The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Golden buffalo flour advice?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Golden buffalo flour advice?

I ordered Golden Buffalo flour from Heartland Mill after reading several very positive comments about it from other bakers on TFL. I have my first bread using Golden Buffalo fermenting. It is Hamelman's Miche, ponte-a-calliere, which I have made several times before, using King Arthur First Clear flour.

 

The Golden Buffalo flour seems to be a coarse grind, and the dough that resulted from using the weights of flour and water specified in Hamelman's formula is much less slack than that made with First Clear flour. How the baked bread differs from my past experience remains to be seen.

 

My question is: Have those of you (bwraith, zolablue, others) with Golden Buffalo experience found you have to add additional water to doughs made with this flour? Any other information about peculiarities of Golden Buffalo would be appreciated, too. 

 

David 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

David,

Yes, it does require a good deal more water, maybe as much as an extra 7-10% hydration compared to what you would use for the same consistency in a white flour. You can treat it something like a whole grain flour as far as water and soaking goes. I've found I do well to soak the flour overnight, just as I would when making a whole grain hearth bread. The ash content is around 1.1%, so it does behave somewhat like a whole grain flour. With more water, it becomes very extensible. I was a little surprised by this flour and didn't like it at first. However, I've come to really like it for country French miche style breads. Zolablue got me going with it by getting me to do the Thom Leonard CF using 100% GB flour, and it worked very well. I've been using it regularly since, although I've now come around to using the Heartland Mill berries to make a home milled and sifted version that is similar to GB. If you don't soak it, it may also need a tiny dose of malt powder. The falling number is up over 400. However, with soaking overnight, it doesn't need the malt powder.

Bill

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Yes. The Golden Buffalo flour did absorb water like crazy. I like the idea of using it in a soaker and will try to remember to do this next time. If I am making a miche using Golden Buffalo only, how much of the flour would you soak? All of it? Overnight? 

I made the miche with Hamelman's recommended hydration, and, of course, the crumb was not as open as it had been when I used First Clear flour, but the texture was actually lovely - both chewy and tender. 

I will post photos in my blog on TFL. 

Thanks!

David

bwraith's picture
bwraith

David,

I've soaked all the flour in the refrig with all remaining dough ingredients other than the levain,  so far, but I could see soaking less than all of it. The fact that the addition of any malt powder leads to gumminess makes me wonder if soaking less of it might be better. I could see trying to soak about 50% or soaking for less time. My typical formula would be to put about 15% of the flour in a levain and soak all the remaining flour, so if you soaked 50%, that would still be about 65% soaked. In the case of the mash bread recipe I've done a few times, I've had some trouble with sticky, gummy dough if I both made a mash and then soaked the mash overnight with the remainder of the dough ingredients. I've learned to reserve most of the remaining flour as dry flour when I make a mash bread in order to have a better final dough texture.

Bill