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DianaM

The Bread Topic (2016-)

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I bough some of the Platinum yeast about a year ago and used one package.  My results were less impressive than @ElsieD.

I still have two packets left so I’ll try again.

i don’t remember what I paid but it wasn’t anywhere close to $15.

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9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I use King Arthur Organic All Purpose.  Raymond Calvel said King Arthur was the best baguette flour in North America.  It is 11.7 percent protein.

 

But I am open to a suggestion.

 

@JoNorvelleWalker,  11.7 % seems low for making the kind of bread that you make.    Any chance there are some local mills in your area?  If so you might

try and buy some locally milled flour.   I have a friend that just ordered some flour from this Mill in Illinois that has 14.4%.

CHICAGO" ORGANIC SIFTED BREAD FLOUR

 

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2 hours ago, Ann_T said:

@JoNorvelleWalker,  11.7 % seems low for making the kind of bread that you make.    Any chance there are some local mills in your area?  If so you might

try and buy some locally milled flour.   I have a friend that just ordered some flour from this Mill in Illinois that has 14.4%.

CHICAGO" ORGANIC SIFTED BREAD FLOUR

 

 

Ann, your link does not work for me.  (And Illinois is not exactly local.)

 

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7 hours ago, teonzo said:

 

If you are having sudden troubles with your bread, while you are making it like in the past (same recipe, same ingredients, same functioning brain), then it can mean that the flour is different than from the past. Which is something that can happen, producers are human too. We can't be sure that each time we buy the same ingredient then it's always exactly the same. It can vary due to some changes in the original ingredient (wheat can't always be the same month after month, year after year). Sometimes producers make errors and the "wrong" product ends in the package. With "wrong" I mean both something completely different or something similar (within the features required by the definition of that product) but different from the past. For example some years back I was making pate a choux using the flour from one of the best producers in Italy (flour specifically labelled for pate a choux), pastries were like a brick, it came out that the producer made a mistake and that lot was something completely different... even the best make mistakes. Or you can get a flour with the same exact gluten content, but different pentosans content (pentosans are the ones most responsible for water absorption). There can be a lot of reasons for getting a different product with the same package.

 

Having said that, the book by Calvel is pretty old now, so things can have changed a lot in the meantime. From what I've read (Gisslen, Suas and so on, no direct experience due to living in a different continent) what is labeled as "all purpose flour" in the USA can change quite a lot and has changed quite a lot in the years. I remember reading in an old book (around 20 years ago) that all purpose flour had and average 13% protein and being surprised, since that value would be considered quite high here (our analogue of what you call "all purpose" has about 11% protein). 11.7% protein seems low for a baguette recipe, I would try looking for a flour with about 13% protein and which aimed purpose is for bread, since all purpose flour tends to have the weak kind of gluten while you need a medium strong balance.

 

 

 

Teo

 

 

Teo, thanks.  I shall assay a higher protein flour.  It is worth a try.  But truly I don't believe the protein level of my flour is the problem.  Remember that protein content of flours is measured differently in the US and Europe.  According to the tables I have available American 11.7 percent protein flour is equivalent to French 13.93 percent protein flour.

 

Also King Arthur Flour has been in business since 1790 and their hallmark is the consistency of their flour...recent recalls for E. coli or no.

 

I am firmly persuaded my problem is with the mixing.  I use a KitchenAid KSM8990WH.  According to many authors bread dough is supposed to form a ball around the dough hook.  My dough does not.  It sits in a puddle in the bottom of the bowl.  Unless I run the KitchenAid on ludicrous speed,* in which case the dough mixes but the resulting crumb suffers mightily.

 

I have tested my gram scale with a battery of standard weights and the scale is dead accurate to the gram.

 

 

*this may or may not be a joke shared with Europeans.

 

 

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Have you ever tried just using your hands as opposed to a mixer? Just curious? poken by Ms Old School here...

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18 minutes ago, heidih said:

Have you ever tried just using your hands as opposed to a mixer? Just curious? poken by Ms Old School here...

