The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Altering Bread Recipes to Use KA Sir Lancelot High-Gluten Flour

kanewbie's picture
kanewbie

Altering Bread Recipes to Use KA Sir Lancelot High-Gluten Flour

How may I best use a large supply of high-gluten flour (KA Sir Lancelot).  I am a  home baker with a just-adequate amount of experience in bread making.  Last autumn, through the generosity of a friend, I was gifted with almost 40 lbs of said high-gluten flour and almost as much KA unbleached AP, rye and whole wheat.  I've zipped through the AP, some of the rye and ww but cannot seem to take advantage of the Sir Lancelot hi-gluten.   Other posts mention using it for bagels (which I've never made).  The few times I've tried using it as an additive, substituting for some of the AP, the results have not been all that great--perhaps not bumping up the hydration as much as I should have resulted in denser, tougher loaves...    Are there any guidelines for breadmaking combining the hi-gluten with other flours in existing recipes?  Other uses for hi-gluten flour?  I hate to waste this gift.  Help!

tikidoc's picture
tikidoc

I can't anwser the question about modifying recipes, but I have used the bagel recipe in "Baking Artisan Breads" by Ciril Hitz using all KASL (the recipe calls for half regular bread flour and half high gluten) with no modifications and excellent results.  My kids adore these bagels, and I usually make a batch every week.  You can get the book on Amazon, and it is also available for the Kindle (I have the Kindle app on my iPad and use this book in the kitchen all the time).  You can also find tons of pizza recipes using KASL on pizzamaking.com.

Jess

kanewbie's picture
kanewbie

Jess, Thanks for the pizza website and Hitz book info.  I'll look into both.

fishers's picture
fishers

What a wonderful gift!!  I use Sir Lancelot all the time and love it.  Use in all your recipes calling for bread flour - that's what it is, bread flour.  I work all my doughs by hand and the first time I made bread with it I was amazed with how quickly it developed.  Working dough by hand - stretching and folding, really gives you a "feel" for how dough should respond when using a better flour.  Many people on the forum use Sir Galahad which is also an excellent bread flour.  You can't go wrong with KA flours.

- Sharon

kanewbie's picture
kanewbie

Sharon, Thanks for your comments.  Your response, however, brings me back to my real concern and that is with finding the addition of KASL to familiar recipes making my bread dough seemingly too firm.  Should I just try more hydration to "slaken" the tension?  I do some final kneading by hand but most in a Kitchenaid mixer.  Do you bake mostly free form loaves or in loaf pans? 

varda's picture
varda

I love KASL but I ONLY use it for bagels, and it makes the ultimate bagel.   You can also use it for breads with a high rye content although you don't strictly need quite that high gluten flour for that.   I personally would not use KASL for most recipes that call for bread flour.   I don't even use KA Bread Flour for that.   They make the bread too tough and chewy.   KA All Purpose is the optimal bread flour for many types of bread.   It's just a naming issue which confused me for a long time.  Good luck, and I hope you try bagels!  -Varda

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

in part for KA Bread flour, but you will probably not like the results as much.  The market names of flours are not very much help when it comes to identifying what they really are.  Among other factors, protein content is all important in accurately classifying a flour, regardless of the "market name".  All Purpose flours tend to run in the mid-11% range (e.g.  KA AP [red bag] at 11.7%).  "Bread" flours tend to run in the mid-12% range (e.g. KA Bread [blue bag] at 12.7%) and High Gluten flours tend to run over 13% and more (e.g. KA Sir Lancelot [no retail equivalent I know of] at 14.7%).  When you see bread formulas that call for "bread" flour, they are usually talking about flour in that mid-11% to mid-12% range, which is really All Purpose or KA "Bread" [blue bag] flour by protein content. 

When you use a much stronger (higher protein content) flour in a formula than is called for you must, as you are already aware, make some adjustments in order to get the right dough development (hydration, mix time, fermentation time).  When you do, though, you will also get other side effects.  When developed to the same degree as all purpose flour, your high gluten flour will have a much stronger gluten web.  This can be more difficult to shape, and you may not get as much rise out of your loaves because of the extra "power" required to expand the stronger gluten.  This will give you a more dense loaf, as you have already noted.  In the end, you will tend to get what you are experiencing...  Tough, chewy, somewhat rubbery bread.  It tastes great (to me at least.  I've been there) but it is less satisfying from a crumb and texture perspective.

I have had some success with blending All Purpose (11.7% protein) flour with stronger flours, but I tend to only be satisfied with pretty low portions of the higher gluten flour.  Based on your comments I suspect you might be the same.  Try blends of 80-85% all purpose and 15-20% high gluten to start, and see how you like the results.   Because KASL is so strong, you will not be able to use much of it this way unless you bake a lot of bread though.

I suggest that in addition to blending flours you look for formulas that call for high gluten flour.  Bagels are an excellent option as already pointed out.  Most bagel recipes require high gluten flour to produce "authentic" bagel texture.  I love bagels, but don't bake them because, well, I don't bake them (yet).  One place where I always use high gluten flour is in multi-grain bread.  Jeff Hamelman's book "Bread, a bakers book of techniques and recipes" has some excellent multi-grain recipes that call for this.  (I have baked and posted on this bread on my blog [see this link if interested], and there are many other excellent examples here on The Fresh Loaf as well.   The stronger gluten web is necessary to support the heavy load of seeds and grains that go into these breads.  That, and on pizza dough and calzone dough, are where I use up high gluten flours.

I agree that King Arthur flours are excellent, and a great many Fresh Loaf bakers rely on them.  For the most part though, I think it is the retail AP red and Bread blue bags or their commercial equivalents, Sir Galahad and "Special", that are in use.  Your generous friend gave you a wonderful gift of excellent flour though, and an opportunity to learn how to use it.  I suggest you bake up some multi-grain loaves and give them some!

Best of luck
OldWoodenSpoon

kanewbie's picture
kanewbie

Wow! Thanks so much.  You've answered my concerns exactly.  Hope someday to be able to make multi-grain bread like yours pictured.  I'll look into Hamelman's book.

fishers's picture
fishers

Varda and Old Wooden Spoon are both far more experienced than I am - I can only speak from my own short-term experience and I tend to make seeded breads, higher hydrated doughs, multi-grains, and occasionally no-knead breads.  I don't make bagels (because I don't like the chew) but can see where Sir Lancelot would be a good choice.  I still get a nice open crumb and not tough.  I may try mixing with some AP flour though and see if I might like the results better - good suggestions!