Making Pastry Flour To Exact Protein Percentages.
Posted: 14 January 2013 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Rose says using the correct flour is important.  She mentions King Arthur brand most often, so I bought a fifty pound sack of Sir Lancelot hi-gluten flour, protein content ? 14.2%.  And since I am tired of paying such a high price for a very small box of cake flour I tried to find Queen Guinevere Hi-Ratio Cake Flour, (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/Conventional-bakery-flours.html ).
But I had to settle for a fifty pound sack of General Mills ? Gold Medal Purasnow Cake Flour, protein content ? 8% because no one stocks Queen Guinevere in Kansas City. 

I decided I would make my own 9.2 % protein pastry flour by calculating the exact two proportions to combine.  Perhaps you will profit from my experience.  I have a formula here that you can use to start with any two flours and end up with any percentage of protein desired. 

Since protein percentages are specified in parts per hundred, it is convenient to start off with 100 grams of Cake Flour so we can think of one percent and one gram as the same amount. 

Goal:  Mixture with 9.2% Protein
Using:  Hard flour,  14.2% Protein
    and Weak flour,  8% Protein
So we want to increase the protein from 8% to 9.2% by combining these two flours. 

If we add 25 grams of Hard Flour, it works.  Here is the math.  (For your own percentages, you will have to jiggle the numbers until you get to your desired protein level.  Or you can use an exact Algebra formula I will show you.  Believe me, jiggling the numbers is easier than algebra). 

Add 25 grams of Hard Flour:  3.55 grams of protein, (14.2 multiplied by 25% = 3.55)
Hard Flour Protein:                  3.55
Cake Flour Protein:            +    8
Total grams of Protein:          11.55
Now remember, the total weight of the mixture is 100g + 25g = 125 grams
So, 125 divided by 11.55 =  .0924   Close enough! 

Let?s say your recipe calls for 200 grams of flour, how can it be figured?
Since the 9.24 Protein goal is obtained when:
100 grams cake flour is added to
25   grams hard flour
125 grams Total weight

The percentage of the additional amount is 20% of the total.
25 grams divided by 125 grams = 20%
Therefore the amount of hard flour is 20% of 200 = 40 grams of hard flour And the weak cake flour amount is 80% or 160 grams! 

*And now for the Algebra Equation:
.0924 =
(8+(14.2X))  Divided by   (100+(100x))

Solve for X,  The answer is .25
But remember this is the proportion of additional hard flour for 100 grams, just the first step.  After this, you must figure how many grams of flour your recipe calls for as I have explained above. 
You may plug in your own percentages in this formula and check out your answer with Microsoft?s Free Algebra Calculator which you may install from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15702

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Posted: 15 January 2013 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Julie, Thanks for your reply.  All the math is just not very pretty, I know.

On a side issue,  that hard flour I bought, Sir Lancelot hi-gluten flour, protein content ? 14.2%  - is just great.  I used it to make dinner rolls and I got the strongest rise I have ever seen so that the shape of the dinner rolls were very high and round.  I make dinner rolls with two lumps of dough in each muffin tin, and I tell you these dinner rolls had cleavage! smile  Did they keep their shape better because of the high gluten? 

And the taste and texture is noticeably better, a lot better.  I will never go back to all purpose flour.

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Posted: 15 January 2013 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Julie, If I did the proofing right, it was luck because I am sure no expert.  I always allow the dough to more than double in size.  And of course, in the oven the size increases too! I will have to be careful. because I don’t want cracking or a big collapse. 

I have not been careful with flour before now because I thought that any difference in results would be only slight.  -Wrong!  Yes, we have used bleached flour on occasion and we had decent results.  But the results with this Sir Lancelot hi-gluten flour - is just GREAT!

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Posted: 16 January 2013 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Charles T, Thank you for your reply, I must learn about kneading and glueten development.  I have tried kneading but it seems like only a ritual to me because I cannot see any results, good or bad from kneading.  I will go and learn. 

