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Old 09-16-2006, 09:21 AM   #1
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Cool Soft Bread?

I am searching for the kind of bread flour that will produce a soft internal crumb in hard crusted breads. Several years ago I purchased a 25 pound bag of bread flor at Sam's Club which produced a wonderfully soft bread crumb. I have never been alble to duplicate the product of that flour since. What I want is a french or Itlalian bread product that is like the supermarket's in house bakery product. I have done much experimenting and have tried every bread flour that I can get ahold of . I have also added gluten to these flours. It seems that the bread always has a yellowish transparent consistincy at the bottom of the loaf, or sometimes swirled through it. The top of the loaf is usually white and fluffy. I would appreciate any help with this problem. Thanks.

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Old 09-16-2006, 10:24 AM   #2
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I believe that if you use "soft wheat" flour (I think there's a brand called Lily) as opposed to "hard wheat" flour (like Gold Medal) you'll get a softer fluffier "crumb" (the internal soft part) in the bread.

For the record, I believe that soft wheat flour has less gluten than hard wheat flour. Gluten is what binds the flour together and produces a firmer loaf, so adding it to flour would be going in the opposite direction of where you say you want to head.

You say that you want the soft crumb like Italian or French bread, which is a bit confusing to me, because standard French bread (i.e. a baguette) has what I would call a chewy consistency inside. For that type of bread, you'll need flour with a high protein content and made from hard wheat. King Arthur Flour makes "French Style" bread flour, sold on-line at Amazon or through The Baker's Catalogue.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:29 AM   #3
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It was confusing to me also in the post above which I replied to. If it is "French style" flour, it will (hopefully) make that wonderfully chewy bread--not fine crumbed.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:38 AM   #4
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Yes, that flour does make nice, chewy bread!

There is a French bread called "pain de mie" (crumb bread) made just to get soft bread crumbs, but it's not the table bread.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:56 AM   #5
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Can we get these two threads combined please Alix or GB?

And pain de mie doesn't have the crumb described for the supermarket "French" bread--which is not at all French or Italian in its texture. Only its shape(s).
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:22 PM   #6
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Supermarket French bread is actually bendable! It ain't what I would call French bread! French bread has a crispy crust, a chewy interior, and self-destructs (hardens) after 1 day.
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:11 PM   #7
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And tastes good!! To me supermarket "French" bread is pretty blah and is just "bread".
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