The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

IV : T55 Trial I – ‘Baguette’ That Didn’t Become

lumos's picture
lumos

IV : T55 Trial I – ‘Baguette’ That Didn’t Become

 So, this is the first report on my trial of T55 flour my daughter brought back from Paris.  I used to use Shipton’s T55 years ago for a while, but this is the first time I’ve ever used T55 actually made in France….though it’s just a supermarket’s own brand flour, so definitely not the highest quality one.  But to be fair, the supermarket my daughter bought it from was Monoprix, which, according to Wiki, is “considered an up-scale chain and its business model was the inspiration for Waitrose,” in spite of its very un-assuring name :p,  so hopefully it’s at least not the lowest of the lowly, bog-standard flour. ::fingers crossed::

 

 The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was how yellowy the colour was and also it looked less smooth?/less fluid?/a bit more sticky? (sorry, can't find a good way to describe) than other white flour I use.

< (from left to right) Waitrose Organic Strong,  Monoprix T55, Waitrose Canadian Very Strong>

 

I ‘d always thought Waitrose Organic had creamier shade of colour than other flours I’d used (except for Waitrose's Leckford Estate flour which had even creamier shade), but compared to the T55, it looked more pinkish in comparison,  which was a surprise.

The biggest reason I wanted authentic French T55 was to find out how much difference it would make in my baguette, both taste and shape (both outside and inside) and to use the experience as my future bench mark when mixing UK flours to improvise.  So I proceeded with my regular poolish baguette recipe, of which formula I posted in my last blog.

The only change I made this time was replacing all the flours (Strong, Plain and WW) in the formula, except for small rye in the poolish, with T55 and also omitting wheatgerm completely, because I wanted to see how pure T55 tasted.

The instant I added water to the flour to make poolish, I noticed it’s very different. For a short while the flour didn’t ‘dissolve’ as easily as the strong flour (Waitrose Organic) and looked a bit like when I added water to Dove’s Pasta Flour I blogged about before which contained Durum flour. A bit grainy and more lumpy, similar to when you mix water into semolina......just for a short time initially.

After a few more stirring, the flour and water mixed well but it looked a bit more ‘fluid’ than my usual poolish, most likely because T55 (10.5%) is much lower in protein than my Strong (12.9%) .

When mixed well, I  left it to ripe at room temperature, as in the above mentioned formula.  After 7 hrs, I saw the poolish reached its peak, so I proceeded with the rest of the formula. Again, when I added all the ingredients and poolish,  I noticed immediately the dough was much softer than my usual mix. When I did S&F, again it was much softer to touch and more extensible. In utter desperation a few years ago for not being able to obtain T55 very easily here,  I had once attempted making a baguette only using UK plain flour which had a similar protein level as this T55, but it felt different from that. This time, it was extensible but there was a kind of strength in it, like a ‘core’ which 100% plain flour dough didn’t have. I thought, ‘Aha! This is how T55 make a difference in resultant baguettes!’ and put the dough in the fridge for long, cold retardation for 21 hrs, as usual.  

After 21 hrs……The dough hadn’t gained as much volume as my usual improvised-flour dough. Looked very flat and had hardly any large bubbles on the surface which I always see a few of them with my regular baguette dough after the cold retard.   And when I turned it out onto the worktop, it just spread just like a very high-hydration dough, almost like this video by Peter Reinhart.

So there was just NO WAY I could shape this into baguettes with the state of gloopy dough.  I contemplated for a while if I should do extra sets of S&F until the dough was strong enough, but I knew from my past experiences it would only give you the crumb with uniform texture without much big airy holes to speak of, unless you do another long, cold retardation after shaping,  which was not an option at the time.

So in the end, this is what it ended up as. A ciabatta with baguette-ish crumb….or a baguette who wanted to pretend it was a ciabatta, whichever you prefer to call. :p

 

(Hope nobody notices a half-bitten piece I discreetly put back among them....)

