The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

working with low gluten flours

tilt's picture
tilt

working with low gluten flours

Hi all

 

I am looking for tips that people may have for working with low gluten wheat flour

 

at the moment I am using Lammas Fayre flours, mainly the Heritage wheat blend, 

http://bakerybits.co.uk/bakery-ingredients/flour/lammas-fayre-flour-mill.html

And i am having trouble getting them to hold their shape in baking. I am mixing it 50/50 with a strong white flour. with a hydration of 70-75%

my process and adapted quite a bit so far but i am looking for further tips to improve the final shape.

currently I am mixing the flour and water and kneeding for 5 minutes, then i will leave it to aytolyse for 3 hours before adding my starter and giving 4 stretch  and fold every 30 mins then bulk ferment overnight in the fridge before preshaping then resting 30mins then shaping and proofing in the fridge for 12 hours before baking

thanks in advance

P.S  I am aware that this flour behaves differently to modern flours, I am just trying to push what is possible.

suave's picture
suave

You do realize that in heritage times hydrations on the order of 50% were not uncommon?

tilt's picture
tilt

yes, i am aware the hydration is higher than would be typically used, but I am getting a good crumb and flavour with this recipe, and i am just looking for a better final shape.

tilt's picture
tilt

suave's picture
suave

Judging by the crumb the dough is very wet,  and I think the shape is par for the course - you can't have a free formed loaf with high hydration and low gluten flour and expect it to have better shape than this.  It's an engineer's triangle of sorts.

artistta's picture
artistta

I bake exclusively with ancient grains grinding all my own flour and don't incorporate any white flour.  All of the grain I work with have low gluten. In my experience free-forming low gluten breads doesn't work well, unless doing a small size like a bun. I primarily work with Kamut and can make a nice shaped bun with it, but I do shape it very round taking into account that it will spread. I keep my hydration levels pretty high. Anywhere from 70% -90%. In all of my research I have found that the low gluten grains do best in some type of baking container to help hold their shape. Dutch ovens are awesome and often inexpensive at least in the US where I am at. I have just started using clay bakers of different shapes too. The high hydration gives a wonderful crumb and is very necessary when using whole grain, if you are doing that. I personally wouldn't back off your hydration level if the crumb is correct and not gummy. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

giving the dough a fold or two to improve shape while it is chilled.  Carefully fold while chilled until puffy enough for a final short room temp proof.  Give the dough only a short time in the banneton after a final shape. Say one or two hours max.

I'm looking at the bottom crust but can't tell.  Is it the light or is the crust lighter than the top?

The odd shapes of the bubbles are hinting at overproofing or not enough tension inside the dough so I think that more folding is needed during the 12 hour proofing time or shortening the time of the proof.  How is the dough holding out against tearing as it ferments?

If the bottom crust of the loaf is lighter than the top, getting more heat under the loaf during the bake might solve a few height problems.

tilt's picture
tilt

 i am baking in a clay cloche at the moment, and that fills my oven, theres not much room to add thermal mass underneath, i might have to experiment a bit.

 

the dough is pretty strong as it ferments, it does not tear when i fold it. and when i shape it it is pretty tight, maybe the long proofing is causing it to relax too much. i might try an 18 hour bulk ferment and a short proof, the ambient temperature is quite low so i can run into timing issues as I'm away at work all day, so it is easier to put it in the fridge until  i can return.