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Working with a new flour

Working with a new flour

I’ve been playing around a lot recently with @cotswoldflour

When using a new flour, I recommend starting with a recipe you know really well. Don’t change anything about the recipe outside of the flour and see how the dough changes.

I did this with the @cotswoldflour Canadian bread flour. I did a recipe I do all the time:
78% water, 20% sourdough, 80% bread flour, 20% wholemeal.

I noticed right away that the flour could use more water so next time I tried 80%. It still wanted more. So this loaf I did 83%. I think I could still go higher.

If you’re making dough and after the first mix you think it could handle more water, wait a bit and add more. This technique is called bassinage. I teach it in my “high hydration” recipe in my ebook.

You’ll see folks use a bassinage in addition to their autolyse. I too find it easier to mix in the salt by also adding water so I’ll do this from time to time as well. I used it in this loaf in fact, mixing at 80% water and adding 3% more with the salt after an hours rest.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, my ebook can help. The recipes are structured in a way to layer these techniques in. The first recipes have some technique for mixing and folding. Later ones introduce autolyse (flour + water only mix) and preferment (flour + water + sourdough only mix). Different shaping methods come in to play. I also teach different hydration doughs, different ferment techniques. Short ferments, long ferments. Long autolyse, short autolyse. Working with Wholemeal. enriched v non enriched. Etc.

Everything adds and adds to help you feel more comfortable with learning a new (and rewarding!) skill.

You’ll learn how to read the dough, understand how it’s proofing and make judgment calls on how to adapt for the next bake.

And at the end of it you’ll feel comfortable (and excited) with trying a new flour.

Enjoy the #sourdough journey!

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