Author Topic: High protein vs. high gluten  (Read 5261 times)

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Offline gschwim

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High protein vs. high gluten
« on: August 25, 2006, 11:42:04 PM »
What is the distinction between high protein flour and high gluten flour?  Are they synonymous?  Is there high-gluten, low-protein flour and vice-versa?  If so, which is better for pizza?  What about adding vital wheat gluten to low-protein flour, such as cake flour?

Gene


Offline varasano

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2006, 12:01:02 AM »
High protein & high gluten are mostly the same thing (for our purposes). You can add vital wheat gluten, but it's not the best thing to do.  The best flour for pizza, really depends on the style of pizza. Almost any flour can be turned into a good pizza using good technique. Technique is the most important thing. For a NY pizza, most people use either a High gluten flour (13.5-14% protein) or an italian 00 flour which is usually 11% (00 is also ground finer). But some, use other flours, such as Bread Flour (12.5%). I've used all of these, and I prefer Bread Flour the best. But many on the board will disagree with me. If you click over to my page, by clicking the little globe under my name, you will see photos of pies made with practically every flour.  Yet the pies look similar (not exactly the same, but very similar) and all look good. To make dough, you must have protein and work or 'develop' the protein by using good mixing techniques. If you have a lot of protein and don't develop it well, it's a waste. If you have little protein and know how to develop it, it can be great.  So I recommend to everyone to start with a good flour, such as King Arthur Bread Flour and from there spend 90% of you effort on understanding technique, rather than experimenting with many kinds of flour. Later, when you've got the process down, then go back and switch flours around and see which you like best.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2006, 09:26:40 AM »
Gene,

Generally speaking, high protein flours have high gluten formation and low protein flours have low gluten formation. But that doesn't mean that two flours with the same rated protein levels will have the same amount of gluten formation. Grains are different, and they can be milled and blended differently, with different gradations, and have variations because of the conditions under which the grains were grown. The quality of the protein can also vary from one flour to another.

As to which type of flour is best for pizza, that depends on what type or style of pizza you want to make, as Jeff has noted. You can make a pizza using any flour from cake flour all the way up to high-gluten flour. However, I wouldn't recommend using cake flour or pastry flour alone because they have such low protein and gluten levels that the doughs will be very hard to make and handle easily and their use may be limited to pan pizzas where the dough can simply be pressed into place. You can add vital wheat gluten (VWG) to a low-protein flour such as cake flour to increase its protein content, and you will get a pizza that you will be able to eat and maybe even enjoy. I say this because I did just what you proposed, that is, adding VWG to cake flour. I did this as an experiment, just to see what I would get. The pizza turned out better than I expected (it was soft and chewy) but it had little crust coloration because of the predominance of the cake flour. Beyond the learning experience, or unless all you have at your disposal is cake flour and VWG, I don't see a reason to use cake flour enhanced with VWG. I would go with the traditional flour choices (all-purpose, bread flour, etc.).

Peter

Offline nepa-pizza-snob

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 09:07:31 PM »
High protein & high gluten are mostly the same thing (for our purposes). You can add vital wheat gluten, but it's not the best thing to do.  The best flour for pizza, really depends on the style of pizza. Almost any flour can be turned into a good pizza using good technique. Technique is the most important thing. For a NY pizza, most people use either a High gluten flour (13.5-14% protein) or an italian 00 flour which is usually 11% (00 is also ground finer). But some, use other flours, such as Bread Flour (12.5%). I've used all of these, and I prefer Bread Flour the best. But many on the board will disagree with me. If you click over to my page, by clicking the little globe under my name, you will see photos of pies made with practically every flour.  Yet the pies look similar (not exactly the same, but very similar) and all look good. To make dough, you must have protein and work or 'develop' the protein by using good mixing techniques. If you have a lot of protein and don't develop it well, it's a waste. If you have little protein and know how to develop it, it can be great.  So I recommend to everyone to start with a good flour, such as King Arthur Bread Flour and from there spend 90% of you effort on understanding technique, rather than experimenting with many kinds of flour. Later, when you've got the process down, then go back and switch flours around and see which you like best.

So... What exactly is this technique that you are describing - that turns ok anyflour dough into very good pizza. My doughs are ok, but not quite there. Often they aren't stretchable after longer mixing periods. FYI Im currently using up my KA Bread flour, approx. 63% Hyd, 2 min mix, 30 min autolyse, add yeast, sugar, salt and oil and mix in my kitchenaid 5 qt. for anywhere between 5 and 20 min. Then into the frig. for 2-3 days. Seem to have trouble developing glutenous strands. Any tips? I may try the long room temp ferments as I value in a classic approach, but I am lusting after the quintessential NYC pie.

Thanks

Offline chiguy

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 10:00:57 PM »
 Hi nepa pizza snob,
 It is all together likely that after a 2min mix,30 autolyse, then 5-20min additional mix time?? you have in fact been over mixing the dough. Upon overmixing this will cause the gluten structure to break down. It is unrepairable at this point. This may very well be the problem you're experiencing. Also the fact that you are using bread flour which will be even more sensitive to over mixing then say a High gluten flour.
 You can continue to follow the first two steps(2min mix/30 min autolyse) but you should lower the final mix time after the autolyse to 5-7minutes. I think you may want to check the dough after 5minutes, if if it has a smooth satin appearance and does not break apart when pulled apart between you're two thumbs. It is mixed well and you have developed the gluten. If the dough breaks and splits during this test continue to mix for 2 more minutes and check it again. All these factors are relative and i am not using the same mixer as yourself so it make take a few time to get it correct.  Goodluck, Chiguy
 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2006, 10:03:14 PM by chiguy »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2006, 10:43:03 PM »
nepa-pizza-snob,

One of the main purposes of using an autolyse is to reduce the total mix time. You didn't indicate what dough batch size you have been making or what mixer speeds you have been using, but unless you have been making the maximum dough batch size that your mixer can produce and you are using only the mix/knead speeds, then I would agree with chiguy that 20 minutes final knead may be too long. Also, if you are making only a single dough ball, 30 minutes of autolyse may be more than you need.