 

Yes, but I have Dupuytren's and not much hand strength.  Mixing is what I pay KitchenAid for.

 

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6 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Ann, your link does not work for me.  (And Illinois is not exactly local.)

Yes I realize that the mill in Illinois was not local. It was just an example of one of many flour mills throughout  the US that sells locally grown milled flour. They also ship. There might be something similar  in your area.

https://www.themillatjaniesfarm.com/

 

 

 


Edited by Ann_T (log)
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8 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

But truly I don't believe the protein level of my flour is the problem.  Remember that protein content of flours is measured differently in the US and Europe.  According to the tables I have available American 11.7 percent protein flour is equivalent to French 13.93 percent protein flour.

 

I can't say anything about the possible difference in protein content in the USA and Europe, I have zero experience on it.
But "all purpose" flour is the one used by default by people who make cookies at home, at least this is what I understand reading books and websites. If you use a baguette flour for making a cookie, then you are preparing yourself for some unpleasant surprises. I would steer far from what was written in the English edition of "Le Gout du Pain" and give credit to what the US home bakers are doing nowadays (the home baking scene is much much more advanced nowadays than when "The Taste of Bread" was released).
Besides that, you need a flour with the correct ratio between glutenin and gliadin. You can get pretty different results with flours that have the same protein %. If you try making a baguette with pizza flour (which is skewed on the extensive gluten, meaning more gliadin) then you end up with a ciabatta, not a baguette. This is something people should pay more attention to. Here in Italy we can see on the packages the values that are really important for baking: W and P/L. Especially P/L is important for what you are going to do. I was able to give a look to some scans of Modernist Bread pages, these values were not specified in any recipe, each time it was a generic definition for what flour to use, even for panettone which calls for specific values otherwise it's going to be a disaster. Here in Italy even the amateurs would consider pure crap a recipe that does not state what P/L you need.
This to say that reading about your experiences and looking at your photos it's pretty clear that you are using the wrong flour. Try changing and looking for another producer. Some quick google search should give you a good idea of what flours that are available in your store are considered good for baguettes by other US home bakers.

 

 

 

8 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I am firmly persuaded my problem is with the mixing.  I use a KitchenAid KSM8990WH.  According to many authors bread dough is supposed to form a ball around the dough hook.  My dough does not.  It sits in a puddle in the bottom of the bowl.  Unless I run the KitchenAid on ludicrous speed,* in which case the dough mixes but the resulting crumb suffers mightily.

 

It takes some time for the dough to form a ball on the hook, but your times should be enough. Beware about one important thing: never go over speed 2 for bread making and similar doughs, otherwise you will ruin your stand mixer. It's stated in the instruction manual.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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On 11/4/2019 at 11:08 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I am sad.  I have an ongoing problem with getting my dough strong enough.  Last week I beat it on high speed and got some strength, but my crumb suffered.  This week I tried doubling my recipe to 1,200 g flour at 68% hydration to see if the larger batch would mix better.  It didn't.  By the Modernist Bread method I mixed 8 minutes on low, added the salt slurry, mixed 2 minutes more, and then 2 minutes on speed 2.

 

9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I am firmly persuaded my problem is with the mixing.  I use a KitchenAid KSM8990WH.  According to many authors bread dough is supposed to form a ball around the dough hook.  My dough does not.  It sits in a puddle in the bottom of the bowl.  Unless I run the KitchenAid on ludicrous speed,* in which case the dough mixes but the resulting crumb suffers mightily.

 

I think you may be right. When I was making dough in my KitchenAid, there's no way that 10 minutes on low + 2 minutes on speed 2 would have formed any reasonable quantity of gluten in my dough.

 

Does Modernist Bread specifically call for a KA in its timings?

 

Are you letting the dough rest and autolyse between the 8 minute mix and the salt slurry? That might help the gluten form on its own a bit.

 

Rather than increasing the speed, I would let it continue running on speed 2 at the end until you get more structure.

 

Final thing I might try is backing off on the water a bit -- I make another bread around 68% and humidity can really mess with it.

