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Fun with Flour

plllog
2 years ago

I've told you all that I ordered a goodly amount of flour from Central Milling, which is something I'd started to do before normal flour vanished from the stores. Given that we're going to be home for the foreseeable future, and I bake regularly, and I had far less flour on hand than I had thought, I opted for more than less (1 large bag of each kind), and got bins to hold it in. I'd been thinking of sealing and freezing, because I know a lot of people do, but having read up on flour storage, I opted for bins. I actually thought that they'd fit in the bottom of my pantry cabinet, but with lids on it was no go, so they're just sitting in the butler's pantry. That's okay, at least for now. I'm going to push them even farther from the light, though they get no direct light or heat where they are.


I dithered about whether to post this, because I know a lot of you are having trouble finding flour, but a couple of friends convinced me that some would really enjoy seeing it, and the rest could skip it.



The different shapes of the bins, with different colors, contain slightly different flours. I figured this would be the best way to make it obvious which was which. They're all labelled as well. The canisters are old, empties that used to have wheatberries, and I was lucky to have a round and a square free. I had to give up whole wheat, which still makes me sad. :( I'd been trying King Arthur unbleached bread flour (12.7% protein) again, this time with higher hydration, and still found it too heavy. The gluten seizes as soon as it gets wet, and it overkneads way too easily. The CM organic malted 11.5% protein had been recommended to me for the kinds of bread I was working on, and it was confirmed in a web search. That's in the square bins. I'd been using KA unbleached (11.7% protein) for biscuits and muffins, which can get a gummy mouthfeel if they're moist and made with GM bleached AP (10.5% protein), but the Gold Medal for cakes and cookies, and other lighter baking has always been my standard. Since I mysteriously don't have a backup bag, and am staying out of the stores, I thought I should get some plain (no barley malt) unbleached organic flour for general baking. It's also 11.5% protein, and fairly equivalent to the KA AP. That's in the round bins.


Blueberry Clafoutis (plain flour) (I overdid the blueberries, but every single one that hadn't a spot of mold went in). Lovely fluffy flour. Feels more like the GM than the KA. Nice yellow color, like when I mill my own, rather than the kind of gray color of the KA. Not enough flour in it to really tell more, but that's a good thing considering I'm substituting for the GM AP here. Though I have buttermilk that needs using, so I should make some biscuits to compare to the KA AP.




Herb Bread (malted flour), below, set on end so the crumb could catch the light. Lovely feel to the flour. Good development of the gluten. I used Red Star yeast, which is highly thought of in the forum, because i couldn't get Fleischman's. Excellent yeast. Lovely crust. I actually added a couple tablespoons of water because the loaf felt dry at first, but I think it spread so much because it rose fast and really needed more kneading, rather than being too wet. I'm still working on this recipe, and given that it was a new kind of flour and yeast both, it came out very well. I've made this recipe three times before with KA, which was good enough to keep baking, but the CM is much better! Excellent flavor, the malt doesn't really affect the taste (i.e., add malt for pizza or bagels) but I assume it did its bit for the quality of the loaf. Perfect open crumb. See how yellow it is? Most of that is the lighting, but it's also the color of the flour. It's whiter than the plain, but still a tiny bit yellow.


Secret ingredient: Marjoram. I've previously discovered that marjoram was essential for making something taste like pizza. The one time I didn't have marjoram in this herb bread, it was kind of flat tasting. I happen to have a lot of dried marjoram (kept forgetting it tick it off my grocery list), so that's fine. The marjoram and other typical Italian herbs don't make the bread taste like pizza, but they sure make it taste good! The herbs altogether elevate the bread from that "white bread" thing.




Carolb's Uncle Barney's Spritz cookies (plain flour), below. Shells, a few posies. Lovely, vanilla butter cookies. The posies on the left were really hard to make. The press had to be cleaned between each one. The shells were a delight and went poom poom poom, like they're supposed to. The quatrefoils, below, were in between. Some fails could be kind of mooshed back together, though. They taste the same. :) Light, delicate, no floury taste like one sometimes gets with heavier flour. The butter was pale and the egg wasn't corn fed, so some of the yellowness could be the flour and vanilla. I made them without added flavor (Carol suggests nutmeg) because I wanted to get to know the base recipe first. The cookies are nicely solid. I placed them carefully in the tin, rather than dumping, but they seem resilient.


Much of point was to try out my new spritz gun (see below), but I also wanted to know how the flour did. I suppose if I think really hard, I can tell that it's a little heavier than Gold Medal, but I do know how to make cookies and when you don't develop the gluten, there's not much difference anyway. I do sense a difference from KA unbleached AP, though, which just seems denser. This is fascinating, since the CM is ostensibly more similar to KA AP than GM AP. Whatever. I'll try a cake next, to be sure, but I'm thinking love is blossoming here. Organic, unbleached, and fine? The trifecta!


Carolb's Uncle Barney's Spritz quatrefoils, below. My mother tried to make spritz cookies when I was little. She still has the metal press. I kept forgetting to abscond with it, however, so bought a cheap Chinese plastic cookie gun off of Amazon. It looked a lot like my Wilton frosting press, so I already had proof of concept. The actual gun is well designed and works great. My only issue was it was impossible to unscrew the top end to reload. No big deal to load from the bottom, just harder to hold. Heating the threads made it possible to unscrew while washing. Maybe a dab of oil, if I remember in the future.


