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flour-msg – 3/5/11

 

Flours. Period flours. Approximating them with modern flours. Types of flours. Flour sources. chickpea flour.

 

NOTE: See also these files: boulting-msg, bread-msg, breadmaking-msg, dumplings-msg, grains-msg, thickening-msg, leavening-msg, rice-msg, brd-manchets-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: "Philip W. Troy" <troy at asan.com>

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 12:50:45 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #51

 

Ray Caughlin wrote:

> Question? Bleached flour during the Middle Ages? Would someone clarify. My

> understanding is that white flour or (bleached) is modern. Good Period

> bakers need to know these things!

> Lord Mandrigal of Mu

 

The concept of bleached flour is modern only in the sense that flour

being produced on an industrial scale, for storage in warehouses, for

sale God knows when, is modern.

 

Bleached flour is produced by taking freshly ground flour and storing it

in non-airtight sacks for a specific length of time ( I don't know how

long). They don't add anything to it to bleach it.

 

So, we have here another one of those "they COULD have had it" things.

How often it actually occurred is anybody's guess.

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: "Philip W. Troy" <troy at asan.com>

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 13:24:03 -0400

Subject: Re: Re(2): SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #51

 

Sue Wensel wrote:

 

> Marham talks about "fine white flour."  Could this be bleached flour? (I had

> always assumed so.)

>

> Derdriu

 

Could be. As I posted earlier (and then deleted for space, dummy that I

am) it seems to be one of those things that COULD have existed.

 

I just figured Markham is talking about finely bolted flour: sifted

through a fine muslin or other cloth that would allow the passage of the

starchy grains without most of the bran.

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 18:05:09 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Sugar is sweet and so are you...

 

Jeanne Stapleton wrote:

 

> Also, we were talking about bleaching flour earlier.  My

> understanding is that much modern bleached flour comes about because

> of chemical bleaching, not storage methods.  I have also been going

> for the unbleached white flour, which is still fine and white, and

> using that in my SCA cooking attempts.  Any thoughts on this?

 

From Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking", page 290:

 

'BLEACHING AND AGING

 

After the flour has been ground and blended to the desired mix of

particles, it is treated chemically to to accomplish in  a matter of

minutes what otherwise takes weeks. Bleaching removes the light yellow

color caused by xanthophylls, a variety of carotenoid pigment also found

in potatoes and onions. The color has no practical or nutritional

significance and is oxidized  simply to obtain a uniform whiteness.

Bleaching does, however,  destroy the small amounts of vitamin E in

flour, which probably accounts for its bad reputation in some circles.

For historical reasons, yellow coloration is valued in pasta, and so

semolina is never bleached.

 

Bleaching is often accomplished with the same gas, chlorine dioxide,

that is used to age, or "improve," the flour. But even unbleached flour

has been aged with potassium bromate or iodate. Aging has several

important practical results. It has long been known that flour allowed

to sit for one to two months  develops better baking qualities; hence

the practice of letting flour "age" before use (during this period, it

is also naturally bleached by oxygen in the air).'

 

It seems as if there's little practical difference between the bleached

and the unbleached flour as regards the introduction of foreign matter

to the flour, especially since the foreign matter doesn't remain in the

finished product. As regards the removal of the vitamin E from the

flour, this is pretty insignificant, since the majority of the vitamin E

is found in the germ, which isn't part of white flour anyway.

 

My suggestion to those who want to come as close as they can to period

flours is to use stone-ground whole wheat flour, which can be sieved to

remove some or most of the bran, depending on the fineness of the

bolting cloth. People living in cities with large Orthodox Jewish

communities might be able to get hold of some Passover flour, such as

non-industrial matzoh is made of. This is a fresh, unaged, unbleached,

sieved white flour. Hard to get hold of, but worth the effort for

experimentation.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 12:31:42 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: Re(2): SC - Bread

 

S. Noss wrote:

> Kind gentles, a newbie question.  What is a bolting cloth?

>

> Shirley

 

A bolting cloth is used to sift and grade flour. In pre-industrial

times, whole wheat was ground in a mill, then sifted through

successively finer bolting cloths to get various grades of flour, from

dark whole-wheat to _almost_ white, for the wealthy. You can still buy a

textile item called bolting cloth, I understand, but it usually isn't

used for bolting anymore, so far as I know.

 

Nowadays the harder wheat we tend to grow and eat has the outside bran

removed by a machine with rollers, and THEN it's ground into flour.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 12:53:41 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: Re(2): SC - Bread

 

Kind gentles, a newbie question.  What is a bolting cloth?

 

Mister Dictionary says:

 

bolt vt [ME bultan, fr. OF buleter, of Gmc origin; akin to MHG biutelnX

   to sift, fr. biutel bag, fr. OHG bu-til 1: to sift (as flour) usu. through

   fine-meshed cloth archaic  2: SIFT

 

bolt (bolt) verb, transitive

   To pass (flour, for example) through a sieve.

   [Middle English bulten, from Old French buleter, from Middle High German

   biuteln, from biutel, bag, purse.]

 

        Tibor

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 12:45:31 -0700

From: Brett and Karen Williams <brettwi at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: SC - Re: Bread

 

What about spelt flour? Would spelt be a good substitute for modern

unbleached white?

 

I'm on the mailing list for King Arthur's Flour Company (Sands &

Taylor), and they're a good source for all kinds of specialty grains,

including hard and soft wheat flour varieties. I bought a bag of spelt

flour from my local health food store after reading about spelt in the

KAFC catalog. Spelt flour is sorta similar in texture to common

unbleached white-- but the differences are a nuttier (and IMHO opinion

more flavorful) and more complex taste, more nutritious, and has a color

between whole wheat and white flour. I used the spelt flour in all kinds

of baked goods in lieu of my more usual unbleached white, including

Definitely Right Out Of Period Tollhouse Cookies, with great success.

 

cirostan

 

 

From: Gunnora Hallakarva <gunnora at bga.com>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 09:53:08 -0500

Subject: ANST - Sifters and Sieves

 

The discussion on baking, ovens and bread asked about period

sifters/sieves. I don't know what anyone else was using, but I can tell you

what the Vikings used (and in fact, Swedes in the countryside still use

even today)... they used a round, cup-shaped sieve made by naalbinding,

utilizing horsehair fiber.  Such sieves were used for sifting flour, and

for straining milk.  Milk straining is how most seem to be used in the

present day, but archaeological examples have been found with ground grain

trapped in the fibers.

 

Gunnora Hallakarva

Herskerinde

 

 

Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 13:12:56 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Tip o' the Day idea

 

>Seriously tho', could the references in Apicius to pre-cooked spelt when

>making dumplings be referring to puff pastry dough? Tried it in Vehlings

>BookII, Number 46, and incorporated the scallops , pepper and eggs into the

>dough. Dropped it by tblspns into hot fat (olive oil). It turned out

>great....what do you think?

>Lord Ras

 

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a hard wheat still cultivated in Italy and (I

believe) Germany.  It was replaced in common use by softer wheats which

made better flour.  While I have no practical experience with it, my

notes say that it mills to a coarse flour and is used in polenta,

porridge and bread.

 

Boiling spelt flour would soften the meal and might improve the texture

for use in pastry dough.

 

Bear   

 

 

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 09:59:17 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Sharpening Fine Points or Will Adamantius Tell All?

 

>2. What modern flours most closely correspond to the sorts of flours

>referred to in period sources?

 

Here's a little lecturey commentary on what I've tried.

 

Bear

 

The Wheat

 

The original European wheat was emmer and has been used since Antiquity.

This was later joined by German wheat (spelt), which appears to have

been popular in Rome and was spread across Europe by the Vandals.  These

were displaced by club wheat.  There are now some 30,000 varieties of

wheat developed from these basic stocks.

 

Medieval wheats were white-skinned and soft (low in gluten).  Modern

wheats, especially those grown in North America are red, amber or

yellow-skinned and are hard (high in gluten).  Spelt was popular in

bread making because it was harder than the other wheat available at the

time.

 

Modern flours tend to be mixtures of flours with all-purpose or bread

flour being high in gluten and cake flour being low in gluten.

 

In practice, I ignore the difference between hard and soft flours and

use what is readily available.  Unless you can get it through a bakery

supply, soft flour tends to come in small packages with a very high

price.

 

The Milling

 

Medieval flour was stone milled.  Most modern flour is roller milled, a

process developed in the 19th Century.

 

Roller milling breaks the wheat germ loose from the endosperm early in

the milling process, yielding wheat germ and bran as a salable products

and high extraction flour.  Because of the minimal wheat germ, roller

milled flour has an indefinite storage life and is drier than a

comparable stone milled flour.  The germ is used to make semolina and

other wheat germ products.

 

In Medieval milling, the fineness of the meal depended on the quality of

the stones.  Wheat would normally have been ground on the hardest,

closest tolerance stones available to achieve the finest average meal.

 

Stone ground wheat comes very close to the fineness of roller milling.

The chief difference is in the level of extraction.  Stone grinding

reaches a maximum of about 80% extraction.  Roller milling goes above

90% extraction.

 

There are 4 layers of skin on a wheat berry.  This is the bran.

Apparently in parts of England, the coarser fragments of the skin were

referred to as bran and the finer fragments were referred to as chisel.

After milling, flour was boulted (sieved) through fabric to remove the

bran and establish the fineness of the flour.  The bran removed during

the boulting would be used by the miller to feed his livestock or be

sold to others as feed.

 

Boulting cloths were made of linen, canvas, or wool, being joined by

silk in the mid-18th Century.

 

The lowest grade of flour would be that straight from the mill.  A

prudent farmer might take his meal this way to ensure the maximum return

and boult the flour immediately before use.

 

Once boulted flour would remove the largest pieces of the bran, but

there would still be pieces of bran and chisel and a fairly coarse

flour. This flour would be used for rough breads, possibly trenchers.

I've used a Hodgson Mill 50/50 Wheat and White Flour, which I believe

would fall between once boulted and twice boulted flour.

 

Twice boulted flour is called for in The Good Huswife's Handmaide for

the Kitchen (1594) for the making of fine manchet.  This flour is used

for making fine breads and general pastries.  To approximate it, I use a

stone ground whole wheat flour with graham and unbleached white flour

mixed between 1:1 and 2:1.  This is probably the flour called for when a

recipe speaks of "fine flour" or "fair flour".

 

I've seen finer flour mentioned, but I can't remember the reference.  In

this circumstance, I would use a whole wheat pastry flour I am able to

purchase in bulk or a 1:1 mix of the pastry flour and unbleached white

flour. This particular whole wheat flour is about the same color as the

unbleached white flour and may be what is being referred to by "finest

white flour".

 

Some Thoughts

 

Modern high extraction flour has a lower moisture content than its

Medieval counter part.  It will probably require more liquid than called

for in a recipe.

 

While recipes call for "white" flour, they say nothing about the color

of the end product.  Some of the manchets I made with a 1:1 mix of whole

wheat pastry flour and unbleached white flour produced a lovely golden

brown loaf, whose color resembles that of the breads in Medieval

paintings.

 

Would a 1:1 mix of HM 50/50 and whole wheat pastry flour be closer to a

Medieval twice boulted flour than what I currently use?

 

Did a miller user different kinds of cloth for different boultings?

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 01:35:13 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Flours  was:[Dstlg] beer bread, OOP

 

> Arabella said:

>      I have had the same problem with my bread maker.  I have found that

> wheat flour takes longer to cook, and the very best flour for a bread

> machine is the type ground specially for the machine.  Gold Medal makes

> one, it comes in a yellow package. There's is something about how it's

> ground that makes it different from regular bleached flour.

 

The yellow bag Gold Medal flour I'm familiar with is a bromated flour.  It

contains additives to increase aeration and improve the rise.  I've used it,

but it causes problems with fine baking, so I tend to use all-purpose flour

except where a specialty flour is required.  It might improve the action of

a bread machine.

 

I believe you are also talking about whole wheat when you say wheat flour.

Whole wheat has less gluten than white flour.  If you are not already doing

it, try mixing whole wheat and white flour 1:1.  If the recipe calls for 1

pkg (teaspoon) of yeast, you might consider using 2 teaspoons of yeast.

 

> To which Kiriel replied:

> Most of the flour you buy in the local supermarket is too low in

> gluten to make really good bread.  Gluten is the protein in

> wheat, and helps to give doughs resilience, stretch and

> good rising abilities.  Most shop-bought flours have been

> bleached within an inch of their lives (so to speak) and have

> very little protein left.

> Having lived in USA most of my life and moved to Australia, I never had

> the problem with low gluten flours til I moved here. While I agree that

> most shop bought flours have less gluten in them, I found the problem

> worse in Australia. My mother, living in the US still makes lots of

> bread, I do not believe she normally adds gluten. Times do change

> however and I could be wrong.

