/3 cup popcorn or 6 tablespoons sorghum (popped and blended into 2 1/2 cups of flour)
1 1/4 cups water 110 to 115 degrees
3 3/4 t yeast
2 tbs sugar
1/4c oil
2 1/4 t salt
1 tbs butter or butter flavoring
3 to 4 c flour

proof yeast in hot water while at 110 to 115 degrees with the sugar added to water for about 15 minutes.

blend popped popcorn or sorghum in blender on liquefy and then sift to remove any kernels that do not get broken up.

add all liquid ingredients to bread machine and put on dough cycle. Mix for a few minutes then add salt, popcorn flour and 2 c flour. Add more flour until you have a smooth ball of dough.

When dough cycle is complete remove dough press out into a rectangle and then roll into a loaf pressing closed all seams.

Place on a parchment covered pan cover and let rise until double. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until bread registers 190 to 210 degrees. This made a huge loaf of bread and was the most moist tender and fine textured bread I had ever made. In the picture the loaf is on a regular sized pizza pan so you can tell how big it was. I also brushed on olive oil and put some poppy seeds on the loaf.