The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using "Hi-Gluten" Flour for Bread

isaacis's picture

Using "Hi-Gluten" Flour for Bread

Does anyone have experience with (or scientific insight into) baking bread with "Hi-Gluten" flour that has a protein content of 14% or more (Sir Lancelot, All Trumps, etc.)? How does it compare to using bread flour with 12-13% protein?

How will it affect the oven spring, structure, and texture of the resulting bread? I'm aware this type of flour is typically used for making chewier bagels; will this extra protein result in a loaf that is too tough?

ciabatta's picture

The protein percentage measure wheat flour's gluten potential. To develop gluten, you would still have to work the dough (knead / stretch and fold / autolyse...).   

High gluten flour is use for chewier crusts and also for thinner pizza dough.   You can stretch it thinner without it tearing easily if you've developed the gluten in it.  Generally, it's easier to work with. For certain breads, you can work high gluten dough lightly (say, 2 sets of stretch and folds) to get to a certain texture where as you'll use regular bread flour, it may take you 4 or 5 sets of stretch and folds to get there). I could mean a lot less work for a bakery or pizzeria .  But with high gluten, you can go too far easily too. where too much gluten is developed and the bread gets too chewy and maybe even hard to digest.

I'm finding that I like flour around 12% protein and it gives me a lot of flexibility on how much gluten i want to develop.

Note that whole grain flour will show a high protein content, but it does not translate necessarily to gluten potential. whole grain flour has parts of the kernel that has protein, but not gluten producing protein. and these other parts often will damage gluten development in the dough.  Also, non-wheat flours do not have the same gluten potential as wheat flours. Rye has some gluten potential, where rice and oats do not.

(This is not to say unworked wheat flour has no gluten... that's a different thing. there are protein molecules that come together to form gluten bonds, and it's the bonds that i'm talking about)



idaveindy's picture

There are some good older discussions about All Trumps and Sir Lancelot. 

Use the search box, or:

retired baker's picture
retired baker

hi-gluten,,, used it for 50 years, can't be beat for intended uses.

Its on the weak side for bagels.

The only place I saw all purpose was in restaurants and hotels, its not specific enough for baking in any bakery I worked in. Since retiring I've tried it, its ok for sandwich bread , saute and sauces.

Theres too many uses where it doesn't work for me.