 

 

The crumb wasn't open nor did it have larger holes I would've liked, obviously because 1) I didn't slash the top because it was going to be like a ciabatta, 2) the hydration was not high enough to be a ciabatta with typically open crumb with lots of BIG holes because it was supposed to be a baguette......::sigh::

Sorry, it’s such an anti-climax.  But I must say the flavour was AMAZING! It had such a deep and more complex flavour than my usual UK flour baguettes, especially the crust. And the aroma which came out from the oven during baking was quite different, too: more wheaty and nutty.  Also the crumb had much darker colour, which I associate with really good baguettes. And the most interesting thing is its saltiness.  Even I added exactly the same amount of salt as usual, the saltiness was a little more predominant compared to my regular baguettes…or many other baguettes I’ve had  before. It’s not actually ‘saltier,’ in anyway,  the amount of ‘saltiness’ you taste is the same. But for some reason ‘the saltiness’ stood out.  It really brought back the memories of excellent baguettes I had in the long past and reminded me its lovely saltiness, Yeah….a gooooooood baguette was always salty, never sweet. I’d forgotten that……

lumos

Comments

asfolks's picture
asfolks

Great write up and beautiful bread!

I have been curious about T55, thanks for posting.

I will be looking forward to more experiments.

Alan

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you, Alan.  Relieved to hear at least one persondidn't find this totally useless. You made my day! ;)

lumos

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi lumos,

Wow - development in the final bread looks great - really good crumb configuration and a lovely cream colour, as you say. 

I found this site online for basic imported French T55 flour. Don't know if you've seen it? PnP is high but for the bulk 10kg plus postage still works out about 1.30 per kg (I think...) Cheaper than a trip to Paris, even though that is obviously the preferred way to get French flour!

https://www.frenchclick.co.uk/c-103-flour.aspx?sortby=0&dir=0&res=#results

Look forward to further reports! Best wishes, Daisy

lumos's picture
lumos

Hi, Daisy! Thanks for dropping in, and thanks, too, for your kind word.

Yes, I know there're several options for getting French T55 flours in UK (shall I tell you how many centuries I'd spent searching for it online? :p), but always P & P was the issue,  because when I used to buy Shipton's flours (including their T55) years ago, I had a very bad experience of flour bugs. (I bought in a large bulk to save on P & P)  So since then, I entirely stopped buying any flour from anyone in bulk.

Been discussing about the possible preventitive methods of bug infections many times on this forum, so I wouldn't repeat it here again, but in short, so far there doesn't seem to be any safe, sure way to prevent that, unless I move to a bigger house where I can have a large freezer to store them. Hence my long and winding journey of finding an ideal mix of improvised UK flour baguette had begun....;)

Thanks for trying to help. Really appreciate your kindness, always.

best wishes,

lumos

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi lumos,

I get you - this is like the Special Needs adviser who suggested that I give my class differentiated worksheets - 2 years on and I did that on day 1 then all the rest!...

Still I was wondering if I could get through 10kg before the bugs attack. However decided I might try 1 bag of Wessex Mill French flour first. They seem to have peppered the country with suppliers so should be one near me. You have made me  intrigued about the qualities of French flour.

Hope the baking continues well, Daisy

lumos's picture
lumos

Aha! I've been waiting for someone who'd tell me that....Wessex Mill's flour!     They seem to have quite a few stockists all over the country, and there's one not too far from me (though not too near, either...but it's on the way to Japanese food shop I sometimes go to!) who sells their flour.

If you get it, will you let me know how you like it, please?.....though I'm not sure if my nearst stockist actually stocks thier French flour.  Remember Marriage's flour? My local stockist only had plain or wholemeal flour, not bread flour....

Hope you'll have a better luck than me! :)

best wishes,

lumos

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Yes, I'm off to search some down in the local, supposedly upmarket rural 'farm shops and delicatessans' that Wessex Mill (Clarks, Wantage) claims to supply. I think it's better for me to start with just one bag and see how I go...

Sincerely hope I score some early and that the shops are good, as there is only so much I can take of wading through rattan furniture, bronze elves and overpriced fudge, without a mucky vegetable in sight, and P. muttering 'This is not a farm shop...'!

There is a thread mentioning Wessex Mill earlier on TFL but no baking notes as yet. Apparently William Black of the Natural Baking Company, which beat Raymond Blanc's bakers and others to take the title of 'Best Baguette in Oxford 2010' (as judged by ex-pat Frenchwomen), uses Wessex Mill in his sourdough at least:

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/4884034.Oxford_baguette_winners_are_the_upper_crust_of_baking/

Will let you know how it goes if I can find some.

Cordially, Daisy

 

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks, Daisy! I look forwart to your report.

I just remembered my local organic farm shops sell Wessex Mill Flours, too, but they only stock their strong flour and WW flour. 

