Advice on white bread with French T55 flour?
I'm not sure I'm in the right place, but this is a very active part of teh forum, and I'd like to learn to make artisan bread, so I hope it's okay to post here.
I recently bought a large sack of French T55 flour. I live out in the wilds, and to have bought a small bag would have cost something ridiculous in postage, and so it seemed to make more sense to drive to the local town and buy 25kg. Um...
Anyway, I've been trying out the new flour, and I'm delighted with it. I've been using a very basic recipe, as follows.
300g warm water
1. Knead for about 10 minutes and leave to double in size.
2. Degass, and shape into rolls, baguettes and/or boules (or combination of the same), and leave to prove.
The bread has risen very easily, which is a great relief because last year I had great difficulty getting wholemeal flours to rise at all here. (I moved to this house a year ago. It's a bit colder than where I previously lived (NW England--now I'm a bit further North), but not very different. Still, I had big rising problems. I suspect different flour was to blame.) Anyway, the T55 has risen and baked beautifully, and I really enjoy the bread it produces. It's crunchy on first coming out of the oven, and then next day the crust is very chewy.
Chewiness of the crust is actually why I'm posting now. I love dark, favourful, chewy crusts, but it's a matter of degree... This crust is so chewy that I reckon I'd need the teeth of a lion to be able to remove a bite without grinding! I have to pull so hard to separate a piece from teh roll that eventually teh roll tears and the filling falls out.
Can anybody tell me what I might be able to do that would result in a slightly less chewy crust? I know there are lots of techniques involving greater water content and less vigorous kneading that I have yet to learn. Maybe they're the way? Any advice very welcome.
Many thanks for any help.