The Fresh Loaf

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Vienna Flour, and bread types

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ananda's picture
ananda

Vienna Flour, and bread types

 


Brief Post on Vienna Flour


Uberathlete posted asking about Vienna Flour, see: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17241/what-vienna-flour


Elizabeth David (1977; pp.76), in her "English Bread and Yeast Cookery states the following: " 'Vienna' flour was in reality high quality Hungarian or Romanian flour, roller milled, fine, of medium strength and creamy white, good for 'Vienna' bread and puff pastry and yeast cakes."


She also quotes from Frederick T. Vine, "Savoury Pastry" from 1900: "undoubtedly the best flour for the purpose [puff paste] is Vienna...in the first place, flour for paste should be of good colour and finely ground, not too soft or harsh.   It should have a good percentage of gluten, but that gluten must not be so strong that it will pull the rounds into ovals and the ovals into rounds."   Vine goes on to say he found American flour sent for the purpose, to be best suited to making bread only.


David concludes, with reference to England, that "The import of Hungarian and Vienna flours virtually ceased with the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the First World War."


I offer up photographs below of typical breads which may have been made with Vienna-type flour at the time.  These were made during my time studying for my baking quals at Leeds; ostensibly to investigate different methods of manufacturing the same type of bread.   My tutor always used to look very carefully into the bag of Whitworth's Strong bread flour; he always called it "Springs", but that was the old name, and I can't remember the new one.   Whitworth's site is being renovated, so I can't find the right bag, sorry.   Anyway, it had great water absorption, but my tutor explained that by showing us the tiny dark particles in the flour, saying "they are cheating us".   Well, I always thought the bread made that day looked very fine; you can make your own minds up.


 


 


Best wishes


Andy

Comments

wally's picture
wally

Andy- They look great!  I notice under your info you just built a wood-fired oven on your deck.  Are you baking on the same surface the wood burns on, or does the wood burn under your baking deck?  I may be baking with an Alan Scott wood fired oven this Fall, and I'm looking for info on experiences.  This summer I'm taking a class at King Arthur Flour in Vermont, but any insight is welcomed!


Larry

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Larry,


I still have to complete a chimney for this beast...however, it's a fire within the oven, and it looks something like this:



So what are you going to be doing with King Arthur?


I am desperate to do the traditional French baking class with Jeffrey Hamelman and James MacGuire.   I know it sells out very quickly, but I will make it to Vermont one of these days.


Thanks for your great comments here and on the HB post


Best wishes


Andy

wally's picture
wally

Andy- Let me know once you've finished it and fired it up!  I took a class at KA with Jeffrey and James last summer (I posted under "My Excellent Adventures...."


It was fantastic!  The two of them are old friends, and it's a bit like watching Penn and Teller when they work together - as entertaining and funny as educational and serious.  If you ever get the opportunity, you'll find it worth the time and cost.


This time around I'm taking a two day course on baking with wood fired ovens given by a guest instructor named Dan Wing who lives in Vermont and travels about with a wood oven on a trailor.  I'm excited about the course and having the chance to see Jeffrey again.


Larry

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Hi Larry,


Baking with Dan Wing sounds like a lot of fun! I hope you'll find time to post about it later.


Have you read "The Bread Builders"? Dan Wing wrote it together with the late Alan Scott, and it's a great resource for both sourdough chemistry/biology and wood-fired ovens. Here's a pretty extensive preview available via Google Books.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi to both Larry and Hans,


I have the Wing/Scott book; it's listed right at the top of my booklist, along with Hamelman, in my favourites area here on TFL.


The oven is built using the plans in this book; it's ever so slightly smaller, that's all.


You are in for another treat Larry, and many of us will be looking forward to reading about it if you do post.   Meantime, I'll echo Hans' recommendation: this is a great book, you'll love it.


Best wishes


Andy

wally's picture
wally

Hans - Haven't read the book yet, but it's on my to-do list before heading up to King Arthur in June.  I'll have to share with Dan Andy's oven pics.


This time I'll remember to take a camera and I hope to have a lot to share in the way of words and pictures with everyone.


Thanks for the review!


Larry

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Larry


If you visit traditionaloven.com you will find lots of hints and tips on firing a wood fired oven, we built WFO from the cd that Rado offers and it has been great fun to use. The best things is that it is fired every friday by diploma students that make pizza for lunch as a fund raising venture and that after they have finished the oven is hot and available for any bread baking that one cares to do. its also great if you want to bung in the casserole and it is ready in time for going home. All with no wood choping or fire tending, although i do like to play with the fire. 


your course sounds like it will be great fun andwe are looking forward to seeing howit goes for you


regards yozza

wally's picture
wally

Thanks yozza!  The site looks really interesting and I'll definitely see what I can learn from it.  You're about an hour north of my brother, who having lived in Mermaid Beach for nearly 20 years, has moved slightly inlands into the mountains (cheaper real estate!)  I love Queensland, it's where I learned to scuba dive!


Larry

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Larry im in Perth Western Australia which is quite a hike from queensland which is on the otherside of the continent. REGARDS YOZZA