The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Let's talk Protein content

Silent Pain's picture
Silent Pain

Let's talk Protein content

As a new SD baker, I don't have too much experience with different types of flour.
Right now I only use white flour and I'm very happy with the taste and texture, I've always loved white bread.

So speaking only from my short, short experience, when I started baking I used plain white flour with 10.7% protein, and following the advice of people here I got a stronger flour with 12.5% and the difference was beyond compare.

Every time I'm buying my now favorite brand of white flour, I look around the shelves check out the other types, I see Rye flour, whole wheat, Spelt flour, Buckwheat (sarrasin) flour... each type and each brand has its own protein content, I saw Rye flour with 8%, Rye with 9.5%, Buckwheat with 10%, 11%, whole wheat with 10.3%... 11.2%... and then passed out...

When I regained my consciousness I started thinking: how do you deal with low protein flours?

I know these types of flours have many differences aside from the protein, some flours require more water, some are stickier, so my question is about mixing flours, let's say I have a good 70% hydration formula and I use strong white flour, and I want to replace some of the white flour with a brand of Rye which has 8% protein, how do I compensate for the lower protein content?
Do I need to? 
What should I expect in terms of the texture of the dough and the final bread?

 

 

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I cannot speak to all of your questions, but on adding a bit of rye, the main difference you will notice is that the dough tends to be stickier at all stages. With all other flours, I make no adjustments up to a total of about 25% "other" flours, and see very little change in performance, and a lot of change in flavour and crumb, depending on the additions.

I have one proofing now that is high-protein white with the addition of 10% each of rye, wholewheat and einkorn and I am pretty sure it will be just fine.

sb20's picture
sb20

I use vital wheat gluten to balance out the protein content when baking with low gluten flours. Most of the commercial vwg (say Bob's Red Mill or KA) comes at 75% gluten content.

A simple mixed-mass calculation will give you (there used to be a link in one of the tfl areas that I have in recent times not been able to locate, so I just use excel to calculate) the weight of vital weight gluten to add based on the weights and gluten percentages of the other flours you are using. You can then add the amount of vwg needed to get the desired overall protein percentage in your dough.

Hope this is useful!

sb20's picture
sb20

Wow, Mini, so much to learn and try differently! Thanks for the pointers!!

 

Silent Pain's picture
Silent Pain

Thanks!

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