Mother's attempts at spritz were very pretty, but they didn't taste good and she despaired of all the recipes she tried. When Carolb posted her recipe, I was kind of trilled. I love the concept. :) I didn't get a chance to bake over the holidays, but the new flour was a good excuse to make cookies, and a little spritz cookie is very satisfying, so a good choice all around, trying out the new gun as well. Excellent recipe with no issues. I scanted the sugar a little, on general principles, since I don't like oversweet (and I'll be eating most of the cookies--they're not chocolate chip!). I also thought the recommended timing seemed long for my oven which holds temperature much closer than older ovens. I didn't use convection because I assumed it was an old recipe. Sure enough, about 10 minutes (watching for just that hint of brown at the edges, was just right, rather than the 12-15 called for. The cookie gun might make smaller cookies than the original, too. Some spritz I've seen are twice the size, though this is perfect for me.


The holes for the posies are wide, The petals separated and they didn't stick well to the baking sheet. I tried parchment, but that was worse. The shells have narrow slits and a few dots and worked great. The quatrefoil has the narrow slits, but they sort of clung to the press, though could sometimes be pried off, then they'd do four in a row just right. I don't know if the dough had gotten too warm, or if there were any other reason. They were mostly not-annoying. Next time, I'll try some other dies and see how they do.



I've had a lot of fun with flour this week. I love flour. I'm infatuated with my new flour. :) Bless Central Milling!

Comments (186)

  • bragu_DSM 5
    2 years ago

    Am looking for some OO flour for pizzas ... by the time you add up the flour cost and ingredients, it's about the price of a large carry out [$12-$18} pizza. The cheese would be pricey because we like the good stuff ... might as well add that steak I'VE been marinating for days and grilled onions n peppers and shroomies ...






  • Compumom11
    2 years ago

    Edie, this is my recipe, always a winner!

    Molasses Sugar Cookies

    ¾ cup Crisco


    2 cups flour

    1 cup sugar


    ½ tsp ginger

    ¼ cup molasses


    ½ tsp cloves

    1 egg


    1tblsp cinnamon

    ½ tsp salt

    1 tsp baking soda


    Melt shortening over medium heat. Let cool.

    After shortening has cooled, add sugar, molasses and egg. Mix well.

    Mix dry ingredients.

    Add dry ingredients and mix.

    Chill for at least 30 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 375°. Form balls with the dough and roll in sugar.

    Place on cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

    Bake for 8-10 minutes.

    plllog thanked Compumom11
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  • foodonastump
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Dave that’s why I went with the big bag. A small fraction of the cost. The dough itself ends up safely under a buck. If you’re putting more than $11-17 of “good stuff” on top of that, then clearly we’re looking at something well beyond your standard takeout. I’d guess a standard pie would come to no more than $5, with sauce and cheese.

    And of course, takeout doesn’t give you all the frustration and/or satisfaction, and that’s at least half the motivation! Lots of things are cheaper store bought than homemade.

  • annie1992
    2 years ago

    Dave, definitely cook that steak!

    Here I made more cinnamon rolls, Mother's weekly batch. But now I'm thinking molasses cookies. (sigh) Or the 5 item peanut butter cookies. Bud wants beer bread and Makayla wants Pane Bianco. I just want to go out and play in the dirt.

    Plllog, those cookies might be good crumbled and used as a crumb crust for something else.

    I'll add Grandma's Molasses Cookie recipe, it's my favorite but it makes a LOT. I portion the dough and bake part, freeze the rest on sheets and then package into ziplock bags so I have some to bake fresh another time.

    Chewy Molasses Cookies

    1 1/2 cups of shortening (I use half and half with butter, but all butter makes them too crispy for my taste)

    1 cups granulated sugar

    1 cup dark brown sugar

    2 eggs

    3/4 cup of dark molasses

    4 1/2 cups flour

    1 teaspoon salt

    4 teaspoons baking soda

    2 teaspoons cinnamon

    2 teaspoons ginger

    1 teaspoon ground cloves

    Chopped crystalized ginger, optional, to taste. I used about half a cup, finely chopped and wish I'd have used more but I love ginger

    Coarse sugar or turbinado sugar for rolling


    Cream the shortening and sugars. Add the molasses and eggs and mix until well blended. Sift the flour (yeah right, I don't, LOL) and measure 4 1/2 cups into a separate bowl. Add the spices, salt, and baking soda and whisk to combine. Turn the mixer to low or stir, and add the flour slowly until well mixed. Stir in the chopped ginger and chill the dough for at least an hour.

    After the dough has chilled for an hour, roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls (I don't chill either, just scoop out the cookies with my cookie scoop and plop them into the pan of sugar) and roll the balls in the coarse sugar to completely coat. Place the dough balls about an inch apart on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

    The cookies will puff up and crack. When the cookies are done the cracks should still look a little wet, but the outside should look dry. They'll "fall" a little as they cool, let them sit a couple of minutes on the sheet before you try to move them to cooling racks.

    Happy Baking!

    Annie

    plllog thanked annie1992
  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I love molasses cookies.