 

21 minutes ago, teonzo said:

It takes some time for the dough to form a ball on the hook, but your times should be enough. Beware about one important thing: never go over speed 2 for bread making and similar doughs, otherwise you will ruin your stand mixer. It's stated in the instruction manual.

 

Sadly I can vouch for this from personal experience. Granted I have one of the early-aughts "Pro" models with the plastic gear housing. Need to actually take it apart this weekend to start the repair.


Edited by dtremit (log)

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@JoNorvelleWalker, have you tried KAF's Bread Flour?  Its protein level is listed as 12.75%.  

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14 hours ago, teonzo said:

 

I can't say anything about the possible difference in protein content in the USA and Europe, I have zero experience on it.
But "all purpose" flour is the one used by default by people who make cookies at home, at least this is what I understand reading books and websites. If you use a baguette flour for making a cookie, then you are preparing yourself for some unpleasant surprises. I would steer far from what was written in the English edition of "Le Gout du Pain" and give credit to what the US home bakers are doing nowadays (the home baking scene is much much more advanced nowadays than when "The Taste of Bread" was released).
Besides that, you need a flour with the correct ratio between glutenin and gliadin. You can get pretty different results with flours that have the same protein %. If you try making a baguette with pizza flour (which is skewed on the extensive gluten, meaning more gliadin) then you end up with a ciabatta, not a baguette. This is something people should pay more attention to. Here in Italy we can see on the packages the values that are really important for baking: W and P/L. Especially P/L is important for what you are going to do. I was able to give a look to some scans of Modernist Bread pages, these values were not specified in any recipe, each time it was a generic definition for what flour to use, even for panettone which calls for specific values otherwise it's going to be a disaster. Here in Italy even the amateurs would consider pure crap a recipe that does not state what P/L you need.
This to say that reading about your experiences and looking at your photos it's pretty clear that you are using the wrong flour. Try changing and looking for another producer. Some quick google search should give you a good idea of what flours that are available in your store are considered good for baguettes by other US home bakers.

 

 

 

 

It takes some time for the dough to form a ball on the hook, but your times should be enough. Beware about one important thing: never go over speed 2 for bread making and similar doughs, otherwise you will ruin your stand mixer. It's stated in the instruction manual.

 

 

 

Teo

 

 

Teo, thanks as always.  I must disagree however with your criticism of Modernist Bread.  For panettone Modernist bread recommends (4-21) "...Giusto's High Performance High-Protein Unbleached Flour or King Arthur Sir Lancelot Flour or High-Gluten Flour for the high-gluten flour in this recipe."  You may disagree with their choice of flour, but it is wrong of you to say they do not specify.

 

For the breads I'm making Modernist Bread prefers "Central Milling Organic Artisan Bakers Craft Plus Flour (unbleached and malted): 11.5% protein", "King Arthur Sir Galahad Flour: 11.7% protein", "Gold Medal Better for Bread: 12% protein".

 

I sometimes take risks and don't always believe instruction manuals.  I've kneaded bread dough as high as speed 8.  I have two KitchenAid mixers and I haven't destroyed one yet.

 

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15 hours ago, Franci said:

@JoNorvelleWalker maybe this a stupid question...but how do you add your liquids? All at once? Add only part of them, when the gluten is formed, add the remaining very slowly in order not to loose what you already achieved 

 

Franci, I mix initially at 66.6% then add the rest of the water with the salt.

 

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15 hours ago, dtremit said:

 

 

I think you may be right. When I was making dough in my KitchenAid, there's no way that 10 minutes on low + 2 minutes on speed 2 would have formed any reasonable quantity of gluten in my dough.

 

Does Modernist Bread specifically call for a KA in its timings?

 

Are you letting the dough rest and autolyse between the 8 minute mix and the salt slurry? That might help the gluten form on its own a bit.

 

Rather than increasing the speed, I would let it continue running on speed 2 at the end until you get more structure.

 

Final thing I might try is backing off on the water a bit -- I make another bread around 68% and humidity can really mess with it.

