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Frank Sally on Hand Mixing - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

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Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

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  • Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

    Frank Sally is an incredible bread maker and instructor at SFBI who I met when taking a class last summer. He was training for a major competition in France when I was there and his breads are incredible!

    Frank recently published an article on hand mixing that is likely to be of interest to a number of you. It is about creating flavor in bread and about how dough develops. I think it has significant implications for pizza as well. Link to the article is:
    Benefits of hand mixing bread

    Bake on!
    Jay

  • #2
    Re: Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

    Jay,
    Thanks for the article. Although I've yet to begin my bread-baking odyssey, I find quite interesting the oxidation parallel between bread and beer. (Once a beer's flavor profile has been fixed through the process of steeping grains and boiling with hops, if the resulting hot wort is mishandled, oxidation and off-flavors can be introduced). According to Frank, the mere application of a mechanized mixing process can affect the final volume and flavor components in bread, hence the benefit of hand-mixing.

    It must have been a treat to actually meet Frank, someone with such a wealth of knowledge and passion we would all like to have.

    John

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    • #3
      Re: Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

      Glad you found it insightful! SFBI is wonderful in that you get to SEE and FEEL the subtleties that you are unlikely to notice in the normal world. Example, intense mix baguettes are fine crumbed, WHITE, and bland compared to improved mix and short mix baguettes made from the same flour, water, salt, yeast at the same hydration (though the yeast has to be adjusted for the mix as Frank mentions in his article - you need more time to allow the acids to form to compensate for the lack of development compared to the intense mix. (Total time is not all that different but you use a longer bulk ferment on the short mix and a longer final proof on the intense. And...volume counts - you get more flavor out of a big batch. I am pretty confident that this is mainly that a larger mass has less surface to volume ratio and thus less leakage to the environment, thus retaining more volatiles and flavor compounds.)

      It seems a lot of the flavor compounds in dough are pretty fragile and either easily oxidized or somehow lost. I have never made beer but I will bet that vigorously aerating a wort (think that is the right term) would not improve the flavor of a beer!

      KA mixers add about a degree F of temperature to a dough for every minute of mixing at speed 2. KA supposedly says 2 minutes of speed 2 is the equivalent of 12 minutes of hand mixing. But hand mixing has almost NO effect on temp. And most chemical reaction rates double for a 7 degree F temp rise so if you mix with a KA for 5 minutes you will have a dough temp that oxidizing your dough/other items twice as fast as if by hand. Methinks you will also have put a lot more oxygen into your dough than by hand mixing but???

      If you make beer you really need to make bread. The spent grain bread in Reinhart's Whole Grain bread book is one of the best breads I have ever had!

      Thanks John!
      Jay

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      • #4
        Re: Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

        Thanks for the link Jay. It's interesting to have Frank's confirmation of some of the reasons I stopped using mechanical mixers in my breads. He nicely summed up a lot of tidbits noted by various bread gurus on benefits of hand mixing. As I've said elsewhere in the forum, the bigger batches of bread I do by hand (12-15#) are only a problem because of adequate lidded containers (than I can fit in coolers for their autolyze/pre-ferment times).

        Basically, if you are not into commercial production quantities then you just can't beat hand mixing--if for nothing else than the pure joy of creating a top quality product for your friends and neighbors at a very personal level. It truly is a gift from my heart when I give someone a loaf of my bread.
        Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
        Roseburg, Oregon ( www.sablesprings.com )
        Photo Albums: http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...BForum_Gallery

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        • #5
          Re: Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

          Good comments, Mike!

          At SFBI they use dough tubs (sold by their equipment arm). You can buy similar tubs at Restaurant Supply Stores. We did hand mixing in the tubs, and our spiral mixed dough went into tubs too for the bulk proof and S&F. No problem. They can be a bit bulky for retards but I am not particularly fond of retards for bread (though I do retard old dough as a bread additive and pizza dough) so fitting in the fridge is not an issue for me.

          Looks like I will be driving through Roseburg in about a year! May have to stop by and bake some bread!

          Be well!
          Jay

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          • #6
            Re: Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

            This is an excellent post - thanks Dr Jay.
            / Rossco

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            • #7
              Re: Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

              My pleasure, Rossco! Thought the aticle had an interesting spin. Familiar (especially since I went to SFBI last summer where Frank works and teache) but nuanced in an interesting way!

              Good to hear from you!
              Jay

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              • #8
                Re: Frank Sally on Hand Mixing

                It seems a lot of the flavor compounds in dough are pretty fragile and either easily oxidized or somehow lost. I have never made beer but I will bet that vigorously aerating a wort (think that is the right term) would not improve the flavor of a beer!
                Aerating a wort (yes, the proper term) is a good thing for proper yeast performance, but is best only after the wort has been chilled. Aerating a hot wort only stales the beer and invites beasties with your yeasties.

                If you make beer you really need to make bread. The spent grain bread in Reinhart's Whole Grain bread book is one of the best breads I have ever had!
                I have read through this recipe and can remember promising myself to make this bread once the oven is finished and I'm back into brewing mode!

                John

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