The Fresh Loaf

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Died and Gone to Gluten heaven

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RobertS's picture
RobertS

Died and Gone to Gluten heaven

My dear TFL-ers:


May I present my just-baked cold-fermented, pull-shaped, parchment on cookiesheet-baked, rustica baguette. 72 hours in fridge, 6 hours warming and fermenting out of fridge, 1 hour proofing, using unbleached AP flour from Robin Hood Mills in Canada. Baked at 475F convection with steam for 24 minutes. Sweet and pliable crust, and an extra strong crumb structure that was elastic and chewy, yet soft and sweet on the tongue. Forgive the smudge of butter at upper middle of slice.


Somehow, I can never attain these very good results using only bread flour.


Question: anyone out there who strongly favours AP for baguettes, and why?


 

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Nice!


The crumb is denser than I would have expected from an AP flour, but the open structure is quite nice. And you didn't use an old dough levain to get it either. That's neat!


I'm partial to AP flour for the traditional French baguette, but I'm flexible for other varieties. A French baguette needs light, open crumb, a very chewy crust, and you can't get that with a high-protein flour. (Or, at least, I can't. Other bagicians might be able to).


-


Is that butter I see on that there baguette?


Blasphemer! I jest. :D

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Good Morning:


You were sharp to spot the somewhat dense crumb. That resulted from a departure from my normal method: I folded the dough several times before dividing and pulling it. Should have just let the dough settle on the counter, plumped it up to the correct height, and cut away.


Agree with you on AP for French baguettes, but do you have opinion on why hi-protein flours don't measure up to AP's?


Yeah, 'tis butter, but please note that I at least fessed-up to this sin in my original post. :-)


Your feedback is appreciated, Wiggy.


 

foodslut's picture
foodslut

A buddy of mine elsewhere in Ontario gets outstanding results with Robin Hood as well.


As for the butter, first I've heard of any such taboo/sin.  ANY good bread shouldn't NEED butter for flavour, but my sweetie from Montreal cannot have a good "jambon beurre" without the beurre :)

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Yeah, you'd think there were enough sins already without including buttery ones. :-)


But "jambon beurre" means "buttered ham, so not sure what you mean Foodslut. LOL


RobertS

foodslut's picture
foodslut

.... my sweetie has had loads of sandwiches made with butter and great ham on good baguettes in France, so it's hard to have "ham and butter" without the butter element.


Or am I reading this COMPLETELY wrong, not realizing you all mean it's a taboo to eat JUST baguette chunks with butter on them?  If so, I stand corrected - I'm with you all on that! :)  Reminds me of when I'd bring sandwiches to school as a kid, and other kids would ask why there was no butter.  I'd say, "because I like the taste of the bread and the lunch meat".  Mind you, this is Italian bread and great (often home-made) cured meats, so I was quite lucky.

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Foodslut:


Hey, it wasn't me who started this taboo/sin/blasphemy thing about eating butter on bread. And the person who did was just joking, anyway.


Speaking of sandwiches..... I remember 12-hour days when we were kids, taking peanut butter sandwiches to the shores of Lake Temiskaming in Northern Ontario, which was just a few hundred yards from our house. We swam and sunbathed all day. But damn, we were tired of peanut butter sandwiches after a month or so of this. Then along comes a kid whose mother had been making roast beef sandwiches for him for a month. He eagerly swapped them for our peanut butter ones. We still talk about our culinary coup to this day.


Happy Baking!


RobertS

jlewis30's picture
jlewis30

If butter is blasphemy I am going to burn down under, or rather sizzle as I have excellent marbling =P

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

The grill is ready. Kindly disrobe. :D

alabubba's picture
alabubba

Easy question, easy answer.


French flour is weaker than US flour. I don't even like KA AP for baguettes. To strong IMHO.  My grocery has a store brand unbleached AP that makes the best baguettes. Throw a Tbsp of cake flour per cup of AP to lower the gluten even more.

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Good Morning:


You hear so much about KA AP, and I must admit I have considered ordering some by mail, but the freight to Toronto is prohibitive. As far as I know, it's not available in this city.


