The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

High Gluten Flour

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shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

High Gluten Flour

Hi

I have a question about flour .. I live in Australia and do not have access to high gluten flour.  Can't even buy rye flour in supermarkets!  I have found a couple of suppliers where I can access rye flours, durum semolina flour (what a find) and many other flours.  But, not high gluten flour.  I do have some straight gluten flour and wonder if I could add a small amount of this to my bread flour in formulas to approximate high gluten flour?  I am an amateur home sourdough bread baker, and have fun, and some difficulty, trying to replicate some of the ingredients used in this site, sometimes with comical results!  However, we press on.  I am indebted to this wonderful site for all your wonderful recipes and advice, thank you all for feeding my passion.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Sondra

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Yes, in the absence of true high gluten flour, you can blend the "straight gluten flour" (most popularly known as Vital Wheat Gluten, or VWG, here) with your lower protein flours. Actually, it's not unheard of(rare, but not unheard of) for even millers doing so.

If you know the protein specifications of your flours, there is an online tool that allows you to make blends precisely to your needs.

Use the 'Mixed Mass Calculator" on the right, after the link:

http://tools.foodsim.com/

possum-liz's picture
possum-liz

Getting high gluten flour isn't a problem if you use a lot of flour. A good source of high gluten flour is your local food wholesaler. Here on the mid north coast NSW I don't have any trouble getting 10 and 25 kg bags of most kinds of flour.

What are you using the high gluten flour for? I buy 'bakers' flour and 'bread' flour but I find the  highest gluten flours like Maxi Pro too strong. I only use the bread flour for blending with lower gluten flours because it fights back when I'm hand kneading.

Another avenue is to ask your local bakery if they will sell you a kilo or two. From the amount of flour going through our local wholesaler not all of the bakeries are using premixes.

 

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

My flour is labelled 'bread flour' in English and 'high gluten flour' in Chinese (the point being that such labels are subjective), so check the actual protein content of what you're getting, and experiment with making the recipes just using the 'bread flour'. It could be that the 'bread flour' available to you is already strong (= high gluten) enough to do the job. 

Anyway, when I use a small amount of my 'bread flour' in a recipe and a large % of whole wheat and/or rye, I often add some straight gluten flour (vital wheat gluten), with good results, so yes, that is a very good option. One advantage is that you can easily adjust as much or as little as you wish. Another is that you don't have to stock as much of different kinds of flour.

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Thanks guys for your thoughts.  Australian flours do not state protein or gluten levels, so that makes life interesting.   I was wanting to try to make Susan from San Diego's Ultimate sourdough recipe, and there was a comment that if no hi gluten flour was available, to try another recipe.  This set me thinking about the difference in performance of the different flours.  But I will try a little straight gluten flour with my bread flour and see what the result is, although of course I won't have a comparison.  Possum-liz, I live in Adelaide (enuf said!), and as I just bake smallish loaves for myself weekly, bulk buying is just not practical.  Most of my flours ( other than white) I buy at Adelaide's Central Market at a small store, where all the flours are binned.  They have a good range of flours, but no hi gluten.  

I so enjoy this site, its recipes and useful advice and friendly assistance.  I am a lone baker amongst all my friends and family, who all seem to be aficionados of white yucky supermarket bread, which I never ever buy!  My 'apprentice' went to that big park in the sky a few years ago, so no one to appreciate my loaves .. perhaps I can persuade the cats to try some??

Once again, thanks to everyone on this site who have been so helpful to me along the way.  