    The double egg cookies are foul. Weird texture that gets weirder as you chew. I'm sure I could probably find something to hid them in, but it's not worth my effort. :P

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Day 3 pizza report: I just made one small one, but piled it really high with toppings. Really high. Unusually high. And the crust was the same. Well risen, even in the middle. Probably a little flattened, but that not pizzeria flat nasty middle. It was risen and as thick as it should be. Flavor was great. I think this was the best one yet.

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    2 years ago

    Thank you all for the recipes. I will give them all a try some day. This last couple of days I've been missing my Mom so I used her recipe. They came out really good. But silly me didn't look at the recipe first so I set butter out to soften. It's back in the fridge; the recipe calls for shortening. Seems to be a common thread among the recipes!

    Nice and crispy outside and chewy inside. But while measuring out ingredients I realized I have probably less than a teaspoon of ground cinnamon left :-0. The last few times I've gone to the store I've stared at my list and thought that there is something that I need to add and couldn't remember what it was. Sigh. I remember now! :-\

    plllog, I'm so happy for you that you have found such a wonderful pizza crust recipe!

    plllog thanked ediej1209 AL Zn 7
  • foodonastump
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    ...but that not pizzeria flat nasty middle.


    Well that explains why your dough looks good for a Sicilian! Thin crust, evenly stretched, strong but being neither leathery nor crackery, that’s the one that eludes me.


  • Nadya Movchan
    2 years ago

    Heyo!

    I'll throw in this awesome banana bread recipe.

    I just tried it out, but used muffin forms instead, as you can see on a photo :)

    Verrrrrry delicious! I've also added a bit of sugar substitute for extra sweetness


  • annie1992
    2 years ago

    Nadya, welcome to the cooking forum, those look delicious. And a Cooking Light recipe, I like many of their recipes.

    Annie

  • bragu_DSM 5
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    are those the regular size muffins, or the jumbos? they sure look inviting.



    ETA

    Find it interesting that sometimes you can purchase the crisco shortening sticks for less than the price of a lb of butter. And stuff is pretty good with it, especially certain types of cookies. I always have a stick or two in the pantry for 'sweet tooth emergencies'

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    2 years ago

    bragu, I agree. Much easier than trying to measure shortening from a can. I'm down to one stick so I will try to remember at some point to get more. My icebox cookie recipe also calls for it.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    That's interesting. I had some I'd gotten to try. Or...I think they were stick shaped tubs? I didn't like them and gave the remainder away. I liked the one with the green label best, the first no trans-fat shortening, but it disappeared when Crisco went non-trans-fat so I think they bought them out. I don't find it hard to measure--I let it sit out long enough to be slightly soft, and use a dry measure cup so it's easy to get out with a small scraper. The water displacement method is also easy but I find it messier.

    FOAS, I have new, lively ADY yeast, the Tony G. 00 flour, and an inch thick clay pizza stone with a special coil heating element that plugs into the oven. The recipe I sent you, while a good one, is a pretty standard recipe. I'm going to try a batch, maybe next week, with the plain 00 for comparison, and I also want to try making a rustic bread from the Tony G. I only have 5 lbs. of each (minus the pizza), so I want to do as many tests as I can. My best guess is the Tony G. flour is the star. It's strong flour. They don't list a protein level, but it's obvious from handling that it's in the bread flour range.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Nadya, thanks for sharing! One of the minions disappeared the overripe bananas, and no new ones have come, or I'd try your recipes. I love the idea of muffins.

    Pizza day #4, and last. No troubles with the rise, but today the dough was much more relaxed. Made a nice circle, easily. Lunch for just me. Mozzarella and pepperoni on pizza goop, with a little sprinkle of romano on top. The center was a bit too doughy, though not uncooked. I put that down to having rushed and not wait for the temperature of the stone to stabilize. It was plenty hot. Crust had crunch (though less than the first day, but I think on the first day I also left it in longer), and the pizza goop melted and dripped on the plate. First time that happened. I may have used too much, or it could be from having the cheese right on the goop, shedding water and fat. Flavor of the crust was best yet--long ferment is your friend. It doesn't seem to have suffered from sitting around in the fridge. It didn't over grow, either.

  • 2ManyDiversions
    2 years ago

    I'm so incredibly behind on everything! On top of which my computer is behaving like it's age (win 7) and I can now upload photos, but can't post. Cell phone typing is not my thang!

    Plllog, darn, breakfast pizza! Never made one, but if I did I'd want the thicker dough you've made... Recipe? Please : )

    Edie, your cookies look quite good! Yes, I miss my Mom so often, and her cooking. I do love her chocolate chip cookies.

    I gotta remember to come back and note the molasses cookie recipes! I have Annie's, somewhere...

    Nadya, welcome! Your banana muffins sound fantastic (I'm a huge banana fan, eat a 1 or 2 daily) and they are picture perfect!

    I made "applesauce donut muffins" for breakfast tomorrow... Had homemade apple sauce that needed to be eaten. Disappointed in the lack of apple flavor (I've another recipe with chunks of apples I prefer) but they are nice and cinnamon-y. They are mostly for DHs sweet tooth!

  • 2ManyDiversions
    2 years ago

    Well, stupid fingers and cell phone. Hit photo, but slid onto Submit!

  • Cloud Swift
    2 years ago

    I've been working on a few things. One is bagels. All the ones I've made so far taste good but still have a ways to go on getting the shape and look perfected. I've been working from 2 recipes: one from Secrets of a Jewish Baker and one from on-line. They are very similar except the on-line one uses about 4 times the amount of yeast but the on-line one gives the ingredients by weight which I prefer. IMO it's too heavily yeasted. So I've been using the on-line ingredients list but reducing the yeast.

