YEN entrants achieve top breadmaking quality despite low protein season

Sarah Clarke

Excellent grain quality as well as high yields were celebrated at the YEN Conference 2022. For the first time, the Milling Quality Awards sponsored by UK Flour Millers were included in the Awards lineup with cereals and oilseeds. All UK Group 1 milling wheat entries were eligible for this competition, a total of 20 for 2022.

All entries were tested for protein, Hagberg falling number, and specific weight, with the top 10 for quality selected. These samples were then small-scale milled, and subjected to dough and baking tests to determine water absorption, dough rheology attributes, and loaf quality.

Generally, 2022 was a year for high specific weights and Hagberg falling numbers, and low protein concentrations, but the 2022 Gold award winner managed to buck this trend. Chris Eglington’s crop of Crusoe achieved 14.4% protein along with a specific weight of 80.7 kg/hl and Hagberg falling number of 355s. UK Flour Millers’ Joe Brennan presented the award and reported that Chris’s entry resulted in an excellent baked loaf with good volume and a resilient white breadcrumb. Chris is based near Thetford and his entry was sponsored by Limagrain.

Watch Chris introduce his farm in the video below

Silver was awarded to Paul Cornwell of Rougham Estate Farms, Bury St Edmunds who entered a crop of Skyfall. This entry had a good protein yield of 1.35 t/ha resulting from a 12.39 t/ha yield and 12.8% protein concentration. The baking quality was good, but the loaf had a slightly lower volume than the Gold entry.

The highest yield (15.49 t/ha) and protein yield (1.65 t/ha) was achieved by Bronze winner Richard Budd of Hawkhurst, Kent, whose crop of KWS Zyatt was sponsored by BASF. Although this entry had great analytical and baking quality, the loaf volume was lower than the other finalists.

Usually presented at a separate milling conference, incorporating the Milling Quality Awards into the main YEN conference gave all YEN entrants the opportunity to view the finalists’ loaves, and hear from UK Flour Millers’ Joe Brennan on fitting YEN to the future.

Milling Quality award presentation