The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

FIRST CLEAR FLOUR

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saintdennis's picture
saintdennis

FIRST CLEAR FLOUR

I'm reading in the recipe about "first clear flour"what is it?? This is new flour or just different name in the different states??? I was asking at bakers supplies store and the supermarkets and nobody know what I'm talk about it.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, saintdennis. 

First clear flour is a high extraction wheat flour. Essentially, whole wheat flour has some of the bran sifted out but not as much as for white flour, which at one time was called "Second Clear Flour," as I understand it. So, compared to white flour, First clear flour  has more bran and wheat germ and higher ash content. 

It is also known as "common flour." It is used in traditional Jewish rye bread and pumpernickel. It is also used in breads that attempt to replicate the bread commonly eaten in France (and French Canada) during the 17th and 18th centuries. The famous Pain Poilane is one example. The Miche, Ponte-a-Calliere in Hamelman's "Bread" is another. 

The only source for First Clear flour I know of is King Arthur's Baker's Catalogue. However, there are other high extraction flours available such as Heartland Mill's "Golden Buffulo." I have used lots and lots of the King Arthur First Clear flour and like how it performs and tastes. I have a 10 lb bag of Golden Buffulo sitting unopened in my pantry, waiting for the next time I make a Miche. (So many breads. So little time. Etc.) 

David

tgw1962_slo's picture
tgw1962_slo

Hello,


I noticed your post and wanted to ask a question. You said you like the way the clear flour tastes. 


When I contacted KAF about clear flour, I asked them if it imparts its own flavor into bread and they told me it does not.


So I'm wondering if there's something you add (non-diastatic malt, etc) to affect a taste.


I'm considering using this flour for baguettes. I'm not sure whether to use it for the poolish, the dough, or both. So that's why I'm curious as to whether it has its own flavor profile in the finished product.


If you could let me know, I'd appreciate it.  Thanks.


Tory

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Tory.


It does have it's own flavor. I can't really describe it. I suggest you make a bread using it and see whether you like it.


I've never used it in baguettes. Besides rye breads, I've used it in Miches, like the Poilane-type one in BBA.


David

tgw1962_slo's picture
tgw1962_slo

David,


Ok, my bag of First Clear Flour arrived today. I'll probably have to wait til the weekend to use it, but let me ask you in the meantime.


You mentioned in previous reply that you used it in both starter and dough. Do you mix it with any other flour (AP or bread) or can you just use it on its own?


I opened the bag I got and the flour has an interesting "aroma" to it. So that is why I'm wondering if its ok to use on its own to make a bread with or would it be too strong on its own?


Got any idea of how many ounces of equal 1 cup?  


If you could let me know, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.


Tory

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Tory.


I use first clear for two kinds of bread: Jewish Sour Rye or pumpernickel and breads that call for "high extraction flour." Pat (proth5) tells me First Clear is different from high extraction, but I like the breads I make with it, so that's that!


My regular starter feeding is a mix of AP, WW and rye flours, but if I'm making a rye bread, I use a rye sour. If I'm making a bread with 100% first clear, I use first clear to make the last starter build. You can use first clear alone to feed a sourdough starter, but I don't.


My favorite bread made with 100% first clear is the Miche, Pointe-à-Callière from Hamelman's "Bread." See this currently active topic:


http://tfl.thefreshloaf.com/node/10240/hamelman039s-miche-pointeàcalliière


First clear flour has a lot more flavor than white flour, but less that whole wheat. 


Ounces per cup varies with how you measure a cup. I'm not going to offer a ratio. I'm going to urge you to buy a good kitchen scale. You will not regret it.


David

tgw1962_slo's picture
tgw1962_slo

David,


Actually I already own a scale and I try to measure out by weight (rather than volume) whenever I am making a starter or dough or whatever.


I learned the hard way that measuring by volume just doesn't work for me. I get much better results from measuring by weight.


So that's why I was asking about the ounces per cup ratio.


Thanks,


Tory

pambakesbread's picture
pambakesbread

Hi I buy my First Clear from The New York Bakers on line. They have 2 one bleached -Bay State Normano and one unbleached Con Agra ISIS. They are both 8.95 for 5 lbs + shipping. I use it in my Rye Breads and have lately begun using it in other breads. I purchase the Bay State and really like it even though it is bleached. I am going to be order the Con Agra ISIS it isn't bleached. I have used the KA 1st Clear but it only comes in 3 lb bags so you have to pay for a lot more shipping because of small size of the batch. Happy Shopping. Pam

Soundman's picture
Soundman

As you know, David, I would never quibble -- if it weren't as much fun as it is. I saw your comment: 'white flour, which at one time was called "Second Clear Flour," as I understand it' and thought I had read somewhere else a very different definition of Second Clear flour. I located the source of this discrepancy, theartisan.net. Here's what their site says: "Second clear flour has a very high ash content, is very dark, and is not generally used for food."


It sounds as if it's mostly bran? I truly have no idea whether they know what they're talking about, of course, but I thought it worth mentioning.


