The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Tried New Flour, Got New Problems. Questions for the forum

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

Tried New Flour, Got New Problems. Questions for the forum

I apologize if this is a bit wordy...

Costco had an unbelievable deal on CENTRAL MILLING AP flour, so I took the bait. I did notice after getting home that the new flour was only 10.5 percent protein compared to the 11.7 of KA AP White that I normally use.

Using the new flour and same recipe I am accustomed to https://www.thefreshloaf.com/handbook/san-francisco-style-sourdough, I made this mess... notice the rise is only about 1/4 inch higher than a shot glass.

OBSERVATION:  After mixing the dough (flour, salt, starter, and water) the dough seemed a tiny bit wetter than normal.  I took no steps in correcting this (did not add a little more flour).

OBSERVATION: Normally, with KA AP, I only need to do about 4 stretch and folds (about 2 hrs).  With this CENTRAL MILLING flour, I immediately noticed problems during my stretch and folding.... the development of gluten was slow and and what developed was very weak. Therefore I continued stretching and folding for another 2 hours (a total of 4 hrs, stretched and folded every 35 or so minutes). After my final 6th stretch and fold, the dough was barely pulling away off the tubberware proofing container without tearing. 

Which leads me to my first question: Can the strength of a dough or gluten development be reversed by too many stretch and folds?

After pre-shaping and final shaping I put it into a batard banneton where it sat on counter top for 2 hours. During the two hours, only about 3/4 inch rise in dough took place. After the two hours I placed it into the fridge over night for retard. Dough seemed to rise another 1/2 inch overnight.

The day before baking, I pulled my starter from fridge, portioned off 100gms and fed the 100gms with 100gms of new flour and 100gms of water (100 percent hydration). Newly fed starter sat on countertop for 15 hrs (it rose and peaked) before using.

I don't want to assume I did nothing wrong and do not want to judge the flour prematurely. but taking a look at my past picture posts, I have have produced some good loaves.  Are there any clues to what might have gone wrong? Was it the drop in protein content?

On a positive note, the bread tasted fine.

 

happycat's picture
happycat

Subject to the experts, which I am not

OBSERVATION:  After mixing the dough (flour, salt, starter, and water) the dough seemed a tiny bit wetter than normal.  I took no steps in correcting this (did not add a little more flour).

I wonder how well the new flour was absorbing the moisture? I checked your recipe link and saw no autolyse.

 

 

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

True. However I was under the assumption that autolse is just for whole wheat. No?

OK, assuming it needs to autolyse, during the entire counter top working time of 4 hrs (mixing,  stretching and folds, and proofing),  should the dough have absorbed (autolyse) and firmed up. It never did.

I will redo this loaf next weekend. I will properly autolyse before adding salt and starter. If I run into hydration problems again, I will correct by adding a few grams of flour.

phaz's picture
phaz

Gluten can be heather by excessive kneading - but the method employed by most ie what you see here and I'm sure other places isn't gonna do it - far from it very far.

Difference in protein % - maybe - probably not.

And I'll end with - should have went with what you saw and felt. That's what real baker's do. Enjoy! 

Ming's picture
Ming

I remember when I first started making bread (not long ago actually) I did not know any better but I did know to buy bread flour (making bread with bread flour makes a lot sense) at the beginning and long story short I subsequently substituted AP flour and ran into problems with the dough rejecting water like falling apart. What I learned since then was AP flour was less thirsty than bread flour and the hydration must be adjusted accordingly between the two types. Nowadays, every time I use a new flour, I always make a small dough to test the water and get a feel for what level of hydration required per my liking with the flour. Anyhow, you might have to do the same with your new flour by experimenting with different hydration levels. Have fun!! 

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

Ming, do you still is bread flour? What about bread flour in the starter?

Ming's picture
Ming

I still use bread flour and several other types (AP, WW, rye, Kamut, etc.). I do not use bread flour to feed my starter, as I find it to be too strong and is too difficult to transfer out of the jar. I find that 80% AP and 20% rye work best for my starter the way I like it. 

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

Thanks. I won't put in my starter but I might try the KA Bread flour for some sourdough bread.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Use some Vital Wheat Gluten to increase the percent protein of your flour. There is a Pearson's Square Formula to calculate how much VWG is required. There are some on-line calculators on the web, but I suggest you research the formula and create your own spreadsheet ( I have one I made if you need). I had to use some VWG to make Debra Winks 100% whole-wheat sandwich loaf as my own whole-wheat was only 10.8% and Debra recommends about 16%. It worked a treat!

Cheers,

Gavin

 

dhaban's picture
dhaban

I would also add that Organic KA AP Flour is more than just flour. They blend in malted barley flour with their wheat flour. From my personal experiences, KA flour creates a very active and happy yeast culture.

Limpa Dude's picture
Limpa Dude

The flour you bought from Costco is the Central Milling "Beehive" all-purpose flour.  According to Central Milling's website, Beehive's protein content is 10.7, which is significantly below the 11.7 percent that King Arthur claims for its all-purpose flour.  The King Arthur all-purpose arguably borders on bread flour.  I find that single percentage point difference is a biggie and have difficulty making some items with King Arthur (especially Ciabatta and other very high-hydration breads).  Both flours reportedly are malted, though it's not clear to what degree as far as I can tell. 

I like the Beehive flour, but definitely need to adjust to get a good rise relative to higher protein flours.  Autolyse, stretch and fold until one can draw a windowpane, nail the correct rise during proofing, score properly, and bake in a moist oven to get good lift (e.g., in a dutch oven or by adding water to the oven during initial bake).

BKSinAZ's picture
BKSinAZ

This time I adjusted the water and autolysed. This flour is thirsty.

Ming's picture
Ming

What a beauty to behold, congratulations!  

happycat's picture
happycat

Yay! Nice work.

Benito's picture
Benito

Beautiful full loaf, love the scoring and the blisters.

Benny