Home Bread-Bakers v104.n023.5

Re: fava bean flour in bread

Pete Solis <pete@sollasolew.com>
Sat, 8 May 2004 10:50:12 -0400
Fava bean flour is one of the worst things you can possibly do to bread. It 
acts as a bleaching/oxidizing agent and will do irreparable damage to the 
color of your bread's crumb and taste.

Back in the aftermath of WW2, french wheat was consistently hypodiastatic 
every two years out of three. This means that the color of the finished 
bread's crust would be pale and ugly. Millers began adding fava bean flour 
to add more enzymes to correct this problem. It also had the unintended 
consequence of bleaching and ruining the bread.

The only reasons that this practice is continued today is tradition and the 
myth and misconception that customers like really white, insipid bread.

You're better off making bread without additives, honestly.

The french bakers who use fava bean flour also mix their bread for far too 
long and because of the oxidizing this causes must almost omit the bulk 
fermentation. They do end up with loftier loaves. But they sacrifice aroma, 
taste, and nutrition.

If you want an amazing explaination of this (and other) additives, check 
out "The Taste of Bread" by Prof. Calvel. It's a very technical book, but 
I've found it to be one of the best books on the making of good bread.

Pete Solis
Woodstar Cafe