The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour protein percentages

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Flour protein percentages

I am unsure of certain flours and could use some help.  Firstly I am in Australia in one of the smaller states and do not have access to as many flour options as those of you lucky folks in the States.  I would like to know the protein % of your high gluten flour as opposed to normal bread flour.  I have just sourced a named 'strong bread flour' which has a protein % of 13% and wonder how this stacks up against your high gluten flour?  I was told it is stronger than normal bread flour, but  I am not so sure.  My normal bread flour comes in 5kg bags and I transfer it to airtight containers and don't have the original bag.  I have also lost my source of durum (semolina) flour which I loved very much.  It was bulk binned so I have no information on it.  It has been replaced with 1kg bags (at, I might add, $A8.99/bag!) of so-called wholegrain durum flour with a protein level stated as 13.6% .  Will see how it performs.  Also sourced some durum atta flour, but have no idea if it is suitable for bread making.

Any information and help would be much appreciated.

Sondra in Oz

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Falls within the range of Bread Flour and will make good bread. Even the slightly weaker, middle of the road, all purpose flour can make bread but not used by professional bakers.

http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/bakingdesserts/p/wheatflour.htm

Hope this helps.

drogon's picture
drogon

is bread flour - and as AbeNW11 says 13% is good. My usual bread flour (Shipton Mill No. 4) is 12%.

Atta flour is usually finely ground wholemeal wheat flour - sometimes with extra white flour added. Typically used in Indian cooking for making chapattis, etc.

-Gordon

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

12% is plenty of protein to make fine SD bread,  I find that higher protein makes for a crumb that I don't like nearly as well.  13% of fine for bagels, some use it for pizza.  I prefer baguettes, if made the French way, at 10-10.5% hard white wheat because that is what they use. Otherwise, if making them SD, I use my normal bread flour mix.

So It depends what you are making. My favorite bread flour mix is half AP and half bread flour to get the 12% I like and then mix that with equal amounts of home milled whole grain flour that ranges from 12-15% protein depending on the whole grain.   I rarely make bread at less than 20% whole grains though.

Many commercial bakeries use higher protein for bread because their processes are quite different than doing some slap and folds and stretch and folds with long cold retards that might take 3 days to complete at home.

It comes down to what you prefer and what process you are using.  There isn't a right or wrong but it is dependent on what you like then best.

We have so many down under bakers on TFL, I'm sure some will chime in with what flours work best for them using  Australian sourced or local flour.

I've had good luck using durum atta (whole grain durum where the bran and hard larger bits are sifted out and added back in later.  I sift out the hard bits and feed that to the levain to get them as wet for as long as possible.  Seems to make better whole durum bread that way. 

happy baking 

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Thank you all for your helpful comments.  DAB, I'm with you.  I rarely make 100% white bread but use white flour with proportions of either WW, Durum Semolina or my favourite, Rye flour. I did want to try Susan from San Diego's loaf in which she uses "high gluten flour" but says to try a different recipe if this high gluten flour is unavailable. Hence the original query.    

I do often make a 100% WW bread with soaked chia seeds (the flour I purchased for this recipe is stated as 13% protein).  This is a beautifullly moist bread with a lovely mouth feel - (thank you, Shaio-Ping).  The atta flour I picked up because of the creamy yellow tinge, similar to semolina flour and thought it might be a substitute when my bulk durum semolina flour became permanently unavailable.  The new, very expensive subbed bagged durum states 13.6% on the bag.  I also have access to khorasan flour.

We are coming to the end of summer here (temps still high 30-low 40dC), so won't be baking for a little while yet!  Too darned hot.

Cheers and thanks

Sondra

 

wheatstreet's picture
wheatstreet

Flour choices in my big state are a bit limited too, at least in my surrounding shops.  I have been using Defiance flour which is 12.5%. I was taught in my first baking class that you need at least 12.5 for artisan baking.  The bakery that ran the class uses Kialla organic flour.  Their bread is fantastic.  I bought a bag of it which states 13.6 But to be honest I couldn't tell the difference from my loaves baked with Defiance but then my baking skills are not that great yet.  I can get a couple of types of organic high protein flour locally but they are all about $8-$9 per kilo compared with non-organic in 5kg bags for $2 per kilo.

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Hi Wheatstreet.  I live in Adelaide's southern suburbs.  No baking classes anywhere here, so I really envy you that.  Have been baking, mostly with sourdough, for a couple of years now.  It took quite a while to locate sources of different flours here, but now can access most of what I require.  As I said I am no longer able to source my favourite durum (semolina) flour and am not really happy about paying $9 kilo for the subbed stuff, but what can you do.  I can purchase Laucke bread flour from the supermarket in 5kg bags but have to order in wholemeal strong flour (13% protein) from a local country mill (Four Leaf Mill) which is good stuff.  Are you on the East coast?  If so, you probably have more resources than I do.

Sondra

 

wheatstreet's picture
wheatstreet

Hi Sondra.  I am in Sydney.  I've only been attempting baking for the last 2-3 months so havent comprehensively searched for good flour options.  I havve seen Laucke flour but it has improvers in it which I would like to avoid.  I have also seen Wallaby flour in bulk.  Most of the bread flour in supermarkets now is bread mix Or lower gluten pizza flour. There must be plenty around in Sydney as there are lots of places running basic courses. I just don't know where they are getting good flour in bulk.

Megan

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Hi Megan.  You could perhaps ask a local bakery about what flours are available and where to source them.  I know Kialla is up the east coast but not too sure where.  I sometimes use Wallaby flour but think that is also produced by Laucke.  There are absolutely no bread baking courses at all here.  You are lucky to have that option to help you on your way.  I had to learn purely from books and trial and error.  And all my friends and family like white plastic supermarket bread .. ugh!!   Good luck.

Sondra

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Just been having a look for you and funnily enough the strongest bread flour in your normal supermarket is Spelt.

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Hi AbeNW11.  Yes, we can get white and whole spelt in our supermarkets.  Have never looked at the protein % though.  Tried whole spelt once and it wasn't very successful, but that was in the early stages of my breadmaking journey.  Have been thinking of trying it again now I Have more experience.  Think I tried a 100% whole spelt loaf!!  Bit ambitious for a novice methinks.  Too hot for baking at present .. 40dC for the next few days.  I presume you are in the UK, so I hope you are not too cold!

Sondra

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Spelt can be treated very much like regular wheat but just watch the proofing times as it is quicker. I happen to love Spelt. Doesn't rise as much as wheat but really tasty. You can always do a mix of all purpose flour and Spelt to get the best of both worlds.

Many people only like to bake bread in cooler weather (because of the heat in the kitchen?) but hotter weather is more ideal for bread rising.

Being in the UK I'm always trying to raise the heat level to make it more ideal.

Wow, it's hot where you are. Damp and miserable here.