Don't know the vital stats on Robin Hood vs KA AP, but your post has prompted me to look into them. Meanwhile, I take it that you feel France-French baguettes are the yardsticks for quality, and emulating them is the goal?


At this point, I wish I had the opportunity to taste the baguettes coming out of the ovens of the avant-garde bakers over there. Because, IMHO, my (BBA's actually) baguettes are superior to the ones typically sold in Paris ---which I have tasted extensively ---just as P.R. promised when he provided us with Gosselin's methods and materials.


I have noted your cake flour trick and will try it.


Thank you for your post Alabubba.


RobertS

Chuck's picture
Chuck

This is just my own rather eccentric opinion with nothing much to back it up (and I don't want to get into a "religious slugfest"), but:


It seems to me high-gluten ("bread") flour is mostly a shortcut for occasional home bakers. Users can skimp on the kneading and get away with it. And users can get a lot of "structure" even though they're not at all careful with temperatures, times, etc.


But for serious baking, I just avoid it. Even North American All Purpose flour is "strong" by European standards. Particularly "Artisan" recipes were developed over hundreds of years in places where the high-gluten flour in our markets wasn't even an option.


(To my mind, the one legitimate use of bread flour is bagels. They're supposed to be "chewy".  And their development history [specifically in New York City] used the strong native flours that were readily available.)


(Also, if a recipe specifically calls for "bread" flour, that recipe may not work quite right with AP flour without a little tweaking. The very first time you make that recipe, you may wish to go ahead and use the "bread" flour it calls for so you can see what the recipe creator meant.)

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Good Afternoon:


Thanks for your detailed reply, where you talk about why you prefer AP over bread flour. I never thought about the question of which one is easier to make bread with, and so appreciated your experience along those lines. There is no doubt AP is the more traditional flour, and as with most things, people will just have to agree to disagree on which delivers the goods more consistently over the very wide range range of the different bread types.


One of the delights I find with baking (and I am a newcomer to it) is the almost unlimited opportunity to experiment with a large number of variables as I search for what I personally think is "great" bread.


One of my continuing favourite experiments is substituting bread and AP flours for each other, and playing with various combinations of them in a particular batch. So I hear you when you say "tweaking" is a part of substituting one for the other. Ah, this whole business is more an art than a science, isn't it?


RobertS

grind's picture
grind

The only way to make the higher gluten flours work in this capacity to to super hydrate them with a vigorous fermentation.  I've had some luck doing it this way, but you gotta go all the way to the flour's breaking point.  It's scarry, but fun too.  Cheers, Tony.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

High gluten flour does have its place in the baking world.  Bagels, for example, derive their dense chewy texture from high gluten flour.  This flour is also often used for pizza dough as it has qualities that lend themselves well to pizza crust.  In general bread baking, I think you will be happier with a flour that has a bit lower protein content and leave the high gluten product to its special and unique applications.


Jeff


Robert....very nice looking bread

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Thank you for the compliment, and for taking the time to weigh in on the bread vs AP discussion. Like me, you are an AP enthusiast.


I have never attempted bagels, so don't have a clue about the suitability of high-gluten flour in their making. (I assume by "high gluten" you mean "bread flour",  even though, technically, "high-gluten flour" denotes a specialized type of flour that has even more gluten than bread flour.)


As for pizza dough, you will surely find people on both sides of the fence because they have different ideas about what a good pizza crust should look and taste like. However, it is my understanding that the large majority of pizza makers prefer AP to bread dough.


Good baking!


RobertS


 

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

It sounds like we're confusing bread flour with hi-gluten (bread) flour, two distinctly different flours.


They are so different that, when I see a recipe that calls for "hi-gluten flour OR bread flour", I cringe, I stammer, I hold my breath, I turn blue, I pass out.


No, seriously...


Hi-gluten has proportionately more protein (or, depending on how you look at it, proportionately less starch) than bread flour.



  • KA Hi-Gluten Bread Flour is 14.1% protein

  • KA Bread Flour, for example is 12.7% protein.