> Nicolette

> Barony of Stormhold

> Principality of Lochac, Kingdom of the West

 

The gluten content is dependent on the type of wheat and to some extent the

processing. The preferred wheats for bread making are "hard" wheats, those

having a red, amber or yellow skin.  "Soft" wheats have a pale, almost white

skin. Hard wheats are high in gluten.  The best hard wheats are grown

primarily in the US and Canada.  Rye has some gluten, but all other cereals

have virtually none (flours other than wheat are mixed with wheat flours to

get a rise).

 

In processing, whole wheat has less gluten than white wheat.  Bleaching

doesn't do much to gluten, but it does remove the B-vitamins.  I prefer

unbleached white flour for my general baking.  Wheat germ and bran are

removed in the milling process, but that has more to do with nutrition than

good baking.

 

Store bought flour in the US is more than adequate to make a good loaf of

bread. I don't know about the situation in Australia, but you might look to

see if any of the flours are labeled as "strong" flour.  If you do have low

gluten flour, rejoice, it makes great cakes and pastries.  If you want to

use it to make bread, and about an ounce of gluten extract to the pound and

toss in a little wheat germ for good measure.

 

Beyond that, I would look for a bakery supply that is willing to sell to the

general public.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 2 May 1998 16:22:56 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - chickpea flour

 

At 2:57 PM -0600 5/2/98, Stefan li Rous wrote:

>Aldyth said:

>>I will owe my soul to the King Arthur Flour company. I discovered I have

>>a taste for chickpea flour.....

 

>Taste? How does it compare to wheat flour? Was this used throughout

>Medieval Europe? Or was this just a Middle Eastern item?

 

It appears in an 13th c. Andalusian recipe for Counterfeit Isfiriya of

Garbanzos.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Sat, 2 May 1998 19:56:31 -0400

From: "marilyn traber" <mtraber at email.msn.com>

Subject: Re: SC - chickpea flou rking arthur flour

 

King Arthur Flour has a website with online catalog. They also have a

country store if you want to drive up into the middle of Vermont

somewhere...]

 

margali

 

 

Date: Sun, 3 May 1998 09:12:50 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - chickpea flou rking arthur flour

 

> King Arthur Flour has a website with online catalog. They also have a

> country store if you want to drive up into the middle of Vermont

> somewhere...]

> margali

 

They also have a number of commercial distributors across the country and

the flour can be found in a number of supermarkets.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 3 May 1998 16:03:00 -0500

From: Chris Adler <Chris.Adler at westgroup.com>

Subject: SC - King Arthur Flour Co.'s URL

 

   A number of you have recently discussed the King Arthur Flour Company.

   The URL is www.kingarthurflour.com.

 

   I *strongly* recommend their goods. My mother has been buying their

   flours, whole grains, extracts, and baking equipment for the past 20

   to 30 years, so I grew up eating homemade bread and baked goods made

   with King Arthur flour for most of my life.

 

   Their service has always been speedy and courteous, and they've added

   a *lot* of items to their catalogue over the past five years. The

   prices are reasonable (although I can now get the flour a little

   cheaper in my local s supermarket). There are some products which I

   believe are of interest to the medievalist (saffron; chickpea, rice,

   and English granary flours; cone sugar; etc.) and tons of wonderous

   and useful things for the modern baker. And the recipes...mmm.

 

   No, I don't work for them. I just love to drool over their catalogue

   and watch friends similarly turn into puddles when I show them the

   catalogue for the first time. It is a baker's nirvana.

 

   Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina

 

 

Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 11:29:40 +1000

From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>

Subject: Re: SC - chickpea flour

 

Stefan asked:

>Taste? How does it compare to wheat flour? Was this used throughout

>Medieval Europe? Or was this just a Middle Eastern item?

 

The taste is very different to wheat flour - it tastes slightly nutty, but

that's a poor description. It has no gluten in it so it behaves very

differently to wheat flour. You can't use at alone for pastry or bread, but

it makes a great batter for frying savory things in.

 

It is heavily used in modern Indian cooking as well, but I don't have any

period European sources (correction - I know I have one thanks to Cariadoc's

post).

 

Rowan

 

 

Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 08:21:39 -0400From: "marilyn traber" <mtraber at email.msn.com>Subject: Re: SC - chickpea flou rking arthur flourOr if you have the right type of counter mounted hand cranked grinder you can make it yourself from dried chick peas from the local grocery stores Spanish/Mexican section....

 

margali

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Sep 1998 15:58:29 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC -Simmering cream sauce, was Fried/fri interjection

 

> At 11:19 AM -0400 9/3/98, Jgoldsp at aol.com wrote:

> >Roux is classical french method of thickening sauces and gravies that came in

> >to being in France around the mid17th century though there are hints in

> >earlier books.This happened because of a little revolution in plowing method

> >and in grain plantin{ie wheat} and finally the milling process which allowed

> >a finer whiter flour to be produced.

> I'm not sure I understand your explanation of why it happened. How would

> a change in plowing methods be relevant? Roux uses trivial amounts of flour

> compared to bread, so it isn't likely to have anything to do with changes

> in price and availability. My impression is that you can make fine flour

> by stone grinding--am I wrong?

> David/Cariadoc

 

Stone grinding will produce a very fine flour if you are using hard, careful

dressed stones.  In such cases about 80 percent of the wheat berry becomes

usable flour.  Roller milling, a 19th Century invention, increases the

percentage of usable flour, but not necessarily the fineness of the flour.

In any event, very fine flour could have been had in period by boulting

through fine cloth and flour usable in roux could have been had by passing

twice-boulted flour through a fine sieve.

 

IIRC, mid to late 17th Century saw the introduction of contour plowing and

some hybrid wheats, but those would have nothing to do with the fineness or

whiteness of the flour.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 20:57:16 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Flour as Thickener

 

In a message dated 9/4/98 9:42:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time, alm4 at cornell.edu

writes:

 

<< it sounds too much like using

flour to me, and I remember my mother always telling me using flour to

thicken  can make something taste awful.  >>

 

Without sounding disrespectful to your dear mother, I would suggest that if

she used flour and it tasted 'awful' then she was probably not cooking it long

enough after the flour was added. Using cornstarch and arrowroot as a

thickener only needs a minute more or less to cook and thicken. Flour needs

several minutes to cook and loose it's raw taste.

 

Another problem may have been the amount of flour she used when she had her

'bad' experience; as well as the pre-preperation of the thickener. Flour is

used at approximately 1 tblsp per cup of liquid. You should also make a thin

paste of the flour and water, milk or broth making sure you have no lSlowly

pour the mixture in to the boiling pan of liquid. REDUCE the heat to a simmer

and leave, stirring frequenbtly until thickened..

 

Personally , I prefer using flour when thickening meat gravies and use

cornstarch for puddings and fruit dishes on most occasions..I have never been

a fan of arrowroot because I find it makes for a poor thickener when compared

to the others. It's main advantage is that you can add it to the pan in it's

dry state without worrying about lumps in your sauce. ;-) Rice flour is

workable and I always use it in period recipes that call for it.Each type of

thickener has it's place. :-)

 

A side thought on the 'cornflour' discussion. I went to Fresh Life after work

today and bought both cornstarch and cornflour. Cornflour is as fine as

regular flour but yellower. Cornstarch is silky and definitely white. It is

apparent to me at least that cornstarch and cornflour are the maize

equivalents of wheat starch and wheat flour. They are definietely  2 very

different products. Sunday I will be experimenting with both to observe just

what differences their are in the cooking arena.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sat, 05 Sep 1998 00:08:00 -0400

From: Phil & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - amydoun (a new question, I swear!)

 

kat wrote:

> So the gist of what I have gleaned from this discussion is, amydoun is a wheat-based starch with similar properties to modern cornstarch, is used in the same way and produces similar results.

> So let's say I wanted to bring my perioid cooking a step closer to *period* cooking by obtaining some amydoun.  Can I actually purchase this somewhere under some name or other; or do I actually (gasp) have to make it myself?

 

You _could_ make it yourself, if you really wanted to, but the easiest thing

to do is buy a bag of wheat starch from a Chinese grocery store. You'll find

it on the shelf along with rice flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot, water

chestnut flour, etc. It usually comes in a one-pound paper sack wrapped in

plastic, or a double thickness of plastic bag.

 

There _are_ still Chinese groceries that do mail order, aren't there? I know

many Chinese cookbooks used to have lists of these, with their addresses, in

the back. Bet there is some place on the Web where you can buy the stuff, too.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 09 Sep 1998 19:48:02 -0400

From: Phil & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Rice flour

 

Diana Skaggs wrote:

>      Leanna notes: I have prepared homecooked "frozen dinners."  If you want a

>      gravy that doesn't separate during freezing, the rice starch is the way

>      to go.

 

I'll go with that, as a general thing, but I find rice flour can be a little

gooey (which _is_ avoidable), and it tends to alter the color of the cooked

product by lightening it a shade or two. It doesn't become transparent the way

cornstarch or even a properly made wheat-flour-thickened sauce does. For

freezing, the officially approved thickener is a substance called waxy maize.

In honesty, though, I've never actually run across the stuff, even industrially.

 

Another difficulty is that nothing browns the way flour does, so rice flour as

a thickener for a brown sauce or gravy tends to make it kinda blah in color.

 

But for pale sauces, rice flour or even potato starch are good choices for freezing.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 23:06:18 -0400

From: Phil & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - ham

 

Deborah Schumacher wrote:

> My mom used to do an awesome ham wrapped in ryebread dough.  ( i think it

> was rye bread )

> It kept the juices in and  was always discarded after cooking. ( Well sure i

> did try a nibble but it was nothing i would reccomend. )

> Zoe

 

Rye_bread_ dough or rye flour pastry? Rye flour pastry is sometimes

recommended by authors like Gervaise Markham for heavy-duty pasties, such as

larger ones made with venison...

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 23:00:50 -0500

From: Ann & Les Shelton <sheltons at conterra.com>

Subject: SC - Tech info re Biscuits - OOP

 

Before Christmas, we discussed the uniqueness of Southern biscuits.  I

happened to read an article today which may partially explain why they

are hard to replicate in other parts of the country.

 

The article was a profile on Shirley Corriher, a chemist and

professional food scientist.  Chefs like Julia Child use her to figure

out why foods behave the way they do.  She uses her grandmother's

biscuit recipe to illustrate the benefit of low-protein flour.

 

She uses White Lily flour, a popular Southern brand, which has 9 grams

of protein per cup.  By comparison, Pillsbury and Gold Medal have 12

grams per cup.  The more protein, the more glutens formed and hardened

during baking.  With fewer glutens formed using White Lily, the biscuits

come out lighter and fluffier.  So, part of the reason our biscuits are

the delicacies they are may be due to the fact we're using lower-protein

flour.

 

She didn't explain why there's such a difference in protein content

between brands.  I'm going to look at the popular brands in SC {Adluh,

Red Band, etc} and check their protein content to see if the lower

levels are prevalent among Southern brands.  Perhaps someone with a

greater knowledge of baking can explain the discrepency?

 

The article also included a number of her other findings, such as why

cranberries baked with baking soda turn green, which fruits destroy

gelatin and why sage helps a custard set.  Her 1997 book "Cook Wise, the

Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking" won a James Beard award.  She's now

working on a book about baking.

 

John le Burguillun

Cyddlain Downs {Columbia SC}

Atlantia

 

 

Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 22:25:55 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Tech info re Biscuits - OOP

 

> She didn't explain why there's such a difference in protein content

> between brands.  I'm going to look at the popular brands in SC {Adluh,

> Red Band, etc} and check their protein content to see if the lower

> levels are prevalent among Southern brands.  Perhaps someone with a

> greater knowledge of baking can explain the discrepency?

> John le Burguillun

> Cyddlain Downs {Columbia SC}

> Atlantia

 

Almost all of the protein in wheat flour is contained in the gluten.  High

gluten flours make better bread.  Low gluten flours make better pastries.

There are a few circumstances where the reverse is true, but you probably

won't encounter them unless you are doing serious French artisan baking.

 

Using low gluten flour, the texture of the product normally is softer with

more irregular aeration.

 

Unless you purchase specialty flours, most of what you can get in the store

is "all purpose" flour.  All purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft

flours, so that you can produce reasonable, but not great, breads and

pastries with it.  Each manufacture has their own blend.  In the case of

White Lily, the manufacturer uses a higher proportion of soft flour.

 

In over the counter flours, Gold Medal's Softasilk is about the softest at 8

grams protein per cup.  Some commercial pastry flours have fewer grams of

protein per cup, but you have to special order them in 50 to 100 lb. bags.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 10:56:42 EST

From: Vanishwood at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Tech info re Biscuits - OOP

 

In a message dated 1/7/99 10:58:12 PM EST, sheltons at conterra.com writes:

<< levels are prevalent among Southern brands.  Perhaps someone with a

greater knowledge of baking can explain the discrepency? >>

 

According to our baking goods product manager...

