Starting to get serious
I've been baking bread for some time but never really serious about it. The past few years I've been working on trying to be more self sustainable, so a lot less processed/prepared grocery and more ingredients and staples. I finally got past the hurdle of the sourdough starter. I had tried and tried unsuccessfully for weeks to get one going with a fluctuating temperature household (no central air). I built a proofing vessel and was able to get mine off and going in 7 days as per the instructions.
Fast forward about 3 weeks, I decided to make an account and participate with you all. My most recent revelation was how poor a lot of the consumer grade flour is. I had been using a lot of gold medal bread flour, even king arthur bread flour and never got the right feel in the dough, and never had the flavor and texture I associated with a small town bakery. So during this pandemic, it's been hard to find flour, especially whole wheat or bread flour in my area. I decided to bite the bullet and spend a pretty penny to have a 50lb bag of General Mills All Trumps bleached bromated enriched high gluten flour, the shipping was nearly twice as much as the flour itself, but the total still came out to around the price of 5lb sacks of King Arthur bread flour, so I suppose I'm not complaining. After using this dough now for 2 loafs and 1 pizza, I don't think I'll be able to go back to a consumer flour. It made the most tender, moist crumb full of flavor, great browning and incredible rise. I was sure to knead the dough less than I would have King Arthurs due to the bromate, and it was just a dream to work with.
Now I want to make a starter from it, to experiment with vs my 50/50 whole wheat/all purpose starter.
I don't have any plans for a dutch oven bake this week to try out the All Trumps with my 50/50 starter, but I do plan to make another 2 loafs of King Arthurs Sourdough Sandwich bread which has been a home run at the house. I didn't have any of the powdered milk available as per the recipe, so I sub'd out all the dry milk and water for 1 1/2 cups of 2% milk.
I want to experiment and be able to replace the commercial yeast in the recipe for only the leaven.
I really enjoy whole wheat sandwhich bread, sourdough boules, rye sandwich bread, pumpernickel, rolls, biscuits anything made with flour!
Isn’t it amazing? Once you understand the process, and develop your technique, the right ingredients make the difference between frustration & inspiration.
It really is. I am thinking the next level is a grain mill for my kitchenaid and begin shopping for different wheats.
That’s a whole ‘nother animal. I don’t mill whole grain & haven’t had the interest, honestly. Hasn’t grain been hard to get, also? I was not planing on going down that road, but this whole covid thing has me wondering if some of the open grassy area, in my back yard, should grow wheat, instead. I’ve got trees, for limes, lemons, oranges, peaches, apricots, plums, apples, and almonds; shrubs, for blueberries; vines, for grapes; the garden, for herbs & veggies. Maybe wheat is not that far of a reach. But, then again...
Next year, when you need to replace the 50 pound bag, you might want to see if there is a local distributor or restaurant supply who will sell to individuals on a cash basis.
Go here, and plug in your zip code to get started: https://www.generalmillscf.com/products/category/flour/hard-spring-wheat/all-trumps-bleached-bromated-enriched-malted-50lb
or check your yellow pages for restaurant suppliers.
So your experience is the General Mills flour is significantly better than the King Arthur flour? That is unexpected to my ears! Huh, I wish I could easily compare without buying 50 lbs..
This is just a hunch, but it sounds like it's the bromated aspect of the All Trumps 14.2% protein flour that is giving him the performance that he likes. Bromoted makes it more extensible. So the net effect is "hi pro bro" is better for him than the KA, for his kinda dough.
The past summer, I saw a large stack of All Trumps bleached/bromated 50 pound bags of flour at a local pizzeria. And that seems to fit since pizziaolos want dough extensibility in their production environment.
(I think I could make a rap ditty out of hi-pro bro in the work flow, ya know? Just goes ta show, for those in the know. Depending on where ya go to spend your dough. )
(We could have a "battle rap" of bro versus un-bro, fo' sho' !)
Bwahahaha, that’s awesome!
Yeah it's true I am a hi pro bro no doubt, at least in certain circumstances :) I am loving the extra chew I get on my sandwich slices, it feels more sturdy and still has that moist pillowy interior when turned into toast. I think this flour will overall have limited use as I like to make sweet bread and biscuits, and have been looking more towards some cake flours to improve those.
Next is going to be a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and all trumps and see if I can keep the crumb similar