Author Topic: unheard of flour  (Read 5191 times)

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Offline Chet

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unheard of flour
« on: January 08, 2010, 10:58:27 PM »
  We were at a local pizza tonight and they were in business for 50yrs or more, excellent pizza here in the NEPA area, I saw an empty flour bag laying there in the kitchen, I could not read the fine print such as who made it, but the bag was white with a blue bottom had a picture of a pizza pie and was called "Spring up" flour, has anyone ever heard of it.


     Chet


Offline scott123

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 12:11:30 AM »
Spring up is from Archer Daniels Midland

http://adm.com/en-US/Milling/Flour/USWheat/Pages/Springup.aspx

I can't seem to find any more detailed specs than these, but I'd wager to guess that it's probably bromated.

Spring wheat kicks major butt for bread and pizza dough. I had access to Spring King Flour:

http://www.progressivebaker.com/products/springking.shtm

for a period, and it was, by far, the best flour I've ever worked with. You basically add water to the flour, mix it in briefly, wait 5 minutes and it sheets perfectly. No kneading whatsoever. When it came time to form the dough, it practically formed itself.

I'm sure the bromate played a huge part in it's manageability/extensibility, but spring wheat is wonderful on it's own and has a growing fan base.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 12:14:05 AM by scott123 »

Offline Chet

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 09:11:34 AM »
 Hi Scott123

   when I was down to my local distributor, he took me in his warehouse, I told him I am looking for a good flour to make bread & Pizza, he did not hesitate and took me to the general mills area and said the Full Strength 53381 was his choice, of all the pizza places in the area this is a big seller, I also noticed he had the Progressive Baker brand said Hummer on the bag, and con agra mills Kyrol and a few others too. I asked about the Kyrol, he said one of his customers request it. cheese is very reasonable there too. if I recall Mozzeralla and cheddar is $2.19 lb   the 53381 Full Strength 53381 was $14.40 per bag.

   Chet

PS thanks for the flour info, I wonder If I go over to the pizza place where they use the Spring up would sell me a bag.

Offline scott123

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 10:43:09 AM »
Yup, the Full Strength is bromated spring wheat as well.

Hummer is 14% protein, Spring King 13.2% and both the Full Strength and the Spring up are 12.6%

All great flours.  Before yesterday, I probably would have said that bromated spring flour was the only thing I'd ever use, but I ran out of bromated flour a while back and ended up getting unbromated bread flour from a local bakery. It wasn't quite as magical as bromated, but it was still a pretty amazing flour to work with.  Next time I go I have to ask for the name.  If it's that consistently good, I might be willing to go the unbromated route.

Btw, that distributor isn't towards East Stroudsburg, are they? Being in north central NJ, I'll go as far as East Stroudsburg for hard to find items, but that's about it.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 10:45:00 AM by scott123 »

Offline Chet

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010, 06:23:15 PM »


Hello Scott

  I want to chime in here,I spent the good part of the day baking bread and making pizza, using this recipe http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/pizza-dough.aspx with the General Mills Full Strength flour 53381, I made 2 batches last night, made bread and a batch of pizza dough that did not have to ferment up to 24 hrs. this flour made a better pizza dough than my last try using a bread flour, why I do not know, I am liking this new Full Strength so far. the pizza dough that rested 18hrs was excellent.

      Chet

PS was out shopping a few days ago and I came across Hunts Organic crushed tomatoes for $1 a 28oz can at a store called the Christmas Tree shoppe, I did see them at a market somewhere but I don't recall the price, so for $1 a can I'll give them a shot, this sauce was my best to date, and I have a cellar full of tomatoes from Escalon and Stanislaus all kinds.

  here's a recipe I tried and it tasted just wonderful, must better than 6-1 although I never used the 6-1 with this recipe, gonna try it next.

    sautee 4-5 cloves garlic in 4 TBLS Olive oil med heat about 4-5 min
    add tomatoes
    1/4 tsp blk pepper
    1/4 tsp Tyme
    1/4 tsp Oregano
    1 TBLS Basil
    1/2 tsp sugar
    3 TBLS Gallo Hearty Burgandy wine

   simmer all for 10 min, I made a few pies with both doughs and at first I was a little skeptic and if the sauce was going to be any good, I made a tray for a relation, they called and commented on this sauce, if anyone tries it please let me know what you think. going to get back up there and get a few more cans of this hunts Organic tomatoes, overall Hunt's was my last choice in tomatoes. but these Organics are worth a try, let me know.