They're so different that you can tell them apart just by looking at them side-by-side. They are completely different to the touch.


Try making bagels with bread flour and you get a close approximation, but it won't have a bagel's essential qualities. Try with hi-gluten flour and you'll see a remarkable difference: now that's a bagel!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Actually, KA Bread flour is considered a high gluten bread flour. KA bread flour has the highest protein of all US mass market(national) bread flours. Most mass market US bread flours are in the 11-12 % protein range.


Their 14.1% flour(Sir Lancelot) is referred to as just high gluten flour.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

I see.


It's a problem of semantics then, with no objective name to % protein.


Bah! I protest!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Fact is, Robin Hood "AP" flour is higher in protein, (12%), than my White Lily bread flour(11.7).


Forget about the labels, understand your flour(protein levels, etc).

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hello mrfrost:


How true. The discussion has meandered into semantics, when what we need are good old facts and figures.


What I was hoping to hear from this very experienced group was: a list of the crust and crumb and flavour differences resulting from using the same recipe and methodology, but in case A, using bread flour, and in Case B, AP flour.


In other words, if we ran a controlled experiment, of course varying liquid amounts if necessary, what does the literature say we would discover? And why, scientifically, would we get a particular result? The discussion would include exactly what the differences between Bread and AP are (besides protein pecentage).


The reason I'm asking for help is that, while I have read quite a bit on this subject, I have found a lot of contradictory information, and I am not sure who the reliable authorities are on this subject.


By the way, you are right about Robin Hood Unbleached (& Bleached) All-Purpose: 12%. You are probably aware that their  Homestyle White Bread Flour, which comes only in bleached, is 13%.


RobertS

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

There's a book called "Bread Science: The Chemistry and Craft of Making Bread" by Emily Buehler that will probably answer your questions.


Fair warning: It reads like a PhD thesis, at least to my small brain.


It's available on Amazon.com.

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Wiggy:


Thanks, but I think I'll pass on "Bread Science" unless I can borrow it from library. My bok budget is busted for now.


Hope all goes well in your kitchen!


RobertS

reddragon's picture
reddragon

I'd been wondering about the advisability of bread flour too, so this discussion was very informative for me. I had reached the conclusion myself that AP was better for baguettes, but is it fair to say that when you're baking multigrain, heavily seeded breads the bread flour is preferable to make a stronger dough?


Murvet

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

I'd agree with that.


I'd add breads made with dried fruits and nuts, like fig-almond bread, stollen, etc.


There are a lot of uses for bread flour.


I'd never dismiss it as a limited or niche product. 


You can even use it for some baguettes, like Leslie Mackey's Greek Olive baguette.

MickiColl's picture
MickiColl

just how do I determine the gluten content of flour ? on the packages it only gives protein count.


KA (and every other unbleached AP in my area) gives protein of AP as 4% .. bread flour is given 6%


how does this relate to gluten .. and do I really care, since on they aren't the same ?

grind's picture
grind

Check out Central Milling's Beehive AP organic flour, specially formulated for baquettes and softer crumb breads.  I think it might be a "true" AP flour.  Some Costcos sell it.  I just have some on order, so I haven't tried it yet.  But they are a great milling outfit.  I have used their other flours and they were really reliable and did what they were supposed to do.  If you phone them, they'll help you locate some.  Cheers, Tony.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Their list of flours is a thing of beauty.


Here's their contact email address: ngiusto@centralmilling.com


They have new flours for pizza, neat. Type 00 normal; reinforced. Reinforced? That's funny.

wally's picture
wally

AP is an unfortunate label in that it covers flours that vary widely in their protein content.  Someone, perhaps Dan DiMuzio, once pointed out in this forum that it's more a marketing label than a descriptive one.


That said, I can tell you that King Arthur's AP - which is the retail version of their Sir Galahad flour sold to restaurants - is about 11.7% protein content, and when Jeffrey Hamelman teaches courses up there on baguettes, it is the flour he uses.


