The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brazilian Flour

Diogo Riedi's picture
Diogo Riedi

Brazilian Flour

Hi,

I'm brazilian, unfortunately, and I've tried cultivating starter from many flours that are avaible in our market, from the cheapest to the most expensive, but the only one that worked was a whole wheat oragnic flour.

I came up with three possible explanations why that happend, but I don't know for sure.

1- by law every flour but the whole wheat organic is obliged to be enriched with folic acid and iron. Is it possible that they are the ones killing my wild yeast?

2- I've read that ideally the flour used for starters should be unbleached because the process kills most of the micro organism present in the flour. But brazilian flour don't have any labbel indication saying if they were bleached or not. Is it possible to raise a good starte from bleached flour?

3- this one is about the milling process, again there ins't any labbel information on it so I can't know for sure if the flour was made in a stone mill or a high speed steel mill.

Is there anyone who has experience with brazilian flour? Or knows enough about the chemistry of wild yeast to know if those chemicals are responsible for my starter failures?

Heidela123's picture
Heidela123

I know that Panama is a long way from Brazil! When I lived in Panama and found that the flour sold in markets did not work for sourdough at all, and I had trouble with packaged yeast there as well. I just couldn't give up!

So what I did and maybe you could do? Is found a small bakery that had bulk imported flour and talked them into just selling me bags off their blk for a retail mark up?

You can not be " shy" and get away with this! But even in the US I have done this when I could not find what I wanted in the market.

I also during this negotiation buy a loaf from the baker as good will.

I usually get a " yes" sometimes a bonus recipe, and even mother dough! Sometimes no, and only once someone got annoyed at me.

Good luck

Diogo Riedi's picture
Diogo Riedi

Thank you, it's a pretty good idea!

No worries about me been shy.. Heheh

I'll try!

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Diogo,

I'm glad to hear that you were able to culture a starter, in spite of all the obstacles.  That's a good lesson about the importance of persistence!

In answer to your questions:

1 - The niacin and iron should not prevent the lactobacilli and yeast from growing.  I don't think that the enrichment is causing the problem.

2 - It is possible to grow a starter using bleached flour.  Depending on the bleaching chemicals used, and the quantities that are applied, a bleached flour will have fewer microorganisms than an unbleached flour.  And an unbleached flour will have fewer than a whole-grain flour.  The usually means that a starter made with bleached flour will take a few days longer to develop than a starter made with whole-grain flour.  Both will eventually get there, in my experience.

3 - The milling process probably has less of an influence than the bleached versus whole-grain flour influence.  I won't say that it has no influence, since roller mills and stone mills can both raise the temperature of the flour above the point of pasteurization if not managed carefully.  We who purchase flour usually have no way of knowing what happened to the contents of the bag before we bought it.  To some extent then, each new bag of flour is a bit of a gamble since it may not behave the same as any of our previous purchases.

Paul

Diogo Riedi's picture
Diogo Riedi

First of all, thank you! I've been obsessing about the iron and the folic acid for a long time... Do you know where a can find a reliable source about chemical/biological process involved in wild yeast? I've found a few things on wikipedia and  here, but I would like to know more.

About the bleached flour, I tried cultivating the starter from bleached flour for about 30 days, room temperature about 30C, feed twice a day, even parts of flour and water(mineral) dumping the excess every four days. Every feed doubled the amount of starter in the recipient. Do you know a better method?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The problem I see is that the method is not flexible.  30 days, 30°C, twice a day, even amounts of starter, dumping every 4 days!  No wonder!  With your temperatures, the yeasts are eating the food faster than you are feeding.  They are not getting enough food, swimming in byproducts of fermentation and barely staying alive.   Try this,  take some of your starter  20g and add 50g water and 100g flour to form a dough.  Now put it into a tall glass and make a mark on the glass.   Cover loosely with something to keep the bugs out and watch it grow until it reaches maximum height.   When peaking, it no longer has a dome, starts to level out and dimple in the middle.  Then the culture starts to deflate as the gluten can no longer hold the gasses being produced by the yeast.  As it is falling, that is the time to remove 20g of starter culture and feed again.  Depending on how long it took to peak (if under 8-12 hours) you may find that using only 10g of starter is enough to keep the starter going.  10g starter 50g water and 50 to 100g flour.   

Cultures take a little time to first build, then when they show themselves, need more food to sustain growth, and then need a schedule to establish particular types of bacteria and yeast.  This means one starts out slowly and then you change the routine to develop a starter culture that works for both the culture and yourself.  Feeding enough to maintain growing numbers of yeast and bacteria without starving them into a stage of inactivity and self preservation.  

Please read Debra Winks Blog entries under Pineapple juice #1 and #2   Just type into site search box:  wink pineapple juice # 2      to start reading.

:)  Mini     

 

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

The Pineapple Juice Solution will give you a very good look at what goes on in a sourdough starter.

Paul

Diogo Riedi's picture
Diogo Riedi

Thank you Mini for the advice, I read Debra's study and learned a lot from it, so much that I already have a culture growing in my kitchen!! Three days ago a bought a pineapple made some juice added some flour and for my great satisfaction it's behaving exactly as described by Debra!!

Last time I tried cultivating it took me 30 days and lots of flour to get similar results...

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

now, how about that first loaf?  

Don't forget to reduce to a small amount and feed more.  :)   

I can't seem to locate rye flour for my starter.  Quinoa everywhere!  

Mini

EricD's picture
EricD

Diogo, 

Mirella, from the mill OCRIM, has an organic. I have maintained a starter the past 4 months using their whole wheat (integral). For the white, I haven't used Mirella, but I use the flour in my baking, and it is a pretty good flour. For my white starter, I use an Italian imported organic flour from O Sitio do Moinho. The brand is Molino d'Oro. If you are in Rio, you could get that. They have some really high quality flour. It's difficult to find good flour here in Brazil, I feel your pain. 

Diogo Riedi's picture
Diogo Riedi

Hi Mirella,

I'm from Novo Hamburgo, Rio Grande do Sul, and here I can't find any high quality flour, imported or not. I've tried contact with Ocrim a few weeks ago, to see if they could sell on line  and send a few kilograms to me (I suggested 25 or 50kg) but I got no reply. Do you know of a place where I can buy ocrim or another organic flour online?

Nice to know there's more people in Brazil engaged in the artisan bread movement!

EricD's picture
EricD

Diogo, 

Regarding the Mirella flour from Ocrim, they can be difficult to get in touch with. The Mirella organic is available at some supermarkets with large organic sections. In Rio, it's available at the supermarket Pão de Açúcar. Try an internet search for Mirella farinha de trigo organica. 

I have a contact email for Ocrim. Do you have a CNPJ by chance? They will certianly send you the flour if you have a CNPJ. Otherwise, I suggest looking online at O Sitio do Moinho. Their flour is imported, so it's expensive, but they will probably send it to you. I use their Tipo 0, Manitoba, Farinha para pizza, and Semola. 

Feel free to email me if you need anymore details, or if you'd like the contact for Ocrim. My email isn't showing up on here, but it's eric.dinardo @ gmail . com

 

Eric

Diogo Riedi's picture
Diogo Riedi

Hi guys! 

just want to thank you all for your help, last weekend I got my first and second successful batchs of sourdough!!!

they were far from perfect, but I will keep trying until a get them right!

you all have been wonderfull, hope I can repay you in the future!

Best wishes,

Diogo.