   

Offline scott123

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 12:47:46 AM »
Hey Chet

You're only 'liking' the new flour, not 'loving' it? The first time I used bromated spring wheat flour, the heavens parted and a choir of angels broke into song  ;D

I picked up 50 lbs. of All Trumps this week.  I was expecting a 10 out of 10, but it feels more like a 9 out of 10.  At least, that's my first impression.  I may be wrong about this, but it feels a little more elastic than I'm used to.  The dough just didn't seem to want to double. I normally use cool water for my dough, put it straight in the fridge and bring it up to room temp at room temp.  This time, the proof seemed so sluggish that I had to use an 80 deg. oven. My yeast is slightly old (2nd packet of a 3 pack that was extremely lively 3 weeks ago) so that may be part of it, but I think the high protein level (14.2%) is also a factor.  I have some fresh yeast, so I'll have a better idea after the next batch.

Regarding the link you posted... I browsed through Reinhart's American Pie back in 2003 when it was first published and couldn't help notice the KA lovefest. Between that and a few other things that niggled at me, I  basically wrote Reinhart off as a NY Style pizza guru. I still consulted his bread books and talked to him a few times about yeast, but whenever I came across pizza related info, I completely tuned it out. As I look at that recipe, though... it's almost identical to the one I'm using now.  I'm still not running out to buy American Pie, but I guess I can't write him off completely :)

Offline Bill374

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2010, 10:57:40 AM »
Scott,

Stumbled upon an older post of yours where you discussed extensibility issues with the King Arthur flour you had been using.
I had also been having extensibility issues and a sidewall collapse (bread) problem with KA bread flour. (being a novice I "assumed" that by purchasing the "best" flour available, flour could be ruled out as a source of any potential problems).

Despite the technique, machine mixing/hand kneading, high/low hydration, autolyse, dough conditioners, finished dough temperature, proofing methods, the dough was always seemed tough. Especially pizza dough.

Thanks to your enlightenment I purchased a bag of Spring King from a major east coast flour distributor that fortunately permits walk-in cash customers.
Exactly as you stated, the difference is dramatic, like night and day.

Incidentally, this flour distributor is listed by KA as a distributor, but a walk through the warehouse revealed no KA products, the rep said they could special order it. Which actually says something -- commercial users are obviously not employing KA flours in their formulas evidently for valid reasons.
In my opinion, KA flour is a retail marketing phenomenon, they have saturated the internet and employed the recipe book writers to great advantage. The other marketing strategy is effectively using the unbleached, unbromated controversy.
The internet despite its great diversity has a tendency to, in effect, constrain knowledge to the most popular opinion. King Arthur has used this to great benefit. It is almost considered heresy to question the performance of KA flours.

Scott, I sincerely appreciate you posting real life experience with different flours. It changed everything for me.
Walking through the distributor's warehouse was a real eye opener, literally hundreds of choices of available flours.
Will certainly be more open to trying different flours in the future.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2010, 11:41:49 AM »
Bill374,

As I noted some time ago at Reply 13 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1795.msg17508/topicseen.html#msg17508, I once spoke with a technical person at Bay State Milling about flours, including those from King Arthur. It still sticks in my mind about how much he admired and talked about the marketing and promotional skills of King Arthur. Even though he praised the quality of the KA flours, and their tight specs (they are the tightest in the industry), the flours were almost secondary considerations. As you may know, King Arthur does not mill its own flours. So, they can devote most of their time to marketing and promotion and sales.

