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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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On 10/6/2018 at 2:30 AM, Mr Cue said:

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! 

 

Wow, that is my kind of technical detail!  I have never seen technical data like that, I assume because most people but a 5 lb bag of AP flour and it sits for a year.  I bet those numbers start to change in a week.  

 

As as far as temps, you very rarely see it mentioned for the home audience.  I remember the “Ah-ha” moment when I saw temps mentioned in Ken Forkish’s FWSY.  

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On 10/6/2018 at 2:30 AM, Mr Cue said:

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! 

One of the things I wanted to do this winter was to work on my baking skills. Your not kidding when you say baking is a science. I've learned a bunch over the last few months and it has really changed the way I look at baking. So many things can effect the outcome. Everything you do from start to finish has to be done properly. Even what you add to the mixer should be done in a certain way as it can effect the outcome. Friction factor, flour temp, room temp, water temp, hydration, the addition of oil and salt and how it effects the dough. 

 

You have to document everything and weight to exact measurements. I even purchased a scale that can read in 100 of a gram. Starters, biga, poolish, pate ferment etc.There is so much to learn when it comes to baking.   I find I really like to bake and playing with the dough. Its very satisfying. 

 

 

 

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