The Mill Zappalà Oreste e Figli
for over 60 years produces re-milled semolina
and by-products from the milling of durum wheat sicilian
offering flour constants in the quality and customizable
according to the needs of each individual customer.
All this is possible thanks to the Know-How
inherited from previous generations.
Sicilian Authentic Flour
Mill Zappalà Oreste e Figli snc - Via Etnea, 44 Mascalucia (CT) Italy - P. iva IT00674360870 -☎ +39 0957272106 -☎ + 39 3282115568 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Privacy and Cookies
Faq "Questions and Answers"
What is meant by "strong" or "weak" flours?
When we speak of "Strength of flour" we mean two capacities: to absorb the liquids during the dough and to hold the carbon dioxide during the leavening. A flour is "strong" when it absorbs a lot of liquids during the dough and keeps the gas (carbon dioxide) produced during leavening well, giving voluminous products with well-developed crumb. A flour is "weak" when it absorbs the liquids of the dough very little and forms a reduced gluten mass which during retention holds less gas, giving rise to less voluminous products with less honeycomb. A flour is considered to be of "normal" strength when it has intermediate characteristics between the two.
How should flour be stored?
The flour must be stored in a clean, cool, dry, ventilated, separate area and dedicated only to it. In order to prevent contamination, other products such as vegetables and flavors should not be stored in the same place. The flour can be stored loose in silos or packaged in paper bags with specific requirements, compliant with Legislative Decree 21.03.73 and following, which allow the "breathing" of the product. If you opt for storage in paper bags, the latter must be placed on special pallets not adhering to the wall.
Characteristics of the Protein in the Flour, and what is Gluten?
The flour proteins are a precious component of the wheat and the determination of their content is the starting point for the classification of the flours. There are low values in biscuit flours (which do not need gluten formation) and high values in flours for leavened products.
There are different types of proteins in flour. The most important are those that form gluten, an insoluble protein substance, naturally present in wheat and, therefore, in flour. When in the dough the flour comes into contact with water and salt, the gluten turns into a compact, elastic and porous mass, which can be compared to a lattice or a sponge that is able to absorb the liquids of the dough and to retain the gas (carbon dioxide produced by yeasts). This causes the volume to increase in the product. The behavior of the dough at all stages of production depends on the quantity and quality of gluten.
What is meant by W?
The W is a parameter derived from the analysis carried out with the Chopin Alveograph instrument on a mixture of water, flour and salt. The W is an index of the strength of the flour: the higher it is, the stronger the flours are. The values can vary from 100-150 for flours with a short rising time up to 500 for flours for long leavening.
What is the P / L index?
The P / L index is the ratio between the strength and extensibility of the mixture, detected by the alveographic examination, performed with the Chopin Alveograph instrument, the same used for the determination of the W parameter.
What is meant by Stability?
Stability is a parameter that is measured with the instrument called Brabender Farinograph and is an indication of the resistance of a mixture subjected to the stress of the blades of the mixer. Stability is measured in minutes, and indicates the time during which the dough remains at a certain consistency.
Like other indices, this is also related to the strength of the flour: the stronger the flours are, the higher the stability. As always, in order to have complete information on the behavior of the flour, the result of the farinographic analysis must be related to the parameters provided by the other instruments.
What Determines the Value of Falling Number or Hagberg Index?
The Falling Number value determines the enzymatic activity of the flour, an activity that must always be balanced. With a scarce enzyme activity (we are interested first of all in the amylase activity - value of Falling Number greater than 400) we have products with poorer development and with a more compact and drier crumb. With an enzyme activity higher than necessary (falling number values lower than 200 seconds) we find more serious and difficult to correct defects: finished products with a more marked color crust, a more moist and sticky crumb and a flatter shape. To correct flours with poor amylase activity it is necessary to use malt or malted flours, to correct flours having high amylase activity it is necessary to increase the acidity of the dough, using a good percentage of backfill to inhibit excessively amylases active.
What is Malt and what is it used for?
Malt is a product derived from the germination of cereal grains, among which the most suitable are barley and wheat. With germination, thanks to the help of diastase enzymes (alpha- and beta-amylase), the transformation of the starch present in the cereal kernels into maltose sugar (starch saccharification) takes place. Malt is not only the source of sugars, but also the source of enzymes (alpha- and beta-amylase). The addition of malt, in the dough, favors a more active fermentation of the dough, a greater development of the alveolation of the product and, therefore, a lighter and more digestible product, a more golden crust, a taste and a more fragrance intense.
The use of malt is essential especially for flours that have a low amylase activity (with a high Falling Number or Hagberg Index) and for doughs prepared with chariots, since after many hours of fermentation the quantity of sugars is low.
What is the function of the salt in the dough?
Salt has a very important role in the preparation of bread, among which perhaps the least determining is that of giving flavor. The addition of salt to a dough changes its rheological and fermentative properties, provides resistance and elasticity and slows down both microbial and enzymatic activity. A dough without salt ferments faster and has less ability to maintain its shape, giving final products with a smaller volume, a more compact crumb and a lighter colored crust.
Sometimes the dough is very tough. Why does it happen?
Often the doughs remain too strong and too tenacious (in jargon it is said that they "go into power") when the environment in which you work is very hot - such as, for example, in the summer season - when they are kneaded too much, or are let yourself bet more.
The remedies to be applied to prevent the mixtures from acquiring "too much strength" are: lower the temperature of the water in the dough, do not knead too much, decrease the quantity of compressed yeast, decrease the time and temperature of the bet (first fermentation).
If the mixture remains too strong, it can be torn and the finished products obtained can be gummy, with a “vitreous” crust, irregular crumb, insufficient volume and subject to premature aging.