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A few experiments with baking bread using low-gluten flours

 
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 4:20 pm    Post subject: A few experiments with baking bread using low-gluten flours Reply with quote

Here are a couple of results from my past two Bread-baking attempts.

Actually, I should call these Cracker-baking attempts since I don't use yeast or baking powder.

I know gluten content is important to make the bread stick together like glue. We all know bread flour has higher gluten than whole-wheat flour, for example. Since bread flour is white and I don't consider it nutritious, I am experimenting with wheat and rye flour -- King-Aurthur brand is what I use. I also usually use yellow corn meal for a corn flavour.

Standard Recipe : 1 part white or bread flour
1 part whole-wheat flour
1 part yellow corn meal
salt


This mixuture is holds together very well and can be easily rolled, lifted, streatched and it bakes nice and tastes good.

Recipe I : 2 parts rye flour
1 part ordinary while flour
salt


This mixture had good "stiction" and I was able to roll it with a rolling pin into sheets and pick it up and place it on a cooking tray. It held up well in the oven and tastes pretty good.

Recipe II : 2 parts rye flour
1 part yellow corn meal
salt


This mixture had poor "stiction" and I had to be careful rolling it out into sheets for baking. When I lifted it to place on the cooking sheet, I was careful to not tear it. I was successful tranferring it between counter top and cooking sheet, but it wasn't easy and it ripped easily. It did bake fine, however. Taste, don't know, haven't tried it yet.

I am curious to hear about other experiments with different types of flour like Semolina and others.

One other ingredient I added on this last attempt: dried and toasted and crushed pumpkin seeds.
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Lady Amalthea



Joined: 18 Dec 2004
Posts: 136
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2005 10:49 pm    Post subject: Re: A few experiments with baking bread using low-gluten flo Reply with quote

Maybe it's just my bad luck with baking. I've tried making rye bread and it was awful. Too thick, strong and unsliceable. I do want to try my hand at baking again but I'm afraid...
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lady Amalthea- The first bread I ever tried to make myself was rye too. And I was gauging my "success" on conventional breads I'd already had so I was also disappointed when it turned out -- despite my best efforts -- like a little brown brick.

Truth is there are several ways to approach this to get you more success. One is to taste your bread and give it an honest appraisal. Does it taste good? It may have a wonderful hearty flavor that you really enjoy but it's the texture that you're disappointed in. There are sensational European breads that use whole meals for great flavor and nutrition. They have almost no "crumb" or spongy texture. So, maybe one thing to do is to redefine what "success" is. And slice that bread thin, THIN, THIN!

Are you disappointed in the flavor? If it's just too damned hearty, you may be happier with a recipe that includes more wheat flour along with the rye. This will also probably mean an airier texture because the wheat flour not only has more gluten (which improves the dough's ability to hold onto the gas produced by the yeast) but has a smoother molecule that will not cut through the gluten strands the way coarse rye flour will.

Was the flavor just "off"? Rye and other whole meal flours are the most fragile and subject to spoilage. If the flour wasn't very fresh or hadn't been stored in the fridge or freezer, it may have developed nasty flavors. That's not your fault -- just get fresher flour.

Is it the crust that you didn't care for? Developing a crust with a good balance of crunch and give is one of the bakers' arts. It takes experience, a great oven, some serious steam and a baking stone or terra cotta oven liner.

Let me know if I can help. I love baking bread and I don't get to anymore so I'd get a vicarious rush if I could help improve your breadmaking experience.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've made rye bread twice and the first attempt was a disaster. Then I read somewhere to put some vinegar in the mix it counteracts something - I'm not sure what - it was a while ago. But the second attempt was much better.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vinegar idea is interesting. Even if it doesn't fix any problems with spoilage, it may add a good flavour.

My rye bread with yellow corn meal is really a cracker since I use no yeast. I roll it thin like a cookie dough and bake it (flipping it half-way through) till it is hard and dry. Then I let it cool and break it up into bite-size pieces, i.e., crackers.

So far, the rye-corn-meal recipe tastes better than the whole-wheat-corn-meal, or bread-flour-corn-meal. But, there is very little glutten in the rye and the dough is delicate. This is an advantage, however, when it comes time to break it up into crakers.

I eat the crackes with dried figs and cheese.
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