The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Observation: Durum, acid and oxidation

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Observation: Durum, acid and oxidation

Can durum flour be over-oxidised by hand kneading?

Yes. I managed to turn the golden yellow flour near white with hand kneading alone. The reason can also be attributed to the high acidity and firm nature of the my starter at the time. It was too acidic and acidity facilitates oxidation.

Kneading this dough required serious effort. So much so I had to develop a new technique. Durum is highly tenacious to begin with and the acid just makes that worse.

I got close to full development and this durum dough managed to triple in volume which you wouldn't think were possible with this flour.

Such amazing flour and I killed it! Look away now if bleached durum is offensive (I know I hate myself!)


 

alfanso's picture
alfanso

With your golden hands turning golden grain white!  The carotenoid police already have a APB out on you.  Now, about those callouses, did they turn white also?

Come ben sai, mi piace molto il grano semola,

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

Sono d'accordo, farina molto bene. Il colore dell'oro raffinato italiano 24 carati

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Yes it was a criminal act for which I shall surely pay. But it wasn't me officer, it was the acid!

The grave is dug and the dough is buried. A little piece of this guy now seeds a new batch...

 

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

What have you done! Please tell me this is the magic of lens filters. I don't mind if it's a lie lol

How did you manage to achieve that? I'm seriously intrigued to learn how long it took to develop the dough to this stage. 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Didn't take all that long, 30 minutes or so, initially with traditional kneading and then I did have to work it hard by pulling at the dough in a continuous fashion until it broke, then I layered the pieces and repeated. What was a very firm ball at 60% hydration eventually became more extensible and elastic.

My intention with this post is to highlight how starters can exist on a spectrum of being oxidative or reductive. For which I will explain further... in time.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

With the last of the durum I made what is probably my best 100% SD durum loaf to date. I managed to work the dough to full development with very little bleaching. I have been experimenting with the Altamura process whereby a piece of dough is kept and then rebuilt, turns out it works quite effectively. A noted point was to make sure the salted old dough fully matures before refreshing. I am also keeping the refresh and old dough in water - to minimise acid development and maximise cell numbers.


Knocked back after bulk (+50%)


Crackled crust due to full gluten development.

Benito's picture
Benito

Wow, that crust is incredible.  Love the colour, blisters and crackle.  Great baking Michael, it looks perfect.

Benny

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Benny.

I always get blisters for some reason, even without retarding. I somehow think there is a connection between L. sanfranciscensis and blisters, although I did steam it to be fair.

I'm glad you like,

Cheers,
Michael

alfanso's picture
alfanso

We have a small but hopefully growing group of durum aficionados on TFL.  I like seeing the occasional posting like this one.  Agreed that the crust looks great.  My go-to durum dough is 60/40 durum/AP but I think that I'll move up to 100% for a few bakes.

alan

mwilson's picture
mwilson

 next community bake? 100% durum breads... maybe?

This little run of durum bakes has allowed me to revisit the interactions of SD chemistry and the peculiarities of this flour which must be treated with respect, especially since buying small quantities online seems to be unjustly expensive. Like a moth to the flame more golden flour is on the way...

Cheers,
Michael

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Deleted Duplicate Post

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Please elaborate, “ I managed to work the dough to full development with very little bleaching.” This is a present concern of mine, since bleaching is so detrimental to the flavor. Lately. My doughs are mixed on slow speed only. What are you doing to prevent oxidation while fully developing your gluten?

What percentage of old dough are you using? I have started adding my aliquot test dough (100g) to my next baguette bake.

Sweet looking loaf...

Thanks,
Danny

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Hey Danny,

I think there are number factors which influence a rate of oxidation and the tendency for a bleaching effect. Namely the chemical composition of the dough and the type of mechanical action employed. Mixing gently and slowly seems to work for me when using softer wheats although like I say the chemical aspect really plays a part too. It's also worth noting that lipoxygenase enzymes are naturally present in wheat but I presume they are mostly located within the germ or the aleurone layer.

My most recent durum loaf I mixed for more than an hour both by machine and by hand and yet I retained a very yellow crumb.

