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The use of Dough Retarders

The use of dough retarders in the Australian baking industry has flourished in recent years, to the extent that most bakers will have had some exposure to this method of dough processing (don’t be concerned if you haven’t as we discuss the technique here).

To explain, to retard dough is to delay the fermentation process for a period of time. This involves reducing and maintaining the temperature of the dough in a controlled humidity and temperature environment.

Generally, moulded dough pieces are placed into a retarder for a set period of time, e.g. 48 hours. This enables a bakery to produce a product to a stage where it can be stored in the retarded state. It can then be easily taken out of the retarder unit to be fully fermented and baked off at a time to suit.

Some retarder units have programmable facilities to allow automatic switching on and recovery to a fully proofed product, combining retarding and proofing functions.

Formulations for retarded doughs vary greatly depending on the type of product being made, but generally most formulations are suitable for retarding for some period of time. However, some changes to formulations, such as yeast levels, may be necessary. To give an example, enriched doughs are more receptive to retarding and can be given shorter recovery periods.

Recovery time will vary according to the formulation used, the size of the dough piece and the temperature and times chosen for retarding the products. These factors should be carefully monitored.

For consistent quality it is important that the retarder unit humidity level be maintained at a relative humidity of at least 85%. This will assist in the prevention of “skinning” on the surface of the product.

What is Bread Improver?

A bread improver is a flour-based blend of several components with specific functional properties designed to modify dough characteristics and give quality attributes to bread. Bread improvers are mostly made from a combination of enzymes in addition to various emulsifiers, soya flour and malt flour for their dough conditioning and improving properties.

Bread improvers have a range of functional benefits; they can enable the rapid development of a dough through to the finished baked product by reducing the time required to achieve a comparable result from the traditional long fermented doughs of the past.

The Function of Bread Improvers

There are 2 primary functions of bread improvers in dough:

1. Stimulate & Promote Gas Production by the Yeast.

Carbon dioxide is formed in a dough when the available sugars are broken down by various enzymes. Bread improvers promote the continuous and constant production of gas throughout the fermentation period until the yeast activity is stopped by the high temperatures in the baking oven.

2. Aids in Gas Retention.

Bread improvers are manufactured for the many styles of dough making and mixing equipment in use today.

Bread improvers rapidly modify the gluten structure in a dough, to produce a matrix so that the minimum amount of gas can be retained and hence assist the expansion or leavening of the dough.

Bread improvers may also carry within them a blend of enzymes that assist in the gluten matrix modification as well as yeast foods or sources of nitrogen for the yeast to use. It is important for the baker to be aware of the differences between bread improvers as one used successfully in a particular application may encourage too much softening or strengthening of the gluten matrix when used in another. This could lead to major and costly problems in the bakery.

Once the correct bread improver has been selected for an application, it must be used at the correct usage rate.

What is Bread Flour?

Wheat is a natural raw ingredient which is variable in nature. The Milling of Bread Flour is the physical grinding of wheat into flour and consists of two main components – Gluten and Starch.

Gluten is a unique protein found in Wheat which makes it suitable for bread making. The Protein content in Bread Flour has a greater influence on overall processing quality than any other single factor. Once hydrated and developed, the gluten in the dough forms a matrix which retains the gas produced by the yeast and forms the structure of the loaf.

The second main component of Bread Flour is Starch – together with added water, starch provides the bulk of the loaf.

There are four basic factors which affect bread flour quality;

1. Milling quality (yield / colour)

2. Grain hardness

3. Protein content

4. Dough strength

There is more to better baking quality than specifications, and the real art of flour milling is blending the right combination of wheats to achieve a consistent Bread Flour. The secret is selecting the right wheat varieties. Although wheat varieties differ in their capacity to accumulate protein, the environment is the major determinant of the protein level of wheat and depends on a number of factors including; Variety, Locality, Environment and Soil Fertility.

How do we manage Bread Flour quality at the mill?

