By: Dan Ceppa
To: George Mooth
Re: Our Daily Bread
HR-=>No I must of missed it.
Not to worry!!! Here it is:
Subj: Bread Flour - Gluten
There are essentially two kinds of wheat grown by farmers and ranchers:
hard and soft. A third wheat, imported to the American diet, but not
in breads and pastries, is a hard wheat variety, called "durum".This
is used in making pastas, such as macaroni, spaghetti & noodles, and is
also used as feed for poultry and livestock.
All three wheats share in varying degrees, an important element which
makes wheat unique among the cereal flours. That is "Gluten"..a plant
protein prized by bakers because when mixed with water, it forms an
elastic network that catches the gas generated by the yeast, and it
raises and expands the dough.
Hard wheat which is grown in the Great Plains of our western prairie
lands (USA) has a high gluten content, and is milled into "bread" flour.
After an absence in our supermarkets for over two generations, this
marvelous flour has returned to the shelves.
If you cannot obtain the "bread" flour, you may substitue "unbleached"
flour. Despite its name, the flour is bleached in an aging, rather
than a chemical process, and is milled from a blend of hard wheats. It
may be substituted for bread flours with very good results.
Bread flour is favored by commercial bakers not only for its taste and
texture, but because it can withstand punishing treatment from the
heavy machinery used.
Soft wheat, grown in the milder regions of the middle and eastern
America, produces a flour lower in Gluten, one that is ideal for baking
such products as cakes, cookies, crackers and pastries. At the bottom
of the gluten scale is cake flour. This has only enough of the protein
to hold the cake together when it's baking, while the delicate and
tender structure of cells is formed. Just a little higher up the gluten
scale is pastry flour, for pie and tart dough, because it can tolerate
a considerale amount of shortening without becoming tough.
Mid-range is the all purpose flour....a blend of hard and soft wheat
flours that has been developed by the millers to take care of a wide
range of home baking needs with one flour....from bread to biscuits, to
pies and doughnuts.
All-purpose flour can be substituted for most other wheat flours in
recipes. It will not rise as high as bread flour however, it is a
worthy substitute nonetheless.
A combination of three parts all purpose flour to one
part bread flour will obtain the characteristics of French Bread.
However, french flour gets no chemical treatment whatsoever, except
for minute additions of ascorbic acid, which strengthens the dough and
gives the loaf more volume. US unbleached flour has perhaps the closest
resemblence to French flour.
It is quite easy to check the protein, or gluten content of flour...that
is..beyond the description on the bag the flour comes in, in the
grocery store. Look at the small panel of nutritional informatin on the
side of the package. Even though figures vary from brand to brand and
from Mill to Mill, here is the protein range:
Bread Flour: 12.5%
Unbleached Flour: 11%
All-Purpose Flour: 9%
Cake Flour: 7% or less.
Bromated white flour is used primarily by commercial bakers. The flour
is treated with potassium bromate to toughen the dough for the rigors of
Whole Wheat flour (made from the whole kearnel) is quite easy to work
and knead, because of its full quota of Gluten.I often use stoneground
whole wheat flour because it gives the bread a rougher texture. Graham
and pumpernickel are similar to stoneground.
Whoel wheat flour contains the entire germ or fat portion of the
kernel.Stored for any extended time, it should be kept refrigerated or
in the freezer to prevent rancidity.
Rye is a grain with little gluten, therefore, most of the time rye flour
must be mixed with white or whole wheat flour to give the dough its
necessary gluten network.
When making bread, the flour should not be sifted. The amount of flour
given in any recipe is only 'approximate' because flour varies greatly
in its ability to absorb moisture due to differences from harvest to
harvest, sack to sack, as well as month to month as the humidity changes
and the flour absorbs/releases moisture. An example: flour kept in a
warm kitchen in the wintertime will be dry, and more receptive to liquid
than flour stored in a humid room in the summer.
Flour freezes well, and keeps for a year or more in the freezer. When I
find a good sale on flour, I stock up and keep it in the freezer.
Gluten, the protein in wheat flour so important to yeast-raised bread is
processed into a flour that is baked into a loaf which, when
sliced and toasted, has a very crisp bite and a pleasant nutlike flavor.
The flour is expensive (costing almost 8x as much as bread flour, so it
will probably be reserved for 'special diets'.
To make gluten flour, white flour goes through a washing process that
takes away most of the starch and leaves the gluten. This is then
processed into a light brown flour.
Gluten, of course, is the grand substance found in wheat flour which
forms the elastic network in yeast dough, to trap gas bubbles and expand
the dough. ***Don't expect the addition of gluten flour to ordinary
wheat flour to give it even more lift. It Won't
Next posting will be about Triticale, a strange and relatively new word
in the lexicon of the home baker...is a grain, a hybrid of wheat and
rye high in nutrients and fiber.
/) / / *
/_)( )/_)/_) / ('
"Once your mind is stretched by a new
idea, it will never again return to its
~Oliver Wendall Holmes~
* OLX 2.1 TD * I got a Harley for my ex-husband....what a great trade!
-!- GOMail v2.02 [94-0145]
! Origin: The Desert Reef >(;} * Tucson Az * V34 * 520 624 6386 (1:300/507)
... Raise Twit Shields, Mr Sulu! Asshole located on sensors....
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12
--- WILDMAIL!/WC v4.12
* Origin: Ten Forward BBS, The Olympic Peninsula. (1:350/401.0)