    Yesterday, I forgot and put in the full amount of yeast (10 gm - so more than a yeast packet for 500 gm of flour). Then, when the water was almost boiling I looked at the pot and discovered that there was some dried on stuff on one side (the side that I hadn't seen when filling it) - so I had to dump the water, clean it and refill. By the time that was hot, the bagels had over-risen. With all that yeast they are really hyper-active and don't leave time for any error. We have marked up the recipe so that error shouldn't happen again.

    In the past two weeks, I've also had a couple of tries at making sourdough challah. We have yeast and don't need to make them sourdough, but friends who have less baking experience asked for help. So I did some research into recipes and tried one that looked right. It actually has very close to the same ratios as our usual challah recipe when I take into account all the water and flour from the starter and levain. The main difference is that you start the night before with a levain and then have a lot more rising time than with commercial yeast. The result is good but not quite as good as our perfected challah recipe. So I'm still working on that one.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    CS, I'll be interested in how that comes out. :)

    2Many, those look...sweet!

    I'm taking a yeast vacation. I have tortillas, so tomorrow I'll probably make enchiladas.


  • foodonastump
    2 years ago

    So last night was pizza night. I loosely followed two recipes given for my Caputo Americana, one meant for a thin crust pizza and one for Sicilian.

    The Sicilian was interesting. I took it out of the fridge, stretched it, and let it rise in the pan for about 6 hours. It puffed up into a sponge which mostly collapsed as I gently brushed a thin layer of sauce prior to the pre-bake. By the time it was done it was a fairly crunchy fried sponge, quite delicious actually but nothing at all Sicilianish. Something very wrong here, even though we loved it:

    I’d call the thin crust more of a success, by far the easiest dough to stretch that I’ve ever made. I was able to stretch on the table, then over my hands, toss back and forth, and generally look like a wannabe idiot and there were no holes or thin spots to patch up. I made two smaller pies:


    If you’re thinking that looks a little light on cheese, you’d be correct. It was for my daughter. Another pie was half for her:

    I realize I should neaten things up a bit if I’m going to post pictures. Anyway I’ve obviously got a very long way to go, but it was not a disappointing meal. 2 pounds down, 53 to go!

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    LOL at the 2 pounds. :) I never take lovely composed pictures. Just iPad snaps on the fly. I crop to feature what I want to show, and that's is. Yours are way better than mine!

    Those pizzas look good!

    So I Wikipediaed Sicilian pizza, which had a subheading for American Sicilian pizza, which says inch thick crust. Definitely not what I was making, at least on purpose. :) The AC+ tried to do that and on one actually achieved it. What I'd call "bready".

    You might find this description of your flour:

    https://brickovenbaker.com/pages/information-about-caputo-flours

    and this one from Orlando Foods (distributor), who also give the protein content as 13.5%:

    Developed with the best pizza makers from the USA, “00” Americana is ideal for traditional pizza dough recipes using long rise cold fermentation. This “00” flour performs in 550 to 700 degree oven temperatures and assures the Caputo flavor and consistency

    I learned from the linked page that 00, while it is finer, as I'd always seen it described, actually refers to the level of refinement.

    So, 13.5% is very strong. it should be able to stand up to brushind without deflating. Are you using natural bristles? Maybe silicone wouldn't be as sharp?

    How long are you kneading? Kneading strengthens the gluten. You should be able to feel the dough go from soft to tight under your hands. Your dough balls for pizza should be able to stand without sagging, if you want a risen pie. For your flat version, a more relaxed dough is good. If it's too tight it won't handle the way you want. For a good rise, however, tight is good. :) A lot of it is trial and error. Keep at it and you'll learn what works for your different desires.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    All week, I've been forgetting to make my pie!! That's Lindac's grandma-in-law's rhubarb pie with meringue. I despise strawberry rhubarb pie--IMHO ruins both the strawberries and the rhubarb. This one sounded good, and I bought rhubarb to try it. Luckily, the rhubarb didn't suffer from staying in the fridge. I had a nap, and was ready to tackle it this evening. That's too strong a word, maybe. The pie is dead easy. Except I broke a yolk on the second egg, and stuck the first two in a lidded ramekin in the fridge and tried again. This time the whites got to soft peaks then fell. There could have been some yolk left in the jug, or I could have over beaten them. Or something else. Luckily, I remembered a jar of eggwhites, though I can't remember where the yolks went. It seemed fine, so I slopped out about the same amount and that whipped fine. There was no way I was going to risk squishing it by piping, so I did the random dollop method of applying the meringue to the pie. :)



    Caution: Do not try this at home. I decided that since I didn't know the bacteria content but had good reason to think it was fine, I indulged my childhood selt, and licked the scraper, then scraped the bowl and ingested more. I figured that browning the meringue wouldn't be enough to kill something bad, so better if I use myself as a test subject. :) And I was hungry, craving sugar, and still delight in glossy eggwhites. I'll let you know if it turns out badly. :)

    I cut a sliver as a test, once the pie was cool. Yeah, right. I cut another sliver just to be sure. I knew it was going to be a sweet pie from the proportions, and it is, but I think it needs it. The rhubarb was young and sweet, however, and the flavor seems a bit overwhelmed by the sweet. But that could be that cooled pie thing where it's not as flavorful as hot or chilled. Either way, that's more about the delicacy of the baby rhubarb than the recipe. I took the big container of soup down to the freezer so I could put the whole pie safe in the fridge. The pie might be fine sitting out, but with the meringue aleady being questionable, I wasn't tempting fate. It's not going to stay there long! It's too good! But it's a good thing I made the soup, tossed a couple of things, and got some ten bags and containers gone.