Through a process known as Best Value Gristing (BVG). Each year as the wheat crop is harvested (August – January), the batch of new seasons wheat from different buying locations are baked and tested to identify the preferred regions. The wheat varieties that perform best are selected and milled to deliver optimal baking quality and value. This process helps to level out the quality variations seen from season-to-season and deliver consistent product to our customers.

Wheat is the largest grain crop grown in Australia averaging 16 million tonnes annually and is grown across each state. Wheat is graded and grouped into a number of classes;

Classes of Australian Wheat

Australian Prime Hard
Prime Hard has excellent milling quality and targets a minimum protein level of 13%.

Australian Hard
Australian Hard also has excellent milling properties at a minimum protein level of 11.5%.

Australian Premium White
This wheat also exhibits excellent milling properties and is a selection of hard grained varieties with a guaranteed minimum protein of 10%.

Australian Standard White (ASW)
Protein segregation has been introduced for ASW but each delivery must be of an approved or recommended variety. Australian Standard White wheat therefore covers a wide range of protein content, hardness and inherent strength.

Australian Soft
This class consists of typical soft biscuit wheat varieties. The low protein and weak extensible dough properties make the flour milled from this wheat very suitable for biscuit and other soft wheat end uses.

Protein Levels

  • Victory flour is our highest protein flour that ranges between 11.5% – 12.8%.
  • Soft Biscuit Flour is our lowest protein flour with the range of 7.5 – 10.
  • Biscuit flour 7.5 – 10% protein
  • Pastry Flour 10.4 – 11.2%

International Coffee Day 29 August 2020

Next week (29th August) is the day you have been waiting for. The day you can relish in your morning ritual and soak up the warming of your soul. The day you can have all the cups you want (in moderation of course!) International Coffee Day! And to mark this day, we have a new recipe that serves as the perfect winter pick me up! Cappuccino custard cream (with added chocolate shavings for all those chocolate lovers).

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTSWEIGHT
BCM-8 Custard Mix0.500kg
Cold Water0.500kg
Boiling Water1.500kg
Coffee Flavouring0.010kg
Espresso (optional)2 shots
Thickened Cream0.800kg

METHOD

STEP 01

Add BCM-8 or Smooth Set Baked Custard Mix to cold water and stir until smooth.

STEP 02

Add the smooth mix to boiling water while stirring. Bring to the boil.

STEP 03

Add coffee flavouring and espresso shot and cool custard for 1 hr in the fridge.

STEP 04

Once custard is cooled, fold into whipped cream to lighten mixture.

STEP 05

Place coffee custard crème into a piping bag and fill coffee cups above the rim.

STEP 06

Decorate with a light dusting of cocoa powder and chocolate shavings. Serve chilled.

ORDER NOW

Contact your MAURI Account Executive or our Customer Service Team on 1800 649 494.

Pasta Challenge Tips & Recipe

Following the amazing response to our Victorian team’s Pasta Challenge, we call our MAURI followers to join in! To give you a kick-start, here are the teams tips and a recipe for fresh semolina pasta.

TIPS

The team had a number of tips to share from their pasta adventures:

  • I found when making Gnocchi, it is best to steam the potatoes not boil so you don’t get too much moisture in them.
  • When making spaghetti, make sure you dust with flour after final thickness is achieved to stop it sticking together and becoming a big clump.
  • It’s not as difficult as it sounds/looks. Make sure you have plenty of Semolina for dusting and roll it as thin as you can!

However John Maurici, our resident industry pie judge and pasta connoisseur summed it up pretty well!

1. Trust Your Gut

Making pasta from scratch is really more about a feeling, rather than measurements. Depending on the humidity, the flour, the size of the eggs, you may need more or less flour going along, so getting a feel for the dough is essential.

2. Take A Rest

After kneading, it will be time for a rest – for the dough that is! Let the dough relax for at least an hour before proceeding. This will make it smoother and easier to deal with when rolling it out.

