The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What is gluten

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

What is gluten

OldLoaf's picture
OldLoaf

I see poached eggs....

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Try again.

OldLoaf's picture
OldLoaf

That works, thanks...

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and I just saw this clip this week... I am intrigued about the balance of gliadin and glutenin in flours and came across this when I googled the two. I think it is interesting to see the difference in flours and then also to be aware how some flours tend to have more gliadin and how this affects the bake. I don't know enough but for example durum and spelt have normally more gliadin than gluten and this explains why it makes doughs softer....

So, to get that balance right for an open crumb for instance knowing the balance of gliadin v. gluten in a flour is very useful to inform a bake...still trying to learn more about this and to find more info on this...

Kat

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Kat, while I recognise your view-point I simply can't agree with Spelt and Durum being painted with the same brush.

These grains perform very differently.

Spelt is indeed extensible but durum has different rheological properties.  Durum is known for its "short" and "hard" gluten and is characterised by its lack of extensibility. Durum with this property works well for pasta as it can hold together and bind sauces.

While the gliadin/glutenin ratio is telling you simply can't rely on this data alone, it is not that simple. There are different fractions of gliadin; alpha, beta, gamma and omega and glutenin has different sub-units categorised into low and high molecular weight (LMW & HMW) each with different compositions.

Millers that perform rheological testing use farinograph and alveograph testing typically. This data, if available will be your best bet and being able to judge how the flour might perform. 

With the alveograph Durum tends to have a high P/L ratio while spelt is the opposite with a low ratio.

A high P/L means high tenacity / resistance (P) vs Extensibility (L) while a low P/L denotes little resistance and good extensibility.

Or course there are variations among cultivars and quality (i.e. growing conditions), but this is the general picture.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Would there be any advantage to autolysing Durum flour, Michael? I understand with some weaker flours, e.g. spelt, that an autolyse might not be the best method and to add strength the salt should be added at the beginning. Would this be the same for durum flour?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Hi Abe.

Durum often has a low stability (farinograph data) which can be inferred as a low fermentation tolerance. Such is the case this means that Durum degrades fast.

An autolyse is always useful but one must keep it short and indeed consider using salt.

As you might know those formulas for Durum bread in Italy (pane di Altamura, pane di Matera) are done in a short amount of time. The whole process happens very quickly because that is the nature of durum; it can't handle long fermentation.

Hope that helps.

 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Very helpful. I'm formulating my weekend bake which will have wholegrain wheat and durum. With the info you've given me I think I'll autolyse just the wholewheat, to soften the bran, for a longer period and add the durum when forming the final dough. This way the majority has had an autolyse but we haven't tired the durum flour.  

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Extract from: Advances in Baking Technology
B. S. KAMEL AND C. E. STAUFFER, ©1993 (first edition), Springer, Page 62

3.9.5 Dr Calvel's autolysis process

This rapid dough development method was developed in France in 1956 by a Professor Calvel and is now used, with adaptations, by a number of high output bakeries in France, Spain and Italy for the production of baguettes and similar crusty breads.  Spiral mixing systems are used in the automated production plants.

The Calvel autolysis method involves three mixing stages:

1.    The mixing of the flour and water only on fast speed on the spiral mixer. It is recommended that the hydration of the flour is achieved as quickly as possible during this stage, hence mixing on fast speed, and mixing is complete with the gluten is fully hydrated and a clear dough is obtained. {"clear dough" seems to refer to a dough that clears the side of the mixing bowl, i.e. pulls itself off the side.}

2.    The dough is now left in bulk to rest and this, together with the initial mixing time, is described as the time when autolysis proceeds, which means the absorption of water by the flour protein and starch.

3.    The final stage is the addition of yeast, salt, and other dough ingredients and an intensive mixing of the dough is given to complete the dough development.

The Calvel process would appear to have been adopted by some high output plants using modern spiral mixers of high output.  The author is aware of fully automatic spiral mixing systems, where the mixing bowls rotate on a carousel, stopping at various processing points, i.e. Position 1, flour and water addition; Position 2, mixing of flour and water, say 3 minutes on fast speed; Positions 3 and 4, dough rest positions, say 15 minutes each, with yeast and other ingredients added at the end of the rest period in Position 4; Position 5, final dough mixing, say 6 minutes on fast speed; Position 6, bowl elevation and dough tipping.  The empty bowl continues to Position 1 to start the cycle again.

The above plant gives a continuous production of dough, the output depending on the mix size, with 1200 kg dough output per hour and above possible.
Dough development on the Calvel system is by mechanical action during final mixing in the presence of ascorbic acid as the oxidant.  The initial mixing may aid the conversion of ascorbic acid to dehydroascorbic acid since it takes place in the absence of yeast and the ascorbic acid is not competing with the yeast for available atmospheric oxygen.

Users of the system claim the following advantage over a one-stage mixing system: softer but less sticky doughs which are easier to process; improved product volume; softer crumb; longer shelf-life; better flavor.