    I almost forgot to tell you about the crust! There is flour in the filling, but that's beside the point. The crust is Rhome410's FP recipe. I've made it many times. I noticed on the first crust, on the quiche, that it seemed particularly flaky. On the pie, it's obvious. It could be the new flour, but I think it's the butter. Remember I told you about how fat it was? I don't remember exactly which butter it was that I used, but it definitely had a higher fat content than standard. I think it was the 85% fat butter. I'll be trying that again to confirm.



    Fantastic recipe and darned good pie!

    Thanks, Linda!!

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    2 years ago

    Having to control myself to not lick my screen LOL. Oh that looks divine! Congratulations! :-)

    plllog thanked ediej1209 AL Zn 7
  • annie1992
    2 years ago

    Yum, Plllog, I need to make biscuits this week, Mother is going to be back with me for a while so my brother can get some medical tests and issues taken care of. Mother loves biscuits, so I'm going to have to make her some.

    I also have rhubarb ready to cut, so I see a rhubarb pie in my future. I like rhubarb by itself and strawberries by themselves, but it's not my first choice mixed together. Not that I'd turn down a piece of pie in any event, LOL.

    FOAS, those pizzas look good to me, and I'm with your daughter, I like less cheese than most people. And your pictures look better than mine besides. I'm always taking a picture and then thinking I should have moved that Diet Coke can or half cup of coffee, or at least cleaned the flour off the counter.

    Ah well, you all know what my kitchen actually looks like most of the time!

    Annie

  • foodonastump
    2 years ago

    Thanks Annie! By neat I really meant not getting sauce on the crust. ;) My daughter is funny with cheese. A split pie like that and she’s inspecting for any speck of cheese. I was embarrassed sending her to birthday parties and friends’ houses when pizza would be served, but came to learn that other girls do the same. If it’s Bertucci’s then she’ll eat the cheese, and she loves it. No, there’s nothing different or special about their cheese. All of those in this area shut down though, so no cheese. Kids these days...

    plllog - Your (Linda’s) pie looks delicious. Might have to try that. Maybe. I’m just seeing your post “The recipe I sent you...” for the first time. I do not seem to have received it. Checked email and notifications here on Houzz.

    Question - Would KA AP with its higher protein content possibly be bad for cookies? I made the simple old Toll House cookies the other day and they were kind of dense and tough. For me they always come out slightly differently (I’m thinking temp dependent) but they’ve always been good until now. I have a slightly hard time thinking I’ve never made them with KA before but it’s possible.

    plllog thanked foodonastump
  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Yeah, dense and tough could well be the flour. If you know that it's an issue and are careful not to beat hard and avoid developing too much gluten, you can finesse it, but I've had trouble with KA flours lately being too strong and inconsistent. If you overbeat it enough, you can make tough cakes and cookies with pastry flour (lowest protein content=least gluten). It's easy to overbeat--too long is just as bad or worse than too hard--with a stand mixer. For cookies and cakes, biscuits and pie, you want enough protein to be sticky--or else you need more eggs--but gluten makes them tough. That KA bread flour I didn't like seemed to develop the gluten as soon as it got wet. That's extreme. For bread, you usually have to bang it around, kneading it, to strengthen the gluten, and in wet flour gluten will develop over time (think no knead dough in the fridge for a couple days). Opposite for fluffy sweets. Work quickly, not just for the sake of the baking powder, and handle as little as possible.

    Since the CM AC flour passed the biscuit test, maybe I'll try a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I took the pie (thanks for the kind words, everyone!) to dinner tonight and everybody loved it, including my mother, who insists she hates rhubarb. I know what she likes, though, and I thought she'd like this, so I didn't tell her until she'd tasted it. :) There's just one piece left, so I can make another sweet, soon. I usually use Gold Medal bleached AP (1% less protein) for cookies and cakes. I need to make a cake with the AC. But if I make a cake, I'll eat it. I love cake. And a mini-cake isn't a good representation of cakeness.

    Annie, notice my baggie and butter wrapper in the biscuit picture. Your pictures always look good to me. Not food stylist good, maybe, like...Sharon? Was she the pro with the awesome pictures? But really nice. Mine tend to be in front of junk. ;)

    Edie, be careful with your tongue on your screen. I wouldn't want you to get a shock!

    FOAS, in the recent thread where Linda shared her recipe, it doesn't say what to do with the vanilla. It goes in the meringue. :) Do make the pie! It's really good, and should be a CF classic.

    I don't know what happened to the e-mail I sent. I'll try again via Houzz message.