I believe that the Spring King flour is a bromated flour. I know of people in the industry who will privately tell you that bromated flours make a big difference in terms of dough preparation and dough performance but won't say the same thing publicly because they know that the bromate issues is a hotly contested one. Some pizza operators start out with bromated flours with the intent of switching to nonbromated flours once they learn how to make their dough but either never make the switch or they go back to the bromated flours. The King Arthur flours are good flours, as the Bay State Milling guy said, and they are a safe choice for our members because other than the KASL they are widely available at the retail level and they are nonbleached and nonbromated. That way, we don't get bogged down and spend an inordinate amount of time debating and having people getting angry and frustrated over the bromate issue. Those for whom bromated flours is not a concern can find sources of such flours, either at the retail level or at the foodservice/baker level, and use them to their heart's content.

Peter

Offline scott123

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2010, 07:03:50 PM »
Bill,

Welcome to the forum.  I'm glad that my comments led you to try Spring King and that it worked out so well for you.  I'm envious that you have a distributor near you that carries it and that will sell it to you.  I'm having a hard time finding it in my area.  A few years back, I was getting it from a local bakery, but, the management changed, and the new folks don't seem too hot on the idea of selling flour. It's kind of strange, actually. About 3 years ago, bakeries would be pleased as punch to sell me flour, but now, I'm getting a very cold shoulder. I've called probably close to about 30 local bakeries and none of them were open to the idea.  I tried pizzerias as well. They pretty much laughed at me.  I'm guessing it must be an economy thing.  They're probably (incorrectly) seeing flour sales as potential loss in bread sales.

The only distributor quality option I have available locally is All Trumps. As I mentioned earlier, it's far superior to my supermarket flour experiences, but... it's no Spring King.  After having a chance to use it for a few weeks, I'm struck by one more shortcoming.  I'm not at all happy with it's machinability. With SK, you'd get a small window of hand mixability right after the flour is combined with the water.  With AT, that window doesn't exist, and, unless you act quickly and aggressively, mixing immediately after the wet and dry ingredients are combined and then immediately dumping on the counter and kneading, you end up with dry particles in the dough- and this is at 68% hydration. SK, as I've said before, is a joy to mix. Mixing AT dough is a stressful experience.

Regarding KA... recent events are causing me to slightly rethink my perspective.  Remember the unbromated flour that I got my hands on a few weeks ago that I loved so much? I finally found out the brand.  It's Bouncer  ;D Bouncer is Bay State Milling, and, according to Peter, so is KA.  If my 9+ year old hiatus of working with KA didn't complicate things enough, this new development is really wreaking havoc with my KA hatefest  ;D

I'm not backtracking entirely, but, if BSM makes Bouncer, and that's so fantastic, maybe, just maybe, the current incarnation of KA might not be too horrible. Don't get me wrong, if someone working with KA has extensibility issues, I'm still going to recommend trying another brand and I'll still scream bloody murder about KA charging the price they do for a flour that I can guarantee you is no better than distributor flour, but, other than that, I might not rail against them like I used to.

I guess, if I really wanted to clear up some of the mystery, I should just buy some KABF. I could probably tell just by smell if it was the same flour I was so miserable using a decade ago. The thought of spending $4+ for a bag of flour really turns my stomach, though.

Maybe in the interests of science  ;D

Regarding bromate... there's lots of food ingredients, that, if handled improperly, are dangerous.  Pork can be unsafe if not cooked properly, but I'd never tell someone to avoid pork. As long as bromated flour is brought to a high enough temperature, the dangerous compounds are rendered harmless. The thin crust high heat setting of NY style pizza is the ideal environment for a bromated flour. For Neapolitan, with it's potential for a less cooked gum layer, bromated flour would be especially unwise.  As long as people are aware of the dangers, though, and cook the dough properly, bromate is a non issue for pizza eaters.  For people working with the flour in a professional setting, I think a dust mask should be mandatory. For the home cook, though, you're really not talking about that much dust.

