It really is a shame about bleached white flour isn't it? That is just one of one of the many fabulous points I took away from my attendance at this evening's King Arthur Flour Demo.
The demo was led by baking instructor Jessica Meyers and what fun is she! She led us through a recipe for Basic Sweet Bread Dough which included the use of a sponge (a mixture of flour, water, sugar, and yeast) and yogurt (plain, vanilla, or strawberry!). She used the dough to make a braided loaf filled with a cheese and chocolate mixture and a batch of cinnamon rolls.
Here are a few of the little gems I am taking away from the demo:
- I knead my dough way too enthusiastically, after watching Jessica I will definitely be revising my technique into more of a folding/turning method and not so much of an attack method.
- A filled and braided loaf looks easy to make and super delicious - I will be making this soon!
- Bleached white flour really is a shame. Companys producing this flour take a less than desirable wheat and process into the mineral center of the grain in order to develope the grain's gluten and make it more desirable; however, this process makes the flour have a gray tinge and so they then bleach the flour to make it white. The bleaching process strips the flour of any nutrients and strength it may have had and so they then have put it through another chemical treatment in order to strengthen and enrich it. The really sad part is that this type of flour is the most widely used in store bought baked goods. King Arthur Flour takes pride in the fact that they choose only the highest quality of wheat to make their flours and so it never goes through these chemical processes - and it has a lovely creamy natural color!
- Be careful how you measure your flour! You don't nessesarily have to sift the flour but nomatter what - don't scoop it into your measuring cup! You should hold your measuring cup in one hand and use a scoop to shake flour into the cup then gently smooth the top. Packing flour into the measuring cup will result in an overfloured and dry dough.
-Mmmm cinnamon rolls. When making these you want to use egg or gelitin to create the stickiness between the layers - using a layer of melted butter will have the opposite effect and your rolls with fall apart.
The Baking Sheet. Ten years of recipes! What fun!
All in all, a great time was had by all and I will be watching the website for next year's demo locations - hopefully there is one nearby!