 

The reason why most regional southern brands have lower protein content is due

to the fact that flour milling operations use the local wheat.  The wheat in

the south has that chacteristic.  Most mills do not ship wheat cross country

and use whatever is local.  However, Pillsbury, being national in scope, will

tend to standardize its formultaion across the country and is the reason why

you will see some differences among brands.

 

Ethelwulf

 

 

Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1999 13:08:54 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - period bread comments

 

> I've been wondering that myself.  I'm curious as to what their flours were

> like and what grains were used most often.  I have been experimenting with

> different types (whole wheat, rye, barley, oat, rice, buckwheat, soy), and

> have achieved a wide range of textures, flavors and densities.  What would

> there wheat flour have been like, would peasants be using something like our

> whole wheat?  How finely ground were their flours?  I assume they used some

> kind of starter for yeast, would their bread have had a more sourdough

> flavor?

> Faoiltighearna

> Torvald's Hird

> Canton of Ravenhill, BBM, East

 

Barley, rye and oats produce more grain per acre than wheat, so wheat was

the expensive grain to produce.  Rye and oats will grow where barley and

wheat won't, so they are more common the farther north you go.  Buckwheat is

not as popular as the other grains.  Soy is unknown.  Rice is of limited use

until late in period.

 

Flours could run the range from coarse meal to very fine.  Meals are used

primarily in cooked grain dishes.  Finer flours are used to make bread.

 

Peasants would be more likely to use rye, barley, oats and buckwheat than

wheat, but where economic conditions permitted, wheat moved down the

economic ladder.  The choicest breads were made from wheat and it was wheat

which was the standard grain of a noble house.  Mixed grains in porridge and

flour are also fairly common.  A little wheat flour provides gluten to help

a heavy bread rise.

 

Medieval mills could grind flour as fine as our standard flours.  The chief

difference is the amount of flour that could be extracted.  Medieval mills

can convert about 85 percent of the grain to flour.  Modern mills can

produce 90 to 95 percent extraction.  Modern roller mills separate the wheat

germ from the from the grain, something that did not occur in medieval

milling.

 

Flour was sieved through cloth (boulted) to remove bran and large particles

and to seperate the finer flour from the coarser flour.  The average quality

loaf would likely come from twice-boulted flour.  The fine white loaf would

most likely be made with thrice-boulted flour.  For practical purposes,

using a standard unbleached flour will approximately equal medieval fine

flour excepting the gluten content.

 

The most common wheat in the middle ages was emmer (Triticum dicoccum).

This produces a low gluten flour similar to cake flour although perhaps not

as fine..

 

The other common wheat was spelt (Triticum spelta).  Spelt had a a higher

gluten content and produced a coarser flour.  It was used primarily in

breads.

 

In the matter of yeast vs. sourdough, English recipes call for yeast or ale

barm. This was dipped out of the active ale pot and used to leaven the

bread. The yeast in this case is Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  A variant of

this yeast is what is commonly used in dry active or compressed yeast today.

 

On the otherhand, the French discouraged the use of yeast barm and forced

bakers to use a levain.  Platina's bread recipe is of this sort.

Originally, the levain was a lump of dough reserved from the previous baking

and added to the next batch as a starter.  Modern French bakers feed their

levains and pinch dough off of them to be the starter.  A levain tends to be

stiff ball of dough while most sourdough starters are semi-liquid, but they

perform the same function.

 

If you are interested in more information, try Stefan's Florilegium at:

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/rialto/idxfood.html

 

Read over the sections on bread, bread-making, flours and yeasts.  There is

a lot of good information and recipes there.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 06:44:44 EST

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - period bread comments

 

<< I've been wondering that myself.  I'm curious as to what their flours were

like and what grains were used most often.  I have been experimenting with

different types (whole wheat, rye, barley, oat, rice, buckwheat, soy), and

have achieved a wide range of textures, flavors and densities.  What would

there wheat flour have been like, would peasants be using something like our

whole wheat?  How finely ground were their flours?  I assume they used some

kind of starter for yeast, would their bread have had a more sourdough

flavor?

 

Faoiltighearna

Torvald's Hird

Canton of Ravenhill, BBM, East

>>

 

Try experimenting with spelt flour.  I think this may also answer our question

concerning poundage.  A machine-made loaf of spelt bread weighs considerably

more than the same size loaf made from regular wheat or whole wheat flour.

The grain is period (it's the ancient ancestor of modern durum & winter

wheats). The loaf is much denser, with an almost nutty back-flavor.  It's

really tasty, and it won't bloat you up like modern wheat does.

 

Same holds true for amaranth (if you haven't tried bread made from this grain,

you should.  It's yummy!), although this one only has historicity for Aztec

personae, AFAIK.

 

Wolfmother

 

 

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 06:18:17 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - period bread comments

 

> Same holds true for amaranth (if you haven't tried bread made from this grain,

> you should.  It's yummy!), although this one only has historicity for

> Aztec personae, AFAIK.

> Wolfmother

 

The Amaranthaceae (pigweeds) are found in the warm regions of both the New

and Old Worlds.  Several species are used as grain.  Since the Old World

species originate in Africa, they probably were not used in Europe.

 

The first reported European encounter was during Pedro de Alvarado's

expedition into Guatemala, where he found amaranth paste being worked into

tamales used in the worship of Huitzilipochtli.  The Spanish outlawed the

cultivation of the plant to suppress the religion and its human sacrifices.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 16:34:44 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Khushkananaj (was: Ideal vs. practical)

 

> Also, perhaps the "White" flour was a blend of flours or flour and some

> preservative or ingredient that rendered it more white, and consequently

> added a leavening action, or from a specific preparation method?

> Is there a source for raw fresh flour?

> Brandu

 

       In general, period fine white flour is a well-cleaned, finely milled flour of at least three boultings from very light wheat berries.  The best modern equivalent I know of is King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour.  This flour contains the wheat germ and has no preservatives.

     

There are a number of local mills that produce limited amounts of flour, usually as a historical recreation or for the health food trade.  If you have one of these near you, you can get fresh flour from them.  Caveat: You want stone ground.  Roller milling separates the wheat germ.

 

       By definition, flour is raw, until you cook it.  Once you coagulate the gluten, the flour is no longer raw.  For practical purposes, there is no difference between fresh and aged flour.  Professional bakers prefer aged flours, because they have a more standardized moisture content.

 

       Should you get to reviewing the translation of the recipe, try to find the terms used to describe sourdoughs and leavens.  It seems to me this recipe would work if you substituted a fully proofed sourdough for the flour.

 

       Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 11:22:51 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Seeking wheat illumination -  OOP

 

> >>Are spaetzle made in the same way as Italian pasta is?  And what are

> all those different flours they have in Germany?  <<

> I don't know, Elysant, what are the flours are, but I think they are

> different kinds of milling.  We have bread flour, all-purpose, and cake

> flour, which is very fine.  They have a lot more.

> Allison

 

Actually, it is not so much the milling but the percentage of gluten they

contain, although cake flour is usually finer than the others.  Bread flour

is high-gluten, cake flour is low gluten, and all-purpose flour is a blend

of the two.  Then you get types of wheat, fineness, bran content, germ

content and all the other esoteric things bakers play with.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 08:49:32 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Graham Flour

 

> Has anyone seen references to the use of graham flour as period?  I will

> probably still use it for a fruit tart I'm making, but I was hoping to run

> down a source.  I have a few books but don't see any reference to graham

> flour.

> Roibeard

 

Graham flour is whole wheat flour with the bran in it.  Considering the

extraction rates, modern graham flour is probably very similar to period

flour after the first bolting, which would be used for making wastel.  Fine

pastries and breads would be made from flour of the second bolting.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 22:35:19 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <Thomas.Gloning at germanistik.uni-giessen.de>

Subject: SC - Flower of the flour / melebly / flos farinae / fleur de farine / flor de la harina

 

Lady Brighid said:

<<< [2] Remember when we were having the discussion about “flower”

meaning the best of something?  I was tempted to comment that some

Spanish recipes have a phrase that I would be obliged to translate as

“the flower of the flour”.  Well, here it is: “flor de la harina”. >>>

 

Alas, I do not remember the discussion about "flower" in the sense of

'the best of something'. But I remember when I was thinking about a line

of the Rheinfraenkisches Kochbuch: "vnd du ein melebly dar uff" (and put

some flour-flower upon it; 294r.11 in recipe 70, note page 87).

Commenting on "melebly" (flour-flower), I found that there is also a

latin expression (_flos farinae_) and a French expression (_fleur de

farine_) that is used several times in the 'Menagier'.

 

I am happy, to add span. "flor de la harina" to the collection now.

 

Thank you,

Thomas

 

 

Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 08:51:31 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Cornflour

 

At least where I purchase both corn flour and cornflour.

 

Corn flour is exactly that. A flour made from corn (e.g., maize) that is of

the same texture as regular flour only yellowish is color. It makes an

excellent substitute for wheat flour when used in coating food for pan or

deep frying, providing a nice depth of flavor lacking in wheat flour.

 

Cornflour is silky almost oily texture and can be used as a base for body

powders or as a thickening agent for sauces and gravies. The closest flour

that I can think of is rice flour so far as texture and some forms of usage.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 15:32:23 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - corn flour? - oop

 

> Yes, I believe so. In addition, I think the "plain soft flour" means a white

> flour with a low gluten content, like our pastry flour, or maybe cake flour.

> Actually, this is an extrapolation - I find "plain strong flour" defined as

> high-gluten flour for breadmaking, with additional description of the

> "strong" part to confirm that, and the "plain" flours seem to be white

> flours, but I have not been able to find a straightforward statement that

> says "plain" flours are always white. Perhaps someone else can clarify

> this?

> In the meantime, I am assuming from Elizabeth David's description that our

> all-purpose white flour (unbleached?), though slightly higher in gluten

> content than British "ordinary plain household flour", would do just fine

> for this recipe. (BTW, I like using half unbleached all-purpose flour and

> half cake flour (Softasilk brand, and always bleached) for shortbread

> cookies.)

> Morwyn of Wye, O.L.

 

You are correct that "soft" and "hard" mean low-gluten and high-gluten

respectively. The terms appear to come from the technique of squeezing a

handful of flour to feel the hardness of the flour.  The harder it feels,

the more gluten.

 

"Plain" usually means that the flour has not been bromated (to improve the

rise) or had other chemicals added.  IIRC, "plain" does not cover bleached

or unbleached, as the bleaching does not modify the baking properties of the

flour. Since whole wheat flours are labelled as such, plain flours will

tend to range from brilliant white to light ivory in color, the baker's

whites.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 11:13:05 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - barley bread

 

> How about adding Gluten?  I work in a bakery where we add gluten to just

> about every thing, cause my boss says, too much of it is lost in the

> prosessing of flour.  I'm only an apprentice, and haven't studied up on it

> much.  What do you think?

>

> AdN

 

You could add gluten to the barley, but the end product wouldn't be

authentic. Mixing wheat with other flours is period practice if you are

trying to get a rise.  And if you are trying to bake a traditional flat

bread or recreate a specific technique, why add gluten?

 

For my purposes, most all purpose flour has enough gluten.  If I need some

serious gluten, I move up to the high protein strong bread flours.  Of

course, I'm not trying to keep costs down and production and quality up.

 

Gluten forms most of the protein in flour and the percentage of protein per

volume of flour normally runs between 8 and 17 percent, most all purpose

flours being between 9 and 12 percent with a few low gluten cake flours

running down to around 6 percent.  There are some commercial, all-purpose

flours, especially in the South, which run between 7 and 9 percent and

probably need additional gluten to make decent commercial loaves.  Anything

12 percent and up, probably doesn't need a gluten boost.

 

Since a commercial bakery is trying to make a profit, it is very possible

that the best priced flour needs additional gluten and that adding gluten is

more cost effective than upgrading the flour.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 16:31:51 -0700

From: "Christi Rigby" <christirigby at pcisys.net>

Subject: RE: SC - barley bread

 

Gluten is a terrific thing for bread baking.  I use it in all my bread

recipes and they seem to raise so much better. But I don't cook period

breads, yet (I know bad Murkial).  But in all my regular and bread machine

recipes I add it for that extra lift.

 

Murkial

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 16:52:44 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - flour, sugar and fat in the medieval diet?

 

The first thought which comes to mind is "which medieval diet?"  In general,

local foodstuffs were used, so diet is limited to what is locally available.

For example, the common grains in 6th Century Ireland are barley and oats.

These form a large part of the Irish diet.  At the same time, rye is more

common along the Baltic.  And in Central France there seems to be a mix of

wheat, barley, and various millets.  Wild birds and fresh water fish were

probably more common in the diet, beef less so, and wild game would be

dependent on the local laws (remember your Robin Hood).  

