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April 30, 2006

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Julie

That's a fine looking loaf of bread.

Fresh baked bread and shrimp chowder for dinner sounds wonderful. Yum! Those were some lucky dinner guests.

Tania

I appreciate the creative and careful approach you take to cooking, Lindy. Your dedication to finding authentic ingredients and trying unusual recipes is inspirational. I always learn something from your posts!

Baking Soda

I totally agree with Tania. I do have a question: why would you use all-purpose instead of white bread flour? Here, ap-flour is used for pancakes and cakes, cookies and things like that, the protein(?) percentage being approx 11% where our bread flour is 12-13%. I noticed the use of ap-flour in US-breadbooks too (Beth Hensperger, Maggie Glezer, King Arthur) and often I find myself hesitate: what to do...
Same with the semolina, I bought semolina flour which is yellowy golden, very finely ground, almost a powder. But now I've read your post and think is this really semolina....
All these differences in names and appearance is somewhat confusing sometimes.

lindy

Julie-I love shrimp chowder- and it is so nice that shrimp has gotten (comparatively) cheaper, unlike most other treats.

Tania- You are so kind. Thank you very much.

Baking soda-I think i may actually have a couple of answers to these particular questions-though I agree that making the switch between ingredients from different regions is totally confusing and weird. (as in my semolina problem) But..

1.I believe that King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour-which totally rocks- is 11.5% protein. It is purportedly a lot like European bread flour used in country type french breads and the like. It has more protein than most of our all-purpose flours. I think the deal is (if I understand correctly) that American "bread flour" is more like 14% protein, and is made from much harder wheat than european bread flour. So, I think it tends to make up into bread that is more like an even grained pan de mie kind of thing, rather than elastic, crusty and full of holes. You would need to use american type bread flour to make, say, bagels-I think. If I am deeply confused-perhaps someone who has actually studied this stuff in culinary school can set me straight?

2. Seems to me that the finer the semolina-the better. If you have something very fine, and golden-it's probably more like the Sicilian stuff than anything I've been able to find!

So if I had access to what you have, and wanted to try something like this bread, I'd use your bread flour, and that fine semolina you found...I think.

Next,I want to try this in a batard shape, with less yeast and longer rising-maybe even starting with a biga-I think it might make good crostini.


Baking Soda

Thk you so much, I think I (almost) understand now. The harder wheat definitely rings a bell, but couldn't place it, now I can! I would love to visit KA in Vermont sometime, almost convinced a friend once to bring a bag of KA flour back from the States for me... (she was looking at me like she saw water burning haha). To make it even more confusing, we can buy a french-type flour over here which is I think is higher in protein. The flour I use comes from a mill nearby. This is the bread I made with the semolina. The Artisan site is bookmarked!

lindy

Baking soda-Ha! That is so much like something I would do..and I would get the same reaction. How nice to have a mill nearby.
I went and looked at your bread-it's a beauty. Sounds like it was delicious, too. There is something amiss with the link in your comment-I'm not sure what-but I found it via Google.

June

I'm so glad you mentioned The Artisan - I mean to try the recipe for Carta de Musica sometime when I have three arms!

Bakerina

Oh, mercy, but that's lovely. I usually just use the durum I buy from King Arthur for semolina breads, but I think you're definitely on to something here. Just look at the color of that crumb. Hubba. :)

Now if only I could take the rest of the day off and try it for myself...

lindy

June-I had a look at the Carta de Musica. Lordy. And what a great name!
Bakerina-Thank you! Probably everyone who knows what they are doing uses the durum. I had a feeling that might be the case...but I wanted the golden color I remembered, and the durum I saw was a disappointing tan.
I am pretty happy with the texture and color of this bread, and suspect that the taste-which is actually pretty interesting-will be beter when I cut the yeast and extend the rising, I need to call PA Mac and see if someone will tell me a brand name for the flour.

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