Flours with a protein content in excess of 12%, according to both Hamelman and James MacGuire, will not produce the distinctively crisp, crackly crust associated with baguettes.


So, as mrfrost indicated above, the important thing to know is the protein content of your flour.


Bottom line: Yes, AP can produce wonderful baguettes if its protein content is below 12%.


Larry

GENE FOSTER's picture
GENE FOSTER

The total % protein calculation has me confused.


Nowhere on the nutrion facts label is the percentage % protein listed.


i.e  the following three flours:


KA Unbleached bread flour 30 g has 4 g protein. (Wouldl this  be 4/30 = 13.33%)


Private Selection Organic Unbleached AP from Kroger has 3 g protein per 30 g. (Would this be 3/30 = 10%)


Sir Lancelot KA has 4 g protein per 30 g. Likewise 13.33%


Is my math all screwy or what?  No where on the nutrition facts is there a Protein % listing.


My KA catalog shows unbleached bread flour with 12.7% protein.


My KA catalog shows Sir Lancelot at 14%.


Since both KA unbleached bread flour and the Sir Lancelot both have 4 g of protein per 30 g (1/4 C.) of flour, how can they have different %'s of protein?


I am confused, because nowhere on the label is there a % of protein.


Gene


 


 


 


 

wally's picture
wally

Gene - You can't determine the protein level using the method you've employed above.  You're much better off going to a website for the flour - like KA's - and there they will tell you what the protein content is.


Most retail flours don't provide this information of their packaging, though if you do some searching for product info online you can often find it.


Larry

GENE FOSTER's picture
GENE FOSTER

Larry:


Thanks, I got it.  I guess that I was also trying to get the protein % manually - when I have never gotten a reply from the flour site.


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

It's because of rounding.


That 4 grams of protein can actually be from 3.5 to 4.4 grams of protein. Only the manufacturer, or those with the wherewithall to analyze, know the precise value.

GENE FOSTER's picture
GENE FOSTER

mrfrost:


Thanks, I got it now.  Just never thought of it as rounding.  Ever wonder why the protein % is not listed on the bag, when it is important to us?


Gene

MickiColl's picture
MickiColl

protein not listed on the bag ? in my stores, the protein content is listed on every bag .. even the generics .. am I missing something ?

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Unfortunately the easily available "protein content" listed in grams in the "nutrition label" box is not useful to bakers like you no matter what (not even with some sort of fancy calculation).


If the gluten content as a percentage with a decimal point is not listed in the fine print elsewhere on the bag (it's often not), search these places until you find it:



  • the miller's website

  • the miller's telephone number for user questions (look on the bag)

  • this website (TFL) via it's "search" function

  • a full web search (using something like Google)


You'll probably quickly settle on just a very few flours, which you buy over and over. And you'll remember the gluten content of your few flours, so you won't have to keep looking something up.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Because they are not guaranteeing(except KA) the precise percentages. One batch of wheat may have 3.6 grams protein per 30 grams of flour:


3.6 / 30 = 12.0 %


A batch processed from another crop may have 3.5 grams protein, (11.7%), etc, etc.


These small differences only matters to us picky breadmakers.


Only KA(that I know of) pledges to seek out wheat which measures up to a very specific protein level. Even then, they don't print that on their labels. Only the required minimums are printed on the labels.

saltandserenity's picture
saltandserenity

KA Sir Lancelot flour is the only way to go with bagels!  I have made Peter Reinhart's BBA bagel recipe countless times.  Once I was out of KA Sir lancelot and used regular bread flour, boosted with vital wheat gluten.  They just weren't the same.  I live in Canada and take a big shipping hit everytime I order the KA Sir Lanceot flour but I am addicted!

maiasimon's picture
maiasimon

sign up for their mailing list and get occasional free shipping coupons.  that's when I order my KA flours

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Some of them are gluten, some of them are not.  As flours vary so does their gluten, as grains vary so does the % of protein and the ratios of gluten to other proteins.  The amounts can only be guessed from the protein % on the package.  Some flours have extreme high protein but low gluten.   Different grains have different characteristics and  respond differently to fermentation.  The types of protein bonds formed when the flour is wet determine how long the dough will resist fermenting.  (Salt strengthens these bonds; enzymes and thiol action will weaken them.)