I've seen someone saying he/she(?) had used Wessex Mill's T55 on Dan Lepard's forum aaaaaages ago, but I didn't know that person, so I wasn't sure if I could trust the person's palate.  But if William Black uses their flour, it can't be to bad, can it?

Anyway, best of luck with your flour-hunting!   Even if they don't have it, you can always come back with some bronze elves to comfort you. :p

best,

lumos

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

had a wan scone with jam in a packet :-( N0where near as nice as homemade plum jam from the orchard at our usual haunt, but still good to sit out. Looked at some quite nice furniture: Mercifully no elves.

Deli. had 5 seed and gluten free flour but no French. However they do stock it and offered to order it, so quite useful overall. Will let you know if I get any. 

Best wishes, Daisy

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks!  ....and best of lucks!

lumos

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Cheers lumos,

Have been a bit nervous getting back on the 'baguette horse' as my shaping is a bit rough. You have inspired me to try again, though. Last bake was not half bad...

Regards, Daisy

lumos's picture
lumos

If I show you how bad my baguettes use to look for a very long time, you'll be relieved to know it won't stay like that forever. (though I must admit it felt longer than 'forever' sometimes....:p)

Also, the sliced pieces of baguette in my profile pic which was still THE bestest tasting baguettes with blissfully open texture and lovely chew was also one of the ugliest looking baguettes I've ever made.   So sometimes how it looks does not matter AT ALL. ;)

best!

lumos

varda's picture
varda

Lumos,  This looks like a fabulous if non-baguettish result.   Since you kept careful track of what you did, you could do it again.   But I know you are on the trail of the elusive authentic baguette so I look forward to seeing your next post.  -Varda

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks, Varda!

It was a very tasty....er.....ciabaguetta, or whatever you call it,  so I will definitely try to make 'something' that tastes as good as that, but next time, I'll make sure it's either baguette or ciabatta.  The mixture of two was simply confusing, with my eyes telling my brain it's ciabatta and my mouth telling my brain the texture's baguette.....

lumos

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The difference in protein between the T55 and your Strong flour is significant and probably accounts for the difference in dough consistency and your shaping difficulty.

I would try holding back some of the water. Start with a 65% hydration dough, and add water during the initial mix until you get a dough with the consistency you want.

Your description of the T55 baguette flavor really makes me regret not bringing back some T55 from my Spring visit to Paris.

David

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you, David. 

When I make my regular baguette, I mix about 20-25% plain flour to lower the overall protein level plus small additon of WW+wheatgerm to emulate T55 (lower protein, higher ash). As I wrote above, I had tried using 100% plain flour once which is about the same protein content as typical T55, but it didn't work at all (didn't even make ciabatta-ish loaf),  so it was a good proof (and slightly painful lesson) that the protein level and quality of gluten are obviously not the same thing.  I tried with 50% plain flour, too, and I found it's still rather difficult to shape and score because the dough was still quite soft and wet. That's why I reached my present ratio of 25% plain. But experiencing how soft T55 is, I think I'll try 50% plain again after I used up all the T55 I've got.  It's so difficult to mimic French flour with UK ones because the way they mill is quite different, apparently....

Yes, actually I have already baked another batch at 65% hydration level yesterday; everything recorded and necessary photos taken. So it's a matter of finding enough time to write up the post (It takes ages to write up because English is not my first language...the excuse I've been using half my life) .  Will try to post it in a day or two, but just to prove I'm not lying ?p,  this is the preview of how it came out.

Outside looked OK, but I wasn't very happy with inside. Obviously the lower hydration was a cause of it, but also there were something else, too.  I'll post about it in more details in a few days time. 

Bringing back all sorts of food stuff, especially ingredients, from holiday is another of my obsession. I can tell you my family is really getting fed up with me dragging them around in search for local food shops and markets every time we go on holiday, whereever that is. :p   Pity you didn't buy flour when you were there, but Paris will always be there at the same spot for you to go back! :)

lumos

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Lumos,

I think your loaf looks great too and your description about how it tastes makes me think everything did turn out okay....simply not as you expected it would.

Like David said - tweaking time....You now have the maddening fun of trying to get the dough where YOU want it to be in YOUR kitchen.  

I know the biggest obsticle for me when baking - or doing just about anything - are my expectations about the outcome....Just imagine how you would have reacted to the loaf you made had you never seen or tasted a loaf made with the flour you used.  I wager a guess - you would  have liked it due to the flavor.

