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Author Topic: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?  (Read 795 times)

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Offline wb54885

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All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« on: January 13, 2020, 07:22:07 PM »
Hi all, curious about how often folks who are going through large quantities of 50-lb bags of All Trumps have problems with certain lots/batches.

I’ve been going through about 6 bags a week for three months, and just a couple weeks ago started having batches of dough come off the hook softer than normal, that then struggle to tighten up when balling and end up super extensible after only 24 hours in ball, feeling wetter than normal and with hardly any oven spring. I’m only at 64% hydration and getting tight dough balls hasn’t been a problem til now, and with these last few bags it feels like I’m at 70+.

I’m thinking I have the situation tied to certain lot #s, but I also understand that General Mills is likely to produce some of the more consistent product out there. So I was curious how often other people have noticed changes across the All trumps line, specifically Unbromated if anyone has that experience. I want to be sure I’m isolating the right variables in identifying whether the change is the flour or other in-house factors.
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 08:00:35 PM »
Which A.T. flour are you using: #50143; #50121; or #50111?
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline wb54885

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 08:54:41 PM »
50143–Unbleached, Unbromated
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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 12:32:48 AM »
In your dough formula,what type of yeast are you using and how are you adding it.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline wb54885

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2020, 01:49:03 PM »
Finally got some specs from GM on these lot numbers, and sure enough, the absorption dropped 2% going from Sept/Oct into early November, from about 63.8 down to 61.8, with protein remaining consistent throughout (about 13.9%) and moisture remaining within .1% of 14%. I dropped our hydration by about 2% to compensate while we were stuck with these batches for a couple weeks—also increased mix time, added a stretch and fold, etc. I’m glad to see we had the right idea, but I’m left wondering what the cause was.

Larry “thezaman” told me he saw the same thing happen with King Arthur, during the fall, two years in a row. He had a rep tell him the flour during these periods hadn’t been aged long enough. Is this likely to be a seasonal thing concerning growing conditions for Unbleached flours, a wet crop that’s rushed to market before it’s ready kind of situation?

I found it interesting that the GM people I dealt with first of all assured me that they had some of the tightest specs in the industry, and that they were right about the consistency of the specs in the end, and yet the performance of the flour nevertheless changed significantly (granted, I was at the edge of AT’s absorption already at 64-64.5%, so it wouldn’t have been as big a deal if I was in a lower hydration range, or if I had a spiral mixer that could still have brought the dough together). I knew protein alone was a reductive category to use to conceive of flour “strength,” but I didn’t realize absorption could drop like this while protein remained consistent. I guess even the biggest, most consistent and strict millers still have to wrestle with the physical properties of the crop they’re handling, and that sometimes this can happen regardless of their best measures against it. Any other insights or stories are welcome. This has been a great learning experience and I’ve enjoyed talking to folks at General Mills about their processes, as much as they’d tell me anyway  :-D
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Offline foreplease

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2020, 04:28:24 PM »
This wound up being a good story about your having high standards and a tight process such that you were able to detect and pretty well diagnose a change in your most major ingredient.
-Tony

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2020, 04:48:56 PM »
In our pizza classes I used to ask my students if they could tell me what the difference between flour and hockey pucks was.
Answer: Hockey pucks are consistent and always the same. Flour isn't.
This is why large commercial bakeries have a FARINOGRAM REPORT ON EACH AND EVERY LOT OF FLOUR THEY RECEIVE. The Farinograph report gives vital information on flour absorption, mixing time and overall strength of the flour allowing them to make the necessary adjustments right up front without any surprises. Most of the time we see the most significant changes in flour during the period which is referred to as new crop change-over, this is when the new crop is just coming into the mills, for spring wheat based flours this is usually mid-August to early September. For winter wheat based flours this is usually mid July to early August.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Offline wb54885

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 07:59:14 PM »
Tom, I was told by my local GM rep about large bakeries getting the farinogram reports with each lot, but was told that for small scale commercial bakers like myself, that information was more difficult to access—“we don’t share these with just anybody” was the line. Why the difference? Is it because small scale bakers make up such a small proportion of total users that acknowledging the differences/discrepancies between lots is seen as decreasing public trust in the product? So they give large companies the information they need to retain them as customers, but see it as a risk of losing smaller customers if they acknowledge that changes to their formulas would be necessary to maximize the performance of a given lot?
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2020, 09:28:05 PM »
No, it's because when a large wholesale account receives their flour it comes in a tank car (road or rail) and it was milled immediately before shipment (usually just hours or a day at most after milling) so it is easy to have a Farinogram report specific to that particular lot of flour. With bagged flour the routing is different as the flour goes from the mill in bags to a mill storage area, then its shipped to a distributor and then sometimes another distributor like an ingredient vendor this makes it difficult to match the bagged flour to a Farinogram report, and add to that, unless you specify from your vendor not to mix lot numbers on an order, you may find that your flour shipment consists of two or more different mill lots. Due to laws regarding trace ability it probably wouldn't be too difficult for the mills to have a computerized system where you would enter your lot number (shown on each bag) and it would give you a page showing the Farinogram report. Then there is the issue of explaining just what it is and how to use it as well as how to develop a Farinogran factor for each of your doughs. That sounds like a lot of work to me for any company that is highly competitive and trying desperately to keep their costs down. A possible solution would be to charge an annual fee to access such information, I don't know how many operators would avail themselves of such a program though, but it's a thought.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Offline wb54885

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Re: All Trumps Unbromated/Unbleached - Inconsistencies?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2020, 02:17:24 PM »
Thanks for the insight Tom, that all makes a lot of sense. I had perceived the amount of time it took for me to get these reports, as well as my rep’s insistence that it was not an easy task, as trying to keep this information secret or obscure, possibly in hopes that I would go away and stop emailing requests for updates  :-D

I think your idea for a centralized online library of lot number specs is a great one, and I for one would enthusiastically sign up. Alongside the daily trench work of mixing, balling, proofing and baking (and testing/eating) all of the dough one goes through in a pizzeria, knowing if/how the flour itself is changing week by week is enormously instructive. And yes, we get mixed lots from our distributor all the time, so we’re often running batches that overlap between lots and have “mystery properties” until they come out normal or otherwise. Interestingly, the reports I received included both a phone number and an email address for the Quality Manager at the Great Falls mill where our supply comes from. I’m not saying I’ll be a frequent caller, but I do not intend to lose track of that number, just in case...

Peter, thanks as always for the relevant reading material. It’s a reassurance when I see that I’ve unknowingly imitated a fazzari protocol in some way.

Tony, you make it sound like I knew what I was doing all along—that would be to overlook the night I spent throwing handfuls of flour into the running mixer, cursing the “water beast” that refused to obey me, as the mixer arm joyously ejected plumes of powder back up into my face. The dough finally came together, but it took hours to clean up what I had done. When I got home that night I was told to burn my clothes outside rather than bring them inside the apartment, and I think I clogged the shower drain with just what was left over in my ears and eyebrows. The polished critical analysis of our situation and intelligently altered dough formula came a couple of days later.
Every oven is a law unto itself and only itself.

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