3. Salt Cooking Water Generously

Pasta water should be salted to taste like the ocean (or the Mediterranean!) – because that is going to flavour the homemade pasta.

4. Fresh Pasta Freezes Well

Fresh pasta can also be frozen for future meals. Just put the baking sheet of pasta into the freezer for about 15 minutes – to keep the pasta bundles from sticking together – and then transfer to a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Frozen pasta should be cooked directly from the freezer. Add about 30 seconds to 1 minute to the cooking time.

5. Last tip

If nothing work out, call mum (Mrs Maurici) and let her know that you’re bringing the family over for a fresh plate of pasta at her house!

So now you have the tips covered, lets dive into the recipe so you can get involved!

FRESH SEMOLINA EGG PASTA RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTSWEIGHT
MAURI Durum Semolina 1 Cup
MAURI Plain Flour1/2 Cup
(and an extra 1/2 cup for dusting bench)
Large Eggs2
Olive Oil2 Tbsp
Water2 Tbsp
Salt1/2 Tsp

METHOD

STEP 01

Mix all ingredients well with your hands in a suitable sized bowl till a sticky dough forms.

STEP 02

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and proceed to knead by grabbing the top of the dough, folding from the top by half. Then using the heel of your hand, press the folded dough into the fold firmly. Turn the dough 1/4 turn and repeat. Add flour as needed to aid in the process or absorb excess moisture. Proceed to knead for 10 minutes. (Or you could just bring out the Hobart mixer and watch this process!)

STEP 03

Once the dough is smooth on the outside, you need to place it into a plastic bag and let it rest in the fridge for 20 min or even overnight if desired.

STEP 04

Once rested, you may proceed with the sheeting process using your Pasta Machine or roll it out using a rolling pin. For the Pasta Machine, use the largest setting and then run it through, dusting the pasta with flour first and in between. Then fold it in half and repeat this 6 times. Let it rest for a few minutes and then proceed to run sheeted pasta through the rollers going down each number on the dial until you get the desired thickness.

 

NOTE: For Ravioli, roll until you can see the shadow of your hand behind the pasta.

 

If you are cutting Pappardelle or Fettuccinie, you may want to leave it thicker, same for Spaghetti.

 

Sheeted pasta may also be cut on the table with the wavy wheel cutter. Try cutting rectangles and pinching them in the centre to make Farfalle.

STEP 05

Once the Pasta is sheeted, you may proceed with filling for Ravioli or cook and drain large squares to create Manicotti, Cannelloni or Lasagne.

STEP 06

Cut long Pasta may be frozen in sealable bags and cooked in salted boiled water when needed. You may also have the water going and once the pasta is cut, drop it in. Now that’s fresh Pasta!

STEP 07

Fresh Egg Pasta does not take long to cook. Be sure you have plenty of salted boiling water and taste the water to be sure there is enough salt for your taste. Drop the Pasta in to the boiling water and stir to prevent sticking. After 3 minutes or when the Pasta begins to float to the top grab a piece and take a bite. (Use tongs or a spoon) The Pasta should be tender to the bite but not “mushed”!

STEP 08

Drain the Pasta immediately and toss with a small amount of Olive Oil, do not rinse it! Now top with your favourite sauces & enjoy!

ORDER NOW

Contact your MAURI Account Executive or our Customer Service Team on 1800 649 494.

Q&A with Ryan Khun of Country Cob Bakery, winner of Australia’s Best Pie 2 years running

We recently spoke with one of our brand ambassadors, Ryan Khun of Country Cob Bakery in Kyneton, Victoria in the lead up to Australia’s Best Pie & Pastie Competition. Having claimed the title of Australia’s Best Pie 2 years running, we wanted to check in with Ryan to see how his preparations are tracking for this year’s competition and how his team were coping given the recent changes to everyday life. Keep reading for the full interview!