I have learned a lot about how a loaf looks compared to how it tastes this past year in my bread adventures.  I bake with only whole grains that I grind myself.  In attempting formulas I find here or elsewhere that don't use whole grains I have created several good tasting bricks and lots of Frisbee loaves.  I was disappointed when I saw them in the oven but found my family loved them - in fact, one of my biggest failures is a loaf my daughter adores and she was really upset when I finally did get it 'right'.  People I give my Frisbee loaves to love them too because they have great flavor and people don't always want a large slice of bread.

So, the mistakes were mostly in my expectations.  I have had to change my expectations and I am finding I am less disappointed these days....well, not disappointed for quite so long ;-}.....

Glad to hear the flour did arrive.  I have been following your story and was waiting for it's conclusion...but now I know there is yet more to be seen :-)

Take Care and enjoy Yourself!

Janet

 

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you very much, Janet...and lovely to meet you on this side of forum, too!  ;)

Home-milled WW flour must taste really divine!  I can see why the people who are lucky enough to get you freebee loaves love them.  Pity I don't live near you....:p

As I said to David above, I baked another batch with lower hydration yasterday, as you can see the photo of them above. I'll try to post about it in a few days time, so please watch this space! :)

best wishes,

lumos

 

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Didn't take you much time to 'get back up on the horse' :-)

I am waiting to see what your results were.  So far - pretty outstanding to me :-)

(The loaves I goof on I call Frisbee loaves - since you are out of the US I better explain - a Frisbee is a flat throwing disk that people play here in the States.  Made out of plastic and about  1 1/2 " - 2"  'tall' and about 10-12" wide.... Here is a link to amazon so you can see what I am trying to describe with words...

http://www.amazon.com/Discraft-gram-Ultimate-Frisbee-Ultra-Star/dp/B000PH1WPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313877688&sr=8-1

In other words my Frisbee loaves are quite flat....whole grains are afraid of heights :-)

Good to meet you out here too :-)  I love your posts.

Take Care,

Janet

lumos's picture
lumos

LOL I know what frisbee is. I used to play with it when I was a kid. so do many kids outside US.....and their dogs.  I just thought you're giving away your loaves free to your friend, hence the name....sorry I mis-read it. I have terrible eyesight...and old brain.  :p

Yeah, wholegrain is difficult one to gain height.  Have you tried increase the hydration? My usual loaves are about 70% hydration, but if it contains more WW, I go for 75% or sometimes even higher, so that it would expand better. But I've never made 100% WW like yours, so I'm sure you're the expert in that field than me.

best wishes...and good night. I'm going to bed now. ;)

lumos

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Lumos,

I have old eyes and brain to go with them.....takes some getting used to (In order to read anything anymore I have to read with one eye closed ; -)   but most of my friends are in the same boat so we have a lot of laughs at ourselves....lots of conversations that get lost mid-sentence :-)  oh well.  I like the idea of putting our two words together - Frisbee Free Bees-  a nice ring to it.

I have learned about hydration with my loaves - have to adjust everything and usually hit about 75%.  I also soak my grains using Peter Reinhart's epoxy method.  Works great.  I have converted many a formula to his method and it makes a huge difference...all tricks I learned here.

Time for me to walk the dog before turning in for the evening.....my pre-ferments are soaking away in the refrigerator waiting for me to combine them in the morning....half the work is already done so tomorrow I just get to play with the dough :-)

Take Care,

Janet

 

lumos's picture
lumos

I think our eyes and brains are in the same generation.....;)  But I must say that, when I lunch with my friends of same generation,  I'm the only one who can still read a menu in a restaurant without a help of reading glasses. HA! 

Hope the WW bread you were preparing turned out beautifully! Lemme know the result, won't you? :)

best wishes,

lumos

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Lumos,

The loaves turned out very well.  A first attempt at a formula from the book Artisan Breads.  I always bake as outlined the first time and then the tweaking begins.  :-)  My kitchen table is covered with books and notes galore.

Take Care,

Janet

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Starting with a new flour on old recipes can be difficult. It takes time to get the new feel. I think your results are excellent. Are you happy with the aroma and flavor?

Eric

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you, Eric.

