Vienna Flour, and bread types
Brief Post on Vienna Flour
Uberathlete posted asking about Vienna Flour, see: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17241/what-vienna-flour
Elizabeth David (1977; pp.76), in her "English Bread and Yeast Cookery states the following: " 'Vienna' flour was in reality high quality Hungarian or Romanian flour, roller milled, fine, of medium strength and creamy white, good for 'Vienna' bread and puff pastry and yeast cakes."
She also quotes from Frederick T. Vine, "Savoury Pastry" from 1900: "undoubtedly the best flour for the purpose [puff paste] is Vienna...in the first place, flour for paste should be of good colour and finely ground, not too soft or harsh. It should have a good percentage of gluten, but that gluten must not be so strong that it will pull the rounds into ovals and the ovals into rounds." Vine goes on to say he found American flour sent for the purpose, to be best suited to making bread only.
David concludes, with reference to England, that "The import of Hungarian and Vienna flours virtually ceased with the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the First World War."
I offer up photographs below of typical breads which may have been made with Vienna-type flour at the time. These were made during my time studying for my baking quals at Leeds; ostensibly to investigate different methods of manufacturing the same type of bread. My tutor always used to look very carefully into the bag of Whitworth's Strong bread flour; he always called it "Springs", but that was the old name, and I can't remember the new one. Whitworth's site is being renovated, so I can't find the right bag, sorry. Anyway, it had great water absorption, but my tutor explained that by showing us the tiny dark particles in the flour, saying "they are cheating us". Well, I always thought the bread made that day looked very fine; you can make your own minds up.