The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question regarding Farmer Ground AP flour

the hadster's picture
the hadster

Question regarding Farmer Ground AP flour

Hello All:

I've been silent for a bit.  I've taken a short break from the bread baking world - sigh.  Not my choice, but...

First of all, I hope you all have a wonderful meal tomorrow and that the day is fill with the warmth and love of friends and family - cast of thousands or a small gathering.

At any rate, for Thanksgiving I decided to make some lovely sour dough dinner rolls.  I've made them many times before.  I followed the Tartine method, 75% hydration, 2% salt and diastatic malt and 1% starter.  My standard formula, only I used the Tartine method.

However, there was one and only one variation - and clearly it was a big one. I used Farmer Ground AP flour.

As soon as I mixed the water, starter and flour together, I knew I was in for something special.  I could smell the freshness of the flour.  The dry flour itself was almost moist, I mean, it wasn't clumping together or anything, but it had more moisture in it than the other brands of AP flour I've used over the years.

It is also a light creamy yellow-brown in color.  Not whole wheat, or even white whole wheat, but a definite creamy-yellow color with a brownish tinge.  The baked up rolls did have a distinctly whole wheat color to them.

The dough was slow to get moving, but that was fine and not unusual.  The gluten developed nicely, but the dough relaxed quickly.

I did not have the room in my fridge for 50 two ounce rolls, so I left the dough in it's bulk fermentation container over night.

In the morning, it had risen, and I gently deflated it and waited until it began to move again and then weighed, benched, shaped and proofed my rolls.

My first bake was at 400.  The rolls did NOT brown at all.

My next bake was at 450.  Same thing, no browning.

My next bake was at 500.  Still no browning.

My next bake was 550.  No browning.

The internal temperature was 207/8 to 210 for each bake.

I am at a complete loss and haven't a clue as to why they didn't brown.

Now the TASTE!  First off all, even though the dough rested over night in my cool fridge (about 34-36 degrees), and I used the young starter recommended in the Tartine method, the taste was distinctly tangy.  I want to say that I could taste grass; of course I couldn't, but there was a fresh-herbaciousness I've only ever tasted with freshly milled flour.  Stupendous!

I hope I can figure out how to develop a brown crust, because the flavor of this bread is amazing.

Anemic or not, I am serving them for dinner tomorrow.  At this point, I'm simply too tired of baking to make another batch of dinner rolls.  I've made an Appalachian Stack Cake, 2 Steamed Pumpkin Puddings, 90 Oreshki cookies (Russian walnut shaped cookies), and 3 quarts of Maple Creme Anglaise (for the pudding and cake), 50 sour dough dinner rolls, and 40 buttery and soft dinner rolls.  15 people.  Honestly.

So, no more baking for this year's Thanksgiving.

If any of you have any thoughts on why the rolls didn't brown, I'd be interested to hear them.

Have a lovely holiday everyone!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

ate up the sugars leaving little to caramelise the surface.

quick fix:  try a quick light misting with sugar water or honey water and bake again in a hot oven to warm up before serving.  Try on a few rolls to get the solution right and to make sure the crust is not separating while browning.   Then do most of them before serving.  

A slightly sweet starch (1c water, 1-2 tsp potato starch, gelled in MW, 1 tsp sugar, pinch salt) glaze brushed on is also an idea.

Other options: Liquid Malt and water or milk  

Sounds like a nice spread!  Happy Thanksgiving Day!

the hadster's picture
the hadster

Great fix!

Yes, the bread was tangy.  I'm not sure what was different, but clearly something was.

Live and learn!