The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pointe-à-Callière Miche using Atta flour

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

Pointe-à-Callière Miche using Atta flour

I’ve been skeptical about the performance of Atta flour in hearth breads. Atta flour is a high extraction Indian stone ground flour used for chapati flat breads. Last week, I picked up a 2 kg bag of the flour from a store, and decided to give it a try in a Miche. I’ve baked the recipe Pointe-à-Callière from Hamleman’s book numerous times before using my home made high extraction flour, so I thought it would be fitting to try Atta flour in Hamelman’s Miche and compare the results.

  

The flour is soft, and contains tiny specks of bran and germ, which I believe sums up to anywhere between 85% to 90% extraction. This is a photo of the flour’s texture (left) as compared to bread flour (right).

The dough behaved almost identically to the high extraction wheat flour I used to make at home by sifting freshly milled whole wheat flour ; only the home made version is softer and has a golden color.

I was really surprised by the aroma, flavor and results! Excellent, to say the least. I could not discern the difference in outcome between this bake and the previous ones. What a joy! I have had high extraction wheat flour at my disposal all these years without taking advantage of it.

The flavor is sweet nutty, and slightly sour. The crumb was slightly moist and soft, with a caramel nutty crust; all I wish for in a Miche. I encourage anyone who has access to this flour or a similar one to try it as high extraction flour in hearth breads, you will not be disappointed.  

-Khalid

 

Comments

annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

What a beautiful miche!I always have Atta flour in my pantry as my children enjoy "balloon" bread (roti) very much. It's great to know that Atta flour can be used as high extraction flour.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Annie

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Annie!

I have yet to try it in roti. It makes magnificent sourdough breads!

-Khalid

loafette's picture
loafette

I've enjoyed baking hearth breads, using atta , for about 10 years now...it is great stuff! Your loaf is quite lovely! I especially like the crust...I can almost smell it!...lol!

Here's to continued successes!

Laura :0))

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you Laura! I have baked yeasted breads with it during my early baking days 5 years ago. However, as i become quite comfortable with making sourdough breads, the flour appeals to me now more than ever. You are right, it is good stuff, especially that it is stone ground and retains so much ash content.

-Khalid

 

 

isand66's picture
isand66

Wow what a great bake Khalid.  I have to look for this flour and give it a try as soon as I can find it.  Thanks for sharing your successful experiment.

 

Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks Ian! If you found atta flour, let us know how you like it.

-Khalid

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

to use it for my breads ! I have been using it for my Indian Breads since the 70's ! Never occurred to me to use it for my artisan breads. How wonderful that you posted this  ! Your miche is extraordinary. Thank you ...one more reason this community is so helpful to all bakers. c

Mebake's picture
Mebake

My pleasure, Caroline. It took me a while to recognize the flour as a potential ingredient in high extraction flour recipes. Do give it a whirl.

-Khalid

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

Looks perfect.  Chef Jeff would give you an "A".  Obviously your local UAE "AATA" flour is rather different from the Golden Temple Durum Atta flour that's fairly widely available over here (with which I've had enough disappointing Altamura results to conclude that it's best left for chapati making).  Your "aata" appears not to be durum.  Good find and great bake!

Tom

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Tom.. and thanks for the generous words.

Like any region that produces wheat, I believe Indian wheat/ pakistan wheat (or indian subcontinent collectively) is of various types and attributes. There is the durum like variety, the hard winter variety and the plain ordinary ones. Judging from the performance of the dough, i believe that the Atta used above is a blend of indian plain wheat , and pakistani hard winter. 

-Khalid

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Delicious looking bread!

The reports on TFL of bread made with high extraction flour have always caught my attention, but as milling/sieving is not in my plans, I have accepted I won't get to taste such bread. Wristwatch smartphones are all well and good - I'd rather an online taste facility, the slice in your photos is begging to be lifted from the screen.

