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unbleached white flour with bran

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mwright50's picture
mwright50

unbleached white flour with bran

I have been making the Norwich Sourdough bread for a few months. Recently I purchased an unbleached stone ground flour with 30% bran removed, the protein content is 13%. I am finding the dough to be stickier and flattens out more while proofing. I thought that the flour would absorb more water because of the bran. Does the flour need to soak so the bran will absorb the water?

suave's picture
suave

Bran will increase water absorbtion, yes, but it will also thwart gluten formation.

mwright50's picture
mwright50

Should I add vital wheat gluten then?

suave's picture
suave

God, no, that's treif!!.  The right thing to do is to adjust the water down.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Although the flour may be an illustration of how protein content doesn't always translate to gluten, an autolyse of an hour or so couldl be just the ticket.  That would allow both softening of the bran and better gluten formation without having to manipulate the dough.  You might have to play around with a few batches and experiment with slightly lower hydration levels, too, to get the results you like.

Paul

suave's picture
suave

I don't think autolyse is necessarily a good idea here - while the common wisdom is that the bran particles cause mechanical damage by "cutting gluten", in reality, as far as I have read, the damage is mostly chemical and caused not so much by bran as by aleurone layer.  Therefore longer fermentation would, if anything, exacerbate the problem. 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

An autolyse isn't a fermentation, for one thing.  It also allows the flour more time to simply absorb the liquid, which could lead to lower stickiness. Or maybe not. 

There may be something inherent in the flour, such as starch damage or enzyme levels, that is causing the dough behavior. 

Without being able to conduct some laboratory testing, it will take some trial and error for the OP to adjust the formula or process to get the desired results.  

Paul

suave's picture
suave

Autolyse is not a fermentation, sure, but that's only true when only flour and water are mixed and allowed to rest.  In recipes like Norwich sourdough, which are based on liquid preferments, levain is also added to the autolyse mix, and that makes it very much a fermentation.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

autolyse is it.

suave's picture
suave

But people call it that, wrongly, in my opinion.

mwright50's picture
mwright50

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I'll try the longer autolyse the next time I bake.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

flour to 75% extraction, my flour looks totally different than anything you can buy,  90% hydration works best for this flour for some reason but it is freshly milled and very thirsty.  What bothers me is the way it looks.. I would think that most of the bran is gone with 25% being sifted out.  But, by looking at it one of two things is going on.  Either the whole grain flours being sold are not at all any where near whole grain (my guess) or my sifting out 25% is not taking out the bran (hardly).  The result is Mm 75% whole grain is about 25%  more whole grain than what they sell  as whole grain.

 I think I amk being ripped off.

suave's picture
suave

When you mill you don't condition the grain, do you?  That would explain 90% hydration.  And with crude machinery of a home miller you will never achieve anything like extraction rates of a modern flour mill.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

before grinding.  But when i sieve out 25% I don't see how it is that much different that a miller doing so.  If anything my flour that passes through should be more white than theirs would be.  I will condition the next batch and see if it makes any difference,

suave's picture
suave

That's because commercial miller does not grind grain in one pass, and sift all the bran at once.  Modern roller mill produces something like 30 to 40 streams, which are recombined to produce the desired product.   Look at this way.  You sift out 25% - but do you know if it is all bran and aleurone layer?  I bet that easily half of that is endosperm.  In fact if look at older books on milling you will see that a 100 years ago, with mills still much more advanced than a home mill yields of white flour of good quality were dismal, well under 50%. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

4 passes sometimes 5, sifting after each one, to get the 25% extraction.  What bothers me is that I know most of my 25% sifted out is bran and some endosperm but the 75% looks way more like twice the whole grain in the tan color and bran flecks that are in it.  Retail, supposedly100% whole grain, even from the best suppliers, is way more white and has way less bran.  It looks to me like there is some dark stuff missing

Maybe it is the conditioning and maybe it is the aging that changes the color and amount of bran flecks so drastically.

suave's picture
suave

It could be the grain itself?  Are you buying a regular hard red wheat or some organic, heritage, geobiodynamic whatever?  That is do you know that your bran is about the same color that they mill?  Another issue is size - the smaller the particle, the lighter it will appear.   And I'll say what I always say to every home miller - borrow (they are way to expensive to buy) a text on modern milling techniques from the library - once you appreciate how complicated and hi-tech it is you will stop comparing it to your flour.

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

If I may... what are your reasons for home milling?