If no one recommends high glueten flour for dinner rolls, then I cannot account for my good results.  Of course, there is no accounting for taste.  But after a year of trying different recipies and experimenting by varying the ingredients, my family and I are very pleased with last weekend’s results using Sir Lancelot hi-gluten flour.  I will try it again this weekend and if I get the same results, this will be the recipe we will use forever.  My family is very critical and I can tell when I make a mediocre batch of dinner rolls because no one eats them heartily.  But when teenagers volunteer at the Thanksgiving dinner table that my dinner rolls are the best part of a lavish Thanksgiving dinner, I know I have hit the jackpot.  And last weekend’s batch exceeded even that. 

And how about the theory of Pastry flour?  Is it legal to mix bleached cake flour with unbleached flour?  I may try Rose’s Strudel this weekend.  My wife and I have “discussed” this smile and it seems I must spread newspapers on the floor before I attempt to apply flour to a sheet and spread it over our round kitchen table.

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Posted: 04 April 2013 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I know that Peter Reinhart discusses how extended kneading can “oxidize” the unbleached flour and reduce its flavor. If you start with HP flour and knead it less, achieving similar gluten strength as very well kneaded AP flour, would the resulting dough also be less oxidized (with presumably better flavor) in the process?

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Posted: 05 April 2013 04:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I had a few other technical questions. If the bread had more bite (regardless if that’s desirable in a dinner roll) wouldn’t that tend to increase the amount of time a person spent chewing it? Could that also increase flavor detection because of increased saliva production and other stuff going on in the mouth? (Part of the reason seniors can’t taste as well is because of decreased saliva production.) Also, HP flours tend to require more liquid to get the same workability in the dough. Could the increase in water help better break down the starches, making it easier for the yeast to feed, producing more flavor in the process? Other flavor-related variables specific to the flour might be the strain of wheat used in HP flour vs AP flour as well as the age of the flour he was using. I know people over at thefreshloaf.com (much more hardcore bakers than me!) who grind their own flour seem to be blown away by flavor differences.

Regarding enrichments, I think it’s possible that at least a small amount of fat might actually enhance the flours flavor since beta-carotene (and surely other flavonoids in the flour) is fat soluble. Beta-carotene is also sensitive to oxidation, according to Reinhart. Perhaps there is a point where fat/sugar/etc goes from enhancing to overwhelming the actual flavor of the flour. Dinner rolls might be past the point, but perhaps the oil added to a simple bread like pita might enhance the wheaty flavor.

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Posted: 08 April 2013 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks for the responses Julie. I’m really learning a lot! I had another question. So, once the protein in the HP flour is denatured by the extra needed water, the water stays bound up with the gluten, and has limited effects on other factors like yeast development?

Since bread made with more highly oxidized dough should be whiter, maybe I should experiment with my kneading times to see if there’s a noticeable difference in color (and presumably flavor) : )

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Posted: 09 April 2013 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Julie - 09 April 2013 02:27 PM

Your experiment sounds great!  I would suggest mixing up a small batch of lean dough with a medium consistency (soft but not overly sticky) just until there are no dry spots, then divide it in half.  For the “less kneading” half, set it aside to autolyse for 30-60 min, then do a series of stretch and folds every half hour or hour until the dough holds its shape well and feels elastic, this might take 3-5 folds.  For the “more kneading” half, knead without autolysing for a good ten minutes, then leave it undisturbed for rising, doing just one fold or punch down at the end of rising, before shaping.

I was thinking more along the lines of comparing a few loaves that had been kneaded for different amounts of time, just to see if the only technique I altered, time spent kneading (before the 20 minute mark that you mentioned), was actually noticeable in taste. (If the differences were really stark, I might notice a change in color as the flour bleached.) Your suggestion sounds like a good idea too!

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Posted: 14 May 2013 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Julie - 10 April 2013 04:06 PM
CharlesT - 09 April 2013 03:40 PM

That is my concern with Rose’s focaccia recipe.

I’ve made this and I’ll say that on the one hand, it has the most amazing texture of any focaccia I’ve ever had, I love-love-love the texture.  On the other hand, it definitely needs rosemary, salt, etc., or garlic, for flavor.  On my to-bake list is to try to develop a version that has most of the benefits of that wonderful texture but with a pre-ferment and simultaneous overnight autolyse to try to up the flavor in the base dough.

I guess I’ll try this recipe since you are happy of the focaccia you’re made from this. I’m just having a little bit hard time in comprehending all the math in this. I think I’ll need to read all the posts in here to make sure. Wish me luck on my baking.

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