I purchase many things (spices, dried fruit, coconut, seeds, non-gluten flours etc)  in bulk from wonderful stores run by Indian people, but I buy wheat and rye flour at the supermarket or the organic store. The myriad of pallets of wheat flour in those stores, the variety and the size of the bags overwhelms me and I have never looked carefully at them, and kind of assumed they were more suited to flatbreads. Next time I am over in the city I'll take the time to examine the labels and see what I can find. If the bag is too big, I may find on asking they have similar flour available loose, but labelled such that I can't recognize it. Over the years I have purchased many interesting non-wheat flours with names unknown to me, trying new foods after asking how the flour is used and getting a 'recipe'. (My prejudice shows when I am amused that it is usually the men in the stores who delight in telling me how such flour is used in their home.) But I never thought to ask about the wheat flour.

Thank you very much for the heads up.

Robyn

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks , Robyn!

You are bound to find some good authentic Indian Atta flour in those stores. I know most Indians, especially northern ones make their chapatis at home, and the store sales person may help you out.

Now is the time to try a good miche, with high extraction flour; Robyn!

-Khalid

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

like the Golden Temple Flour for bread if the atta is re sifted out and used to feed the levain and or scalded and soaked.  If you sift it out, it is like any other durum semolina but your flour is very different than that.  It is nice to be able to  get some good high extraction flour without having to mill it.  i'm guessing it wasn't as thirsty as home milled too?

Love the bold bake, diamond scoring and open crumb.  Well done Khalid and

Happy baking

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, DA! True, the flour is a tad less thirsty than the home made version. 

-Khalid

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Great miche, Khalid, and congrats on your discovery.

There's a few Indian restaurants where I live and I'm almost positive that (high extraction) atta flour exists in town. Your results are fantastic so I think it's worth searching. And I'd owe you much thanks if I can find any similar products.

Wish me luck!

Zita

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks Zita!

Yes, you'll easily find it. I wish you best of luck.

-Khalid

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Zita!

Bake sourdough with it, you'll love the results.

-Khalid

golgi70's picture
golgi70

What other flours are in this miche?  I don't have the books you guys collect so I'm not familiar with the formula.  Looks fantastic.  

 

Josh

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Josh

The Miche has only high extraction wheat flour, and it is leavened with a stiff high extraction flour levain. The final dough is 80% hydration.

-Khalid

ananda's picture
ananda

A fine looking loaf indeed Khalid,

Your post about this high extraction flour leaves me asking lots of questions....a good thing!

Is it really stoneground Atta flour?   I ask this with 2 ideas in mind.   Firstly, the fine grind of the more typical wholewheat Atta has major impact on amylase activity which I know you are familiar with from previous comments you have made on TFL.   Linked to this, stone grinding is a less efficient form of milling in terms of separation of the grain.   What I mean by this is that a 90% extraction roller-milled flour is, ordinarily, different to its equivalent stoneground version.   Further to this, the Farmhouse flour I use from Gilchesters is approximastely 85% extraction.   It is stoneground, and equally fine.   It also produces a lot browner loaf than the one you showcase here....and I use 25% white flour in the leaven portion!

So I suspect the extraction is more likely to be high 70s to low 80s in % terms.

Still, a great loaf; the resemblance to the Hamelman version is quite obvious.

Very best wishes

Andy

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Andy

Well it darkened considerably after two days. Furthermore, the extraction rate as given in similar flours sold under the name chakki atta (stone ground whole wheat) is 92%. I've seen indian wheat, and milled it myself; it is a small light brown grain that is softer than typical hard winter wheat. Therefore, i do believe that it is a genuine high extraction flour.

Thanks andy!

-Khalid

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Khalid,
This is a beautiful miche and very glad you found a flour you are happy with, for this type of bread.
It's a great photo - the dusting of flour at the top of the loaf contrasting with the dark, boldly-baked crust.
:^) breadsong

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Breadsong!

I did not dust the top with any flour, it was the traces of rice flour in the dusted kitchen towel that left this patch.

-Khalid