  • Cloud Swift
    2 years ago

    I make cookies including the classic Toll House ones with KA all purpose flour and they come out fine, not dense or tough. It has been the only AP flour we use for years until COVID. I make them in the stand mixer. Once the flour is in using low speed (Kitchen Aid on 2 or 4). I do measure most ingredients by weight which helps get consistent results.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Just for clarity, I meant that changing to the KA could make the difference if you're used to God Medal or Pillsbury (or house brand which is probably GM or P). I didn't mean that one couldn't make legit cookies out of KA.

    So, I threw my cap over the moon (to use an archaic phrase), and started a loaf of the herb bread with the Tony G. flour. It's the recipe from the KA bag which was too heavy and stiff with the KA flour. I did this one with the Tony G. flour, the same weight as I've used before, though the other ingredients measured by volume. The original recipe said it would mix up wet and sticky. Well, this one actually did! That's with the reduced flour quantity I've been using. It was too sticky to knead, so I used the dough hook.

    The leftover biscuits aren't up to the norm. Kind of bready rather than fluffy. But it rained this morning... I'm looking for excuses, I think. I'll try again, and I'm going to to make the Toll House cookies. We'll see...

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Whoa!!! Literally. Stop!!

    One hour rise. Masking tape marks where it started.

    Good thing the lid is tight! See the ropy looking bit? That's where it was trying to get out, pressing into the edges of the lid.


    This is the punched down and drawn shape. It's about the size of the kneaded ball, but soft and no longer sticky. Tacky, but not sticky. It clung to the glass, but pulled off cleanly.

    This is the Tony G., strong 00 pizza blend in the recipe meant for KA BF, less a bit over half a cup of flour, and 2 tsp yeast rather than a packet (less 1/4 tsp from a packet’s worth).


    LATER


    Fully risen.

    Done

  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    2 years ago

    Beautiful bread!

    plllog thanked ediej1209 AL Zn 7
  • Cloud Swift
    2 years ago

    Lovely bread, how does be it taste?

    The biscuits make me want to make some. Can you post or link the recipe?

    plllog thanked Cloud Swift
  • bragu_DSM 5
    2 years ago

    Yum looking

    Salad first. Then pie. Then soup and biscuits. Priorities, right?

    Priorities: pie, salad, pie, soup and biscuits, pie ... [covid-45 diet]

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    LOL!! Dave, it's a really sweet pie. You'd be in a coma.

    Cloud Swift, I use Trailrunner's recipe ("Adapted from CI") which is at the very top in this old Kitchens thread. I usually need a little more buttermilk than the original measure. A glug or a tablespoon or two or three:

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/2399976/buttermilk-is-your-friend-we-are-at-500-now-lol#n=73

  • annie1992
    2 years ago

    Dave, I'm with you on those priorities. Except mine would probably just be pie, then pie, then some more pie!

    I usually use King Arthur all purpose flour and my chocolate chips cookies come out well. If you are used to using something else and just switch, there could be a learning curve, I suppose, but I don't have problems when using it for cookies or cakes or pastry or whatever. There are a few light textured cakes that really do NEED cake flour, but most of the time the KA all purpose works fine for me.

    Annie

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Cloud Swift asked how it tastes: Really good, as to the flour. I sprinkled the herbs without measure, and they're insufficient, so it's really good white bread (i.e., a superior kind of bland). It's also very soft, and you can see there are some big holes in the bread. It could have used the extra measure of flour I'd removed from the recipe. This is really good bread, mind you, just boring. It was the base for sloppy joes tonight. Perfect for sopping up, but needed a fork.


    I still plan to do the buttermilk bread, though likely after trying the other 00 for pizza. Next week. Other than cookies, I think I'm done baking this week. :j. After that, I think I'll work on white sourdough. In fact, maybe I'll try for good and sour. I miss my whole wheat which I'm no supposed to eat, but the family like white. :)

  • foodonastump
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the flour/cookie answers. I almost feel like I must have mismeasured something, but at the time I had a good memory of everything I did and it didn’t stand out. I did measure the flour by volume which goes against my nature but I’ve tested myself several times and consistently land within spitting distance of 120g per cup. No biggie, they’ve been eaten and I’ll just try again.

  • 2ManyDiversions
    2 years ago

    FOAS, loved the description of stretching your thin dough! You gave me a good chuckle and reminded me of myself. I do pretend I’m better than I really am when stretching dough with my knuckles and in my imagination I’m tossing the dough, not just turning it. Hate it when I get holes! The cheese only pizza looks delicious.

    Plllog, those biscuits. I don’t know if I can improve on that simple comment, but I can see the butter in them. I’m guessing maybe it was your ‘good’ butter. Sigh. They are the nicest biscuits I’ve ever seen. I’d love one, right now.

    Wow, you are brave, using the tony 00 for herb bread, and it turned out so well. It looks like a lighter, less dense crumb than your original herb bread? Me? I’m not good at experimenting. Although I have been playing with my spare cake flour. Those uber sweet muffins I made for DH? One half cake flour. You could tell, too, less like a muffin or donut, more like a chiffon. But moist and nice.

    So, yes, that looks like a very good sloppy joe bread. Nice when experiments work out so well, isn’t it?

    Another crust... your crumbly, perfect pie crust. You have been ambitious this week! It looks so good! You know, I've never eaten a rhubarb pie. Guess I'd better get on it someday, huh? I'm still excited to hear about the buttermilk bread... next week : )

    Now I gotta go back and stare at your biscuits for a while.