Yes, I'm thinking of taking one step at a time in adjusting the recipe and find out which is the best way to handle this flour.  But, as I wrote above,  the ultimate goal is to find out how real, authentic T55 flour behaves and tastes, so that I can use the experience to make my improvisation with UK flours as good as it can be, because T55 won't be my regular flour (I wouldn't have regular access to authentic T55 flour), so the improvisation is something I really have to rely on in the end. (or move to a bigger house, so that I can buy a big freezer to store a large bulk of T55 available in UK, so that P & P won't be too much of a issue.....which will never be an option since my daughter's leaving for uni this autumn. IF we move, it's going to be a smaller house, not bigger. )

I've been following several bread bloggers in Japan who make excellent baguette in a home environment for years and they often mention about how each T55 behaves (and tastes/smells, of course) differently (You can buy at least 20 different kinds of T55 over there, both imported and domestically grown/milled), even if the protein level is the same.  So I knew some flour doesn't take water as much as others, but all of them seem to be happy with 70% hydration (some can go up to 80% quite happily), so what happened with my flour was a bit shocking to find out when it poured out of the container after cold retard.   I'm wondering if the combination of poolish AND cold retard for a long time might caused excessive protein deterioration, on top of low protein level of this flour.

So in the next trial which I'm going to blog about in a few days time (hopefully), I changed that part of recipe, too. The result was.......please watch this space! :p

As for flavour and aroma, it was really astonishing.  Everytime I was lucky enough to encounter good quality bread (not necessarily baguette) in France or from French-style boulangeries in Tokyo (there're hundreds of them there), I always felt 'There's something different in here' as soon as I bit into it, both aroma and taste.  I knew French mill their flour differently from British or North American method and their flour is higher in ash than ours, and to me, that was the taste and smell of France, which I've never been able to re-create with my improvised UK flour mix.  But when I bit into the crumb and crust of this accidental 'ciabaguetta,' they were there.  I wouldn't say it tasted as good as THE bestest baguettes or pain de campagnes  I had in the past, but it was quite unmistakable mine shared the same characteristics of flavour and aroma with them, though mildly.  And I'm only talking about very basic T55 from a supermarket shelf.  So I'm really intrigued how good the bread make with better quality T55 will taste like. 

Also I've got 3 bags of T65 flour, which I've been more desperate to get hold of, too.  So after T55 experiments, I'll move onto that flour. Will blog about that when I start the trials, so please watch this space for it, too.

best wishes,

lumos

 

 

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

certainly looks great, whether or not its perfect is beside the point if the taste is great! I was just reading in the SFBI instructor Susa (I think thats right if not sue me!) book, on bread and pastry making, and he had a recipe for Italian made dough that he says you don't shape, you slice off in thin long chunks and let proof, they are the Italian equivalent of baguettes, they have Francaise in the name! LOL

I was thinking on trying them since my bread making skills are terrible, I did 4 loaves of 100% whole wheat yesterday baked in pans, and while they did raise, not a whole lot, haven't tasted them yet, and no crumb shots available since they were for a gift so hope to get a report next weekend on how they tasted.

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you, Eva. :)

It certainly tasted good, which was a relief.....for my daughter, especially, because she'd been complaining for many days how badly her arms hurt by having to carry 6 kg of flour back home!

I've seen long sticks of bread in Italy. I think they were called stirato.  Found the recipe in Jim Lahey's book, so been meaning to make it myself, but my list of 'Bread to Bake' is getting so long, not sure when I will reach there.

100% WW is difficult! I'm such a chicken, I've only tried up to  65% WW so far.....:p 

lumos

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I am sure I would get a better rise with another recipe so am going to try that later this week, when I have a bit more time. I bought a large amount of peas in the shell, and beans to freeze, so am working on those, got the peas done yesterday, and have to do the beans today! Had to dump some of the frozen stuff in the freezer to make room for the new.

I was reading the thread subscriptions and the conversation between you and Kalid (I know I spelt his name wrong) about milling flour etc.

My sugestion to you both is try to make a milling booth, a place to put the mill, maybe made out of coroplast and light lumber or something, to place the mill into with a way to turn it on with the booth closed but the coroplast or plexiglass would let you see what is going on, this would cut down on the flour flying around (not good for lungs) and make cleanup easier, it would be even better if you could make such a thing collapsable and large enough to put a table in and stand inside (wearing a dust mask) while milling, and placing the milled flour into containers, much less cleanup required!

