Technique and Knowledge

Flour, strength and elasticity, W and P/L

Among the technological characteristics of the flour strength and elasticity are of great importance as well as the related indices that characterize it.
The strength of the flour is the ability to absorb water during kneading, and to retain the carbon dioxide during the leavening, it depends on the amount of protein (and thus of gluten developed) present in the flour itself.
A strong flour will absorb a high percentage of water and will be able to withstand long leavening time. Conversely, a weak flour will absorb little water and will have little ability to retain carbon dioxide rise.
The index that measures the strength of the flour is the W, is measured by the Chopin’s Alveograph.
The P / L measure the rheological properties of flour indicating the degree of balance between strength and extensibility. Usually it considers a balanced flour the one that ranges between 0.6 and 0.7; a value > 0.9 corresponds to a tenacious floue and if <0.5 a flour is considered elastic.

Flour types, ashes and sifting

The famous 00 and 0 flour types are part of a scale of broader classification: 00, 0, 1, 2, integral. This classification (not used outside the Italian borders) depends on the ash content of flour: the ashes (mineral salts) are what remains from the carbonization of flour for at least 6 hours at about 600 ° C.
The amount of ash indicates the degree of refining of the flour, or how much and which part of the grain will constitute the finished product. The 00 is the whitest flour, made from the center of the grain (endosperm), while wheat flour is that which contains more fiber, including all parts of the grain.
To obtain the various types of flour, the miller controls the blending of the various products obtained from the milling and previously separated by sieving.

The wheat germ

Wheat germ is the embryo of the plant and as vital core responsible for its birth and growth, contains a variety and incredible amount of valuable substances: vitamin E, B vitamins, several minerals including phosphorus, zinc and magnesium, as well as proteins, essential fatty acids and fiber. In bakery products and confectionery can replace a significant portion of the fat typically used, including improving the nutritional quality of the final result. its special composition makes it an incredible resource for the human body: in addition to being an ally of the metabolism and the nervous system, its antioxidant is able to counter the level of free radicals.

How to preserve the flour?

The flour should be stored at room temperature (ideally 15-25 ° C) in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place away from sources of light and heat. We recommend keeping it in paper bags original perforated allowing perspiration.
It also advisable to let it “age the flour, or let it stand for at least 18 days from the date indicated on the lot of grinding in the original packaging. The freshly milled flour is weaker and tends to form a dough very sticky given the low water absorption while also limiting the capacity for development of the dough and finished product.