  • Jasdip
    2 years ago

    This is Brenda Gantt and she's a southern cook. I watched her make biscuits, and this is a new way of measuring, to me. I don't have the courage to do it.

    Apparently she keeps her flour in the bowl all the time and just adds lard and milk when she wants to make biscuits. Her dough certainly is light and fluffy!!!



  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    FOAS, did you weigh a cup of the KA? The Tony G. is 131 g, uncompacted dip, level pour. I've been trying to say "stronger" because that's the norm for high protein flour discussions I've read, and it's less open to misinterpretation, but there's a reason why "heavy" is commonly used. :) KA unbleached AP is a bit over a whole percentage point higher in protein, so you have to be that much more careful not to develop the gluten. You might also have used a denser amount of flour. Again, as has be said up topic, it's not that you can't do it, it's that using unfamiliar ingredients can throw off your mojo.

    ---------------

    Oh, 2Many, I wish I could give you my bestest biscuits. The ones that are still good the next day. These were made with normal, frozen, pale American style butter. I think the yellow bits you're seeing are a trick of the lighting on top of the yellow flour. Do try Caroline's recipe. They're just biscuits. Not hard to produce. :) I think the bestest ones are Gold Medal bleached AP. I'll have to make some and test it out. I still have a little GM.

    Pie? Pie is easy as pie. Rhome410's FP recipe is no fuss and the perfect size for two exact 9" crusts with enough margin to flute. I'm more of a trim and forker, but I think I should start working on pretty. I make tasty pies, but not pretty ones. I did one with cutouts instead of a lattice top crust and some of them sank. Afterwords, I read that you're supposed to bake the pretties separately and add them later. :) Makes sense.

    I'll make the next pie with regular butter and the AC flour to hopefully find out which brought the extra flakiness. It's really nice. :) So, when the pie was gone I figured out the stick. It wasn't from being chilled. The rolled out dough was pretty perfect in the dish, but during the bake, a couple of places on the sides cracked. I'm assuming that's the key to what happened. The filling is supposed to bubble, and it actually made a kind of caramel that was crunchy on the edges (and delicious), and the juice seems to have gotten under the crust. I thought it melded with the crust from the top, but the first and last slice were in a spot where that didn't happen. Anyway, the bottom crust got incorporate in the caramel, and the caramel stuck to the dish. And, of course, chilling didn't make for any less adherence. :)

    I also like Stella Parks's squish the butter recipe. It's very flaky because of the bigger, flat pieces of butter, but the proportions are too generous and I tend to forget what I'm doing with it.

    I've tried vinegar, vodka, shortening instead or or half with butter, etc. Straight on butter, flour, salt, water, cold cold cold works for me. (I rarely add sugar to the crust, even if it's called for. A few things need it, but I can't even recall which.)

    ----------------

    Re the herb bread, it tastes better today. I don't know if that's me, if it's more time to settle into becoming itself, if it's from getting closer to the middle, or if it's a quality of the flour. The crumb is still soft, but not as moist (I wrap with Beeswrap (beeswax infused linen)). It was a little too moist when I cut it, which I thought was the wet dough, but maybe it was just slow to steam out. This time I used the small steel and a small sheet pan with ice cubes and got a crust with some tooth, but no crunch, which is pretty perfect for this kind of bread.

    It's the fifth time I've made this recipe this year, I think, with many tweaks. The last one was with the AC+, onion and mustard. Picture up topic on April 26. That one was oblong and this one was round, but they're pretty equivalent (same water, flour, and salt quantities, and approximately the same yeast). The crumb was more even on the onion loaf, and it didn't have an explosive rise. I put the massive rises down to the Tony G. flour with my fresh yeast (I over payed a little for the security of having plenty of yeast when I was sick and couldn't face baking with sourdough starter, but it's worth it for the freshest, liveliest ADY I've ever touched) and will cut back the yeast more when I use it.

    The AC+ crumb structure was more even, but also drier. That could be from a longer bake. The Tony G. loaf is the first to brown quickly. I was a little worried when I took it out, but it thumped. I haven't gotten to the middle, but it give all appearances of being fully baked, whereas the AC+ might have been over slightly, waiting for the brown. The Tony G. has the large holes, however, which means it baked moister to begin with, especially seeing that it has a much higher protein content. For that matter, the dough was a lot stickier and wetter to begin with, which is an absorption thing, rather than a gluten thing, though by the time it was risen and punched down, I don't think they actually felt that dissimilar.

    It wasn't bravery using the Tony G. For a long time, I've been looking for a strong flour to make a certain kind of rustic bread I like and I thought pizza flour (which is also recommended for things like breadsticks) might be just the thing. I think I need to mix the Tony G. with a higher ash flour, or, since I have so much of it available, maybe just some straight out whole wheat. The bread experiment, however, was to see how it compared to the AC+ in the same recipe. Yes, the first herb bread was very dense. That was the KA BF that the recipe came on. The next one had a good crumb structure but the crust got hard before it had a chance to pop. One of them, 2nd or 3rd, was a lot wetter, and had a great crumb but no legs. The recipe was tweaked on 2, 3 and 4, but I did the same for 4 and 5 other than the flour.