US Bread flours with more gluten than regular All Purpose (or AP the standard used for a particular area > don't forget there are regional differences and preferences)  tend to take longer to respond to fermentation and its decomposing processes.  The unseen enzyme activity is generally higher because of this.  So a recipe using Bread flour generally has a longer fermenting time.  Short ferments result in tougher breads unless the activity in the additions (like whole grains soakers and seeds) is high or there is inclusion of non gluten flours and acids.  


If a longer ferment results in more flavor, and bread flour provides a basis for a long ferment, then it goes to reason that the end product with bread flour and a long ferment would be tastier to AP bread.   To Compare the two, bread flour baguettes and AP baguettes, one would have to be able to analyze the exact moments in both doughs where the best flavour esters are high and fermentations are equal.   Is that possible?  Is this comparing apples to oranges?


A long ferment for AP would be shorter than a long ferment for a flour with more gluten.  Enter preferments, retardation and tweaking and the fun of manipulation.  The demands we put on the dough determines the kind of flour (or blends) we will use.  If AP gives you what you want, use AP.  I have used it lots of times.  I still haven't mastered a pretty one, but we ate them.


If you ask me, as I get older, the "flavour" is farther down the fermenting time line for both flours but the resulting loaf just won't look like good visual "bread."  That's the reason some of us push so close to that overproofing line in our quests for more flavour.  How often have I come up with a loaf that was flat but tasted great?  Then ...there are bread pans.  :)  Like your picture.   Very orange butter.


Mini


 

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hello Mini:



There is butter in the picture, as I said, but your  "very orange butter" is actually a dab of MacLaren's cheddar cheese from the cheese tub in the background. Enclosing a photo of another loaf from same batch, sans the butter, sans the cheese, and throwing in for good measure a shot of the bottom of the baguette (bottoms don't get enough --- er ---  play on TFL. :-)


Mini, your post is chock-a-block full of great info on the issue "AP Baguettes versus Bread Flour Baguettes", for which I am most grateful. I think you have hit the nail on the head, if I read your response correctly: you seem to imply that it is not possible to have a single sensible controlled experiment to decide which produces the better flavoured baguette , not only because the flours themselves, to perform optimally in baguette recipes, need their own special handling (e.g. more or less water; longer or shorter ferment times), but also because "better" will be forever a subjective term. I get it.


Nevertheless, I would like to propose an experiment for those of you willing to do so, that is set up this way, in outline. (There are many other ways to set it up, especially concerning the flours used, and hopefully someone will work out the proper details for me.) The goal would not be to come up with something as crass and dumb as a "winner", but to come out with an objective list of the differences in the outcomes. People can live with that form of reporting, and hopefully these outcomes can be used to inform their own preferred baking methods and recipes.


1. The final products would be rated in terms of crust, crumb and flavour using a scale to be provided. The scales would cover a lot of ground, and would measure several different very specific aspects of crust, crumb and flavor. Each baker would bake two batches, one with Bread, one with AP, each baked in the "same" environmental conditions (ie same day).


2. The flours used must be the same for all bakers, and the bread flour must be 2%-3% richer in gluten, and hopefully both flours are of the same brand. (Any suggestions re which flours should be selected?) Perhaps there could be two or three groups of bakers using other brands of Bread and AP flours. Hey! Wouldn't  Candian versus American flours be a blast!


3. The ingredients would be table salt, instant yeast, filtered water, and unbleached flours.


4. Bakers would use as far as humanly possible, the same methodology from beginning to end. The methodology would be specified by someone far more experienced than I. It is understood that the water amount may be specified differently for the Bread versus the AP brand involved.


5. The bakers will be asked to return not only scaled responses on a standard reporting form, but any additional information they feel bears on the results they report. Photos would also be included with their returns.


I can imagine, now, a two-month-long back-and-forth on the merits of attempting such an experiment, and on how it ought to be set up. But I do hope, in the process, more light is shone on this issue.