 

<snip of non-flour info>

 

By flour, I assume what is meant is wheat flour.  Barley, rye, oats, millet

and wheat were the common grains for making flour.  Where it was available,

wheat was favored, as it made the lightest, whitest bread.  On the medieval

economic scale, brown breads moved toward the poor while whiter breads moved

toward the rich.

 

There is very little difference between medieval and modern flour,

especially stone ground, naturally aged flours.  Modern extraction rates are

higher. 95% average extraction compared to an estimated 85% optimal

extraction. (Extraction rate is the percentage of grain milled to flour.)

But, outside of the development of the roller mill in the 19th Century, the

basic technology is much the same as when the Romans developed a rotary

quern.

 

Roller milling separates the germ from the kernal reducing the natural oils

in the flour, while stone milling, as was done in the Middle Ages, reduces

the entire kernal.  Following milling, the flour is bolted (or sieved) to

the fineness desired.  The medieval bolter was a cloth through which the

flour was passed to trap the bran and large particles.  For truly fine

flour, the process might be repeated one or two more times with finer weave

bolting cloths.  Muslin, linen and silk were all used in bolting cloths.

Because the germ was not removed in medieval milling, medieval flour would

have a slightly higher oil content and consequently a shorter self life than

modern flour.  

 

Some people are concerned that the heat and pressure of roller milling

destroys some of the nutritional value of the grain, but I have seen no

evidence to support the claim.

 

After milling, the flour was commonly aged for about two months or more.

Aging improves the baking quality of the flour and provides a natural

bleaching effect by oxidizing the xanthophyllus, which gives fresh flour a

slight yellow tint.  Modern flours may be naturally or chemically aged.  

 

Chemical aging uses chlorine dioxide, benzoyl peroxide, or chlorine gas to

age the flour, bleaching it in the process.  "Unbleached" flours may be aged

with potassium bromate or iodate.  Nutritionally, the only difference is the

small amount of vitamin E in the flour destroyed by the chemical aging, but

there are questions about the effects of the chemicals used.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 10:03:54 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - flour, sugar and fat in the medieval diet?

 

Despite Jacob's assertion that flour was not bleached, xanthophyll, the

carotenoid pigment which gives freshly milled flour a light yellow tint,

oxidizes naturally as flour ages.  Aging flour improves the quality of the

gluten. If medieval flour was aged, then it was bleached.  What Jacob is

probably referring to is chemical "bleaching," which are actually techniques

to quickly "age" the flour.

 

I have a little difficulty with medieval flour being higher in fiber

components than modern flour because of the milling technology, especially

if you are talking stone milling.  The grain is the same, so the ratio of

nutritive to non-nutritive components is the same.  The grain is crushed to

a powder between two stones.  The percentage of the grain crushed to powder

depends upon the hardness and the closeness of the stones.  Optimal

extraction of flour from grain with a stone mill is about 85 percent, and

average extraction was about 75 percent (if 14 pounds of "chisel" per bushel

is any indicator).  We can get better extraction rates from stone milling

now with man-made stones and laser dressing, but those don't predate Jacob's

work.

 

Jacob may have been comparing medieval stone milling with modern roller

milling. Roller milling has a much higher extraction rate and provides more

useable flour for the same amount of grain.  In the case of wheat, it also

strips the vitamin rich germ and actually reduces the nutrional value of the

flour when compared to stone ground flour.

 

The cheapest brown breads were made from unbolted flour, which means the

bran and the large particles of unground grain remained in the bread.

Almost all modern flour is sieved, which leaves more of the nutritive

components in the same volume of flour.  It may be this fact of which Jacob

was thinking when he made the comment, but the decision to bolt or not bolt

is an economic choice rather than poor quality technology.

 

Bear

 

> Um, _6,000 Years of Bread_ states that the flour was not bleached, but

> also claims that due to the poor quality of the milling techologies, the

> flour of the middle ages tended to be very high in non-nutritive (i.e.

> fiber) components-- to the detriment of the health of those who ate the

> breads made of poorer flour. It's peculiar to think of it in this day and

> age, but apparently there was _too much_ fiber in medieval breads?

> --

> Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise           

 

 

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Semmel

Date: Sun, 6 May 2001 17:56:27 -0500

 

Semmel is a small white roll made from fine flour.  Valois Armstrong, who

did this translation has translated Semmelmehl as being "grated Semmel."

However, Semmelmehl in general means "fine, white meal or flour," as has

been previously pointed out by Thomas Gloning.

 

The word derives from the Latin, "simila" meaning "fine flour."

 

Simnels, which are now crisp cakes with a marzipan topping, derived from an

earlier version which had a marzipan filling, and may be derived from a fine

loaf of enriched bread, although this last derivation is pure speculation at

this time.  The name also derives from "simila."

 

Bear

 

> While reading Sabrina Welserin, I keep coming across the the term, a

> grated Semmel.

> What is this, a food item or a cooking implement?

> the web site is :

> www.best.com/~ddfr/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html

> Beatrix of Tanet

 

 

Date: Mon, 07 May 2001 02:31:07 +0200

From: tgl at mailer.uni-marburg.de

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Semmel

 

<< [1] Valoise Armstrong, who did this translation has translated

Semmelmehl as being "grated Semmel." [2] However, Semmelmehl in general

means "fine, white meal or flour," as has been previously pointed out

... >>

 

Re [1]: _grated semmel_ is rather the translation for German _geribne

semel_ in #37, #43, #46, #47, #72, #97 of Sabina Welser's cookbook.

(http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~gloning/sawe.htm for the German text)

 

Re [2]: _semelmell_ is a different case; sure, in general it means

"fine, white meal or flour (from which the semmels are made)"; however,

in a combination like _geriben semelmell_ (#44) I am inclined for the

moment to think that very finely grated semmels are meant. It depends.

 

Th.

(PS while we're on it: Sabrina or Sabina? -- Sabrina_Welserin.html (with

r) is the name of the FILE with the english translation. The name of the

PERSON is Sabina (without r) Welser/Welserin. Thus, talking to a

computer to request the file, don't leave out the "r". Speaking to

humans about the person Sabina Welser you can simply write "Sabina

Welser/Welserin".)

 

 

From: "Wanda Pease" <wandap at hevanet.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] angel biscuits

Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 21:38:15 -0700

 

>I am under the opinion that the flours are the main

>key to why the old biscuit recipes never work out these

>days... or maybe it's memories.

>Johnna Holloway

 

I think Johanna has hit on the answer as to why regional breads don't seem

to translate from area to area.  I recently got the book _Cookwise by

Shirley O. Corriher, a food writer and "culinary sleuth" who specializes in

finding the scientific reasons Why things work as they do in food prep.  The

book has recipes, some from very famous chefs, some from people like my

grandmother (when she had anything to cook.  The Farm Depression hit long

before Wall Street fell).

 

At any rate she talks about 10 different flours:  Cake (Swans Down,

Softasilk) for cakes, quick breads, muffins, pancakes; Instant flours

(Shake&Blend, Wondra)for Sauce and gravy, blending to lower protein content;

Bleached Southern all-purpose (White Lily, Martha White, Gladiola, Red Band)

for Pie crusts, biscuits, quick breads, muffins; National brand self-rising

(Gold Medal, Pillsbury) Biscuits, quick breads, muffing; National brand

bleached all-purpose (Gold Medal, Pillsbury) A little too much protein for

best pie crusts, quick breads, muffing, or pancakes; too little protein to

make outstanding yeast breads; National brand un-bleached all-purpose (Gold

Medal, Pillsbury) Yeast Breads, cream puffs;  Northern all-purpose (Robin

Hood, Hecker's) for yeast breads, cream puffs, puff pastry; Northern

unbleached all-purpose (King Arthur) for Yeast breads, cream puffs, puff

pastry, pasta, pizza; Bread flour for Yeast breads, pasta, pizza; and Durum

Wheat (semolina) for Pasta.

 

She lists the different amount of protein each type has in it.  The Cake

Flours have the least and produce lighter things like muffins and pancakes,

the higher like Durum with 13+ grams/cup produce things like pasta dough.

 

Your grandfather probably used a cake flour, or at least one that was

produced from soft wheat and that allowed his biscuits to rise more.  If

your family moved north where the grains grown tended to be more the hard

wheat variety that soft rise would have been reduced, and nothing would have

tasted the same.  Besides, it used to be a common joke that the wife could

never make biscuits as light as mom!  Luckily for my brothers wives my

mother was a Pharmacist who cooked because she had to, not because she

enjoyed it.

 

Regina

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 11:20:55 -0800

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Semolina Sourdough

 

I think I missed the beginning of this. Semolina sourdough is pretty

common in medieval Islamic recipes--Murakaba, for example. The Recipe

for Folded Bread from Ifriqiyya in the Andalusian cookbook is baked

from semolina, but nothing in the recipe implies that it is raised.

Elsewhere the cookbook refers to "a tharid crumbled from white bread

crumbs and leavened semolina well kneaded and baked." Barmakiya uses

a leavened dough of semolina and ordinary flour. Taking the recipe

literally, you never let it rise, but that may well be a mistake in

the order of steps given.

 

Looking through the Andalusian cookbook, semolina sourdough seems

usually to be fried, not baked. But I haven't done a similar check

for ordinary flour. There are a number of references to bread made

from semolina.

 

I like semolina--it's less powdery than ordinary flour, hence

pleasanter to work with.

--

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 19:59:43 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] gravy

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

All flours are meal, but not all meals are flour.  Meal refers to whole or

ground grain although most people take it to mean ground (usually coarse,

but it can be used for any fineness). Flour is finely ground (and often

sieved) grain.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 13:06:49 -0400

From: AEllin Olfs dotter <aellin at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Semolina, Khabisa with Pamegranate

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> My first mistake was not having semolina flour. I thought pastry and  

> bread flours were at one end of the scale and semolina/pasta flours at  

> the other, so for a substitute I chose some all-purpose flour.

> Stefan

 

No, pastry and bread flours are at the opposite ends. Pastry flours are

very low gluten, for a tender crumb. Bread flours are high gluten, so

the bread will rise. All purpose flour is blended to be in the middle,

so you can make either pastry or bread - and both wil be OK, though

neither will be as good as if you used the appropriate flour. But the

typical person doesn't do enough baking for it to make sense to have

several kinds of flour.

 

Semolina is made of durum wheat, which is high gluten. Pasta made with

it i higher protein, and more likely to cook up al dente. If you make

pasta with all purpose flour, it can come out pretty mushy, even if you

are careful (BTDT.) Fine for egg noodles, which are tender anyway

because of the egg, not so good for spaghetti.

 

AElin

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 16:08:44 -0400

From: Avraham haRofeh <avrahamharofeh at herald.sca.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] was Libum recipe now whole wheat bread

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Thanks for the recipe Ardenia!  It got me thinking...  I bake a lot of

> yeast bread.  If it is whole wheat, usually half whole wheat, half bread

> flour.  I tried my recipe with all whole wheat flour, but as you can

> expect, it needs more leavening.  I had a cousin suggest a teaspoon of

> baking powder.  It was OK, but does anybody have a recipe for bread with

> 100% whole wheat flour with just more yeast perhaps?

 

Whole wheat flour, because of the presence of the bran, has less protein per

unit mass (or per unit volume) than white flour. Less protein means less

gluten, and therefore breads made with 100% whole wheat flour are unable to

support the gas bubble structure under the weight of themselves. You could

try adding some vital wheat gluten (look in the baking supplies near the

flour and yeast), but I suspect you will need at least SOME bread flour to

support the structure. At the least, look for flours specifically for bread

machine baking - they have the highest protein levels of any flour on your

grocer's shelf.

 

****************

Reb Avraham haRofeh

      (mka Randy Goldberg MD)

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 16:13:46 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] was Libum recipe now whole wheat bread

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Also sprach Samrah:

> Thanks for the recipe Ardenia!  It got me thinking...  I bake a lot

> of yeast bread.  If it is whole wheat, usually half whole wheat,

> half bread flour.  I tried my recipe with all whole wheat flour, but

> as you can expect, it needs more leavening.  I had a cousin suggest

> a teaspoon of baking powder.  It was OK, but does anybody have a

> recipe for bread with 100% whole wheat flour with just more yeast

> perhaps?

 

My own experience has been that most of the whole wheat flour you're

going to encounter has (naturally enough) a lot of bran in it, and

the bran interferes with gluten extension (sort of). Essentially

introducing a lot of little flakes with semi-sharp edges into a mass

of strands cuts a lot of them.

 

If you're dedicated to using 100% whole-wheat flour, you might try

adding extra gluten (Arrowhead Mills sells this, and, I assume, the

King Arthur flour people), or you might find some whole-wheat

chappatti flour in an Indian market, which is fine whole-wheat flour

ground from hard durum wheat: the milling process is powerful enough

to reduce the size of the bran particles, and the hard wheat has a

lot of protein and produces a little more gluten than some other

whole wheat flours. Bread made from chappatti flour (not to mention

chappattis) have something of the texture of semolina bread. Maybe

not cloud-light, but lighter than most whole-wheat breads.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 17:25:07 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Libum recipe

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Cato's version of the recipe seems to call for a lot more cheese for an an

> approximately equal amount of flour and egg, if I'm remembering my flour

> weights (4 cups per pound).  Would Cato's cheese have been more liquid?

