The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soft White Wheat Experience

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Soft White Wheat Experience

I bought some soft white wheat berries but the lady said they would not be any good at making bread.  Does anyone have experience making bread with soft white wheat?  What kind of breads etc?

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Soft wheat (white or red) is better for baked goods like muffins,cakes,tea breads and even pancakes. It is lower in gluten so those products turn out tender and not tough.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I make all of those things!

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I use soft wheat for bread all the time! All my panettone and ciabatta breads are made from soft wheat 00.

Tips:

Acidity increases strength which helps counteract the naturally more extensible nature of low gluten flour.
A pre-ferment contributes the desired acidity however Only ever use the firmest pre-ferment possible to limit undesired protease activity. Adding salt will also help. You can increase hydration in the the final dough.
More kneading than you're probably used to will be required to develop a network that is strong. However be gentle as low-gluten doughs especially ones under the influence of acidity are very sensitive to over-working. 

Even with these tips a flour that is too low in gluten will simply not be caple of creating a dough suitable for bread, except flat breads.

All these tips are in vein of using white flour. Since your milling yourself I would sift out all the bran as this will seriously effect dough strength. You can always add it back later...

Good luck.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

for all of your help.  I never would have thought of sifting out the bran.  I will be making one of your fine panattone's sooner rather than later now!  I just put on 5 pounds thinking about it.  Pizza too!

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

there will be still much left, very fine. It's horrible for sweet dough, because it makes the dough very stiff (in the hours, even if not immediately), thus it can't grow a lot and the bread won't raise much. Moreover a lot of acetic acid will be released. 

As Debbie says those bran bits are tiny ticking time bombs.

I already made this mistake, please don't repeat it. Use industrially sifted wheat flour for sweet breads. In the industry the diameter of the holes in the sieve is ~0.2mm, go figure!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I learned something new. Thank you,mwilson. My experience with soft,white wheat was brief and with failed loaves. I probably did not knead enough to develop the gluten that was there.

 

Papist's picture
Papist

I have soft white as well.  Does it have to be soaked before you can use it in muffins and pancakes, etc?

Papist's picture
Papist

Does anyone know?  I was told that fresh ground flour can't be easily digested and that I'm not much off than eating store bought flour.  Is this true?  If so, do I have to soak or "predigest" soft white before using it in cakes and cookies, etc.? 

Crider's picture
Crider

I regularly grind soft wheat for scones and am still alive -- been doing it for quite sometime now.

Papist's picture
Papist

Thanks.  I wasn't told it was deadly though.  Just harder to digest and therefore you're not doing much better than eating refined flour- since the nutrients pass right through.  Is this a myth?