Saturday, December 1, 2012

The bread experiment results

And now it's time to announce the winner :D.

First here it comes each bread analyzed thoroughly.
The bread:
One bread was better then the other, with a bit different structure, almost unobservable difference in taste.
The bread from Costco and Red Mill grew higher, the others were more flat, but just a tiny bit.
It didn't affect though the crumb or the crust.
The crust was crunchy for all of them, and the crumb had the lovely big holes and spongy texture.
As I expected, there is a rule of thumb though:
- the stickier (more wet) the dough the more flat the bread, and vice versa, the "harder" the dough, the more round and high the bread.

The differences
The tiny differences we observed were referring to texture or taste.
- Costco had a pale color, great texture, OK taste
- Red Mill had thicker crust (can mean that the flour is "strong" and more water would have been better for crunchier crust..), white color, great texture and taste
- Gold Medal had yellowish color, softer than the others but great texture and taste
- Sprouts flour bread was OK, but not so great, more flat than the others, color between the white and the yellow, taste good
- King Arthur, (tasted only by me later) had a not so white color, great texture and great taste.

Overall whichever you choose, you can not go wrong. The bread will be good, the taste and texture good.
You better measure the flour though instead of relying on the 700 ml, as I mentioned earlier from some flours the 450 gr made 750 ml not 700 ml, if you put 700 ml flour the dough will be more watery and the bread more flat.
If I would bake them next time (and I obviously will as I have plenty left from each flour) I would experiment with adding or taking away from the amount of flour to get the perfect crumb, crust and shape.

The winner:
The Gold Medal was the favorite of the hubby and the boys, the Red Mill was the favorite of my daughter, followed by the King Arthur, Costco and last the Sprouts..
And, to my biggest surprise, my winner is the King Arthur, followed by the Red Mill, Gold medal, Costco and last the Sprouts.

At least we all agreed that the Sprouts unbleached white was this time the worst, even if it was overall an absolutely good bread.
My winner was a surprise because the King Arthur had the most wet dough, the most difficult to put it in the pot and I've given up on it.

Now, all of them are wrapped and placed in plastic bags, and is to be seen which one keeps its texture and freshness longer, so tomorrow we will repeat the feast (binge?) on bread.

Conclusion - if you want the bread that looks more like mines, go with any of the following:
- use 450 g instead of 400 g given in the original recipe, as I wrote even with 450 g the dough was so wet that I could hardly work with it and it gave a too flat bread for my liking.. 
- put 750 ml flour from SOME of the flours, *sigh*, you have to figure out which ones if you use different types then the ones from my list, but from my list I would use 750 from King Arthur, Sprouts white and Gold Medal.
- measure it at least ones when you try a new flour
- just simply trust your fingers when you have more experience :).

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