The Fresh Loaf

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Recreate unbleached flour

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Lindley's picture
Lindley

Recreate unbleached flour

Hi!


I've got a recipe that calls for unbleached APF, but the local stores don't carry it. Can I make it by adding gluten to APF? Of course, it won't change the color, but at least the flour will be stronger. And how much gluten would I have to add? Thank you!

sephiepoo's picture
sephiepoo

I don't think you can recreate unbleached APF if what you have is already bleached. Adding VWG will change the protein content, but that's not really what I think the difference between bleached vs unbleached is.  I think it's more a color and taste thing (plus extra chemical?).


King Arthur Flour makes wonderful product and they'll ship to you, so if your local store won't carry it, you might think about visiting their website and ordering some? They do free shipping sometimes, so get on their mailing list and catalogue if you're interested :)

LindyD's picture
LindyD



Flour bleaching agent is a food additive added to flour in order to make it appear whiter (freshly milled flour is yellowish) and to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains and help with developing of gluten.


Usual bleaching agents are:



Use of chlorine, bromates, and peroxides is not allowed in the European Union.



[From Wiiki]  Alas, you can't remove the chemicals.  I don't know where you live, but I'd keep looking.  Check your phone book for a health foods store.  Most likely they will carry it.  


I'm in the boonies and unbleached, unbromated flour is on every store shelf here.  You might ask the manager of the store you visit most frequently to start carrying it.


Good luck.


 

BettyR's picture
BettyR

It does depend where you live and the proximity of a populated area. I can't get unbleached or bread flour here in small town Texas and the closest large city where I could get it is Houston and it's a 70 mile drive.


Since they charge almost $4.00 for a loaf of bread out here and I have a family to feed on a budget I make all of our bread and most every thing else. I can get a 25 pound bag of AP flour at the farmers market for $6.00 and a 25 pound bag of hard red wheat berries also for $6.00. I mill several pounds of berries and keep the flour in the freezer and add 2 cups of the whole wheat flour to a 6 cup recipe to make my bread. That adds all the extra gluten needed and makes a very tasty loaf...by the way...whole wheat flour from the grocery is not the same. It doesn't have the turbo charged gluten that the freshly milled does and to me it's just nasty tasting so don't try to use that instead.


I don't know if you have a mill...if you don't have one you could try finding one at a swap meet. I see them every once in a while and they are usually pretty cheap.


Good luck.

Lindley's picture
Lindley

Thanks for the comments! I live in Europe, in Ukraine, and we don't really have much choice in products we buy :) Even the big cash-and-carry stores analogous to your Sam's, for example, don't carry such "unusual" products. I've learned to substitute some ingredients, but in this case I guess I'll stick with plain apf, then. Thanks again!

PeteInAz's picture
PeteInAz

If so, ask them what flour they use and if you can buy some.

copyu's picture
copyu

I live in Japan, where the rules are very similar to those in the EU, regarding bleaching—no bromates permitted, especially! However, there is virtually zero *unbleached* flour available.


I DID find a 'club' that sells lots of imported foodstuffs (mostly US and British stuff with some Australian goods...) They have organic, unbleached American AP flour and their delivery is quick and cheap. HOWEVER—at *$5 PER POUND* of flour, it makes baking a bit of a luxury. 


I can get nice, yellow, durum semolina flour fairly easily (at about the same price) and if you're interested in the color of your crumb, then it's easy enough to substitute up to a third of your recipe's flour with that. I think the semolina adds a great taste, as well. Can you get semolina where you live? That would be the quickest fix I can think of. If you're living 'stateside', go to the King Arthur website and your problem is solved!


Best,


copyu   

BettyR's picture
BettyR

Can you get vital wheat gluten?

copyu's picture
copyu

...here in Japan, but I don't use it much, nowadays. I do love rye breads, though, so I'll use a teaspoon or two occasionally.


I originally bought it for NY-style rye made in the bread machine. I've abandoned that method for long, slow, 3-day builds. 


Cheers

Lindley's picture
Lindley

copyu: Wow, that IS expensive. I don't think that it'd be worth it, at least not now - I'm just beginning to bake bread :)  Could you still give me the contact for that club? Just in case. And I'll definitely try semolina - it's widely available here (at least somehing is :))


BettyR: You've lost me here. I've smth called "gluten", which is, as I was told, essentially a gluten that was extracted from flour. Is that what you mean by vital wheat gluten?

BettyR's picture
BettyR
Lindley's picture
Lindley

Okay, yeah, that's what I have. Guess I'm pretty lucky, then :)

BettyR's picture
BettyR

Yes, if that is what you have then you can use it to make bread with plain all purpose flour.