The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I'm lost into the wide world of flour

NewBaker2013's picture
NewBaker2013

I'm lost into the wide world of flour

I just joint this website. the reason? eventhough i'm italian but i have problem to understand the world of flour! i made my own pizza dough, i bake cookies, cakes and pies but now i want to bake the classic italian cakes and i found myself second guessing my choices for flour. i'm really confused by the Manitoba flour, by the high gluten flour and so on.

i live in canada, precisely in Windsor,Ontario and the flour that i've always used is the unbleached all-purpose.

can somebody please tell me where i can buy the high gluten flour to bake these recipes - they need a long time to raise - and the name of the brand and how can i read on the label the gluten content for the flour?

thank you so much, thank thank you. 

embth's picture
embth

Hello New Baker.....I do not know what recipes you are considering but most cake recipes call for lower protein flour.  Generally you are looking for a soft crumb in a cake or pastry so pastry flour is 7 or 8 % protein.  High gluten flour is 13 or 14 % protein and typically used in bagels, pretzels, and breads that are chewy in texture.   Your all purpose flour (likely 10 to 11% protein) may be more suitable for the job.

I wish the various flours markets in the USA had information on the percentage of protein in the product.  Sometimes you can find more detailed info on the company's website.

embth

NewBaker2013's picture
NewBaker2013

Thank you Embth! this is the story. I've already bake my onw panettone, and it tasted and looked great! this year i wanted to try to bake my onw pandoro. i google the recipe, the video etc and i stumble into this huge dilemma about the right flour. the baker that i watched and read uses the 14% flour, the thing he lives in the USA. i'm not going to order a bag of flour online, it will cost me an arm and a leg. so i'd like to understand how it works here in Canada and which is the best flour for this type of cake: long raising period, extremely soft dough....well if you ever had pandoro you know what i mean. i'm really lost and i feel stupid, my baking so far is good and no complaints but now i'm second guessing myself.

and i check my bags of flour and any labels state the percentage of protein in the product.

maybe somebody from Ontario can tell me if at "Bulk Barn" i can find a better flour?

thank you all

embth's picture
embth

Oh fun!  I have baked my own pannetone but have never tried pandoro.   Western Canada produces lots of high quality wheat....so there must be a way for you to get what you need.

I live in Northern MN.   Locally I can buy 25lb bags of Bouncer flour (Bay State Milling) but it is a bleached and bromated flour.  For a while I have wanted to find a source of the premium bread flour from  www.wheatmontana.com.  That company has good technical data on their flours online.

As you say, shipping would be "molto caro".  Wheat Montana's distributor for my area is in Michigan....Country Life Natural Foods.  I noticed on their website that their delivery trucks come to my area so I called to get more info.   I expected that they delivered to the whole foods coop store about 30 miles from me.  However, I learned that they make multiple stops at small food buying cooperatives around the area.   These are just folks who gather orders from their neighbors who are interested in organic and whole foods, submit the order to CLNF and accept the delivery at their homes.  They expect you to pick up and pay promptly.  Most add a small handling fee.

I contacted the gal who organizes the nearest coop and I am now only a few weeks away from owning 50lbs of high glutin unbleached bread flour (avg.13.5% protein)....at close to the same price as the mill's website.  (with all that flour, I will have to find your pandoro recipe)

So....check for whole foods cooperatives in your area and I bet you will find a similiar network of "whole food" folks in Ontario.  You may get some leads from that Country Life site.....clnf.org.    good luck!  embth