1. How have the last 6 months been for you guys?

It has been a bit tough, not just for us, but all businesses. The winter months tend to be our busiest time with people often coming and treating themselves to a heart-warming pie, however if we compare these winter months to those of last year, it is really clear to see that business has slowed down considerably. We really feel for everyone during these tough times and are just trying to do the best we can to keep spirits up by creating new recipes and products in our stores.

2. We’ve seen some of your new creations on your Instagram, what dish is the most popular at the moment? The slices or pies?

A bit of both actually! But pies are still our main seller here. We are well known for our pies and this is mostly due to our huge range of variety. We are constantly coming up with new flavours and recipes, so we have lots of customers coming in (both new and our regulars!) to give these new creations a trial. However, our slices are pretty popular too. Over the last few weeks, we have been trying to mix it up a bit (pardon the pun). We’ve been experimenting in trying something new, special, innovative in order to bring people back in, particularly if it can bring a bit of excitement to their lives!

3. How are you preparing for Australia’s Best Pie & Pastie Comp?

Just like last year, we are working very hard on the new recipes and flavours. There’s lots of trials and errors! We (try) to be ready and have created a few new surprises so hoping for some luck to bring the trophy home for a 3rd time!

4. What tips do you have for first time entries?

With business slowing down and some spare time becoming available as a result, I would say to take this time and opportunity to start experimenting. It’s the perfect time to put on your creative hat and start trialling new creations. If you think your pie is good, why not enter it! It will only benefit both yourself, and your business. We have failed so many times over the years (5-10 years!) before we won the big one, so keep going!

5. What categories are you entering in this year?

We are entering around 10-20% of the Pie categories, and probably about 4-5 of the Pastie categories.

6. Of all your creations to date, which has been your favourite?

Probably have to say the Pork & Pepper Pie which was last year’s Competition winner. It has now become a permanent feature on our menu.

National Lamington Day

The National Day for one of Australia’s icons, the Lamington, is coming up on 21st July. A staple treat lining the bakery cabinet of bakeries across Australia for over 100 years, we couldn’t let the day pass without sharing one of our lamington recipes, with a twist of course! Try our double chocolate lamington recipe and let us know how it stacks up against the classic!

INGREDIENTS

IngredientsWeight
Lamington
MAURI NCF Utility Cake Mix2.000kg
Eggs0.400kg
Water0.800kg
Fine dark cocoa powder 0.280kg
Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Icing sugar 0.950kg
Cocoa powder (sieved) 0.150kg
Boiling water0.160kg
Unsalted butter (melted)0.150kg
Chocolate Buttercream
Castor sugar0.300kg
Water0.180kg
Glucose0.150kg
Egg yolks18pce
Unsalted butter (softened) 0.900kg
Dark Chocolate 0.210kg

LAMINGTON METHOD

STEP 01

Add water, eggs and NCF Utility Cake Mix in a bowl.

STEP 02

Using a whisk attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down.

STEP 03

Mix for a further 5 minutes on high speed.

STEP 04

Mix for a further 5 minutes on medium speed.

STEP 05

Fold in by hand the cocoa powder and mix well to combine.

STEP 06

Scale off mixture into baking paper lined 600 x 400mm slab tray/pan at 3000g.

STEP 07

Bake at approximately 175°C for 25 minutes.

CHOCOLATE DIPPING SAUCE METHOD

STEP 01

Mix all ingredients together, whisking by hand until smooth and free of lumps.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM METHOD

STEP 01

Boil the water, glucose and sugar together and cook syrup to 120°C (soft ball stage).

STEP 02

Blend egg yolks in a mixing bowl on medium speed.

STEP 03

Once the sugar syrup has reached 120°C, slowly stream the hot mixture over the whisking eggs until all syrup is in the bowl.

STEP 04

Turn speed of machine up to high and continue to whisk until mixture cools down and doubles in volume.

STEP 05

Fold the softened butter into the egg mixture and continue to mix until light and aerated.