What Jeff is referring to can be seen here: http://www.think2020.com/jv/recipe.htm.

Peter

Offline nepa-pizza-snob

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2006, 12:10:36 AM »
Hi

Thanks for the replies. I am working with small batches as I am still in the experimental phase of things. My recipe was derived from the Lehman Dough Calc. and looks something like (2) 12 inch @ 1.0 thickness 62% hydration etc etc so the final unproofed dough is really small enough to wotk by hand. but I am lazy and planning for the bigger picture. I do not exceed Speed 2 out of 6 or 8 on the kitchenaid mixer. I 100% agree with what you are both saying inregard to mix times as I remember from breadmaking that less is usually better; however, I have been unable to achieve this stretching without tearing that everyone refers to as the window pane? so I continue to mix and mix and mix. I am unsure that I have ever succesfully completed this test! This is difficult without actually seeing and touching the dough. I believe that I am falling short of that "satiny" texture everyone chases after that signifies close to perfect dough. I believe that I am so close. but missing some small fact.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2006, 12:21:18 AM »
nepa-pizza-snob,

Like many, I used to use the windowpane (gluten film) test, even with some of my early Lehmann doughs. However, after reading many of the writings of Tom Lehmann, I stopped using it. This is Tom's advice on this matter:

You want to mix the dough just enough so that when you take an egg size piece of dough, and form it into a ball, then holding it in two hands, with the thumbs together (pointing away from you), and on top of the dough piece, gently pull the thumbs apart. The dough skin should not tear. If it tears, you should mix the dough a little longer. The dough will have a decidedly satiny appearance. Prior to the satiny appearance the dough will have more of a curdled appearance. Do not stretch the dough out between the fingers to form a gluten film. This test for development is for bread and roll doughs, not pizza. Pizza dough is not fully developed at the mixer, instead, it receives most of its development through biochemical gluten development (fermentation). After the dough has been in the cooler for about 24 hours, you should be able to stretch the dough in your fingers and form a very thin, translucent gluten film.

Peter

Offline varasano

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2006, 07:53:49 AM »
Hey Guys,

The technique that I'm referring to, which is critical in the KA mixer is the 'wet knead' which basically just means you have to add the flour gradually.  You are already doing autolyze, which is right. My tips are over on my site which pete gave the link to, including some window pane photos.  If you haven't done the wet knead, I doubt that you have over mixed in just 20 minutes in a KA.  If you have put all the flour in at once, then the dough may be sticking to the hook, in which case the 20 minutes may not even be enough because most of that time is not that productive - the dough spins on the hook and barely kneads. You could leave it on there for an hour. I think it's harder to overmix than most people think and I actually think it's virtually impossible to overmix in a KA mixer.  Your windowpaning test should be done after the mix is over and after the dough has rested at least 5-7 minutes or more.  It may test poorly before that, but then after the rest it will test well if you did it right.

good luck,

Jeff

Offline scott r

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2006, 02:53:47 PM »
I have overmixed with hand kneading.

 >:D


Offline Jack

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2006, 04:04:55 PM »
The dough will have a decidedly satiny appearance. Prior to the satiny appearance the dough will have more of a curdled appearance.

Good to know, although if you stop the mixer when those curds are pretty small, the dough will still pull translucent thin after retarding; at least it does for me. 

I guess I've been under kneading a little.  I know that I was shooting for a satin finish, but was a bit concerned about over kneading have been stopping just a tad short.  I guess I'll need to make another round of pizza this weekend to check it out!

Thanks Peter,

Jack

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2006, 04:15:04 PM »
Jack,

Evelyne Slomon also talked about this subject, as noted from the following excerpt from one of her recent posts:

When using a planetary style mixer (like a kitchen aid), try to use a very, very slow speed. It is not necessary to knock the dough about the bowl. Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and you hear a gentle smacking and sucking sound as the dough pushes and pulls from the sides of the bowl.

The dough may appear to have a dimpled cottage cheese texture--this is fine. If you take out a silver dollar size ball of dough, lightly flatten it and roll it over your knuckles, you will see that it either tears or it stretches. If it tears, a bit more mixing time is needed. (this is not the gluten vale test, the dough is not stretched out to that point, we are not looking at it's extensibility qualities, we only want to see if it is properly mixed out.)

Working at home you can do 2 things at this point: you can continue mixing until the dough is smooth, or you can finish it by hand. Why finish by hand? because for such a small amount, especially if you are using a kitchen aid type mixer, you want to treat the dough as gently as possible.


Peter

Offline Jack

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2006, 04:29:41 PM »
PERFECT!  Evelyne must have been watching me.

I am right on track and will keep doing what I am doing.  I use the #1 KA setting and finsh by hand when it gets that slightly curdy appearance.

FYI - the dough rolls around the bowl late in the knead process once it has cleaned off the walls of the bowl.  If it ever starts knocking around, very infrequently, with the mixer still running, I'll drop the bowl for a few seconds, then raise it again, and we are back to kneading. 

Thanks again,

Jack

Offline nepa-pizza-snob

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Re: High protein vs. high gluten
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2006, 04:48:10 PM »
 >:( I am overkneading the snot out of my precious pizza babies - I will adjust and report my findings


 

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