 

 

Sadly I can vouch for this from personal experience. Granted I have one of the early-aughts "Pro" models with the plastic gear housing. Need to actually take it apart this weekend to start the repair.

 

 

If not with your broken KitchenAid how do you mix your dough now?

 

One of the flours MB calls for is KA Sir Galahad 11.7% protein.  Sir Galahad is a commercial flour, sold in 50 pound bags.  I use KA 11.7% protein but in 2 pound bags.

 

I autolyze my dough for about 30 minutes before the 8 minute mix on speed 1.

 

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Thanks to everyone I now have some new ideas to try.  But before that I have two 500-600g bags of dough in the freezer.  I should probably just pitch them, but I'd like to give them a fighting chance.  How can I best thaw the dough?  In the refrigerator?  In a water bath?  In the dumpster?

 

The bags are vacuum sealed which in itself may have built some additional dough strength.

 

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9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Thanks to everyone I now have some new ideas to try.  But before that I have two 500-600g bags of dough in the freezer.  I should probably just pitch them, but I'd like to give them a fighting chance.  How can I best thaw the dough?  In the refrigerator?  In a water bath?  In the dumpster?

 

 

 

😄

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In my experience, thawing in the fridge is a safe bet.  

 

Granted you'll have invested time and fuel cost, but you can always send it to the dumpster later if you don't like the end product.

 

Give dough a chance...


eGullet member #80.

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

If not with your broken KitchenAid how do you mix your dough now?

 

 

I'm such a troglodyte!    I've never owned a stand mixer.    Always by hand.     Maybe the reason no-knead so resonates with me!  😣


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)

eGullet member #80.

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3 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

 

I'm such a troglodyte!    I've never owned a stand mixer.    Always by hand.     Maybe the reason no-knead so resonates with me!  😣

 

 

Since you don't need one I guess that's called no-knead.

 

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I have the commercial KA 8 QT but I rarely use it for bread. I lost the bread hook while moving, I should get one, so I use it even less than before. I take it out it sometimes for very hydrated doughs  here I  use  the flat beater and since it’s not that hard of a dough I go to higher speeds,  I’d switch to the hook again when the gluten is there, if I had the hook. But 90% of the time I admit I use my MUM Bosch, I like much more the hook shape there and It’s brilliant if you are working on small quantities. I maybe use KA if I need to make a cake where I need to beat my eggs for long. 

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1 hour ago, Franci said:

I have the commercial KA 8 QT but I rarely use it for bread. I lost the bread hook while moving, I should get one, so I use it even less than before. I take it out it sometimes for very hydrated doughs  here I  use  the flat beater and since it’s not that hard of a dough I go to higher speeds,  I’d switch to the hook again when the gluten is there, if I had the hook. But 90% of the time I admit I use my MUM Bosch, I like much more the hook shape there and It’s brilliant if you are working on small quantities. I maybe use KA if I need to make a cake where I need to beat my eggs for long. 

 

Thanks Franci, I was not aware of a Bosch mixer.  Seems they make a zillion different models, not all of which are sold in the US.  If you recommend Bosch I may give one a try.  They are about half the price of KitchenAid.  I had been looking at Ankarsrum but Ankarsrum is too expensive for me at the moment.

 

Meanwhile I have higher protein flour on order, though I am still unconvinced that flour is my problem.

 

 

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@JoNorvelleWalker I have this one , it’s not expensive at all. I will not deny that it moves around, looks like a toy, and it’s for small quantities, better for  400-500g flour max but I rarely do more than that anyway. I only reach for the Ka for cakes. 

 

Edit to add: in the past I owned also a different model with a central axel, that is much better for bigger quantities, one of the reason I disliked it compare to the model I linked-which has a tilted head-was exactly I never kneaded big quantities. 


Edited by Franci (log)

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@JoNorvelleWalker Several years ago I bought a big Bosch for bread-baking but returned it because it was too wimpy.

Then I bought a big Electrolux that was great for big quantities.  It is now in storage.

For bread now I use either my 5-qt. KA or my Zojurishi Bread Machine.  Both work great.

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