The Fresh Loaf

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Hard red spring flour, retardation and softness

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nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hard red spring flour, retardation and softness

Hi,

I'd like to ask you how you treat your doughs made with hard red spring flour to get a very soft crumb. Every time I use it I have to retard the dough for a lot of time if I want to avoid that tough rubbery mouthfeel that I can't stand.

Let me make few examples: croissant retarded for  2 days in the fridge still had a very perceivable gumminess that only after 4 days was completely lost. The dough was decently rich, with lot of sugar, some egg yolk and 10% butter. Predictably even  plain bread doughs after 1 day in the fridge come out rubbery. Same for brioche.

The only way I found to get a soft crumb without retardation was using a preferment made with a 200% hydratation rye sourdough, but rye doesn't fit in every recipe:-)

I tried to mix HRS flour with soft wheat flour, but the volume of breads decreased a lot without really softening the crumb.

I don't want to give up to the advantages that HRS flour brings and I don't want to give up to crumb softness. I don't even want to prepare doughs 4 days in advance to eat some bread, brioche or croissant.

Water roux works only to a certain extent, it doesn't mask completely the hardness of the crumb.

Is there a solution?  Do you have a working method?

  Nico

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Nico

Intensive mixing? brioche was intensively mixed, right? hmm, i haven't used hrs before.

 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi Khalid, I always use intensive mixing. It's the only way to get the volume I want.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

will soften just about any crumb - at least it does for my breads.

mcs's picture
mcs

Nico,
Can you be more specific in describing your croissant dough mix? 

-Mark

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

this the original recipe. I only reduced flour to 500 gr and increased sugar t0 120 and butter to 50

http://aniceecannella.blogspot.it/2011/07/croissant-con-il-lievito-madre.html

500 gr flour110 gr sugar35 grbutter2 egg yolks250 gr water10 gr milk powder8 gr salt150 gr firm starter340 butter for lamination



Read more: http://aniceecannella.blogspot.com/2011/07/croissant-con-il-lievito-madre.html#ixzz2QBa2XuKS

I mix all ingredients together (except the butter) with the paddle at second speeds until the dough begins to come together, then I add the butter and continue kneading at 2nd speed until the dough comes together. Then I replace  the paddle with the hook and keep on kneading until the dough passes the windowpane test.


mcs's picture
mcs

I checked out the recipe and process.  First, I will say that I don't use the same flour as you, I'm using flour made from hard winter wheat.  Second, since you have many products (breads and pastries) using the same flour, I suggest keeping your flour and trying to adjust everything else instead.  This was probably your idea anyway.

My first thought in looking at the croissant formula/method is that the dough is over-worked.  It seems that you would be 'fighting yourself' to achieve a soft crumb after such a tedious process - meaning that you make it tough through the process, and have to rest and rest and rest it to relax it.

With my croissant dough, I use my version of a 'short mix'.  In the potato video that I just posted last week, I demonstrate the hand version of it.  But anyway, I use this method for any enriched doughs that I want to keep 'soft'.  This is the machine version:
1.  With dough hook, mix on 3:00 Speed 1, until all ingredients are combined
2.  scrape dough off hook and off sides of bowl to form a boule-cover dough, bowl, and hook for 30 minutes
3.  uncover and mix with hook on Speed 1 for 30 seconds

That's it.
I haven't made the recipe you posted, so I don't know how this mix would affect it, but that's the first thing I would try.

-Mark


nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Mark, i try to minimize kneading whenever I have to prepare croissant because I know that lamination itself contributes a lot of gluten development tothe dough and if the dough is already well developed the process may (and most likely will) become a struggle. That particular recipe is unusually high in sugar and ... consider that I tend to add more sugar to it (125 gr). Andy says that I have a sweet tooth:).

That relatively high percentage of sugar forces me to work the dough more than one should generally do to prepare the dough to lamination, but believe me when I say that I work ingredients only the strict necessary to have the smallest  level of gluten development. With less kneading I get a cream.

I find more effective mixing ingredients with the paddle rather than with the hook, did you ever try it?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I read that King arthur bread flour is milled entirely from hard red spring wheat, so can someone that use it frequently share his/her experiences?