The reason for the long mixing time is because durum's gluten is typically very resistant and only a sufficient amount of energy input can work it out. In my case hand mixing was more effective than my mixer because I could apply a greater degree of shear force that way while limiting oxidation. In the mixer on low speed after 20 mins very little, if any gluten development actually occurred and so I switch to classic under the heal kneading.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

An example crumb of a previous 100% Durum SD bake.

Then garlic butter with thyme was applied...

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Would you mind describing your handling and refresh process of old dough? Or have you posted that elsewhere? I have wanted to make old dough man tou for a while. At the moment, I am using retarded 50% hydration biga as a substitute. It seems that they produce similar effects like improving elasticity and improving flavours...? I have not researched much in the topic so any information will be appreciated. 

On another note, your durum bread looks awesome! Is that butter on the buns? With dill I am guessing?  

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Thanks Elsie. The buttered "buns" are actually a focaccia, about 8 inches in diameter sliced through the middle. I applied some homemade garlic butter with fresh thyme, wrapped in foil and baked. Garlic bread is always a winner for me!

Old dough process - I am using an old dough sourdough process without any additional commercial yeast which I haven't used in years. This is experimental so I am not following any strict rules as such. The first bake with durum was seeded with my lievito madre starter. And from then on I have been applying the old dough process.

A reserved piece of dough is allowed to leaven and it is then refrigerated for a few days. Letting it expire doesn't appear to be a problem. The refresh is done at a 1:1 (old dough : flour) ratio, adding enough water to make a very firm dough. I let this leaven until I feel it's ready about 4 hours or so. Then I use the refreshed ("re-make") to seed a standard formula...

100% durum wheat
20-30% refreshed dough
60-65% water
2% salt

With this new batch I keep a small piece and repeat the process. The reserved dough and refresh I let rise in water to help speed things along.

My aim here was to see how well this process works, so far so good...

Cheers,
Michael

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Thanks Michael! I guess I'd give it a go and see where it leads me.

Oh I didn't expect the garlic. Garlic butter focaccia sounds so addictive... A disaster for my waistline.

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

and you are forgiven for slapping that previous batch until pale!...Do you find that Durum always makes a crunchier crumb or is it just me....

I had not much luck to source more Caputo Rimacinata recently but must try again...where do you get your Durum in UK? I got some from Shipton Mill but was not too impressed and prefered the Rimacinata...

Altamura CB...that woud be an adventure... Kat

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

In the US, the least expensive retail durum flour  (actual flour, not gritty semolina) can be found at Indian and Indian/Pakistani grocers.  I suppose there are many Indian grocers in the UK.

Read labels carefully to see if you are purchasing "white" (ie, refined, branless, germless) durum, whole grain durum, or high extraction (some, but not all, bran/germ) durum.

Semolina and semolina rimacinata are, by definition, refined/branless/germless.

Some Indian millers use the term "whole grain" loosely, in which they mean it is partially whole grain, but not 100% whole grain.  A more accurate description would be "high extraction."

For instance, the Golden Temple brand of durum "atta", is reconstituted with bran, and has vitamin enrichments.  It is a very good flour. I have used it. (As has user alfanso, who also liked it.)  But it is not 100% whole grain. 

albacore's picture
albacore

Dave, out of interest, I've been keeping my eyes open for durum chapatti flour in the UK. There is a vast array of chapatti flour in the UK, but I have had no success in locating any durum. I even emailed "Elephant Atta", who seem to be pretty big players in the UK chapatti flour scene and they informed me that they have no durum chapatti flour.

All the UK chapatti flour appears to be made from "grano tenero", as the Italians would call it. Possibly there is some durum directly imported from India or Pakistan, but I have not found it.

It is unclear to me why Atta in the US would be durum (triticum turgidum durum), but standard wheat (triticum aestivum) in the UK. Any ideas or suggestions as to which brands available in the UK might be durum would be appreciated.

Lance

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

atta just means at least partiallly whole wheat.  To belabor the point, because it is confusing, atta can mean high extraction or 100% whole wheat.

Atta does not describe the type of grain: soft, hard, durum.

IOW, not all atta is durum, and not all durum is atta.

"Durum atta" therefore means: "durum flour that has at least some of the bran."