STEP 06

Lastly, whisk in melted dark chocolate and mix until smooth and well combined.

ASSEMBLY

STEP 01

Cut lamington cake into 6cm squares.

STEP 02

Dip lamington in warm chocolate sauce and roll in shredded coconut.

STEP 03

Set lamingtons aside in the fridge to set.

STEP 04

Cut lamingtons in half and fill with chocolate buttercream using a star shape-piping nozzle.

Baking times will vary depending on the oven.

ORDER NOW

Contact your MAURI Account Executive or our Customer Service Team on 1800 649 494.

The importance of baking conditions on bread

A well-controlled oven has an important influence upon the overall quality of a loaf of bread. Oven conditions require the heat transfer mechanisms of convection, conduction and radiation. The effectiveness of these mechanisms may influence the choice of oven design and type and play an important role in considering the style of bread to be baked. However, regardless of the oven design, problems may be encountered during the baking process when incorrect baking conditions are applied. Common baking problems include:

Poor Heat Distribution

Unevenly baked bread can be the result of an oven that does not distribute heat properly. Evenly distributed top and bottom heat is an essential requirement of good baking conditions in order to avoid faults such as “side wall collapse”.

Insufficient Oven Heat

Insufficient oven heat (cool oven) will produce bread that has excessive volume, harsh texture, poor crumb colour, poor crumb softness and a thick pale crust. The shelf life of the bread may also be affected. In order to avoid or reduce some of these faults, bread baked in these types of ovens will usually require a reduction in final proof time.

Excessive Oven Heat

Excessive oven heat (hot oven) will produce bread having reduced volume; dark and brittle top, bottom and side crusts; unevenly baked sides; harsh crumb characteristics; poor crumb softness and poor keeping quality.

Incorrect Pan Spacing

For even and thorough baking of the loaf correct spacing of the baking pans is essential. Regardless of the oven design, pans placed closely to one another restrict the circulation of heat within the baking chamber. This will generally result in unevenly baked bread. A space of approximately 5-25 mm between the baking pans is usually sufficient for adequate heat circulation.

Steam

Bakers have used the introduction of steam into the baking oven, with the primary purpose of modifying crust characteristics, for many generations. The injection of steam ensures that an attractive crust is achieved whilst also assisting oven spring and loaf volume. An oven having low steam levels or no steam at all usually results in the bread having tough leathery crust characteristics, poor crust colour and bloom, poor oven spring and a tendency for the top crust to separate easily from the crumb.

Excessive quantities of steam may result in “blisters” forming on the surface of the crust of the bread. Therefore, the correct time, temperature and amount of steam introduced into the oven will vary according to the type of oven. Care should be taken to ensure only the correct steaming conditions are applied to the bread. During the baking period the bread will also produce it’s own steam ensuring a humid atmosphere exists within the baking chamber. To utilise this some ovens have been designed to make use of this principle and usually do not require additional steam injection.

Home Baking ‘Hacks’

Sharing the kitchen secrets of Australian bakers!

With Australians spending more time in their kitchens, professional and home bakers have been exploring their love for cooking and baking. Every week, the MAURI Instagram and Facebook pages are filled with new tasty tips, tempting treats and curious creations from kitchens right across the country.

Let’s share the ideas and inspiration!

At MAURI we’ve always believed in the power of ‘Baking Better Together.’ In fact, one of the greatest things about baking is no matter how experienced we are in the kitchen, there’s always more to be learned from our fellow bakers. We actively encourage the sharing of ideas and inspiration – and to kick things off, we’ve pulled together a list of 8 super-handy ‘Home Baking Hacks’ to try out for yourself.

If you have more baking tips to share, we’d love to hear from you on the MAURI Instagram or Facebook pages using #bakingbettertogether. Happy baking!

#1 Signs your Sour Starter is ready

  • Baking sourdough? Then always remember the float test! If your sour starter doesn’t float, don’t mix it yet.