> Sandra

 

Another interesting question is would the flour have been wheat?  Barley was

the grain of choice during the Republic, giving way to wheat as Rome became

an empire.  The author of the recipe is Cato the Elder and predates the

Empire by around a hundred years.  The "fine flour" being called for in the

recipe might be barley flour rather than wheat flour.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 17:52:54 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] was Libum recipe now whole wheat bread

To: <avrahamharofeh at herald.sca.org>,       "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Whole wheat flour, because of the presence of the bran, has less protein per

> unit mass (or per unit volume) than white flour. Less protein means less

> gluten, and therefore breads made with 100% whole wheat flour are unable to

> support the gas bubble structure under the weight of themselves. You could

> try adding some vital wheat gluten (look in the baking supplies near the

> flour and yeast), but I suspect you will need at least SOME bread flour to

> support the structure. At the least, look for flours specifically for bread

> machine baking - they have the highest protein levels of any flour on your

> grocer's shelf.

> ****************

> Reb Avraham haRofeh

 

You're making some assumption which aren't necessarily true.  A whole wheat

flour does not necessarily have more bran than white flour nor does it

necessarily have less protein per unit volume.  Whole wheat flour has wheat

germ in it.  White or unbleached flour does not.  Protein is dependent upon

the protein content of the grain being milled.  Whole wheat and white flour

made from the same grain will have approximately the same protein content.

To produce whole wheat, commercial mills tend to return wheat germ and bran

to the flour, which does produce the effect you describe.

 

In the past, I've purchased a bulk whole wheat pastry flour which has very

little bran and is a soft flour between all purpose flour and cake flour.

King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour is a high protein whole wheat flour

that resembles unbleached flour.  Both of these flours are probably very

close to "thrice-boulted" flour and the latter makes a fine loaf of bread

although the former is probably closer to Medieval flours.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 21:15:01 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks]  whole wheat bread

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Until the 19th Century, most wheat flour was whole wheat.  Roller milling

separates the wheat germ from the rest of the grain giving us our modern

unbleached or white flour.  The separated germ became another product and

the bran that was sieved from the flour was used for animal feed.  Adding

bran and germ back into white flour to produce whole wheat flour is largely

based on the nutritional ideas of Sylvester Graham (1794-1851).  This flour

is often referred to a "graham" or "graham-added" flour.

 

Fine period whole wheat bread was made from well-sieved flour (thrice

boulted).  Graham flour isn't that fine, so the bread it produces is going

to be more like Medieval peasant bread. For a good whole wheat loaf, find a

well sieved stone ground flour.  I personally like King Arthur White Whole

Wheat Flour (basically a fine whole wheat bread flour, don't use it for

pastries).

 

Get the highest protein percentage you can find.  Flour from hard winter

wheat is about the best.  King Arthur again.  If you can't get or can't

afford the King Arthur, find the best you can and consider running it

through a flour sifter to sieve out large particles.

 

You might try building your dough from a sponge, by adding the yeast to one

cup of water to proof, then stirring in two cups of flour to make a soft

dough.  Cover it and let it sit on the counter for 4 to 24 hours.  Break the

sponge apart in the remaining liquid for the recipe and continue with the

recipe from there.

 

Make sure you get the salt into the dough.

 

If it is still too bitter, adding a 1/4 cup of honey to the mix will sweeten

the dough (assuming a two loaf recipe). I have found that most people

prefer the taste of whole wheat loaves made with honey.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 21:32:50 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] whole wheat flour sources

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

King Arthur does do mail order, but it's pricey.  Check out their website to

see what the sell, but check with high end groceries or even bakery

suppliers to keep the costs down.  I've also found it in some health food

stores.  If you are into heavy baking, you might check with you local bakery

suppliers to see what they carry is specialty flours.  The quality is

usually better than the stuff in the grocery, but the quantities may be

prohibitive.

 

The bulk whole wheat pastry flour (their regular whole wheat was too

"grahamy" for me) was through a local health food store, who had a deal with

a mill in Kansas.  I doubt you will be able to find it.  If you do, it will

almost certainly be a health food store or a bakery supplier.

 

You might check California for some local mills which still stone grind

flour.  Stone ground hard winter wheat makes some of the best bread (but you

may have to bolt it if the mill won't handle that for you).

 

BTW, about the only King Arthur flour I use is the KA White Whole Wheat,

because it is a specialized flour that has few substitutes readily

available.  Where I have more selection and lower prices, I tend to go with

the flour that best suits the task at the lowest price.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2004 02:36:29 EDT

From: Jgoldsp at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Libum recipe

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

sjk3 at cornell.edu writes:

> Cato's version of the recipe seems to call for a lot more cheese for an an

> approximately equal amount of flour and egg, if I'm remembering my flour

> weights (4 cups per pound).  Would Cato's cheese have been more liquid?

> Sandra

 

Flour by weight is different from by volume as in the number of cups of  flour

needed in a recipe. A cup of white flour by weight is about 4 and a half

ounces wheat flour is slightly heavier by about half an ounce and stone ground

organic is the heaviest and produces the most chew in your product.

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2004 06:50:15 -0400

From: Avraham haRofeh <avrahamharofeh at herald.sca.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] whole wheat flour sources

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Fri, 3 Sep 2004 18:25:09 -0700 (PDT), Samrah

<auntie_samrah at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Bear, I know you are probably way out in Texas, and I am way over here in

> California, but where do you find this stuff?  Does this King Arthur do

> mail order?  And what sort of place would I be looking for to find bulk

> whole wheat pastry flour?

 

King Arthur Flour (www.kingarthurflour.com) does indeed do mail-order, but

they are also nationally distributed (the shipping costs on flour exceed the

cost of the flour itself). Check with your local grocer; if they don't have

KAF on the shelf, demand it! :-) Mail order, the whole wheat flours are

$3.50/5 lb bag ($3.25 if you buy 2 or more), shipping to California is $9.75

for 1, $13.44 for 2. They also have a wonderful Baker's Catalogue with all

kinds of goodies for bakers and cooks.

****************

Reb Avraham haRofeh

      (mka Randy Goldberg MD)

 

 

Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2004 06:56:31 -0400

From: Avraham haRofeh <avrahamharofeh at herald.sca.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] whole wheat flour sources

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Kept the white regular flour in a tamale can.  Brown flour

> goes rancid though, and won't keep nearly as well.

 

That's because of the fats in the germ. Store it in the freezer, it will

keep longer than on the shelf.

****************

Reb Avraham haRofeh

      (mka Randy Goldberg MD)

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 09:03:18 -0500

From: Marian Walke <marian at buttery.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks]pretzels [was bagels]

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Stephen Bloch wrote:

(regarding bagels, pretzels, and his attempts to make pretzels)

 

>  From what I've read, commercial pretzels are sprayed with lye solution

> before baking<snip>

> I've tried it myself twice, with poor results <snip>

   I'll have to try again some time with ordinary bread dough.

 

I presume you know that flour can vary greatly in protein and

gluten content, from very soft to quite hard.  For pretzels and

bagels and such you want the hardest flour you can get.  In

period that would have been durum (in Italy and southern France)

or northern, Russian, or Middle Eastern wheat (in northern

Europe).  The English liked their native soft flour, but then

they didn't go in much for pretzels.

 

Nowadays, I'd use a bread flour (such as King Arthur unbleached)

if making it by hand.  If you have a mixer with a dough hook you

can use the King Arthur Special for Bread Machines, which is very

high gluten.

 

I suspect our modern American/Canadian hard wheats (bred from the

hardest Russian/Armenian strains) are even harder than the

strongest period flours.  But in any case, avoid "general

purpose" flours such as General Mills, Pillsbury, etc for this

purpose.  What King Arthur calls "General Purpose" flour is

already harder than the mainstream brands.  This is particularly

true in the Southern states, which have a preference for softer

flour, so the General Mills, Pillsbury, etc meant to be sold

there are formulated differently than the same brands sold in New

England.

 

Best of luck!  This is a good time to be making pretzels -- they

are one of the symbols of Lent.

 

--Old Marian

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 22:34:10 -0400

From: patrick.levesque at elf.mcgill.ca

Subject: [Sca-cooks] FWIW

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Lady Anne du Bosc said:

>>> 

In modern French, Flower is Fluer, Flour is Farine.  In French, they do

not sound like the same word, so it is unlikely they would have been

interchangeable.

<<< 

 

I have to disagree with this - in period manuscript, 'fine fleur de farine'

always refer to a very fine grade flour. The expression is sometimes shortened

simply to 'fine fleur', or even just 'fleur'. Flour is generally implied.

 

When flowers are called for in recipes the plant is always mentioned (fleur de

rose, fleur d'oranger, etc...). Actually the plant name on its own would be

misleading (if I ask for rose, do I mean the petals, the whole flower, the stem

- ouch - ...)

 

I do not know when 'fleur de farine' became simply 'farine' but I would guess it

happened when milling techniques reached a level that allowed for a permanent,

easy and cheap production of finest grade flour.

 

Petru

 

 

Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 22:44:17 -0400

From: Daniel Myers <eduard at medievalcookery.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] flower vs flour

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Jun 28, 2005, at 9:18 PM, Pat wrote:

> In modern French, Flower is Fluer, Flour is Farine.  In French,

> they do not sound like the same word, so it is unlikely they would

> have been interchangeable.

 

True, but things do change.

 

Another interesting note:  Cotgrave's 1611 French/English Dictionary

gives the following definition:

 

"Fleur de farine.  Flower, or the finest meale, also, meal-dust or

mill-dust."

 

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/cotgrave/448small.html

 

- Doc

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

   Edouard Halidai  (Daniel Myers)

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 12:49:19 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pea Flour/Bread

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Sadaf.com has chickpea flour.  An outfit in Canada called Century produces

commercial pea flour from yellow peas. And there are a couple of Italian

companies that produce pea flours.

 

In general, pea flour is used in flat breads as it has no gluten to rise

properly.  Mixing it with wheat flour will produce a dough that will rise.

I would check "Flatbreads of the World" for recipes.

 

Texture of the finished product depends on how fine the flour is milled.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 12:09:04 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pea Flour/Bread

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Chick pea flour is readily accessible in any South Asian store that

sells food stuffs. It is called "besan".

 

It is often used in batter for deep fried vegetables or samosas.

 

It can be used for making Panisse, little fried chickpea patties

eaten in Provence during Lent, although cooked mashed chickpeas are

probably better.

 

I was so disappointed when Chez Panisse opened - back when it was

virtually unknown and you could just walk in a get a table and you

didn't have to sell your first born to pay for a meal - and they

didn't serve panisse...

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 10:25:56 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pasta making and baking with semolina flour

To: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>,   Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Mar 27, 2006, at 9:56 AM, Christiane wrote:

> I have a question for the bakers on this list. I have a couple of

> pounds of semolina flour acquired from the local Indo-Pak store.

 

I've used whole-grain durum chapatti flour, in addition to the more

common (around here) Italian-style yellow semolina flour. Is that

what you've got?

 

> My thought was to try and use it to bake some Southern Italian-

> Sicilian-style breads. Can this type of semolina flour be used for

> this purpose?

 

Sure.

 

> The same thing goes with pasta making. Any advice would be

> appreciated! I want to make my husband some ravioli!

 

My experience (and others' may vary) is that durum semolina, because

the grain is so hard, is difficult to grind really fine, so it can

behave a little oddly compared to other flours. Essentially, it takes

a little while for water to be fully absorbed, and full gluten

development doesn't really occur until the grain is moistened properly.

 

In general, what this means is you want to make an all-semolina dough

just a touch moister than those made with other flours; where other

recipes advocate adding enough flour to make a smooth, non-sticky

dough, you want your semolina dough to be just a touch sticky, and

you really want to knead the c® at p out of it, at which point it will

begin to acquire a more standard doughy texture. When making bread,

you should notice a dramatic difference in the texture of the dough

between the first and second proofings.

 

For pasta, the same principal applies: it'll be just a little sticky,

knead it to death, wrap/cover and let it rest a few hours in the

fridge, then knead it again and proceed as for any other pasta.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 23:37:57 -0700 (PDT)

From: Lawrence Bayne <shonsu_78 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] types of corn bread?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> When I buy bags of cornmeal, I tend to end up not

> using it fast enough, and it gets buggy.  <<shudder>>

 

Try microwaving the whole bag when you first buy it.

Remove from the bag, nuke, then place in airtight

container after cooling. Throw the bag away. In EVERY

paper bag or box from the store you will have bugs of

some kind.