("Atta" might be restricted to "wheat", or might not. I am unaware if it includes that distinction.)

The confusion/problem is not just with Indian millers. In the US, commercially sold bread with whole wheat constituting 51% of the flour can legally be labeled "whole wheat bread."  So if the consumer wants 100% WW bread, they must look for "100% Whole Wheat" on the label.

Ask Alfanso is his bag of Golden Temple Durum Atta has a country of origin.  It has been so long since I bought that brand, I forgot where it comes from.

The local Indian  grocers that I have patronized  carry Canadian and Indian grown flour. And at least some carry US flour.

Some of the Indian brands show"100% whole grain" on the  label, and some say "whole grain". So I strongly suspect "whole grain" does not equate to "100% whole grain."   And the store keepers only know what the label says. They don't know, and likely don't care about the nitty-gritty details like us bread-heads do.

--

See www.sherbrarmills.com , a Canadian mill owned by Indians, just as an info resource.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

or tack... is to ask for "durum flour" without mentioning the word "chapati", or "atta"  or any other qualifier.

One thing I have learned from speaking with people from around the world, and even from different parts of Indiana: you never know in advance what connotation people from other locations put on words.  Such connotations might serve as "restrictive qualifiers" in ways we can't imagine.  It is not unusual for a slight rewording to open the "thought pathway" or "communication path" that you seek.  This happens even among so-called fluent English speakers.

So.... saying "chapati durum" or "durum atta" may cause some clerk to think you seek only flour from India, and therefore they might not bother to mention they have "durum flour" from Canada.

Durum is grown in Italy, elsewhere in the EU, and India, as well as the US and Canada, plus several other countries.  According to Wikipedia, India grows more durum than the US and Canada combined.

From what I've read, EU does not grow enough durum to meet the needs of EU pasta makers, and therefore they import durum from both Canada and the US.

You might try contacting Sher Brar Mills in CA and asking what Indian grocery chains in the UK carry their products, if any.

Hope this helps some.

albacore's picture
albacore

On investigation, durum wheat grown in India only accounts for 5 - 10% of all the wheat grown in India, so it would suggest that true durum atta is only a very small proportion of all the atta consumed in India, given that a lot of the durum grain will be used to make semolina type products.

So maybe durum atta is more specifically a US/Canada produced product?

 

Lance

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Yes, that makes sense.

Also, decent bread can be made from gritty semolina, with sufficient and non-fermenting autolyse.   

User pul recently made a nice loaf from the gritty kind: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/65377/yeast-water-100-semolina-bread

I checked some online UK Indian grocers, and there appears to be 3 grades of semolina, fine, medium and coarse.

albacore's picture
albacore

Yes, Pul's loaf looked excellent. I've often seen those semolina grades (and bought them) in the UK. Being fortunate enough to own a Mockmill, I usually regrind them as fine as I can, in the style of semola rimacinata.

What isn't clear to me is how good this semola is compared to the Caputo and other brands. I guess it will depend on the quality of the durum used.

I remember reading a post by TFL member nicodvb a long time ago where he said semola quality varied tremendously between producers and especially whether it was from the North or South of Italy. Of course I can't find the post now!

Lance

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Hi Kat, sorry for the long time delay in replying.

Yes I think I know what you mean about the crunchier quality. Durum's gluten is tougher and that comes through in the final product I would say.

There are many listing for semola rimacinata on amazon although the price for small quantities is shockingly expensive and unjustly so. A 25Kg sack for almost a £1 per kilo and modest shipping cost is available here but I am not ready for that kind of commitment. 

Currently I am using DeCecco's rimacinata (14% protein) which is very absorbent and very strong / resistant, deep yellow and top quality!


Cheers,
Michael

PS. preview of latest loaf made with 100% DeCecco Semola rimacinata

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

I will have to consider all your thoughts on durum flour and the idea of grinding it finer with a Mockmill, if only I had one, is a great idea....I for sure prefer the finer one for bread baking personally but that loaf from Pul looked totally amazing using less fine one too...must explore that again... Kat

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

and I love the DeCecco durum too and got it last time I went to Germany in a local supermarket for a great price......In hindsight should have stocked up much more! Oh well.......Happy Baking...Kat