Sondra

possum-liz's picture
possum-liz

Check with the store where you buy your flour. All commercial bags of flour that I buy have protein content on them so they should be able to give you that information if you give them a bit of notice. I must admit I'm not happy with the baking quality of a lot of the organic white flour I've had lately but adding VWG to it would defeat the 'organic' ideal because most of the gluten I've seen comes from China and the extraction process can be quite 'chemical'.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is around 65% wheat gluten.  I use it all the time to improve the gluten in flours especially AP when i want to make bread flour or high gluten flour.  Since we don't know what portion of the protein is actually high quality gluten but at least we know what the protein levels are in out flours in the USA,  With  little math you can conjure up how much to add to you weak flour to make it what ever you desire

Tomorrow I and doing a bread that has spelt and farro in it ,both weaker than wheat gluten wise so I am gong to put in 15 g of VWG to counteract that 400 g of low protein and gluten flour.  Now worries.  Using VG is a very cheap way to make expensive flours you might not even find otherwise,

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Dabrownman .. thank you for your advice (a legend you are on this site ... I follow your posts avidly).  I will start with a small amount of GF and take it from there.  I would assume our gluten flour would approximate your gluten level.

Sondra

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

between 55-65% gluten here in the states.  Perhaps your bag has its specifics on it somewhere? 

Oh, and no legends here, just a retiree who bakes one loaf of bread a week.  It is my apprentice who is a legend:-)

Happy baking!

Antilope's picture
Antilope

U.S. WHEAT FLOUR TYPES AND BEST USES:
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Wheat Flour Protein:

-Protein levels range from about 7% in pastry and cake flours to as high as about 15% in high-gluten bread flour.

-Protein percentage indicates the amount of gluten available in the a given flour. Gluten is the substance which develops when the flour protein, which occurs naturally in wheat flour, is combined with liquid and kneaded.

-Because gluten is able to stretch elastically, it is desirable to have a higher gluten flour for yeast-raised products, which have doughs that are stretched extensively; like pizza, most yeast breads, and bagels.

-For cakes, pie crusts, cookies, biscuits, pancakes, waffles and pastry to be short and crumbly or tender, a lower protein flour is better. Also, in higher gluten flours, the gluten can overpower the chemical leaveners like baking powder or baking soda, causing the final baked goods to not rise as high.

-Hard winter wheat, mainly grown in the north, has a higher protein and more gluten, 10% to 13%.
Most northern and national brand all-purpose flours, bread flour and high-gluten flour is made from hard winter wheat.

-Soft summer wheat, mainly grown in the south, has a lower protein and lower gluten, 8% to 10%
Most cake, pastry and southern all-purpose flour is made from soft summer wheat.