The process times given above are guides only, users being very guarded about the actual times they use.  It is also possible to use energy input as a measure of dough development rather than simply mixing to a specific time.

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

for sharing your extensive knowledge and putting me back on the right path about flours!!!

I certainly don't want to mislead anybody and it is easy for me to get confused with all the information that I try to absorb (or the bits of a puzzle that I come across which are also not always consistent information...) and to align it with my sensory experience with the flours that I bake...

What I am trying to understand is when I look at flour not to merely look at the high % of protein = a lot of gluten by itself but also what type of flour is prone to have a certain gliadin/gluten ratio and what this means... Now...sadly it does not tell us this ratio on the bag of flour....so what I am experimenting with is mixing different flours to compensate different nature of flour .and that's why my Durum/Spelt and strong white Canadian combination seems to work so well for me...ha...but leading me to the total wrong conclusion...and must be more careful in the future...I normally let it have a min 2 hours Autolyse (or more sometimes) and with what you are saying the durum combined with the Canadian flour counteracts the spelt and gives me the right balance at is appears....

I was recommended a book called 

Influence of gliadin and glutenin on breadmaking properties of flour by Theunis Robberts but sadly many of these books are not cheap and putting it on my wish list amongst other things. 

Thank you very much for your help..

The easily misled baker....

edit... Just baked this loaf this morning and works so well every time..

100g Semola Rimacinata

100g Spelt Shipton Mills

225g Strong Marriages White

225g Strong Canadian, 2 % salt and 5g diastatic malt

2 hours AL, 5 1/2 hours bulk at 23C, no preshape, 1 hour at room temp before in wine cooler at 4C for 15 hours...and 78% Hydration.... I will try to up the Semola Rimacinata and see what happens...I had it up to 30% before...

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Don't worry Kat, you consistently make great bread and that's all that matters.

I just needed to highlight the differences of those wheats (durum and spelt). They are both weak but the nature of their gluten is very different.

Indeed protein content doesn't mean much alone. However, as I alluded, obtaining gliadin/glutenin ratios will be impossible and what you really want is data from rheological testing. This data will tell you all you need to know.

If this subject really interests you then I highly recommend "The Neopolitan Pizza" by Enzo Coccia (available in English) where these rheological tests are explained in detail. It will be game changer in your understanding of this subject.

Keep up the great work...

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and thank you Michael for the recommendation! I am wondering how much I want to go down the rabbit hole of science and I am mainly a 'sensory' baker experimenting with many different flours as I can but I think a certain knowledge of the science is really important to understand  cause and effect and to improve baking...

Thank you again for the great tip... Kat

 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Hello, Mr. Wilson.

 I found your explanation of the different gluten characteristics of fours very interesting, albeit a bit over my head. That being said, I developed the attached formula for a 18" N.Y. Style pizza skin. I do like the results I have been getting. However, I was wondering why the dough was so extendable. My commercial yeast/100% bread flour dough is a little more elastic, (this is a good thing.) I am now thinking that the 5% spelt may be the culprit of the overly extendable dough?

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Hi Will.

Thanks.

Interesting formula. Indeed the Spelt will contribute some additional extensibility, however the poolish-type pre-ferment you are using will also. And 67% hydration is pretty high for pizza dough.

Still you are getting some good results, so well done.

In Italy pizza is made with medium strength flour (~ W250-320) and is a firm dough but just very well relaxed.

I know that american flours are naturally more resistant so I understand why you might opt for more water but I would definitely claw back on that hydration!

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

The N.Y. style street slice pies I am trying to emulate are made with hi gluten flour. In fact I am confident in stating that 95% of NYC pizzerias use General Mills all trumps flour (upwards of 14% protein) At the moment I am using KABF. However, with any luck I will pick up a 50lb bag of all trumps this weekend. My hydration is defiantly on the upper fringe of NY style hydration. I am shooting for a more open airy crust.

 food

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Thanks so much for this extremely useful insight. I don't mean to hijack the thread but if you have time to respond I would love to hear if you have any thoughts on the rheological properties of khorasan, and on how it responds to autolysis and to acidic conditions.

I've been trying to learn to make bread with a fresh-milled mixture  hard red winter and khorasan (Kamut brand). My results have been very uneven and I'm finding it challenging to isolate variables.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thank you Jess.

Khorasan is like durum, naturally tenacious but weak.

This flour can in no way handle prolonged resting or fermentation. It degrades as soon as it gets wet.

Fresh milled is too much of an uncertainty for me so I don't do it. Milling is a highly skilled profession, so doing it yourself is an unknown factor.

Generally though home-milled flour will be inconsistent and more challenging to work with.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

Thank you so much, Michael.

I am beginning to understand that the challenges I'm facing are a natural consequence of the flours I'm using, rather than some specific thing I'm doing wrong. It will be interesting to see if I can develop some consistency using freshly-milled flours, if I learn to do enough thing right.

I certainly get great results with quickbreads and muffins, but the yeasted breads are a whole different ballgame. 

Thanks again. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your expertise.  -Jess