The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour HELP!

farmervic's picture

Flour HELP!

Hi All, Have joined up cos I am starting out in life wanting to make bread.  Mummy has bought me The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart and WOW what a book, but toooooo technical for me just now.  It's all very off puting, all I want to do is to learn slowly from the shallow end.  

I stay in South Africa and need a simple book for a simple soul, sort of A B C.  As an imigrant from the UK I am missing my crumpets and want to start to make my own, to start with.  Saw fab recipe on Master Chef Australia which asked for double zero strong flour and cake flour mixed.  No I am not going to ask where I can buy it mixed, cos even this idiot can take flour from two bags.  But hey, is this being too anal about double zero, when most of the world, I think, can't get their hands on this stuff?

I have asked the flour makers here, Snowflake customer help line, what can they recommend to use as strong flour and they have not heard of strong flour.  God help South Africa.  When they asked what I wanted to make, they said "use bread flour", now that was easy. But they do not say it is strong and cannot advise.

So, can anyone help this poor old man to get his feet wet in the kitchen.  Am I just ok with this flour and does all these 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 matter when you see in a recipe?

Would love to get help.  Please.

Many thanks



pmccool's picture

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf, Victor!

In South Africa, the product labeled bread flour is equivalent to the product that is labeled strong flour in the UK, so the folks at Snowflake steered you right.  The products labeled cake flour in both locations are effectively equivalent.

As an American, I found the South African bread flours to be slightly "weaker" (containing less gluten-forming protein, really) than their counterparts in the U.S.  If the strong flour that you purchased in the UK contained Canadian or U.S. flours, you may find something similar.  Your proposed blend of cake and bread flours should work just fine for the crumpets. 

My personal preference was for the Eureka Mills brand of flours, especially for the whole-grain varieties.  They were about the only source of rye flour or rye chops that I could find.  Check your local Spar supermarket to see if they carry the Eureka Mills products.  If not, click on the link, above, to find a retailer closest to you.

Don't be too harsh on ZA until you've had a chance to get to know it.  It does have its own unique challenges but it is uncommonly beautiful country and home to some absolutely delightful people.


farmervic's picture

Hi Paul,

Thanks for replying and your flour link and comments.

Sorry for appearing to be scynical, just get frustrated with some companies attitude as time goes by.  You are correct about SA and it's people which is why I am glad I came here 21 yrs ago and never want to go back to the UK or Europe ever again.

Will do the crumpets this weekend and will let you know.