Bleaching flour does a couple of things, it whitens the flour and it also alters the flour protein causing it to form weaker gluten.
Most cake flours are bleached.
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FLOUR PROTEIN BY TYPES AND BRANDS (retail flour):
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CAKE FLOUR - 7% to 9.4% protein
Best Use: cakes, blending with national brands all-purpose flour to make pastry flour or Southern flour substitute.
-King Arthur Queen Guinevere Cake Flour, 7.0%
-King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend, 9.4%
-Pillsbury Softasilk Bleached Cake Flour, 6.9%
-Presto Self Rising Cake Flour, 7.4%
-Swans Down Bleached Cake Flour, 7.1%
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PASTRY FLOUR - 8 to 9% protein
Best Use: biscuits, cookies, pastries, pancakes, pie crusts, waffles.
-King Arthur Unbleached Pastry Flour, 8%
-King Arthur Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, 9%
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ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, SOUTHERN - 8 to 9% protein
Best Use: biscuits, cookies, muffins, pancakes, pie crusts, quick breads, waffles.
-Martha White Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 9%
-White Lily Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 8 to 9%
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SELF-RISING FLOUR (flour, baking powder, salt) - 8 to 10.5% protein
Best Use: biscuits, cookies, pancakes, muffins, quick breads, waffles.
-Gold Medal Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 10.5%
-King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour, 8.5%
-Martha White Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 9.4%
-Pillsbury Best Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 9.7%
-Presto Self Rising Cake Flour, 7.4%
-White Lily Bleached Self-Rising Flour, 8 to 9%
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ALL PURPOSE BAKING MIXES (flour, shortening, baking powder, sugar, salt) - 6.25 to 12.5% protein
Best Use: biscuits, cookies, coffee cakes, pancakes, quick breads, pastry, waffles
-Arrowhead Mills All Purpose Baking Mix, 12.5%
-Bisquick Original Baking Mix, 7.5%
-Jiffy All Purpose Baking Mix, 6.25%
-King Arthur Flour All Purpose Baking Mix, 10%
-Pioneer Original Baking Mix, 7.5%
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INSTANT FLOUR 10.5 to 12.6% protein
Best Use: thicken gravies, sauces, and soups without lumps.
-Gold Medal Wondra Quick Mixing Flour, 10.5%
-Pillsbury Best Shake & Blend Flour, 12.6%
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ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, BLEACHED & UNBLEACHED, NATIONAL BRANDS - 10 to 11.5% protein
Best Use: makes average biscuits, cookies, muffins, pancakes, pie crusts, pizza crusts, quick breads, waffles, yeast breads.
-Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, 10.5%
-Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, 10 to 11.5%
-Pioneer All-Purpose Flour, 10%
-White Wings All-Purpose Flour, 10%
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ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, NORTHERN, BLEACHED & UNBLEACHED - 11.5 to 12% protein
Best Use: cream puffs, puff pastry, yeast breads, pizza crusts.
-Heckers and Ceresota All-Purpose Flour, 11.5 to 11.9 %
-King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 11.7%
-Robin Hood All-Purpose Flour, 12.0%
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BREAD FLOUR - 12 to 13.3% protein
Best Use: traditional yeast breads, bread machine, pizza crusts, pasta.
-Gold Medal Better For Bread, 12%
-King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, 12.7%
-Pillsbury Best Bread Flour, 12.9%
-White Lily Unbleached Bread Flour, 11.7%
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DURUM WHEAT (Semolina) 13 to 13.5% protein
Best Use: Pasta.
-Hodgson Mill Golden Semolina & Extra Fancy Durum Pasta Flour, 13.3%
-King Arthur Extra Fancy Durum Flour, 13.3%
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WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR - 12.9 to 14% protein
Best Use: hearth breads, blending with other flours.
-Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour, 13.3%
-King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour, 14%
-King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour, 14%
-Pillsbury Best Whole Wheat Flour, 12.9%
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HIGH-GLUTEN FLOUR 14 to 15% protein
Best Use: bagels, pizza crusts, blending with other flours.
-King Arthur Organic Hi-Gluten Flour, 14%
-King Arthur Sir Lancelot Unbleached Hi-Gluten Flour, 14.2%
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VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN FLOUR, Breadmaking Supplement - 65 to 77% protein
Best Use: Added to raise gluten. Adds extra gluten to low-gluten whole grain flours, such as rye, oat, teff, spelt, or buckwheat.
-Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 65.0%
-Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 75.0%
-Gillco Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 75.0%
-Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 66.6%
-King Arthur Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 77.8%
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Retail Flour Companies - Brands:
-Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Milwaukie, Oregon -Bob's Red Mill
-C.H. Guenther & Son Inc, San Antonio, Texas - Pioneer Flour, Pioneer Baking Mix, White Wings Flour
-General Mills Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota - Bisquick, Gold Medal Flour, (sold US Pillsbury Flour , retains Pillsbury frozen goods)
-Hain Celestial Group Inc, Boulder, Colorado - Arrowhead Mills
-J.M. Smucker Company, Orrville, Ohio - Martha White Flour, Pillsbury Flour, Robin Hood Flour, White Lily Flour
-King Arthur Flour Company, Norwich, Vermont - King Arthur Flour
-Reily Foods Company, New Orleans, Louisiana - Swan's Down Cake Flour, Presto Self Rising Cake Flour
-Uhlmann Company, Kansas City, Missouri - Heckers Flour, Ceresota Flour
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To make self-rising flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp table salt to each cup of flour.
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To make a lower protein flour (similar to White Lily or Pastry flour), mix half cake flour with half all-purpose flour.
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Another substitute for soft Southern flour, not quite as tender, for each cup of regular all-purpose flour, replace 2 Tablespoons of flour with cornstarch, mix well. (1 cup lightened all-purpose flour = 14 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp cornstarch.)
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Version 7-6-2013