The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ballymaloe Bread Book - Flour Terminology?

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Ballymaloe Bread Book - Flour Terminology?

I'm looking through my copy of the Ballymaloe Bread Book by Tim Allen.  It comes out of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland.  I think it's a great book except for the terminology.  Some terms are explained in the book; some I can translate into American fairly easily; some I can figure out from the Internet; and then there's the rest.  I accept that the ingredients in Ireland will be different from what we have in America, but I would at least like to know what what we're talking about.

Here are some of the terms that have caught my eye, just to show you what I'm up against.  There seems to be some inconsistency, with several different terms meaning the same thing.  I don't know if I'm complaining or looking for help, but I know we have people from all over the world on this site, so SOMEONE should know.

flour - This unmodified term is used for several recipes
plain flour – Listed in glossary as, “A multi-purpose flour produced from a blend of soft and hard wheat.”
plain white flour
cream flour - pastry flour???
strong flour – listed in glossary as, “Sometimes called baker’s flour or bread flour.  It has a higher gluten content, being milled from hard wheat.”
strong white flour - Bread flour, I assume
brown flour - ???  Partially refined flour?  Like first clear???
strong brown flour - Is this the high-protein version of brown flour?
wholemeal flour – listed in glossary as, “Sometimes called whole wheat pastry flour, it is made from the whole wheat kernel.”
brown wholemeal flour - ??
cornmeal
yellow meal - corn meal?  The intro to this recipe says, "If you are a polenta lover this bread is for you."
granary flour - Listed in the glossary as, "A mixture of wholemeal, white and rye flour with some malted grains.  Improves keeping time of bread."
kibbled wheat – Listed in glossary as, “Wheat of which the kernel has been gently cracked.”
rye flour
plain rye flour
dark rye flour
PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Plain flour is all-purpose and strong flour would be our bread flour, generally speaking, but our (Canadian at least) all-purpose could easily stand in for their strong flour.  I baked the sticky buns when I was in Ireland and we had to go out and buy the strong flour.  Kibbled wheat is cracked wheat.  Brown flour...well, you could just use whole wheat I guess, and depending on the recipe, it would be ww all-purpose or ww bread for the yeast breads, and a mixture of ww pastry and all-purpose for the soda breads and scones.  Yellow meal is cornmeal.  Dark rye is presumably pumpernickel rye, though I've only been able to buy generically labelled "rye" flour so that's what I use.  And I have never seen granary flour here, though it is supposed to be available.  I hope this helps.  Have you made anything from this book yet?  I have the e-mail address for Ballymaloe if you'd like it, and have been in touch with Tim Allen.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I have used some recipes.  It is possible to make a good guess even if you don't know exactly.  After all, we do improvise a lot anyway.  But I had to do some research to figure out what a "dessertspoon" was (1 7/8 teaspoons, or, according to sources on the Internet, 2 teaspoons).

One problem is the inconsistencies, that different terms may be used for the same thing.  If "yellow meal" is really the same as "cornmeal", why not use the same term?  All of the terms I listed are used in the book, and I don't know if there are nuanced differences or if two similar terms are really the same.

Rosalie

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I did see this in Ireland, but I didn't get a chance to look closely at the bag.  I e-mailed my cousin in Wexford, and she thinks it's just another all-purpose flour which might possibly be unbleached, giving the bread a creamy colour.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

...plain flour.  I just remembered the flour company, Odlum's, and googled it.