The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

trouble with Italian Artisan Bread

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dolcebaker's picture
dolcebaker

trouble with Italian Artisan Bread

I have a small bakery with only a convection oven, no deck, no steam.  I have been making Italian bread and it came out pretty well, no for some reason I seem to have lost it.  I want nice artisan bread with the holes like poolish baguettes.  I use a biga, high gluten flour.  Do to inability to obtain the unbleached, I have had to purchase bleached flour.  This will be my firs batch with it, and I am concerned about what it will do to my already holeless bread.  It looks more like batter bread than artisan. Tastes good, but doesn't have the right texture.  Flour, water, yeast, and malt powder.  Can anyone tell me what I am doing different?  I mix/knead in a mixer, two rises  ... too much,  not long enough?  I tried making it slacker but that didn't seem to matter. 

belfiore's picture
belfiore

salt? I didn't know what malt powder was until I started reading TFL so I don't really know what using it or not will do , however I can tell you I've never made my Sicilian grandmother's bread without salt. I have also never used bleached flour. So 2 variables to consider.


Very simple, flour, water, yeast & salt are the only ingredients, & 3 rises.


Hope you're able to disect your ingredients & methods to have the result you're looking for!


Toni

dolcebaker's picture
dolcebaker

Yes, I add salt, forgot it in the note.  Malt is the same as adding sugar to act as food for the yeast.

dolcebaker's picture
dolcebaker

3 rises? 


I do, biga each night, in the morning


1.  I mix all ingredients until pulls away


2.   autolyse for 15-20 min, finish machine knead,


3.  1st rise


 4.  I portion, rest, then I shape, 


5.  2nd rise,


6.  bake 


Where is the 3rd rise?

Elagins's picture
Elagins

bleaching accelerates the natural oxidation that flour undergoes over time.  unbleached flour that's more than a year old will show significant deterioration in terms of its gluten-forming capacity, and bleached flour will start to degrade well befor that.  after two years, you can expect consistently disappointing results.


since you probably buy in 50# bags, check the milling date of your flour that's stamped on the bag and make sure in the future that your vendors sell you nothing older than 6 months.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

dolcebaker's picture
dolcebaker

I use enough bread flour that I never thought about the date on it.  Where on the bag is it?  I don't remember even seeing it.  The label ?  I can't imagine the restaurant supply would have it sitting around for that long either. 


Thanks, I will now check my extra bag!

Elagins's picture
Elagins

with GM flours, it's usually on one of the sides, ConAgra can put it anywhere, but it's one of those giant dot-matrix printers that normally will give you the date the flour was milled and/or bagged.  i've rarely come across really old flour, since most supply houses sell a lot and rotate their stock, but occasionally, esp with specialty flours, i've seen bags a year or more old.


SG