The other suggestion is, if you daughter is going off to uni this fall, is she going to be living away, and only coming home for holidays etc, if this is the case, clear part of her room and place a freezer just for your flour into the room, then when she finally moves out (which I've noticed happens faster with girls than boys) you can have the room for storage of those items that won't fit in your kitchen.

If you own your own home, you could build an enclosed porch on the back side and place your freezer and milling equipment in that, it wouldn't have to be a huge porch (although I would build it big enough to be decent) but large enough for your freezer and other storage items.

I tried to turn my daughter's room into a sewing room but didn't manage it my mother's room is the computer room, and I have no intention of moving to a smaller place ever! If anything a larger one would be my pick! I am still working on my sewing room library (the old rumpus room that was where my brother lived his choice) and then the upstairs room is going to become a storage room with lots of storage closets and shelving units, for all the stuff we have that needs to be stored. We are weeding out stuff as we go, but still need better storage than this place has. I don't expect to have company and don't need a company bedroom, so am going to do what I want with the house.

lumos's picture
lumos

My dearest Eva,  do you have a world atlas at hand? Look at it. Britain is a very small island with smaller houses on smaller plot than you Americans! :p   Yes, we do own the house, but it's not so big as to be able to accommodate what your suggesting. Do you know how much a small house in/around London cost?    I don't have extra space to have a booth or a shed or whatever just to put a milling machine in.  Also, I'm not keen on the idea of putting a freezer in my daughter's room just because she's not in....nor in any other room for that matter. It's too unsightly. I'd feel depressed everytime I see it.   We actually have a guest room in the loft which is big enough to sleep three and with a separate bathroom, and I have contemplated putting a freezer in that room once, but no, just a mental image of a freezer sitting in the room which was supposed to be a bedroom just put me off..... Making bread is very important thing for me, but there're other things that are as important as that for me.  Some of them I can't compromise for the sake of baking bread.

Sorry, Eva, I know you're trying to help me, and I do really appreciate your kindness and generousity.  But I've looked into many possibilities over the years, including those things you have suggested,  and I know what I can do and can't do.

Thank you very much, anyway. Please don't feel offended. I really do appreciate your kindness for having taken the time and effort in trying to solve my problems for me and posting it. . Much appreciated, and I really mean it. ;)

best wishes,

lumos

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I have a pen friend who has a townhouse, she has a back garden that has a shed in it, with her dryer in it. I do understand the problems with small houses, having lived in several, but I also understand that if you really want something you find a way to get it! And space for a freezer is really much easier than space for a whole sewing room and library which I also had a penfriend figure out how to get.

I'm sorry that you would be depressed by the freezer in the living area I am not depressed so easily by things like that, but can understand, the thing is you could put up a screen in front of the freezer and still not see it and the room would be usable for the bedroom. But its each to our own, I am more of the I like to be comfortable and have what I want and where I want it, over its a bedroom and can't be used for something else.

I'm not offended by your remarks, it was a suggestion on how to get a freezer and solve the bug problem but you can't do it, so that is that!

ww's picture
ww

hi lumos,

but this is beautiful! Love the crumb and from what you describe, it must taste great too. Indeed this is a dead ringer for the long ciabatta/stout baguette i saw in Jim Lahey's bakery once. I would be very happy with this loaf. I've had more than one disaster with shaping too myself - just this morning, incidentally. I once gave up shaping a baguette and decided to turn it into a pizza instead, and it turned out to be one of the tastiest pizzas i ever ate - including those at 'gourmet' Italian restaurants. It's just one of those breads you would like to replicate but know you probably can't quite.

interesting that Monoprix inspired Waitrose. What is the ash content of this packet of flour, do you know? Ash content is hardly stated on labels is it? i've only come across it once.

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks, ww. You're very kind. ;)

Yeah, I found the Monoprix/Waitrose episode really interesting, too.  Been a loyal customer of Waitrose for more than *beep* years, but never heard of that.  Though when I looked at their website and other internet sites with French supermarket reviews, Monoprix didn't look that up-market, so not sure about the credibility of its claim on Wiki.

The packet didn't state the ash content, which was a huge disappointment for me. I've been getting most of my info on T55 flour from Japanese sites/books and quite often they tell you what the ash level of a particular T55 is (not all of them but for many of them), so I'd wrongly assumed that's the way they do in France, too. But obviously not.  So I've got to stop complaining about UK millers never quote it on their bag......though I can still keep on complaining that the ash level of their flour is too low!! :p

So....when are you going to share the formula for your wonderful ex-baguette-pizza dough with us? 

lumos

 

 

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi lumos,

The 55 figure should represent a measure of the ash content as 0.55%

Type 65 = 0.65% ash content.