 

Lothar

 

 

Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 11:42:52 -0700

From: "Bj Jane Tremaine" <vikinglord at cox.net>

Subject: Re: Buggy grain meals/flours- was-Re: [Sca-cooks] types of

        corn bread?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

My Daddy worked in a mill.  He told me that you are allowed a certain

percentage of other stuff in flower or any grain.  This is usually eggs.

This is how we usually get bugs in flour.  But if you freeze the flour for

48 hours it kills the eggs.  Then store it in a air tight plastic or  

glass container, no bugs.

 

Jana

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 15:59:04 -0400

From: "Tom Bilodeau" <gmt53 at ravenstreet.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] FW: Flour types

To: "'Kerri Martinsen'" <kerrimart at mindspring.com>,     "'Susan Lee'"

        <msalanea at cox.net>, <KristiWhyKelly at aol.com>, <char.cook at equant.com>,

        "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

FYI -

 

If any of you are doing cooking/baking and using German recipes which  

call for different flour types and how to find USA equivalents...

 

Tirloch

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Bakers [mailto:Bakers at KINGARTHURFLOUR.com]

Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 8:43 AM

To: GMT53 at ravenstreet.org

Subject: RE: Flour types

 

Thank you for writing. I have enclosed the information we have. I hope it

helps.

 

German flours are catagorized by the amount of "ash" in the flour, not the

amount of protein like American flours. This makes it hard to come up with

an exact replacement. There are some suggestions below:

 

Type 405 - .50 ash - Similar to American pastry flour

 

Try: item #3331 Unbleached Pastry Flour (9.2% protein, .42 ash)

 

     Item #3338 Italian-Style Flour (8.5% protein, .40-.45 ash) -  

This is the closest match, I think

 

Type 550 - .50-.58 ash - Similar to American all-purpose flour

 

Try: item #3005 Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (11.7% protein, .49 ash)

 

     Item #3323 Select Artisan Organic All-Purpose Flour (11.3% protein, .54

ash) - This is the closest match, I think

 

 

Type 812 - .64-.89 ash - Similar to American all-purpose flour, but higher

ash

 

Try: item #3334 French Style Flour (11.5% protein, .70 ash)

 

 

Type 1050 - 1.05 ash - Similar to American "First Clear" flour

 

Try: item #3337 First Clear Flour (14.8% protein, .80 ash)

 

 

Type 1600 - 1.60 ash - The closest you could get to this would be a

light-colored whole wheat flour

 

Try: item #3311 White Whole Wheat (13% protein, 1.80 ash)

 

You request information on American equivalents to German flours.

 

I contacted our Head of Bakery Education and he was able to give me these

translations.

 

Very White 404

 

Medium White/Whole Wheat 1050

 

Whole Wheat 1700

 

Medium Rye 1150

 

Slightly Darker 1370

 

Dark Dark Dark 1800

 

 

USA vs. European Flour

 

Every now and then, a customer asks what US flours are equivalent to flours

they have used for baking in Europe. European flours are sold by "Type" with

a corresponding number. Here is the listing; this is particularly

appropriate for German flours and the flours of bordering countries. The

flours in parenthesis represent the flours we offer that would best match

the type listed:

 

German /European Flour by Type Numbers

 

Wheat Flour:

 

Type 405 - is used for fine Pastries and Cakes - in Austria it is #480

(Round Table Pastry Flour)

 

Type 550 - is used for tender breads, biscuits, croissants, cookies, and

muffins, etc. (King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour)

 

Type 1050 - is used for light grayish looking bread - light wheat flour

(White Whole Wheat Flour)

 

Type 1700 - is for used for hardy bread - dark wheat flour (Traditional

Whole Wheat Flour)

 

 

Rye Flour

 

Type 815 - for small pastries - ground very fine (White Rye Flour)

 

Type - 997 - or 1150 - for light rye bread - ground fine (White Rye  

Flour)

 

Type - 1150 - for regular rye bread - it is little darker then 997, but also

ground finely - and is called Graubrot (gray bread) (Medium Rye Flour)

 

Type - 1370 - dark rye bread, also used for mixed breads (wheat and rye) is

ground even finer (Medium Rye Flour)

 

Type - 1800 - whole grain rye used for basic for all full grain breads

(Pumpernickel)

 

 

These are specific types in Germany and close bordering countries.

 

 

Please contact us again if we can be of further assistance.

 

Happy Baking,

Mary Tinkham

 

The Baker's Catalogue, Inc

800-827-6836

bakers at kingarthurflour.com

 

   _____

 

From: Tom Bilodeau [mailto:gmt53 at ravenstreet.org]

Sent: Sunday, May 21, 2006 4:27 PM

To: Bakers

Subject: Flour types

 

I was wondering if you have a comparison chart for the various King Arthur

flour?

 

I am reading a bread book about German breads and the flour types they call

for are:

 

dinkelmehl type 630 (spelt flour) [Mary Tinkham] item 3452 organic white

spelt flour

 

weizenmehl type 550 (wheat flour)

 

weizenmehl type 1050 (wheat flour)

 

weizenmehl type 405 (wheat flour)

 

weizenmehl type 505 (wheat flour)

 

roggenmehl type 997 (rye flour)

 

mehl type 530 (white flour)

 

dinkelvollkornmehl (full grain spelt flour)[Mary Tinkham]  item 3453 organic

whole spelt flour

 

the book is called "Brot backen" and any information you have that could

lead me to finding the flour equivalent would be very appreciated.

 

Regards,

Tom Bilodeau

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 19:01:32 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] FW: Flour types

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< 

> If any of you are doing cooking/baking and using German recipes  

> which call for different flour types and how to find USA equivalents...

> Tirloch

 

OK, can anyone tell me why Germans would be concerned about the amount of

ash in flour, and how the ash, rather than the protein, would affect its

baking qualities?

 

Saint Phlip

>>> 

 

Ash is the mineral content by weight remaining as ash when a sample of flour

is burned.  The higher the ash content, the greater extraction of flour from

the original grain.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 21:04:11 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] FW: Flour types

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

<<< 

On 5/23/06, Terry Decker <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net> wrote:

> Ash is the mineral content by weight remaining as ash when a sample of flour

> is burned.  The higher the ash content, the greater extraction of  

> flour from the original grain.

> Bear

 

OK, then how does this affect the baking? And, why would the Germans use

this to grade their flour? Does this mean a more efficient milling process,

or what?

 

Saint Phlip  (almost Stefan, asking a question like this ;-)

>>> 

 

All milling operations measure the ash in their flours to measure the

quality of their extraction and to maintain a consistency between runs of

flour. Wheat germ has a higher mineral and protein content than the

endosperm. Roller milling initially separates the wheat germ and the

endosperm, so you can mix them together to establish the extraction you

want. For example, U.S. all purpose flour, which does not have much germ in

it is about 60 per cent extraction, finely ground whole wheat flour will be

near 100 per cent extraction.  Higher extraction flours will have higher

mineral and protein content.

 

The German Mehltype is measured by incinerating 100g of flour and weighing

the ash that remains.  The weight of the ash in milligrams is compared

against a set of extraction ranges to get the official type number

(essentially the number in the middle of each extraction range).

 

France uses the Type de Farine, which is an order of magnitude smaller than

the German types.  The French burn 10g and use the weight of the ash in

milligrams.

 

The U.S. and Great Britain do not use ash measures (although you can usually

get the information from the mill).  The U.S. requires the percentage of

protein by weight be in the nutrition label, which provides approximately

the same information as the flour type in Germany or France.  The difference

is German and French flours are standardized nationally, in the U.S. the

flours are not standardized and percentage of protein in the same type of

flour may differ between manufacturers.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2007 00:35:39 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question about flour

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

<<< On Jan 4, 2007, at 11:01 PM, Elaine Koogler wrote:

 

> I am going to be baking a Middle Eastern cookie called "Virgins Breasts".

> However, the recipe calls for semolina flour.  How different is from the

> unbleached plain flour I already have?  Is there a great diference

> between the regular unbleached flour I already have and the semolina?

> Kiri

 

Semolina flour is traditionally coarser in grind and higher in gluten

than regular bread or AP (or what the British call "plain") flour...

 

Adamantius >>>

 

There's a traditional Italian cookie called "Minne de  

virgine" (Virgin's breast). Usually made by Sicilian bakers for  

consumption on St. Agatha's Day (she whose boobs were cut off in  

martyrdom). I am wondering if the Middle Eastern cookie was inspired  

by the Sicilian, or vice versa. Today's confection is quite baroque;  

iced white with marzipan and cherry nipples.

 

The semolina flour we usually can get in the states is coarser in  

grind; think Red Mill's flour for pasta (which also makes good rustic  

bread). Semolina comes from durum, or hard, wheat. Our white flour is  

made from soft wheat, and that is what we usually use in baking.  

However, in Italy and other places you can get a finer-ground durum  

flour, which can be used for cakes and pastries (today's baker  

prefers the soft wheat flour for cakes and cookies, though). It will  

take more liquid and the final result will be coarser crumbed. If you  

have an Indian grocery store near you, look for pane puri, which is  

ground finer than the typical pasta semolina from Red Mill, or maybe  

a gourmet specialty store will carry finer-ground durum wheat flour.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2007 23:59:01 -0600

From: "otsisto" <otsisto at socket.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question about flour...

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Very different. Semolina is a hairline finer then corn meal. And the

semolina meal is a hairline coarser then cornmeal.

 

From a website:

"There are difference grades: (1) Semolina flour is finely ground endosperm

of durum wheat; (2) Semolina meal is a coarsely ground cereal like farina;

and (3) Wheatina is ground whole-grain wheat."

 

I use the flour in making Halva.

I was told once that a person could make a nut free marzipan using semolina

as the nut substitute and add extract but I have never gotten around to

making marzipan.

De

 

-----Original Message-----

I am going to be baking a Middle Eastern cookie called "Virgins Breasts".

However, the recipe calls for semolina flour.  How different is from the

unbleached plain flour I already have?  Is there a great diference between

the regular unbleached flour I already have and the semolina?

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2007 10:21:21 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question about flour

To: Elaine Koogler <kiridono at gmail.com>,  Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Thanks to both Adamantius and Gianotta for their responses.  My problem is

> that I haven't been able to find any kind of semolina flour in the town

> where I live...I'm kind of out in the "boonies"...I could order it online,

> but I doubt it would get here in time for me to make the cookies for our

> event on Jan 13!  I was just wondering what the effect might be if I used

> regular flour instead.  But from what you guys are saying, I probably

> shouldn't even try unless I have semolina flour.  Maybe I'll go  

> online and see if I can find the flour you menton, Gianotta!

> Kiri

 

Try Bob's Red Mill, I think they ship pretty fast:

http://www.bobsredmill.com/catalog/index.php?action=express

 

If they can't, use the unbleached white flour and don't worry about  

it, especially if the cookies are supposed to be iced or something  

that would hide their color anyway. Yes, the texture won't be the  

same, you will have to add less liquid. Will you share the cookie  

recipe with us? I'm really curious to see if they are at all similar  

to the Sicilian cookie, or if the name is coincidental. Since  

Sicilian cooking was so heavily influenced by Arabic cooking, it'd be  

interesting to see if the Arabic sweet was adapted to a Christian  

purpose!

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2007 10:22:03 -0800

From: Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question about flour

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Kiri, try to find semolina flour. It really makes a huge difference

in the finished product. It gives a certain characteristic flavor,

texture, and color to Near and Middle Eastern baked goods.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2007 06:53:06 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Flour Query

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

You might want to mention what flours are readily available today.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/list.jsp?

pv=1171021254742&select=C79&byCategory=C128

 

http://www.bobsredmill.com/catalog/index.php?

action=showproducts&category_ID=30

 

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/kitchentips/flour.html

 

Here's the flour advisory bureau from the UK

http://www.fabflour.co.uk/home.asp

 

There are a number of books that address flours. Shirley Corriher who did Cookwise has been working on a baking book that ought to address flours. There is information in Cookwise about what qualities different flours offer.

And there's always Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2007 07:06:43 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Rice Flour was Period Flour Query

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Rice Flour actually shows up in medieval English recipes.

To make floure Rys appears in the Harl. Mss 279 Leche Vyaundez

page 38 in Two fifteenth-century cookery-books :

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450)

 

xxij - For to make floure Rys. Take Rys, an lese hem clene; then drow

hem wyl in the Sonne, that they ben drye; than bray hem smal y-now; and

therow a crees bunte syfte hem, and for defaute of a bonte, take a  

Renge.

 

Johnnae

 

Aldyth at aol.com wrote: snipped

> In one of the shortbread discussions it mentions adding rice flour to the

> (see list of flour) for making it crumbly.  At the risk of being really  dumb,

> did shortbread originally have rice flour in it? I just have a hard time

> visualizing rice paddies in Scotland.  :-))Aldyth

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 09:22:17 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Shortbread was Period Flour Query

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Incidentally, does anyone have a good explanation of why you bake the

> flour first?