#2 Signs your dough is ready (proofed) for the oven

  • Well rested dough is light, airy and will wobble
  • If you press it with your fingers it should also spring back a little, but leave an impression.

#3 Brilliantly baked bread in a home oven

  • Preheat your oven to 240°C for at least 45mins, with a pizza stone or cast iron pot on the middle shelf
  • After cutting the top of the dough, place it into the pot with the lid on
  • After 20 minutes take the lid off, and bake for a further 20 minutes.

#4 When is your dough fully baked?

  • It sounds hollow when you tap it
  • When you cut it you can see lots of bubbles.

#5 Temperature matters

  • Always pay careful attention when it comes to the temperature of your oven and also for ingredients like butter and eggs. If the recipe says room temperature, make sure it is between 20 and 25°C!

#6 Give your yeast a lift

  • Storing dry active yeast in the freezer helps it retain its lifting power.

#7 You knead to know this

  • When baking bread one of the easiest mistakes is to over or under knead your dough
  • You’ll know your dough is ready when you can stretch it 5-10cm without breaking.

#8 Baking is both an art and a science

  • It takes time to perfect baking a sourdough, especially in the home kitchen. If at first you fail, determine what may have not worked and try, try again!

 

WHAT’S YOUR HOME BAKING HACK?

Share it with Australia at the MAURI Instagram or Facebook pages using the tags @mauri_australia and #bakingbettertogether.

The ‘Autolyse method’: a different way to bake

With Australians spending more time at home than usual right now, many are finding sanctuary in the kitchen. This includes thousands of professional and home bakers, as well as members of our own internal team here at MAURI who’ve been using their downtime to get back to what they love….baking. We’ve been sharing some of their wonderful creations on Facebook and Instagram and we’ll continue to do so. One of the most interesting recent recipes features a baking technique known as ‘autolyse.’ If you’re not familiar with it, don’t worry, you’re not alone!

What is autolyse baking?

Autolyse was first discovered back in the mid-1970s by a French Master Baker, Professor Raymond Calvel. During a series of bread baking experiments, he found extending the rest period of his mixture could greatly improve the links between starch, gluten and water – so when the mixing process was restarted, the dough attained a wonderfully smooth state far more quickly than usual.

How does the process work?

The basic principle of autolyse baking is very simple. Some (or even all) of the water and flour used in your bread mixture is pre-blended and then set to rest for an extended period of time. Doing this allows you to condition the gluten before adding the active ingredients – a technique that can deliver a dough with absolutely delicious results.

This tempting batch of baguettes, above, is a great example. One of our bakers made these recently at home using the autolyse method. He rested his mixture for 3 hours before adding in the salt and yeast. While resting times will vary from recipe to recipe, and are always open to some experimentation, he assures us the longer you rest your mixture the better!

Ready to try autolyse for yourself?

If you’re interested in trying the autolyse method, here’s the exact recipe used by our baguette baker:

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTSWEIGHT
MAURI Baker's Extra Flour1.380kg
Salt0.020kg
MAURI Dried Yeast0.0085kg
Water0.930kg
Oil0.015kg
Optional

METHOD

STEP 01

Mix Flour and Water together and blend at low speed for 2-5 minutes.

STEP 02

This brings us to the Autolyse Stage. Here we need to rest the dough for 2 – 4 hours at 23–25C.

STEP 03

Add Salt + Yeast and any other side ingredients and mix to achieve full dough development.

STEP 04

Rest in a tub for 1 hour, stretching and folding it every 20 mins.

STEP 05

Scale and shape as desired.

STEP 06

Proof until ready.

STEP 07

Bake at roughly 190C for 25 mins*
*Baking temperature is different for every oven, so aim to bake for a set time and adjust the temperature as required.

STEP 08

Allow to cool and eat when ready!

These instructions may vary depending on manufacturer’s premises and equipment used.

Join us in the baking of your own sourdough creations! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date on the challenge!

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