The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Blending Bread Flours

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Mark W's picture
Mark W

Blending Bread Flours

As a keen bread baker I often blend my flours a little.  I buy an incredibly strong Canadian white flour and will sometimes use some of this (1/3 to 2/3) with a weaker but tasty flour, such as the Malted Grain I use.

Right at the moment I'm running a bit short on flour and won't be able to get to my supplier, 30+ miles away, for a week at least.  Yesterday I needed to make a loaf so decided to try using some fine oatmeal I'd got - about a 50/50 split with my white.  It took literally hours!

The stuff just did not want to rise.  OK, it was a bit cooler than usual in the house but there's obviously nowhere near as much gluten in the oatmeal.  Initially the loaf looked very uneven too, so I had to knock it back - unusual for me, as I generally use fast-action yeast.

After what seemed like a week, I decided to bake the loaf even though it wasn't as big as I would have liked.

As you can imagine, the bread is a little heavier than I normally like, but the taste.............!!!!!  It's fantastic!

Has anyone got any other ideas for a good blend of flours for bread?  (Not lumpy stuff please, just flour.)

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

The loaf we're currently hacking at is a mixture of high gluten flour and oat flour with semolina added for "lift" and vital wheat gluten added for, well, gluten.  It did not rise as mightily as a 100% high gluten white flour bread would but it is a tasty bread with nicely distributed little holes. 

I have  a short attention span when it comes to bread, well, to all food.  Meaning that I like to have variety.  I usually am approaching the bread bowl with "What will I put in the bread today?" on my mind.  Through various internet vendors, I've gotten barley flour, oat flour, graham flour, potato flour, and a variety of ryes.  The grocery provides bread flour, whole wheat, and semolina.  And then there's the beautiful flours Stan distributes through nybakers.com. Using the same basic formula, I end up with anything from a tasty rye brick to an enormous fluffy miche. 

For me, this is uncertainly is half the fun.    The nice thing about the "Holy Quaternity" of flour, water, yeast and salt is that whatever you do, if the yeast is alive and you don't burn the bread, it's delicious.

So, now, time to throw this cat off my lap so I can go into the kitchen and face the empty bowl again and decide what flours will go in it.  We need bread for the weekend.

wazirgallam's picture
wazirgallam

Although I have been a member for awhile this is my first post. Mark W's post caught my eye and I thought I had to tell everyone what we HAVE to do in Pakistan. There are absolutely NO ready blended flours available and 99% of the time the flour mill doesn't have a clue as to gluten content and we have to add extra gluten every now and again. When it is a fresh harvest the wheat has a very low gluten content (ie. beginning of the harvesting season here)  and we have a lot of fun and games getting the bread to behave! We always blend our own flours for all the various breads we create here for our bakery and coffee house (www.mjs.com.pk and facebook.com/mjscoffeehouseandbakery). We blend, white, wholewheat, barley, millet and various other combinations. We even have various starters brewing and continued since three years ago for our focaccias, ciabattas and baguettes.

It would be good to hear from any TFL people from this part of the world as I haven't noticed any. Regards Wazir.