Flour for European Bread

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Flour for European Bread

Postby georgebaker » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:39 am

Hi
I was wondering about flour for traditional European breads

I know
* we use Strong Flour from North America to make bread loaves
* there were oat cakes, barley and rye breads

But what
* did we do before the Americas were invented
* flour was historically used for Italian breads

Is Strong flour maize?
EDIT--DAve (see below) tells me it's not so I have edited my follow on questions

* where was STRONG WHEAT originally grown
* what caused the spread of STRONG WHEAT all the way to Canada ?


When did we start importing strong flour to Europe?

I know these are simple questions which I should Google but thought I would ask here first.

George
Last edited by georgebaker on Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flour for European Bread

Postby saucisson » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:50 am

georgebaker wrote:Hi


Is Strong flour maize?
If it is
* where was maize originally grown
* what caused the spread of maize all the way to Canada ?




I know these are simple questions which I should Google but thought I would ask here first.

George


I think maize started with the Aztecs and Mayans and spread north once the Spanish arrived, eventually making it's way to Europe. Maize flour is used in flat breads ie tortillas. it's not the same as strong flour, I don't think it has any gluten in it.

Dave
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Postby wheels » Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:40 pm

George

Claybrooke Mill near where I live sells french milled flours- Type 150, Type 55, and Type 65 but, blimey, it's expensive!

Phil
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Postby jenny_haddow » Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:05 pm

Waitrose now stock French flour, the same brand I use in France but the name escapes me. Apart from ordinary flour they also stock a French country bread mix which I have used and is good. It's about �1.99 a bag, probably 1.5 k. I'll check it out when I go this afternoon.

It's called Francine and is �1.89 for a kilo
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Postby Topdog » Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:25 pm

If you read what's in the flour that Francine sells you will see it contains all sorts stuff other than the flour itself. In France I buy my flour direct from the Moulin or you will generally find someone selling bags of 5kg of more on a market stall, most french recipes suggest you use type 55 flour but I find type 65 gives you a better crumb.
The grade of flour changes with the amount or type of milling it seems.
The strong Canadian bread flour you can buy in the UK has not been messed around with like most flours sold in the EEC hence it retains things like Selenium that flours used to have before Brussels got their hands on it.
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flour from european

Postby Hampshire Jack » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:39 pm

hi george try using 20 percent fine semolina to your normal mix also add some olive oil and this will give a italian style bread jack :D
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Swiss 'Rough-Bread'

Postby Griselda » Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:09 pm

Hi all


I have been making bread since I came to England five years ago, simply because I could not find the bread I wanted. This bread shown in these pictures I made just a few days ago. The ingredients are:

250 gr Wholemeal rye flour --> Waitrose's organic
250 gr Mixed grain Malthouse --> Doves Farm organic
500 gr Wholemeal Spelt --> Waitrose's organic
2 Heaped spoones of Malt extract --> Holland and Barrett's
3 Teaspoons of Allison Yeast
1 'Hand measure' of salt --> A simple estimate

This is the closest as I get to our traditional 'Rough-Bread'. When backing, bake it at ~175 �C for about 40 minutes, then turn the oven up to the maximum, just until the ~250 �C are reached. This will give the bread a lovely thick crust and taste just like the stuff I get at home
:D

<img src="http://en.sevenload.com/im/3y6wtOp/450x450" width="450" height="338" alt=""></a>

<img src="http://en.sevenload.com/im/uLkwMk2/450x450" width="338" height="450" alt=""></a>
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Postby georgebaker » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:49 am

Hi
on Thursday last week on a Radio 4 program about the Roman Empire they said that the wheat for the Bread ( & Circuses) came from Egypt, so made me wonder what sort of wheat that would be

George
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Postby saucisson » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:58 am

Egyptian wheat is a member of the sorghum family:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorghum
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Postby wheels » Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:04 pm

Griselda

Nice bread. What liquid/amount of liquid did you use?

Phil
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Postby Griselda » Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:35 pm

I used only water. The amount is difficult to say. I dissolved the yeast in about 2.5 dl of water, added another ~1 dl and mixed it by hand using a wooden spoon together adding a little bit of water at the time.

I add the flour mixture into a big bowl, make a crater in the middle, add the malt and salt, and then a little water. Then I stir in some flour from the side and add again some water. This I do until I have a nice dough. Once all the water holding the yeast is used up, I simply use slightly warm tap water. I purely follow my feeling.

It does not really matter if the though is a little wet and sticky at this point. Just let it rise and when it is about double the size, knock it back down, add some more flour to give it the right humidity and then form your bread. What is important is how well you knead it. I don�t use a machine for this process, as I only make bread for the two of us. It is then much easier to judge the humidity of the dough. I guess this is a matter of practice, but next time I make some more I'll measure it and let you know.

Hope this helps for now

Griselda




wheels wrote:Griselda

Nice bread. What liquid/amount of liquid did you use?

Phil
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Postby wheels » Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:34 pm

Thanks Griselda

Phil
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Postby Oddley » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:18 pm

Griselda wrote:250 gr Wholemeal rye flour --> Waitrose's organic
250 gr Mixed grain Malthouse --> Doves Farm organic
500 gr Wholemeal Spelt --> Waitrose's organic
2 Heaped spoones of Malt extract --> Holland and Barrett's
3 Teaspoons of Allison Yeast
1 'Hand measure' of salt --> A simple estimate


Hi Griselda, The bread looks wonderful! I would like to try it, can you please tell me what spoon you use for the malt extract ie: tea, desert, or table. Thanks.
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Postby aris » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:42 pm

I would also be curious to know what the malt extract does for the flavour and/or texture.
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Postby Griselda » Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:22 pm

Yeast likes something sweet. Therefore the malt gets the yeast going and helps the bread to rise, a welcome spin-off when using rye flour. However, it gives a slight malty flavour to the bread, very nice if you have only butter on the bread rather than marmalade or jam. The flavour is very delicate and would be overridden by strong flavours. I also have the feeling it helps the bread to develop a nice dark colour. This however might simply be my imagination... :?

But the real reason why I do it is because my mother always did it. She learned it from my grand mother and where my grand mother got it from, hmm, I�ll ask her next time I go to the cemetery :roll:

Oddley, I use a tablespoon and am very generous, 2 heaped / twisted tablespoons.


Oddley wrote:
Griselda wrote:250 gr Wholemeal rye flour --> Waitrose's organic
250 gr Mixed grain Malthouse --> Doves Farm organic
500 gr Wholemeal Spelt --> Waitrose's organic
2 Heaped spoones of Malt extract --> Holland and Barrett's
3 Teaspoons of Allison Yeast
1 'Hand measure' of salt --> A simple estimate


Hi Griselda, The bread looks wonderful! I would like to try it, can you please tell me what spoon you use for the malt extract ie: tea, desert, or table. Thanks.


aris wrote:I would also be curious to know what the malt extract does for the flavour and/or texture.
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