> --

> David Friedman

 

If you bake flour you improve the flavor.  Baking kills the raw flour  

taste and usually brings out a slight nutty flavor.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 11:39:30 -0600 (CST)

From: "terry l. ridder" <terrylr at blauedonau.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Shortbread was Period Flour Query

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Fri, 9 Feb 2007, David Friedman wrote:

> Incidentally, does anyone have a good explanation of why you bake the

> flour first?

 

the manual for army cooks, 1883 and 1896 editions mention to brown the

flour used to thicken drippings for gravy. my brother and i experimented

with this back in 1995. the browning of the flour definitely removes the

flour taste and imparts a slightly nutty flavor. a side-effect is that

the gravy is not lightened by the use of plain white flour.

 

my brother, a military historian, also thinks based on anecdotal and

comtemporary writings of enlisted solders and quartermasters, that it

may have been recommended to kill off any parasitic infestations in the

flour.

--

terry l. ridder ><>

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 12:45:59 -0800

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Shortbread was Period Flour Query

To: "terry l. ridder" <terrylr at blauedonau.com>,  Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> On Fri, 9 Feb 2007, David Friedman wrote:

>> Incidentally, does anyone have a good explanation of why you bake  

>> the flour first?

> the manual for army cooks, 1883 and 1896 editions mention to brown the

> flour used to thicken drippings for gravy. my brother and i experimented

> with this back in 1995. the browning of the flour definitely removes the

> flour taste and imparts a slightly nutty flavor. a side-effect is that

> the gravy is not lightened by the use of plain white flour.

> my brother, a military historian, also thinks based on anecdotal and

> comtemporary writings of enlisted solders and quartermasters, that it

> may have been recommended to kill off any parasitic infestations in  

> the flour.

 

The problem with these explanations is that, so far as I know,  most

other recipes using flour don't have any similar

instructions--although I could be wrong, since I'm not that familiar

with late period recipes.

 

That suggests to me that there is something special about this sort

of recipe that requires baked flour, but I have no idea what. Clearly

experimentation is called for.

 

But of course, it might be connected with some difference between

their flour and ours; I have no idea what sorts of processing beyond

grinding, and sometimes bleaching, modern flour goes through.

--

David/Cariadoc

www.daviddfriedman.com

 

 

Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 19:48:59 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Shortbread was Period Flour Query

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

In general, there is no great difference between Medieval and modern flour

other than the percentage of extraction, especially if you choose an

unbleached, whole wheat flour.

 

Other than improving the flavor, roasting coagulates the gluten, which, I

suspect will produce a more granular texture.  I haven't run any  

experiments to see what would happen with unroasted flour.

 

Bear

 

> That suggests to me that there is something special about this sort

> of recipe that requires baked flour, but I have no idea what. Clearly

> experimentation is called for.

> But of course, it might be connected with some difference between

> their flour and ours; I have no idea what sorts of processing beyond

> grinding, and sometimes bleaching, modern flour goes through.

> --

> David/Cariadoc

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2007 18:44:11 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] flour

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I did a little checking in McGee.  Carbohydrates are broken down in the

brown process.  Since thickening depends on the carbohydrates, the darker

the brown the more carbohydates are transformed the less the thickening

power.

 

Toasting flour in an oven will do the same thing, but for baking the flour

is lightly toasted.  If you toasted the flour to the point you would for a

brown gravy, your bake goods will come out over baked.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 00:05:26 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] flour experimentation

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Check the nutritional information on the bags.  Gold Medal All Purpose is

10% protein.  High gluten bread flours are up around 14% protein.  Soft

flours usual run 9% down to about 7%.  If you want to match traditional

European flours, soft flours are the closest match, but you can fudge  

with the Gold Medal.

 

In the past, I have been able to get bulk whole wheat pastry flour from a

local health food store, which is probably as close to period European flour

as you are going to get.  Both Arrowhead Mills and Bob's Red Mill produce

whole wheat pastry flour.  Quite a few groceries carry one or the other or

both and might be willing to special order for you.

 

The problem with cake flour isn't that it's "enriched," it's that most cake

flours are chlorinated to bleach them white, however neither chlorination

nor enrichment seems to affect the baking.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 03:32:40 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] flour experimentation

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Well, when I looked at the website for King Arthur flours, the description

> each variety said it was made from hard - usually red_ wheat.  If their

> marketing people say one of their flours is good for every use, perhaps it

> is.  Or perhaps that's just how marketing people present their products.

 

King Arthur cake flour is about 9% protein, the lowest of any KA flour.

That would put it within the range of traditional European flour.

 

> When I want to make a dough that is kneaded I will go for the higher

> gluten flour every time.  Everything I have read indicates that hard

> wheats have more gluten.

 

"Hard" and "soft" refer to the protein content of the flour a wheat produces

and the traditional method of testing a flour's protein content by squeezing

a handful.  In general, the lower the protein, the finer the milling, the

more compression ("softness") in the hand.

 

> Southern flour is made from soft wheat, which is lower in gluten. I find

> making tender piecrust and biscuits much easier with southern flour.  How

> much of that is my upbringing I cannot say.

 

Southern wheats tend more to yellows which are usually softer than reds.

White Lily is about the softest commercial flour available.

 

> Some period recipes say take the whitest flour you have.  I would take

> this instruction to possibly mean use the flour which browns more slowly,

> which lower gluten flour does - at least in my limited experimentation

> thus far.

> Cordelia Toser

 

"White" in this context refers to a finely milled, thrice bolted flour that

has aged for six or more months.  Freshly milled flour has a yellow tinge

from the xanthopyll it contains.  Aging provides a natural bleaching making

the flour look whiter.  The finer the milling, the more surface area exposed

to the aging process.  Bolting removes the bran and any larger unmilled

pieces.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 04:59:35 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] flour: reading the label

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Oh yes, matching traditional European flour is my goal.  I am not

> convinced that malted barley was added in period, and that is the main

> reason I want to avoid the enriched stuff that is commonly available.

 

Malted barley flour (diastatic malt) provides enzymes that help break down

the starches in flour to more effectively feed the yeast.  It also provides

a little sweetening.  It may not have been added to period European flour,

but the equivalent would have been added to the dough of any recipe calling

for ale barm leavening, so I wouldn't worry about.

 

> I would prefer unbleached flour, if it weren't for the higher

> gluten/protein.  From my reading it would seem that bleaching agents used

> in the preparation of flour do a similar job to naturally aging the

> flour - at least as far as the color is concerned.  I'll get some

> unbleached flour and seal it up for a couple of years to see what  

> happens to the color.

 

Nothing will happen to the color of the unbleached flour.  By the time it

hit the grocer's shelf, the flour had already aged longer than most Medieval

flours. By the time you see it, the xanthophyll is already naturally

bleached. Naturally aged flour is cream colored rather than stark white.

There is also the possibility that the bleaching process may damage the

gluten, as Betsy Oppenneer contends in Celebration Breads.  Personally, I

used unbleached flour because it will be closer to the period norm.

 

> Why do you feel that whole wheat flour is what the noble households used

> for everything?  This was an era when whiter food was more desirable,

> which would lead me to think that whiter flour would be used in royal

> kitchens.

> Cordelia Toser

 

Period flours are stone milled, which means that wheat flour was whole wheat

flour (milled from the complete wheat berry).  Modern roller milling, which

separates the germ from the endosperm, is a product of the 19th Century.  I

haven't encountered any period descriptions of separating the germ from the

rest of the kernal or any information about the milling technology that

would suggest that it occurred.

 

European wheat of the day would likely be a yellow rather than a red wheat

and produce a lighter colored flour (similar to King Arthur's "white whole

wheat") than the brown (being milled from a darker wheat berry) whole wheat

flours that are common today.  Starting with a lighter colored wheat then

milling it fine, sieving it through three boltings and allowing the flour to

age produces about the whitest flour of the day.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 16:55:16 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period flour

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Bear mentioned:

> <<< Check the nutritional information on the bags.  Gold Medal All Purpose is

> 10% protein.  High gluten bread flours are up around 14% protein.  Soft

> flours usual run 9% down to about 7%.  If you want to match traditional

> European flours, soft flours are the closest match, but you can fudge

> with the Gold Medal. >>>

> From this thread it sounds like most modern bread flours are harder

> flours with more protein than what was used in most of period Europe.

> Why this change? Do the high gluten/high protein flours grow better

> these days or yield more? Are they better for machine driven

> agriculture? Or is there some other reason they are preferred?

 

In the 19th Century, hard red wheat was hybridized to produce greater yields

and be more resistant to various plant diseases at about the time Australia,

Canada, Argentina and the U.S. were becoming the major grain producers in

the world.  The wheat was best suited for the plains areas of the world.

The flour produced made better bread, so the hard reds became the most

readily available wheat in the world.  Because they produced better bread,

European bakers chose them over the softer local flours.

 

Einkorn was the initial wheat, but emmer was easier to thresh and produced

better yields and became the most common wheat in Antiquity.  Club wheat,

which produced better yields, took over from emmer between 500 and 800 CE.

Modern wheat is a hybridized club wheat and the hybridization has been an

ongoing process since club wheat overtook emmer.

 

The entire issue is mostly a matter of what produces the most, the best and

the amount of effort required in the production.

 

> <<< In the past, I have been able to get bulk whole wheat pastry flour from a

> local health food store, which is probably as close to period European flour

> as you are going to get.  Both Arrowhead Mills and Bob's Red Mill produce

> whole wheat pastry flour.  Quite a few groceries carry one or the other or

> both and might be willing to special order for you.>>>

> How does the bread differ, especially the period breads we know of,

> when it is made with a harder wheat than when made with the softer,

> pastry flours that are apparently closer to those of period Europe?

> I'm still keeping the back of mind the idea that the reason that

> medieval Europeans didn't make/use the sandwich is that their bread

> wasn't conducive to sandwich making. Perhaps the type of flour enters

> into this. Or maybe not.

> Stefan

 

You get a better rise with the harder wheats, but the variance between 7%

and 10 % protein content is not particularly noticeable.  All Purpose Flour

is blended to be useable in recipes requiring hard or soft flour, but is not

necessarily the optimal choice.

 

Medieval bread would work just fine in sandwiches.  I suspect it was  

used for sandwiches, but doesn't appear in any observation that was  

written down.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 07:50:47 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Is anyone familiar with this source?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> When I was researching cereal grain for my research paper I came  

> across this reference.  Is it too early?

> Moritz, L.A., Grain-Mills and Flour in Classical Antiquity  

> (Oxford,  1958)

> Aldyth

 

This is a classic text on the evolution of milling technology.  You should

find the information on rotary mills of particular interest as this was the

standard milling technology from Late Antiquity until the development of

roller mills in the 19th Century.  For those interested, Ox-Bow Books  

has an edition for around $20.

 

You might also want to check out Watts, Martin, The Archeology of  

Mills and Milling, also available from Ox-Bow.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 11:57:53 -0600 (CST)

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Chickpea and Barley Flour

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> Dragon wrote why make it yourself if you

> can buy it ready made? Well, I have always felt poor, which is not

> exactly true, but I scrape so if I have the raw product I make it from

> scratch. Perhaps that is why I deal with medieval cookery, I live on a

> close budget. Too, the flour made by me would be more course than if I

> buy it ready made. I think my flour would be more like it was in the

> medieval period.

 

I think the texture of the flour would depend entirely on the grinding

process. In some cases, I can try to make barley flour or barley groats,

but I'm pretty sure the mill I'm using isn't going to duplicate the effect

of milling the grain between stones. While stone-ground, unsieved flours

are often more coarse than roller-ground flours, even metal burr flour

grinders don't always give the fineness one would like for barley; using

other types of non-flour grinders can give worse results, or better.

 

We tend to think of medieval flours as more coarsely ground than our

modern ones, but sometimes we overstate. (Like the people who want to  

use 'cracked' mustard in their mustard recipes, instead of grinding it.)

--

-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 13:08:19 -0500

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Chickpea and Barley Flour

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Jan 28, 2008, at 12:57 PM, jenne at fiedlerfamily.net wrote:

> We tend to think of medieval flours as more coarsely ground than our

> modern ones, but sometimes we overstate. (Like the people who want

> to use 'cracked' mustard in their mustard recipes, instead of grinding it.)

 

It's also fairly common for people to forget that a lot of Europeans

were using a softer wheat than 21st-century Americans are accustomed to.

 

Then there's the fallacy of assuming labor done by hand rather than

machine is not as good, but we should remember that the standard that

the machine is supposed to be imitating is set by hand, more or less,

and not the other way around.

 

And these people _did_ have bolting cloth, after all.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 10:18:43 -0800

From: Dragon <dragon at crimson-dragon.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Chickpea and Barley Flour

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

jenne at fiedlerfamily.net wrote:

> We tend to think of medieval flours as more coarsely ground than our

> modern ones, but sometimes we overstate.

