?_Lehmann:

I might also add one other thing to my last posted response, when you have a flour that is high in damaged starch (common in many countries, but not in the U.S.) your first tip-off will be that the dough seems to have an endless affinity for water. I’ve seen as much as 65 to 70% absorption (water added based on the flour weight) before the dough has a “normal” feel to it, but alas! The fun has yet to begin, for now we ferment the dough (put it into the cooler) and when we come back to it on the following day we find a box full of what appears to be a creamy colored slime (that ain’t no exaggeratinn folks!). It seems that the naturally present amylase enzymes in the flour have hydrolized (converted) the damaged starch into sugars, thus the starch isn’t there to hold all of that water anymore, and hence the reason for the creamy colores, sticky goo in the dough boxes. Been there, done that…and more than once I must admit. Now, whenever I encounter a high absorption flour outside of the U.S. I’m really gun shy. The only way to cope with the situation is to add the water (you don’t have any choice) and then be sure to limit the amount of fermentation that the dough is exposed to. I’ve found that I can normally get away with not much more than 2-hours total fermentation time. That means 2-hours from mixer to oven. Par-baking the crust is a good option here, as it allows us to use the dough/crusts over a greater period of time.
Thanks for putting in the good words for me! I’ve just returned from a marathon travel schedule of more than 3-months out and only being home on the weekends. That’s all behind me now, and I will be spending more time in the office over the the summer months.
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor