The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bread flour vs. high gluten flour

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sw3's picture
sw3

bread flour vs. high gluten flour

It seems most recipes are written using bread flour, yet I have read that hgf is better when baking with heavier grained breads such as rye etc.  If its available do you use it?  I am assuming you would not need to add gluten?


Any help would be great.

suave's picture
suave

I bake with rye flour extensively and almost always use all-purpose flour when white flour is called for.  It is much easier to learn how to handle rye doughs, than keep a 25/50 lb bag of high-gluten flour, or pay whatever King Arthur asks for a retail bag of Sir Lancelot.

fsu1mikeg's picture
fsu1mikeg

I have easy access to HG flour thanks to a co-op just a mile from my house, so I use it all the time.  I definitely like to mix it with rye and whole grain/seeded breads.  But I always use AP flour in place of "bread flour".  I don't see the point of having THREE different white wheat flours on hand all the time.  I also like the HG flour for pizza doughs.  Makes a nice stretchy, yet sturdy thin crust.

sw3's picture
sw3

access is easy for me too as far as the hg, and you don't use bf?.  do you add gluten? 

fsu1mikeg's picture
fsu1mikeg

I guess I should have explained myself better.  Most breads I make have a high proportion of rye or whole weat/whole grain in them.  So I don't make too many white breads, except when I make baguettes.  For baguettes I use organic AP flour. I don't use any special bread flour.  I get good results and the AP has plenty of gluten to produce a decent baguette.  However, if I'm making a rye or whole grain bread that calls for a certain percentage of bread flour, I usually use AP for the sourdough and HG in the final dough.  The HG flour provides the extra gluten to strengthen the rye and support the whole grains, while still lightening the loaf like a white (bread) flour would.  I've never used vital wheat gluten and don't really like the idea of it.  One of these days I may splurge on some specialty white flours to see if there's a huge difference. 

verminiusrex's picture
verminiusrex

I use high gluten flour more than any other, but I use it as a foundation rather than as the main flavor giving flour.  Most of the time I'll use wheat, rye or regular bread flour to make the preferment, which is what I call the flavor giving flour.  That usually constitutes about a third of the flour total mixed with all the water.  I use high gluten flour for the rest of the dough, and it gives the bread a wonder loft, soft texture and actually keeps it from going stale for a couple of days.

Mary Jane D. Toribio's picture
Mary Jane D. Toribio

 Bread flour is a high-gluten flour that has very small amounts of malted barley flour and vitamin C or potassium bromate added. The barley flour helps the yeast work, and the other additive increases the elasticity of the gluten and its ability to retain gas as the dough rises and bakes.


Flour sold as high-gluten or simply gluten flour has been treated to remove most of its starch, which leaves it with proportionately more of the proteins that produce gluten. It is generally used as an additive to doughs made of low-gluten flours, such as rye flour, to give them the elasticity that they can’t muster on their own.


Some people use high-gluten flour to make a low-calorie loaf of bread, but, because high-gluten flour is about eight times as expensive as bread flour, most people don’t make the substitution.

Susan's picture
Susan

And it's because I prefer the stretchy bite that it gives to my sourdough crumb.  If I wanted a more biscuit-like, soft dough, as in a traditional sandwich bread, I would use AP flour or a mixture of AP and Bread flours.  When I'm away from home, and away from my distributor-bought H-G flour, I use KA Bread Flour and am happy with the results.


Susan from San Diego