 

Actually, I think there is enough evidence to confirm that some flour

was produced to a very high standard and with a very fine grind

during the Medieval period. Some of the very large millstones used in

a number of water powered mills are more than capable of producing

flours as fine as any produced today. To be honest, the process of

stone grinding really hasn't changed all that much, really only the

power source has changed. The millstones and grinding speeds are

pretty much the same as they would have been 1000 years ago in some  

mills.

 

Even flour from a small hand-powered millstone can be pretty fine, it

depends a lot on the feed rate to the stone and the speed of grinding.

 

One thing that has changed (and not necessarily for the better) is

that many modern flours have a far lower bran and germ content than

would have been likely during pre-industrialized times. But even that

can be shown to not have been universally true. Some of the wheat

flour produced for the bread served to royalty was often described as

being of the finest quality and white as snow.

 

> (Like the people who want to use 'cracked' mustard in their mustard

> recipes, instead of grinding it.)

 

Mortars and pestles are period cooking tools. They could have and

would have used them to grind the mustard into a fine flour for the

making of their mustard sauces. I believe this is probably fairly

easy to document from extant period recipes but I can't cite anything

directly right now.

 

Dragon

 

 

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 15:00:20 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Chickpea and Barley Flour

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> We tend to think of medieval flours as more coarsely ground than our

> modern ones, but sometimes we overstate. (Like the people who want  

> to use 'cracked' mustard in their mustard recipes, instead of grinding it.)

> --

> -- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

Ah one of those irritating little ideas.  Medieval people didn't have modern

machines, so they can't do things as finely as we can today.  Which

completely ignores the real limits of Medieval technology and avoids the

idea that a Medieval craftsman might beat out his modern counterpart in

labor intensive tasks that can't be easily or inexpensively automated.

 

The fineness of any meal depends on the quality of the milling process.

Medieval milling was dependent on the quality of the stones and a mill that

had hard, fine-grained stones and close tolerances was likely to be better

patronized than one that didn't.  The real difference between Medieval and

Modern milling is the extraction rate.  Optimal Medieval milling reduced

about 85% of the grain milled into useable flour, while a roller mill can

extract 95% or higher.  In both cases, the unusable portion of the flour is

removed by sieving or bolting.

 

The actual differences are less obvious.  Because of storage and shipping,

modern flour would have less moisture than Medieval flour.  And the Medieval

flour would be a whole grain flour because the wheat germ would not have

been extracted.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 03 Jun 2008 12:30:18 -0700

From: Dragon <dragon at crimson-dragon.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Adulterated" Flour

To: alysk at ix.netcom.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Elise Fleming wrote:

Greetings! Richard, the primary researcher of the Hampton Court cooks,

commented about his visit to the US earlier this year that the flour and

sugar sold over here had other things added to it, implying that wheat

flour in the UK was just that - wheat flour.  I noticed on the bags of

flour in the grocery store this week that (at least for the brands I looked

at) they all had malted barley flour added.  Does anyone know why?  Is

there any flour in grocery stores in your area that is only wheat flour

with no other grain added?  Would the addition of barley flour affect the

baking properties differently than a product made entirely of wheat flour?

(My tart cases still don't seem to handle quite the same way as the ones in

the Hampton Court video!)

---------------- End original message. ---------------------

 

Malted barley flour is added to a lot of wheat flour to act as a

source of diastatic enzymes that break down starch into simpler

sugars that yeast can use.

 

Other items are sometimes added like calcium propionate and ascorbic

acid. These ingredients act as dough conditioners and promote the

formation of gluten.

 

There are brands of flour that are just wheat flour. Read the labels.

Two I can think of off the top of my head are Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur.

 

I don't know about anything being added to sugar, again, the labels

must state what is in the package to be legally sold in the U.S.

Check the label.

 

Dragon

 

 

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2008 07:19:54 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "Adulterated" Flour

To: alysk at ix.netcom.com, Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

One thing that I will mention is that if you sign up and are on the

Bakers Catalog and King Arthur Flour e-mail lists, you will get offered

free shipping and discounts from time to time.

 

Very useful for stocking up on the flours.

 

Johnna

 

Elise Fleming wrote:

<<< I can get King Arthur flour.  I can't get pastry flour...

 

Alys >>>

 

 

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2009 21:07:18 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

From: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Golden Temple Durum Atta flour

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

So, I was shopping for some things for al-Hafla this weekend, and on a whim picked up a bag of this durum wheat flour to bake some more bread with it for my pasticcios.

 

I used it with regular unbleached flour, and I have to say, it made some pretty golden rustic loaves. Not very lofty, but the crumb and texture are tender.

 

I understand that this flour is intended for chapattis, but it made a nice yeast bread. I used a pan full of water to steam-bake the loaves.

 

Verdict: I'd recommend it; if you have an Indian grocery near you and like to bake semolina bread, it's a finer grind than the Red Mill stuff I can normally find in the supermarkets.

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 15:25:20 -0600

From: Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] flour query

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I've seen pastry flour and whole wheat pastry flour.

 

According to King Arthur their pastry flour is 8%protein, Whole wheat pastry

flour is milled from low-protein soft wheat and their regular red labeled

flour is 11.7% protein.

 

The regular all -purpose flour in a 5-pound bag, about 19 to 20 cups.  The

KA website has lots of good information about their many many kinds of

flours and protein content, etc.

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/<;http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop-home-b.html>;

 

Yes, sifting makes a difference.  If you sift flour and then lightly spoon

it into a measuring vessel it will take less flour to make the required

amount of flour - that it why I prefer to measure flour by weight if I can

get the conversion.

 

I remember being told that if a recipe calls for sifted flour (as opposed to

flour sifted) you can remove 2 tablespoons of flour from the measuring cup

to achieve a similar result without sifting.  2 cups sifted flour means to

sift before measuring.  2 cups flour sifted means to sift after measuring.

Shoshanna

 

On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 1:50 PM, Arianwen ferch Arthur <caer_mab at yahoo.com>wrote:

<<< A redaction recipe I looked at suggested using pastry flour to more closely resemble medieval flour.

 

Hmm...I know of all-purpose flour (bleached or unbleached) whole wheat

flour, bread flour, and cake flour  (and self rising, and the speciality

flours I have seem graham etc.)

 

but what is pastry flour?

 

(and bread flour has more gluten than all purpose, while cake flour has

less -- and how much is more and how much is less??? sheesh)

 

Also read that 3 c of flour is a pound, but remember that it was about 4

1/3 cups  (about twice that of a pound of sugar...)

 

does sifting your flour before measuring make that much difference?

 

Arianwen ferch Arthur >>>

 

 

Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 18:02:52 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] flour query

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Cake flour is pastry flour.  Usually it runs 3 to 8% protein.  All purpose

flour may run between 7 and 10% protein.  Bread flour runs from about 9 to

14%. There are no hard fast rules about what amount of protein constitutes

a specific type of flour.  I tend to use all purpose unbleached flour,

unless I can get my hands on whole wheat flour without all the graham.  My

source for whole wheat pastry flour has dried up, so I most often use Gold

Medal Unbleached.

 

A cup of flour is roughly 4 ounces.  If you are measuring by weight, sifting

is immaterial.  If you are measuring by the cup, it helps to know whether

the recipe is calling for sifted flour or scoop and level.  If I'm baking

bread, I don't generally worry about the niceties of measuring by the cup as

I tend to go by the feel of the dough.  Finer baking I prefer to use actual

weights.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 07:51:13 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Shortbread was A little article I wrote on Le

        Menagier's sausages...

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

/ Incidentally, does anyone have a good explanation of why you bake the

/ flour first?

 

And oh flour is baked first to dry it out before it is sifted. A number

of recipes employ this technique.

 

Johnnae

=================

 

Baking the flour also improves the taste, imparting a slightly nutty flavor.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2010 15:28:57 +0000

From: Holly Stockley <hollyvandenberg at hotmail.com>

To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grinding Flour:Bran-Starch

 

Possibly I'm being less than clear, here (and even mis-spoke a bit).  It depends on what effect you are after.

 

If you want to replicate whole meal stone ground flour (Well, I'd just buy whole meal stone ground flour - it's available), adding whole grain flour to AP flour isn't quite going to cut it.  The math doesn't work.  And if you read through the comments, the author doesn't understand the math either - and is just going by what a modern miller told her.

 

Thing is, when you grind wheat, you tend to also lose a little of the starch that sticks to the very large bits of bran that gets sieved out.  Which also affects your extraction rate, somewhat.  Rollers are better at popping these bits out and making sure they don't get sifted out with the large bits of bran.  It conserves more of the starches.  (My hand mill is REALLY terrible at this, and I lose a heck of a lot of the starch when I sift out the bran.  Conversely, it leaves the bran in much larger pieces so that more of it is easily sifted out. The flour:middlings:bran ratio is entirely altered).

 

In my little pea brain, it probably makes a greater difference if you're dealing with red wheat, white wheat, spring wheat, winter wheat, hard wheat, soft wheat....  Soft red or white winter wheats are used in pastry flours.  Hard wheat flours are used in bread flours.  Spring wheats (in general) contain more gluten than winter wheats.  (Well, most AP flours in the North and Midwest are also made of hard wheat flours, but have a little less protein).  Thing is, we plant by the result we want.  In period, likely the choice was made by what naturally grew better in that area.  And you CAN make bread out of any "type" of wheat flour you want.  Some if it is just "better" than others.  Red. vs. White is more of a taste/color issue than a protein or starch issue.

 

What isn't processing for ME in the Historical Foods discussion is why there is an assumption that modern stone ground wheat achieves a different extraction than period stone ground wheat?  There is a mill in Argentine, MI that still makes stone ground flours.  I've toured the mill, and I really think that the way they do things produces a product as similar to period flours as we're likely to get short of planting period varieties.

 

Hence and therefore, when I'm doing period baking, I get my flours here:http://www.westwindmilling.com/index.htmland don't worry too much about mixing.

 

Femke

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2010 07:53:40 -0800 (PST)

From: Terry Decker <t.d.decker at att.net>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Grinding Flour:Bran-Starch

 

Extraction rate (IIRC) is about the percentage of the wheat grain that is

actually converted to flour, not just starch, but also germ and a few other

things. As I recall, it's tested by burning a specified quantity of the flour

and comparing the weight of the ash to the original weight. Roller mills

actually strip the germ from the wheat grains at the beginning of the process,

leaving roller milled flour as mostly starch and protein. I suspect that the

difference in extraction rates may be attributed in large part to the germ, the

oil containing portion of the wheat and how it affects the measurement of ash.

 

Modern bolting uses wire mesh screens. Medieval bolting uses various weaves of

cloth with the finest flour being bolted trough extremely fine weave silk.

Medieval bolting takes longer and costs more, but it will produce extremely fine

flour. Farm baked bread was probably given a single pass through a horse hair

sieve.

 

Medieval flour was whole meal. Modern flour tends to have the germ stripped

from it. To make a flour similar to that which was used in period, one needs to

produce an extremely fine whole meal flour, either take a whole wheat flour and

sieve it very fine or find a source for whole wheat pastry flour. If I am not

worried about absolute accuracy, unbleached flour makes a fine substitute.

 

The idea of mixing whole wheat and AP flour to make a substitute for medieval

flour is a misunderstanding of the milling process. I've already tried it and

the results are unsatisfactory

 

I would also suggest that 80% extraction would have been from the best stone

mills. Depending on the quality of the stones and their dressing, the

extraction rate might be considerably less.

 

Bear

________________________________

Bear wrote in 1998 (filed in the Florilegium):

"Stone ground wheat comes very close to the fineness of roller milling.? The

chief difference is in the level of extraction.? Stone grinding reaches a

maximum of about 80% extraction.? Roller milling goes above 90% extraction."

 

And this percentage is what the historicalfood site apparently uses. But Holly

Stockley just posted:

"I've bolted hand-ground flour and come up with a product every bit as fine as

commercial AP flour.? I suspect somebody mis-interpreted the data:? stoneground

flour manages about an 80% extraction rate.? Modern roller mills do rather

better.? This isn't a measure of how much bran is in the flour, but rather how

much of the starch of the grain ends up in the flour portion.? Adding bran back

doesn't match an extraction rate, but I can see where it could get confusing."

 

So, Bear, has your research in the intervening 12+ years modified to agree with

what Holly is saying?? I don't see that you are both saying the same thing.? Is

one correct and one incorrect?? Are both correct?

 

I sort of thought that using unbleached white flour was closer to what was

available to the king's cooks than adding in some wholemeal flour.

 

(I think I'll roll over now and take a nap next to this lovely bone!)

 

Alys K.

-- Elise Fleming

alysk at ix.netcom.com

alyskatharine at gmail.com

 

<the end>



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