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Scott Roberts

Understanding Different Flours!

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Interesting. I’m surprised that as more and more people are getting into specialty baking that they don’t include analytics on the flour. We use about 25,000lbs of bread flour in my department at work every day and with each delivery we get, there is a detailed analytics report. These reports include things like moisture content, protein, and a few other things. About a month ago we hit what is called “new crop” flour. Typically this flour behaves very different from what we get earlier in the year. One of the noticeable things about it is “clean up time”; the amount of time it takes the flour to mix in a given amount of water and form a neat ball. New crop flour is taking upwards of 2 additional minutes to clean up vs the same product from earlier in the year. To combat this we have to adjust our mix times and water; most of the time we will cut 10-25 pounds of water in a mix and increase overall mix time by a full minute over two stages. We also find that dough temperatures need to be a bit higher than what we’re used to getting in order for the finished product to properly mix. I don’t ever see anyone talk about dough temperature, it’s very important and a few degrees can drastically affect your final mix. Baking is very much a science and an interesting one at that! 

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