Purposely Oxidized my Bread
I grind my own whole wheat, and have had problems with directly making breads with fresh-ground WW flour. That is, too slack, a poor rise, and absolutely NO oven spring. I had checked out Functional Additives in Baked Goods (Stauffer 1990) from my school's library for a little reading material and read about oxidation agents. Most flour is purposely oxidized to a certain degree to get a tighter gluten, better rise and oven spring. Big companies use bleaching agents to accomplish oxidation in less than an hour. Compare that to letting fresh flour sit for 4 to 14 days to get the same degree of oxidation, and it makes sense. Because I grind my flour about 5 lbs at a time, most of my flour is oxidized by the time I use it, although the first bread I make with the flour is often problematic.
Besides chemical bleaching agents (Chlorine dioxide, azodicarbonamide, bromate), there are alternatives. Europeans use fava bean flour at 1-2% to get the same degree of oxidation. Some folks say this is why european bread isn't good any more, but I'm young and the european breads I've had are still better than quick-oxidized breads in the US.
So, to try to ameliorate my fresh flour problems, I added 1-2% ground garbanzos. According to this, whole garbanzos do have a sizable amount of lipoxygenase activity, the enzyme that promotes oxidation.
My formula was as follows:
200 g whole wheat flour (not freshly ground, ~3 weeks old, with 5% malted wheat)
100 g water
100 g overproofed starter
400 g Starter (after 12 hrs)
170 g old whole wheat flour (with 5% malt)
330 g freshly ground whole wheat
350 g water
18 g "real salt"
8 g fresh ground garbanzos
30 g vegetable oil (soybean)
Procedure: Mixed to uniformity, not kneaded. Set at ~30-40˚F for 16 hrs. Removed from refrigeration and kneaded. Now here were the differences obvious. This same dough with naturally oxidized flour is pretty tight, but kneadable. With fresh flour it rips too easily, and takes forever to get the proper amount of development. With the garbanzos, this dough was one of the most difficult breads I've ever kneaded. I considered adding more water, but decided against it. I shaped it as best I could and left it to ferment. It was 2 hours at 65-75˚F before I went to bed, putting it again at 30-40˚F. This morning I took it out again and it has been fermenting 2 hours now, and is almost double right now. I will bake it at 450˚F in a preheated cast iron lined with grits and parchment. Pics to follow.