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organic preservatives for organic flours | Sourdough Companion

organic preservatives for organic flours

now sugar can be used as a preservative to a certain extent as a natural preservative ie. (organic honey ,molasess ,malt extract helps) but really it would need to be vast amounts and would effect the bread.
salt works to some extent but the problem there is obvious.
now what organic product can preserve a 100% organic sourdough more than it already is? bake it longer to thicken the crust ,mix it the exact amount as not to overmix or undermix reducing the shelf life?

I ask this because its something i cant figure out ,there is a massive boost on organic bread but most can only be enjoyed for the day and at the end of the day is best as toast ,organic flour makes for a dry lifeless loaf(not to mention the low 6-10% gluten content. Ive added gluten to increase the life and appearance but really there is nothing organic about adding vital wheat gluten as its sure not organic ,i can appreciate a 100% organic levain for the unigue earthy flavour and colour but ide much rather add premium unbleached wheat flour to it as its a much more enjoyable product.

Im only young and wouldnt mind some info from some of you old codgers out there

Very Happy

ide also like to make a note that im not adding any commercial yeast or improvers .... ive tried organic orange juice (vit c) and its not much better than before and the cost is great.

comment as ide like to know if other people find this a problem!

yes i know that the sour content acts as a preservative but one day old sourdough that cant be enjoyed the next day cant be enjoyed if you know what im saying... cheers!

15 comments

[quote]
>I ask this because its something i cant figure out ,there is a massive >boost on organic bread but most can only be enjoyed for the day and at >the end of the day is best as toast ,organic flour makes for a dry lifeless >loaf(not to mention the low 6-10% gluten content. Ive added gluten to >increase the life and appearance but really there is nothing organic >about adding vital wheat gluten as its sure not organic ,i can appreciate >a 100% >organic levain for the unigue earthy flavour and colour but ide >much rather add >premium unbleached wheat flour to it as its a much >more enjoyable product
[/quote]

A flour for bread making does not have 6-10% gluten content....That is too low..
Consider gluten is flour protein already hydrated that is wet gluten so its content should be above 30%

A 6-10% gluten flour will make a lousy bread,,,its a weak flour suited for other baking purposes
If you are thinking about dry gluten values then its roughly a third of the wet gltuen value .
Actually its 11-12 % for bread making flours.(which can be equated to 33-36% wet gluten values. (10% is just for plain flour )

Now you said that you add gluten to improve the hydration prolonging the softness of the bread...but that is not preservation...you just want to maintain the softness which can be equated by most people as freshness so that you can enjoy the unique flavor and texture.
A dry bread is deficient in aromas.

How about reviewing your techniques in detail and see what makes your bread dry faster...

Hi BCooper,

Just wondering if you have switched flours yet? If so, has it improved the shelflife of your breads?

[quote]
whats your bakery? i might drop in for a peek
[/quote]
Firebrand Sourdough Bakery, you're welcome to visit.

I've never liked any flour from wholegrain company, always dry & cardboardy. I haven't tried it for years, it was very high in protein in the past.

[quote]
Ide like to know if you use a 100% natural levain
[/quote]
For sure, about 30 years old, every dough is flour, leaven, water and salt (and sweat).

Hi BCooper, it's kurt here again..

We use 100% organic flour and produce the most moist loaves. Our bread lasts days and gets better as it goes. Similiar to the description about the french loaf. The bigger it is the more it lasts. Our small loaves are good for two day and chefs that use us say the loaves can be refreshed in the oven with a blast and a little water sprayed.

I will be in Melbourne during April and would love to stick my head in..

All the best

Oops, you want white flour, Laucke Mills, SA again, do a good organic U/B white.

whats your bakery? i might drop in for a peek.
Im using the wholegrain companys biodynamic unbleached organic flour ,thats as organic as it gets and altho my loaves do keep long enough for what they are used for ide like longer as ive stated. Whats your experience with the biodynamic unbleached white flour in Australia ? wholegrain are a south australian company like most. Laucke are certified organic?

Ide like to know if you use a 100% natural levain (or other) in your sourdoughs because obviously the commercial yeast and improvers do alot in all aspects of the final product.