If someone's attempting to market themselves as organic or artisan, then they should nix the bromate, but that's just about marketing, not safety.

If I can find a source for Bouncer and it consistently performs well for me, then I'll probably stop using bromates, but, if, for any reason, it disappoints, I have no problem maintaining my current path.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 11:58:46 AM »
scott123,

My recollection from the forum is that there was some confusion as to whether the Bay State Milling (BSM) Bouncer flour is bromated or not. So, I did what I usually do when I don't have an answer. I got on the phone and called BSM. I used their Massachusetts telephone number that I pulled off of their internet website (bsm.com, 1-800-55-FLOUR) but was referred to their Quality Assurance department in their Winona, MN facility. I ended up speaking with a technician about the Bouncer flour. He informed me that the Bouncer flour comes in both bromated and unbromated forms. That flour has a protein content of 13.8% +/- 0.3. They also have another unbromated flour called Winona that has a protein content of 12.4% +/- 0.3. As I was told some time ago when I called BSM, the Bouncer flour is the flour that is closest to the Sir Lancelot. The Winona flour looks to be similar to the King Arthur bread flour.

I asked the BSM technician if they are still doing milling for King Arthur. He said yes but added that King Arthur uses other millers also. At the moment, BSM is doing milling for the King Arthur Special, Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot flours. The Special and Sir Galahad flours are the professional counterparts to the retail bread and all-purpose flours, respectively.

Peter


Offline scott123

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2010, 04:12:59 PM »
Peter, I wasn't aware that Bouncer came in bromated and unbromated versions. That's good to know. I do know, for certain, that the Bouncer that I used was unbromated (I had them bring out a bag and I read the ingredients).

Those specs are helpful as well.  Since all I could find on the BSM site was this:

http://www.bsm.com/Products/BakingEssentials/FlourProducts.aspx

I tried contacting them for more detailed specs via the form on their contact page and it came back undeliverable. ::)

So, was BSM ever milling the retail KABF? Or is it safe to assume that the retail KABF is the same as the Special, just in different packaging?

Online Pete-zza

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2010, 04:34:31 PM »
scott123,

I asked about the availability of BSM spec sheets such as are available at the General Mills and King Arthur websites and was told that they had something like that on their website at one point but took it down about a year and a half ago because of lack of interest. However, it sounded like they would send something out if requested for a particular flour.

I once had a voicemail exchange with Tod Bramble of King Arthur and was told that the professional flours and their retail counterparts are the same. Whether the professional and retail counterparts are "exactly" the same I did not think to ask at the time. Since then, I have read reports by members who claim that there are differences between the flours that come in large bags and the flours that are supposed to be the same but come in small bags.

Peter

Offline dms

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Re: unheard of flour
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 04:17:00 PM »
scott123,

I asked about the availability of BSM spec sheets such as are available at the General Mills and King Arthur websites and was told that they had something like that on their website at one point but took it down about a year and a half ago because of lack of interest. However, it sounded like they would send something out if requested for a particular flour.

I once had a voicemail exchange with Tod Bramble of King Arthur and was told that the professional flours and their retail counterparts are the same. Whether the professional and retail counterparts are "exactly" the same I did not think to ask at the time. Since then, I have read reports by members who claim that there are differences between the flours that come in large bags and the flours that are supposed to be the same but come in small bags.

Peter

I use the bromated Bouncer flour (Which, for those of you in the mid-west, is available in 25 lb bags from GFS Marketplace stores, for about 9 or 10 bucks.) for thin crust pizzas, for bagels (for which it's particularly wonderful.) and for some general bread making.  It's great stuff. I've never used (nor even seen) the un-bromated stuff.  Thanks for the protein specs (they're about what I'd figured)

i wonder if the differences in KA retail and commercial products come from different millers, or if it's just seasonal and lot to lot variation.