The Fresh Loaf

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bread flour

Branka's picture
Branka

bread flour

I live in Southern Ontario and am finding it almost impossible to purchase a really high protein grown in Manitoba bread flour. I have written to 3 mills with no response back, and they all mill flour that has up to 15% protein. My daughter lives in the UK and she buys a Manitoba bread flour there and says it is amazing. Whenever she comes for a visit and we use the bread flour l buy here she says it's nothing compared to the hard Manitoba flour she buys at home.

I am just wondering what if anything has anyone come across. I honestly never thought that as a Canadian l couldn't buy flour grown and milled here in Canada!! 

loaflove's picture
loaflove

Not sure if this helps but i got this reply from robin hood canada. In response to your inquiry, the gluten percentage of the Robin Hood® All Purpose Flour Unbleached is approximately 12% and the Best for Bread Flour Homestyle White is approximately 13%.

There's a local mill in BC called Anita's organic and they do sell online.  Not sure about the percentages though. But they have lots of variety of canadian grown grains and interesting blends

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

15% protein is quite high though, that will be a very strong flour! How is it not enough exactly?

Comparing North American flours and European flours is difficult, not just protein content is different... Even if it's called Manitoba, I think it could be locally grown (which UK flour is it, btw?).

Benito's picture
Benito

Hey fellow Canadian.  I find it hard to find low protein flour here in Ontario.  Even our all purpose is high protein 13.3%.  Bread flour 13.3% is considered high protein and is amazing for baking bread.  Almost all our flour that we can easily purchase here in Ontario is Canadian.  The only foreign flours I see regularly are the Italian flours, type 0 and type 00.

loaflove's picture
loaflove

what brand of  apf flour are you using that is 13.3 % ? 

Benito's picture
Benito

It wasn’t until last year around the start of the baguette CB that I started to look at AP flour in Canada.  I wanted a lower protein flour and assumed AP would be it.  Low and behold all the grocery store AP flours were 13.3% protein, all of them.  Eventually I found one grocery store AP that wasn’t and it turns out it was a US flour.  Eventually I found an organic AP flour from Quebec that was 10% and was perfect for my baguettes.

In terms of brands, the most common brand of flour up here is Robin Hood, they list the protein for their AP and bread flour as 13.3%.

Benny

loaflove's picture
loaflove

Interesting that you've discovered that.  I don't see the protein percentages printed on the packages of the flours i've come across.  I had to email Robin hood for the info and i have just emailed rogers.  Did you do calculations based on the nutrition labels?  Are you quite sure the RH AP is 13.3%? They told me it is 12% and the bread flour is 13%.  I guess you can't use cake flour for your baguettes as it's probably bleached?  We have Robin Hood and Rogers in BC as the common brands.  

So i take it that you only make sd bread with bread flour.  Have you tried making sd bread with AP flour? And if you have, what differences have you noted? Because I've actually never used or bought bread flour.  I was thinking of making my own blend of flour for sd bread.  a blend of AP, bread and ww.  i'd also like to make a loaf with all bread flour to see what the difference is.  

Benito's picture
Benito

I just realized that you live in BC, sorry I didn’t know when I answered earlier.  I was going by the labels which I suppose are badly rounded off.  Still 12% is pretty high for protein still.  I looked at cake flours but all of them were bleached which I didn’t want.  La Milanese from Quebec is now my favourite AP flour since it is 10% protein.

The US flour that I mentioned earlier was a PC flour, they have an AP that is also 10%, but during the pandemic it was out of stock for quite some time.  

I have used AP flour to make bread, in fact I purchased a 5 kg bag of Anitas AP which by the label is also 13% and it was great.  I’ve been using a blend of bread flour and my 10% protein flour lately trying to get a more open crumb.  I haven’t decided if it is better than all bread flour yet.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Branka - I've also looked for Manitoba flour in Ontario without success. It makes no sense I can't find it but can buy flour from Italy, the US and other places. I've resigned myself to buying fresh milled flour from Arva near London https://www.arvaflourmill.com/ - it's great flour.  To get the higher protein content in some bakes I add gluten flour for 1 or 2% of the flour weight depending what I'm after.

If you ever find a way to get Manitoba flour please post it please let me know! Thanks

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Frank the only place I’ve seen Manitoba flour is in Eataly downtown Toronto.  They sell very small bags of what they call Manitoba flour that’s organic.  

Benny

loaflove's picture
loaflove

Have you seen this website? https://prairieflour.com/ i was googling and came across it.  Maybe contact them to see where they sell their products