Craig Ponsford’s Tips & Tricks

You can use Community Grains flour in place of all purpose white flour for most of your recipes, but you will probably have to add a bit more liquid or fat.

Because these wheat flours can function differently, you might want to watch this video of how Master Baker Craig Ponsford uses our flour. The formulas are in baker’s math notation, so they’ll be a bit challenging for the home baker to translate, but you can get an idea of how the dough forms.

Tips for working with Community Grains Whole Grain Flour

Use metric weight measures  to free up recipes for adaption and scaling to nearly any size. The decimal system allows for change by way of ratios.

When adding liquids to dry ingredients, reserve some until almost incorporated – it help with overall texture.

Use water instead of flour to keep dough from sticking when you do your turns.  It works just as well, and considering the amount of water this flour takes, it may work better than additional flour.

Rice flour is a good substitute for wheat flour when portioning dough for further proofing.  It won’t absorb into the dough like wheat flours do.

Pre-ferments come in many flavors: sourdough starters, biga, poolish, etc.  Each has its own characteristics, but they all promote enzymes action, add complexity of flavor and jumpstart the production of gluten.

If your dough calls for coarse ingredients, add them as late in the mixing process as you can, as they tend to cut gluten threads.  The same goes for butter and other fats.  They will retard the gluten process by enveloping the flour, making it difficult for gluten formation.

When the recipes calls for eggs and liquids like water, you can adjust the liquid amount to account for variances in egg weight.

If you want artisan bakery-style bread from your home oven, don’t use a pizza stone.  Get some hearth stone bricks from a home improvement store.  They are thicker and therefore hold more radiant heat.  Also, when baking breads with low moisture content, to get that crisp crust, spray the oven and bricks with water a few times during baking.

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