 


 



 

reddragon's picture
reddragon

I learn so much from your comments. Thanks much.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Butter is too easy to spot.  Ah, the last of the cheddar!   Somehow I knew that was cheddar.  Now sick for want as reality sets in.  


Nice bottom.  One can definitely see it lifted its bottom in the oven for a nice shape.  I love watching that happen.  Parchment wrinkles.  Corn meal?


Mini

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hey Mini:


Great to hear from you once more. Now, what about my proposed experiment? I see it happening in the winter months, when most of us are living in kitchens heated to around 72F.


We could take our time, working as a small committe perhaps,  designing the experiment as scientifically as possible before then. (I have had science training). My idea was to use the very leanest recipe --- baguettes --- and the simplest methodology --- the Reinhard BBA --- with everyone necessarily equipped with scales and two oven thermometers, and baking, say, on parchment on top of a cookie sheet. Inadvertent and unintentional methodological variations would be reported and this data would be a good source of data in its own right.


Are you on a diet Mini, that eating a little innocent cheddar is not part of your current reality? :-) And yes, parchment paper wrinkles and corn meal. Nothing seems to escape your eye.


RobertS

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with all the wonderful alpine cheeses dominating the market!  "When in Austria, do as the Austrians do."   Cheese is a regular feature on my diet!  We have very happy cows in our pristine alpine meadows.  (You may have thought it was the people yodeling.)



Now, what about my proposed experiment?



Let me absorb that (or chew the cud) for a little while.  I think there is a lot of info on the spec sheets for the various flours.  Learning how to read them would be a first step.  Most of the information you search for probably exists.


The fun part is adapting that information to the home oven or grill or wfo or mini oven or toaster oven or bbq pit (or auto manifold, neighborhood volcano/lava vent, hot springs, solar oven, or microwave) and trying hundreds of ideas for getting dough baked, frustrating as it can sometimes be.  This is a creative learning process!  When you're ready, you'll find the information. 


Mini


 

grind's picture
grind

*new


Submitted by grind on August 11, 2010 - 2:04pm.
Here's a certificate of

Here's a certificate of analysis for two different dated batch codes.  It's a great illustration of the differences between the same flour by the same company delivered on the same day.  Just a note, the 159 flour made crappy bread lol.

 

Your name: grind
Subject:

Comment: * <p><img src="http://www.thefreshloaf.com/file:///Users/tonydepasquale/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/moz-screenshot-2.png" border="0" /></p> <p>Here's a certificate of analysis. &nbsp;I'm not too sure what it means but I do know that the bread was crap. &nbsp;So stay away from these parameters.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.thefreshloaf.com//files/u26643/certificate%20of%20analysis.jpeg" border="0" width="452" height="256" /><img src="http://www.thefreshloaf.com/file:///Users/tonydepasquale/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/moz-screenshot.png" border="0" /><img src="http://www.thefreshloaf.com/file:///Users/tonydepasquale/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/moz-screenshot-1.png" border="0" /></p>

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Can you share the brand of flour with us?


The conventional wisdom seems to be that some millers (KAF for example) try really hard to not do this kind of thing, while others (especially some "store" brands?) do it bigtime.


I'd like some assurance two bags of flour would behave the same way despite different batch numbers; I don't want to have to keep track of flour batches. And my understanding is the best way to do that is to use the right flour brand.

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Whoa! The veriablity of the ash and absorption are scary.


And these are the same brands of flour!?


Mein gott, that's disappointing.


This makes me wonder if my bread failures have no basis in (problems with my) technique: It's the flours fault!

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Can you tell us more specifically what "bread was crap" means? (or what you ultimately had to do to "fix" it?)



  • the ingredients wouldn't mix readily?

  • it gummed up the mixer?

  • it climbed up the mixer and jammed it?

  • attempt to mix with other grains just marbled?

  • it didn't rise in the usual amount of time?

  • it was so gloppy it couldn't be shaped?

  • it wouldn't hold its shape during proofing?