Kneading my HRS flour I noticed that doughs tend to be very extensible and with little or no springiness unless I give *a lot* of folds (literally dozens). This may turn out to be a very useful characteristics when laminating  croissant, but I'd like to understand if it's a property of all HRS flour or only of the one I have at hand.

Thanks,

  Nico

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Your recipe indicates "flour". Your original question is about "hard red spring wheat". Are you using an All purpose flour  made from hard red spring wheat or are you using a whole wheat flour milled from hard red spring wheat? Big differences in characteristics, as you well know, but I'm not sure which flour you are asking about.

I mill my hard red spring wheatberries myself for bread and I do find it has a goodly amount of great gluten for breadmaking.It can be tough if it doesn't have enough hydration. I wouldn't describe it as particularly extensible-that sounds like Kamut. I use Kamut for flatbreads or just part of the flour. Very extensible. If I want a softer WW loaf, I have many options to choose from-alone or in combo with the others: add AP flour(10-75% of total flour), some rye flour (about 30-50g per loaf),water roux,much higher hydration,oils/fats,dairy,autolyse or some form of retardation, and knead to windowpane. In my opinion, bread needs to have a balance between the starchy gel that forms a buttery mouth feel when chewing bread and the gluten-which adds chewiness. WW suffers from a lack of the starchy gel. Adding a little gel in the form of rye flour,water roux or white flour balances that out. I think you can get the same effect if you work the starch out of the WW with higher hydration,sponge or even a WW roux.

 I have never made croissants so I can't speak to that recipe.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

HI Clazar, the flour I'm using in this period is white bread  flour milled entirely from HRS wheat, without bran. My doughs have always a hydratation ranging from 72 to 80-84%: 72% in the rare cases that I prepare plain white bread, 80+% when I add in rye (generally in the 30-40% range). I noticed that rye keeps the dough *much* softer, but there are cases when i can't use rye (ma parents really hate it) and I'm forced to use only plain white flour.  As noticed previously water roux helps to up a certain extent, meaning I still feel a residue of gumminess.

I'm trying to minimize kneading and let the rest in the fridge do the rest of development. Let's see what comes out.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Hi Nico. I just made the most amazingly soft and light sandwich loaf with hard spring red wheat. The formula and method is on my blog http://staffoflife.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/commercial-style-white-loaf/

I'd appreciate you trying it.

Cheers,
Michael 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

bread looks VERY airy and soft, Michael! You bakings are always a reference for me. I'll try your poolish method. Thanks,

  Nico

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Thanks for the clarification. The picture is clearer now.

I prefer the chew/mouth feel of bread made with a LOWER gluten flour but not a LOW gluten flour-meaning AP flour but NOT pastry flour. My original brioche recipe (Floyd's Lazy Man Brioche) calls for bread flour. It works beautifully but has the rubberiness you describe. I started mixing bread flour with AP but lately I just make it with all quality AP and it is beautiful .No more chewiness. The trick is to develop the dough to a good windowpane and use an unbleached AP flour that has enough protein to make a well structured loaf of bread.. I use Gold Medal Unbleached AP,Ceresota,Dakota Maid-all US and some local brands flour. KA is usually beyond my budget unless it is on sale here locally. I have found that the cheap store brands around here are VERY low in protein and you couldn't even get a small porthole much less windowpane from it. :) Great for gravy thickening.

In my mind, the gluten is like rubberbands acting like a net to hold the starchy gel that traps the gas and bakes to become the crumb. Each bread has its special balance of these. Some breads need more rubberbands and some need more starchy gel. Sounds like you are aiming for less rubberbands-lower gluten flour.

Good luck!

grind's picture
grind

I hate that rubbery mouth feel to and I find that excessive hydration, with some batches of flour, tends to make that kind of bread.  Less hydration can produce a drier, softer crumb in those cases.  By less hydration, I don't mean a stiff dough, I just mean a little less water.  Good luck.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Hi Nico,

Have you tried a longer hydration rest period? 1 to 2 hours [overnight]? High protein flours will always be problematic when it comes to gluten development which, I assume, is what's giving you the gummi mouth feel.  Intensive mixing will yield a fairly light textured product though it will still be chewy but soft.

Wild-Yeast