You know, I’m just realizing that it has been a long, LONG time since I’ve written a reverse haiku. And never before here at Contemporary Insanity. So, I give you, Reverse Haiku (not Thursday):
hello chill grey wet winter
bring it if you can
my war song is prepared
I tried to make it flour related, especially because the Rhyming Dictionary pushed ‘meteor shower’ as a 5-syllable match. [Also: devour, staying power, happy hour(!)] Dudes! How can you NOT use that?? But anyway, I couldn’t cogitate fast enough to make it work, and here we are. Add yours to the comments, you know you want to!
So… let’s talk flour and protein content, my newest learning about BREAD!
The wrong flour, very likely old & out of date (thankfully not rancid, but that was just luck with the whole wheat)
Dry yeast, while not bad, not the best to use either. And I most certainly used water that was too hot.
Now I am starting to learn better.
Turns out, there’s a reason why there are all-purpose flour, cake flour, and bread flour. (Yeah, I know. Sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake.) For bread like the type I want to make, you need gluten. And the best way to develop gluten is to use a high-protein flour.
This was something I had no idea about. Different types of wheat have different levels of protein, and, in fact, are grown and processed particularly to take advantage of that fact. Huh. Cool.
Hitz includes a great intro to flour in his book. Winter wheat (meaning it is planted during the winter, in milder climates than Spring wheat) has a typical protein content between 11 and 14 percent. Hitz claims “the most ideal protein content for artisan bread baking being 11.5 to 11.7 percent.”
Here are some related stats:
Gold Medal unbleached all purpose: 10.5% protein
King Arthur Flour all purpose: 11.7% protein
KAF European Flour: 11.7% protein
KAF Bread Flour: 12.7% protein
Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat: 13.5% min. protein
KAF Sir Lancelot Flour: 14.2% protein
Not rocket science, eh? Can you tell why I’m excited about using the specialty flours provided by King Arthur Flour, as well as using their Bread Flour as a baseline?
OK, that’s enough flour science for today. First up, Pane Francese from Baking Artisan Bread (check out this site for some excellent pictures). I’ll be making the Biga in the next 24hrs and baking this weekend. WOOT!