    ----------------


  • bragu_DSM 5
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    JC ... you and Tony G. seem to be ... an item ...

    gushing, swooning and spooning in the kitchen ... with a ... flourish

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    So. My poor, maligned biscuits. I made the same little cheese snack biscuit today as yesterday, but today it was light and biscuity, and much better than a third day biscuit has a right to be. I don't know what made the day 2 biscuit so sad.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Maybe it's me. I made a sandwich from the Tony G. bread, and it was pretty perfect. It wasn't a wet sandwich, so I'll reserve final judgment, but I put the cut edge on the inside, as one does, because it's drier, and I thought the fresh edge was going to be too soft and moist. In reality, the softness was just right so that squeezing compressed the bread, keeping the filling in, rather than compressing the filling and making it slide out (I hate that!). The bread bounced right back instead of that white bread norm of sticking together and forming starch balls. Same on the bitten edge. So it ate like firm bread with the advantages of soft as well. The crust was delicious and not hard, and the crumb seemed to taste good too. I say "seemed" because the filling was highly flavored and I might have been imagining the bread part.

    Anyway, when I get through another forty pounds of AC+, I can move on to Tony G and flourish. :)

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Epic fail. I was making the chocolate chip cookies, but I don't think the flour was the issue. I confirmed the recipe with the Expert. I've made them in this oven, on this tray, before, so I know it's not that. The Expert made them once with this kind of margarine (vegan) and he wasn't happy with the product but I ate some of the cookies and they were fine. Perhaps it was warmer in the kitchen than I thought, and I should have followed Chloebud's practice of chilling every cookie dough, but I've never needed to before. The sugar is C&H cane, as usual.

    The flavor is a little odd--I think my vanilla is stronger than his, and the bubbling at the edges caramelized, but at least these oddities are edible, unlike the half an egg too much cookies. Though, I know my exact mistake on those. I don't know what's wrong with these. I'll be ordering some of the right kind of dairy margarine (butter doesn't work) and trying again,,,


  • ediej1209 AL Zn 7
    2 years ago

    When I've had cookies spread like that while they're still pliable I take the edge of the spatula and cut them apart. End up with some weirdly shaped cookies but still edible, albeit usually rather crispy. They make good "dunkers" though.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    After I took that picture, I cut them along the lines with the edge of spatula, and moved them to a rack The middle ones also stuck to the pan. They're chewy. They look like they should be crisp, like oatmeal lace cookies, but they're not. They were supposed to be chewy. The only thing I've seen that looks like this is cookies that were made with oil. Margarine is effectively oil. But the Expert did make them once with the exact same margarine, and while they weren't his idea of perfect, they were the shape and texture of normal. After consulting him, I've put the right margarine on my Instacart list. I need some things from that store anyway. :)

    I really want to know if the AC flour makes a difference, so I have to get proper cookies.

    Next up, probably Sunday or Monday is orange chiffon cake. And pizza from the 00 flour (not TG).

    Oh! The bread. I make a wet sandwich today, and there was like 1/8" seepage into the bread. It held together very well without going mushy.

  • Cloud Swift
    2 years ago

    Did you measure the flour by weight or by volume? Maybe there is a difference in how the AC flour measures by weight. (AC is Central Milling Artisan Baker's Craft, right?)

    I don't think the high protein should make it prone to spreading so probably not that. Cookies can spread when the ration of fat to flour is too high (too much fat compared to the amount of flour). That's why a measurement difference is a suspect.

    Another possibility might be ambient temperature. When the Expert made them with that margarine perhaps it was still winter and the temperature in your house was lower. Now that it is getting close to summer perhaps your house is warmer and the warmer dough with that particular margarine was more prone to spreading before it baked enough to firm up.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the suggestions, Cloud Swift.

    Yes, CM Artisan Baker's Craft (not plus). I don't think it's the flour. I was testing the flour to see if it would make the cookies heavy or tough. I did measure by volume, since that's the recipe, but so far in my experiments, it does well as a sub for AP by volume.

    It could be temperature. That was one of my suspicions. The Expert has made this same recipe in all weathers and temperatures. As I said, it spread as if made with oil. I think it's more likely the Expert's expertise that made his from the same margarine so much better. He thought the dough might have been too wet.

    I'll know more when I have the right fat. :)

  • Compumom11
    2 years ago

    Pillog, perhaps the formula of the margarine has changed. I find things like that are being tweaked all the time. I’ve had the best luck when I used to bake... the best luck with chocolate chip cookies using shortening ( gag)!

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Could be. The trick the Expert taught me is that the margarine (never butter or shortening) must be sticks with 100 Calories per tbsp, and have dairy solids. What I have on hand, and bake with when I want parve, is Earth Balance Soy Free sticks. I've baked with it a lot including cookies, but I still think it was the problem today.

    Or...I had another thought when I ate one. My brown sugar came in plastic. We've talked about how plastic ruins the powdered sugar. I have a new box. Maybe, I'll split the next batch and test the sugar.

    I've never had failed cookies before this month! The spritz were a simple mismeasure, no biggie, but the chocolate chips are making me nuts!!!! I mean, I've only made this same recipe ... countless... times. And they're cookies! I can make ugly cookies, but never wrong cookies. ARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!

    I had an email saying that my CSA box isn't going to have the chard, broccoli or oranges, but I think I can make the cake with the one I have. Or maybe use mandarins. I have a lot of mandarins.

  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    The end of the loaf is still not stale. I made toast because I scored some of the good butter. The Tony G. made great toast!