  • it took forever to proof?

  • it (over)proofed too fast?

  • it had a metallic taste?

  • it tasted like bathroom cleaner smells?

  • ...?




I too don't (yet:-) know what all these numbers mean, but I'm trying to learn. Other than batch 0159 seeming to need less water in the recipe, so far I'm at a loss to understand what these numbers really mean. Hopefully knowing just what went wrong will provide a clue...


 


(Also, is it true you're in the UK? If so, I wonder how your experience translates to Canada or the U.S.)

grind's picture
grind

For me it was the high falling number, especially the 450 one - the dough just sat there like drywall mud.  Before I asked for the CofA from the mill, I figured the falling number must have been on the high side, so I slowly added more diastatic malt to each successive dough.  It got a little better but the loaves were short by over a third in terms of volume.  The crumb stayed tight.  My last bake, I added the highest percentage of malt and the crumb was all of a sudden gummish and still "collapsed."  Not what I strive for.  So it seemed to me that in order to get the dough moving along and fermenting, I needed to add too much malt, which then became detrimental overall.  The dough had no proof strength and virtually no oven spring.  It was tragic.


It was a little confusing because when I finally did get the bulk fermentation happening at a reasonable pace, there was someover over proofing during the final proof; almost instantly.  Bucky is the word I'd use to describe this intantaneous over proofing.   I just couldn't get it right, if you know what I mean.


I think there was also too much damaged starch in the batch, so the combination is quite deadly because adding the malt just exacerbates that problem.  It was damned if I do, damned if I don't scenario.  My favorite.


Usually there's a sweet spot in all of the tweaking, but I couldn't find it this time.


A bit muddled, but there you have it.


To boot, it tasted like bathroom cleaner smells!!


One aside, everytime I talked to the very nice man at the mill, he kept wanting to sell me some dough conditioner to improve the flour.  I just can't go there.


 


 


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

tells me the 59 (left) would be a short rise flour and not take a long ferment and the 60 (right) could because the ash would buffer rising acid levels (sinking pH) in the dough.  I would use the 60 for a sourdough.


The particals that were caught in the sieves tells me there is a variety in flour particle size from coarse to fine in 60 and would bennifit from an autolyse, giving it time to soak up the water. 


Grind, if you still have the 59 flour, what happens with a reasonable amount of malt, adding a flour with more ash content like 20% oat flour?


Mini


 


 

grind's picture
grind

say about the ash content.  I'm used to a higher value, with better results all round, but especially the dough's extensibility.  Never knew about it's bufering role.  Thanks.  I do still have a bunch of bags, but I don't have any oat flour.  I've tried blending it with some wwf and I have a rye based bread with cracked rye in it.  Even those instances prove less than ideal.  The spring's not there.


I have barley, spelt, white kamut, rye, whole wheat, whole semolina and the more yellow one.  Any of these work for an experiment?  Cheers, grinder.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Give it just enough bulk rise to be legal and use instant yeast.   Spelt gives lots of stretch and ash, try 30% (ev. 50%) and 10% rye for more flavor.   Don't let dough rise more than double for all rises.


Might want to try taking some of the 59 and cook it with water as in water roux.  See what happens. 


If 59 feels too starchy to you, try working some raw egg white for stability into the liquids without adding a different flour, make a few roll size breads.   Compare.


Mini

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Good Morning Mini:


I take back what I said about parchment paper wrinkles....No, what you see under the loaf is in fact a plastic cutting board. (Somehow I thought you saw evidence ON the bottom of the loaf that I had baked it on parchment paper --- which in fact I did. LOL)


Ah --- your point was you can't get cheddar easily in Austria. Pity. I love all kinds of cheeses, but a favourite of mine since the 1940's has been MacLarens's Cold Pack Aged Cheddar Cheese spread. Mmmm....


Of course I will dig up as much info as I can from written sources, but am still determined to run an experiment. I think it would  be a hoot for all TFL-ers who participate in it, and a chance to test theory against real-life practice, using a hopefully large group under controlled conditions. As you suggest,  there is much fun in personal experimentation. Agreed. This would be just another experiment, but a communal one.