Soundman (David)

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

Pro Baker for over 25 years-----Ret

saintdennis's picture
saintdennis

hank you David for your information.If I do not have "FIRST CLEAR FLOUR" can I use A/P or WW??? I'm living in Long Island New York and store it does not have.I will try then mail order.

 

                                           Thanks Saintdennis

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, saintdennis.

I've seen formulas for substituting WW flour that you have sifted or a combination of AP and WW flour  for First clear flour. I cannot recall the ratio, and I have not done this myself. Perhaps some one else can chime in. 

David

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

first clear is not readly available from stores

for jewish rye and pumpernickel nothing elce will work

allthough substution might work in other forumals

it goes by the nane Bohemia flour in the bakeries so maybe a bakery thats make iys own rye bread would be willing to sell you a few pounds it dows not hurt to ask,

as for mail order KA has first clear in 3 pound bags

Pro Baker for over 25 years-----Ret

srise's picture
srise

King Arthur will break the bank if you need more than a little.  Some distributors that supply bakeries will do cash and carry.  This is the way to go.  I just picked up a 100lb bag of first clear for $34.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I was so happy to get a bag of First Clear I didn't see the fact that it was bromated and bleached. I think a lot of the bakeries that use this product don't have the concerns that we have for chemical free breads. I haven't found another source yet.

Eric 

ema2two's picture
ema2two

To add something more for the layperson to Norm's information, here's what George Greenstein says in the ingredients section of "Secrets of  Jewish Baker":


Clear, First clear or Common Flour:  Often referred to as commong flour or simply clear flour, this is the least refind of the bread flours.  Lower in gluten content and darker in color than the other flours, it is used primarily in rye breads.  Rye flour has no gluten and has to be mixed with a wheat flour in order to rise.  The common flour keeps the desired off-white color of the rye while providing enough gluten for the bread to rise.  The lower protein content allows for a dense texture, which makes it a good sandwich bread and gives it the chewy bite sought for in rye bread.  Use of common flour is one of the secrets of making real Jewish Rye bread.  The best source is a local bakery, or try specialty shops that carry flour made from different grains.  Perhpas they will even order it for you.  Otherwise, try mail order.


In his recipe for Jewish Rye (p. 136-138) he has a note on First Clear Flour:  First clear flour, also called clear flour or common flour can be hard to find.  You can substitute 3.25-4.24 cups all purpose flour plus 0.75 cups cake flour, but the bread won't taste or look as good.


Maggie Glezer's Blessing of Bread also has a Light Rye which she says is what people call "Jewish Rye" and includes first clear flour in the ingredients.  She says to substitute Bread Flour if you can't get it.  She recommends simply asking a bakery to sell you some if you can't get it retail.


I couldn't use the King Arthur 1st Clear flour, as I keep kosher and that is among their flours which are not certified kosher.  It took me a while to get over my inhibitions and go into a local kosher bakery and ask if they'd sell me some first clear flour.  They were happy to do so, and charged me about what I pay in the store for 5 lbs of KA bread flour for the 5 lbs of 1st clear flour I bought from them.  I used it for the Glezer Light Rye, and it was excellent.  Just like what we get from the bakeries here in terms of consistency and crust and crumb, but more flavorful.


Hamelman's Light Rye doesn't call for first clear flour and came out great in my (and my family's) opinion.  Every bit as what we get from the Jewish Bakeries in Brooklyn.  I would easily make it again, even if I could get 1st clear flour more easily.  It was simply delicious bread.


I don't know where in LI you are, or what you are planning to bake with it, but asking in one of the bakeries should be an option.  I don't know about the general bakery world, to know if they use 1st clear flour in their rye breads or not.  If not, I can suggest some places with kosher bakeries which likely use it in their rye breads.

tgw1962_slo's picture
tgw1962_slo

David,


Hello. Thank you for your reply. This is good to know about the flavor. I wonder why the person at KAF told me it doesn't have any flavor of its own.


But you've used it to make the Miche... Did you use the clear flour in the barm, firm starter, final dough, etc...?


Thanks,


Tory

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Patf's picture
Patf

... for you people in the USA and Canada, here in France you can buy Type 150 flour which I think is the equivalent of first clear flour. There are 6 types, between 45 and 150. The lower the figure the whiter the flour.


Here is a link:


http://www.saveursdumonde.net/produits/boulangerie/farine/

SealRockBaker's picture
SealRockBaker

You all are great folks!  I wonder what First Clear Flour is...and of course there is a discussion about it.  Thanks so much.

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Stan Ginsberg at www.nybakers is selling first clear flour at $6.76 for 5 lbs. plus shipping (can't beat the price):   http://nybakers.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9_12&products_id=38.  He's also selling Caputo Tipo 00 for pizza as well:  http://nybakers.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=91.  I've made a deli rye (ITJB recipe) with All Trumps high-gluten (also from NY Bakers), using rye sour, which came out very nice indeed.  But I've got the first clear flour on my list for next purchase.

Joyful

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

The sale price of 15% off for first clear and rye flours extends through April, so there are just a few days left.  I just ordered mine, both first clear and white rye (thought I'd give it a try, as I usually use whole rye from the bulk bin at Whole Foods).  "Rye" not?

Joyful