Confused

but of course if you were doing that it would have nothing to do with this thread

Confused

Which flour are you using? I highly recommend Four Leaf Biodynamic 100% stoneground wholewheat from South Australia.
If you cant find some, I can give you some to try, I'm closeby in Ripponlea (East St.Kilda).

The organic flour is a denser loaf due to lack of Gluten strength. most likely the longer it takes to bake the more moisture would be drawn from the loaf as there isnt much body to it.You could bake it for a shorter period of time but then the flavour wouldnt have been baked into the loaf.Im 100% sure it is the organic being preservative free that shortens the shelf life ,ive tested all things.
Ide like to see the naturaly grown flavour ,it would be how flour is supposed to taste ,i guess perhaps i just want a great flavour to keep longer.

[quote="bcooper"]
yes i dont know how much the organic thing has hit france ,im really baffled how much of a shorter life the organic flour has compared to other strong flours when it becomes a loaf.
Im using 40% levain atm in that recipe. its a great loaf of bread and we use it all within the day but i still like to know why so much and what could improve it.
[/quote]

BCooper,

To make sure I understand this...at the end of the day your breads are drying out...including the crumb? Are you doing an autolyse? Is this happening to all of your breads using levain? Are you retarding your breads or proofing them straight in room temperature? Do you get the same problem when you use non-organic unbleached flour?

Doughman

yes i dont know how much the organic thing has hit france ,im really baffled how much of a shorter life the organic flour has compared to other strong flours when it becomes a loaf.
Im using 40% levain atm in that recipe. its a great loaf of bread and we use it all within the day but i still like to know why so much and what could improve it.

[quote="Anonymous"]
It only happens with unbleached organic flours ,i have tried to push the levels of hydration up in an attempt to elasticise the gluten strands and moisten the crumb , this doesnt work well for the volume of the loaf mainly due to the low gluten content in organic flour ,now if i was to add the wheat gluten accordingly to bring the level up to 12-14 % then it would no longer be organic and i would have to test the proteins in every batch of flour i get in.

I know you can get a strong unbleached organic white flour in the states with the 12-14% gluten content but im yet to see any local mills doing this in australia. If you know of any post onto the forum ,it would be great to see 100% australian organic sourdoughs.

Does anyone know of any organic preservatives besides the orange juice?

I could add the soya as an emulsifier (organic ground beans) ,but that would make it to soft to be a crusty sourdough.
[/quote]

Bcooper,

The % of protein that we use in our flour is between 11 and 12%. What % of levain are you using in the final dough? I've never had problems with my breads where the shelf life expired so quickly. Could the weather be a factor? I know if the humidity is high, that can shorten the shelf life of bread.

When I was in Paris back in April, I visited Eric Kayser's baker "Maison Kayser." I purchased a bread from his bakery. It claimed that it had levain or sourdough in it though it didn't taste very sour. The French don't like their breads that sour like SF sourdough. Anyway, I tore off a piece of the bread and nibble at it, and the rest I put back in the bag and rolled it up. On the 2nd day, I nibbled at the bread again. You know how you tear off a piece of the bread and when you let it go for a while, it gets stale? Well, his bread was still fresh. No signs of staleness on the 2nd day. On the 3rd day I nibbled at it again. The torn off piece was still fresh. It wasn't staled. Now on the 4th day, the torn off piece started to show signs of staleness, and it was getting a bit hard as well, but it was still edible. Now, I believe the flours they use in France has a lower protein content than that of the U.S. I don't know how much really.

Just food for thought.

Doughman

I prefer a sourdough to retain its moisture ,i see what your saying but making a loaf of bread that is toast by lunchtime doesnt sit well with me,i think there is always room for improvement ....just with this one there is guidlines.

anyone got any information for me?

I think it is just the way it should be. Breads should be enjoyed everyday with a trip to the bread shop. It is this idea of prolonging the product that has created all the e numbers and other rubbish that bakers wish to aviod.

Day one - fresh, day two - toast (if there is anything left) day three - crutons for salad or soup. Let the punters work it out.

Of course, freshly ground coffee is always more enjoyable than instant..