I'm really interested to see how your experimentation turns out in your next posts

All good wishes

Andy

lumos's picture
lumos

Yes, of course! How silly of me.  I was thinking of gluten level when I was replying to ww.  Now you've confirmed how much my brain is completely  ****ed up after all those stressful experences!  :p  

Thanks! I've almost finished a draft for the second trial, so will post it sometime later or tomorrow, but just to tell you that nothing goes smoothly in my life......

btw, have received my last PM, regarding the priority of info you may be interested?

best wishes,

lumos

Mebake's picture
Mebake

What a world of difference this new flour makes, Lumos! Nice try for a first bake. The flavor must be awsome, iam sure.

The yellowish cast the flour has is very attractive, and explains why french bread is touted worldwide!

Nice, writeup, Lumos..! thanks for posting

 

lumos's picture
lumos

Thank you so much, Khalid. Your kind words always touch my heart. :)

Exactly! French flour rules! I surrender. :p     It certainly tastes and smells different. A certain young, very  talented French baker I've got to know via this forum (virtually, mind you....) told me the real secret of  complexity and depth of great French breads are in the flour, which is easily understandable. So I'm now really intrigued to find out how much difference better quality flour may make, though I can imagine it'd be even more difficult to get hold of it, especially in retail-kind amount. Easiest option for me may well be getting them over from Japan....which sounds just wrong......

lumos

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I've an Idea... why don't you invest in an electric grain mill , such as hawos easy: here. I own one and i'am proud i do. This way you could stack 10s of kg. iof wheat grains without having to worry too much about them being infested with bugs. moreover, you'd have fresh flour with creamy color (due to all the unoxidized carotinoids) that you can sift out the larger bran particles from and end up with a high extraction flour. Mix this high extraction flour with your Uk plain flour.. and you are as close to French flour as you possibly can get (if not better!). freshly milled flour have a nutty-buttery flavor that cannot be duplicated, due to the presence of the fresh, non rancid germ oils, in addition to the carotinoids.

If you buy wheat in bulk, say 10kgs, you'd save money too if you mill at home. Hawos does not mill like other micronizer mills do, therefore you can sift out larger bran particles.

Best,

 

lumos's picture
lumos

I've seen a similar machine on Japanese sites before......I don't know, Khalid.....

I've read the millstones French millers use are quite special as well as their slower milling process,  and that's the reason their flour is superior. Also, with that price for the machine, it'd be cheaper to get T55 flour sold by online shops in UK and pay their P & P, AND I don't have to worry about cleaning my kitchen after milling my own flour and covering everywhere with flying dust from the machine!!!  Unlike you, Khalid, I don't have my own army to clean my house and eat your huge loaves.  :p

Thank you for the suggestion, anyway.  Really appreciate that you're always very generous and trying to help.  When you come to England one day, please bring the milling machine with you, so that I can use it without buying it.....and your army of cleaners!  .....though I'll have to find a miller or farmer who'd sell me unmilled wheat grains before that, which is going to be even more difficult....

best wishes,

lumos

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Believe it or not, Lumos, i'am doning the cleanup afterwards, i feel obliged to do so, as i'am the one causing all the mess! And that is precisely why i don't bake high extraction loaves often, otherwise, the flavor of freshly milled high extraction yellow flour is so addicting, i'd only bake from it.

 

lumos's picture
lumos

No, I don't believe you. You sweeping up your kitchen yourself? In your very smart grey suits with the tie? No. Never!!

So it IS messy, then.....Well, in that case you'd better bring a sack of your freshly-milled  flour already milled  just before you get on  a plane to London. Look forward to meeting you at Heathrow, soon! :D

Mebake's picture
Mebake

In Pijamas, actually :)

I'd love to travel to Uk for once, Lumos. Busy schedule, Busy Pocket, .. ah well, ..

 

lumos's picture
lumos

LOL do you wear a tie with your pyjamas, too? :p

Yeah, come to UK someday. My friend's husband goes to UAE on business very often, so you can get in his suitcase.  There seems to be quite a few TFLers around here to welcome you. ;)

lumos

degustationnw's picture
degustationnw

You can get authentic imported organic French flours here www.degustationnw.com.