And Mini, I really hope you take part in it!


RobertS


 

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

Not quite what you had in mind, but something I'm going to try here in few days:


Three old-dough levains made using:


   1. KA AP Flour (levain)


   2. KA Bread Flour (levain-er)


   3. KA Hi-Gluten Sir Lancelot (levain-est)


I'll make three batches of 4 baguettes, one with each of the above.


Each levain will be about 30% of the whole, with the remaining 70% KA AP Flour.


I know what the first will look like, as I make it weekly. It's chewy with a light, open crumb.


I wonder what the other two will do.


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


 (Somehow I thought you saw evidence ON the bottom of the loaf that I had baked it on parchment paper --- which in fact I did. LOL)



I did.  :)


Mini  CSI    (crust surface investigation)

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Mini:


OK, spill the beans. I give up --- how did you know?


RobertS

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...and you said so in the opening article.  :)


The wrinkles come from moisture from the bread going into the parchment and deforming it where the dough lies, the outside edges being dry.  In the oven, the paper dries out releasing steam which escapes in channels forming wrinkles where the still impressional  dough is touching it.  It marks the bottom like a fingerprint. 


Paper wrinkles like paper does.  With wall paper, one wets the paper with watery glue and lets it "size" until the paper has stabilized before hanging it or risk wrinkles as it dries.  I have not yet bothered to wet the parchment first, let it "size", and stretch it flat to park my dough on it to rise.  There might be a difference, less wrinkles or more.  Doesn't bother me enough to test it... yet.  Someone who is about to bake two loaves with parchment, might want to try it and report back.


Playing with those thoughts, it also might be interesting to create a pattern in the parchment that would show up in the baked dough, the bottom of the loaf becomming the top or loaves with signature bottoms.  Orgami cranes pops into my head set under the wet dough... or folded rows for a rilled effect.  Cut paper?  Pizza with pretty bottoms?  What could I do with a cool iron and parchment?  Oh... I think I better start a thread of my own...  "Bread Bottoms"  What do they tell us?


Mini

wwiiggggiinnss's picture
wwiiggggiinnss (not verified)

There's a pizza company in Seattle called Pagliacci Pizza.


It's popular because of the high-quality ingredients, chewy crust (and rather unpopular because they're ridiculously expensive ($15 for a 8" cheese)).


Just a few weeks ago, when I returned to my old-dough levain baguettes from Clavel, I noticed that the bottoms of my baguettes were identical to the bottoms one finds on a Pagliacci pizza.


Pagliacci's crust is very chewy too, just like a baguette, so I wondered: Has the bottom of an old-dough levain baguette revealed the secret of Pagliacci Pizza's pizza crust?


I made a pizza using a batch of old-dough levain baguette dough and, voila! mes amis, I have cracked the secret.


Pagliacci's pizza dough is Clavel's baguette dough.


Sneaky.

alabubba's picture
alabubba

Mini, You are such a well of knowledge.


I have seen "Coins" or "Stamps" that are meant to go under a loaf while baking to leave an imprint.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4996/baker039s-mark-or-bread-stamps



I think I need to figure out a way to make some of these. Should not be too difficult with modern materials.


 

grind's picture
grind

Hey ckollars, in the ideal world I think you are right.  But I gotta tell you, this happens all the time, especially with organic flour.  This last flour is from Nutrasun and it's not from the store shelf.  I have a very small market bakery and that's probably the biggest struggle I have.  The flour can be great for 8 months and then all hell breaks loose.  Usually in the summer.  Don't get me started on too much stach damage - suffice it to say that I'm an expert on faulty flour!!  If only I didn't have to be ... .  Cheers, grind.

grind's picture
grind

Apologies if the last post was off topic.  Feel free to delete it.  Cheers, Tony.

RobertS's picture
RobertS

Hi Tony:


We're talking flours here, and your post provided me, at least, with an important piece of info about flours, backed up by hard evidence. Thanks for the post.


RobertS