Author Topic: OK, I confess...  (Read 553 times)

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Offline carl333

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OK, I confess...
« on: January 21, 2015, 12:38:33 PM »
Before finding this forum, I tried many dough recipes in recipe books, on the internet and from friends and in simple terms most of the recipes called for just flour, AP flour and then some called for bread flour.

Now I come here and many of the recipes suggest (would that be the right word) brand names ie. King Arthur, Trumps and other high end flours not typicially found in your local supermarket. Ok, so here's my confession. Recipe calls for KA bread flour, I use my go to Sam's Club 10kg. bag of bread flour.  So how many pizzaiolos here are saying you can do that but you shouldn't?

Would someone please explain the differences between a generic supermarket flour and a higher end KA for example sake? What improvements would I expect to see in a finished dough? Some of these flours are expensive and to get them is another story for another day. 

tks
Carl

Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2015, 01:50:51 PM »
My opinion is that it's more important to compare protein levels across the brands, so if the formula calls for KABF and you want to duplicate that, look for a bread flour of the same protein level. 

KA runs slightly higher than most.  I fall into the flour trap too, bottom line is consistency bag to bag.  I've tried so many bags of flour I lost track (Commercial, retail etc..) near same results every time when I think a certain brand is so special, it turns out not so special.

Everyone has the brands they like - I'm a KA fan - constant bag to bag.  With that said, I've also been told it's not a "professional" brand and the only reason why I would use it because it's at the supermarkets...etc...total nonsense.

Pick a brand and stay with it as long as you get consistent results. 

Different styles of Pizza call for different protein levels..that's what is important to pay attention to.  You not going to make an "acceptable" NY thin with AP flour, rather one might use All Trumps for the higher protein content.  If you want a Chicago Deep dish, All Trumps is not the flour of choice, AP is a better choice.

Generally:

Highest protein is the most Chewy
Bread flour is medium Chewy
AP flour is less Chewy

Then you get into thickness impact on chew, oven temps, handling, dough management and the list goes on and you go insane with the combinations.....  For flour Generally those are the 3 levels.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 02:02:07 PM by PizzaGarage »

Offline jsaras

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2015, 04:23:09 PM »
Realistically, I could make the vast majority of my pizzas with KA Bread Flour and/or GM Better for Bread Flour (a little less protein than KABF), or even a blend of both. 

Especially if you're making a NY-ish pizza, a flour with a protein content of 13% is really easy to work with. Whether is underkneaded or overkneaded it seems to come out well. 

That said, by adjusting your kneading time and total hydration to accomodate your particlular flour, you can get very comparable results from nearly anything.  Craig has made many spectacular pizzas using KA all purpose flour: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=13135.0  and Johnny The Gent makes great pizza with Brazilian flours that have a ptotein content under 10%.

Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline carl333

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2015, 04:54:39 PM »
Realistically, I could make the vast majority of my pizzas with KA Bread Flour and/or GM Better for Bread Flour (a little less protein than KABF), or even a blend of both. 

Especially if you're making a NY-ish pizza, a flour with a protein content of 13% is really easy to work with. Whether is underkneaded or overkneaded it seems to come out well. 

That said, by adjusting your kneading time and total hydration to accomodate your particlular flour, you can get very comparable results from nearly anything.  Craig has made many spectacular pizzas using KA all purpose flour: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=13135.0  and Johnny The Gent makes great pizza with Brazilian flours that have a ptotein content under 10%.

Had to google GM...as I am unfamiliar with that brand being from Canada but see that its stocked at Wally Mart and considered a low end flour I guess.  I assume your weighing in a Caddy to a Chevy but the latter would bring you pretty much the same results with some tweaking. Both are bread flours but with different protein levels? Good grief, I now have become to realize that successful pizza dough making is a bit of science, chemistry and for me some luck. A few months ago it was 2 cups of flour, a bit of yeast and water, a sip of wine, shake it all up and presto, there's your dough!!

I have learned a lot here from many. My wife says I have become obsessive and is now starting to hate pizza.  ;D
 
Carl

Offline pythonic

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2015, 07:16:46 PM »
Had to google GM...as I am unfamiliar with that brand being from Canada but see that its stocked at Wally Mart and considered a low end flour I guess.  I assume your weighing in a Caddy to a Chevy but the latter would bring you pretty much the same results with some tweaking. Both are bread flours but with different protein levels? Good grief, I now have become to realize that successful pizza dough making is a bit of science, chemistry and for me some luck. A few months ago it was 2 cups of flour, a bit of yeast and water, a sip of wine, shake it all up and presto, there's your dough!!

I have learned a lot here from many. My wife says I have become obsessive and is now starting to hate pizza.  ;D

I would start with the GM better for bread flour if I were you.  I've made some pretty good pies with that stuff.  Some like it better even than trumps.

Nate
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline carl333

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2015, 08:35:59 PM »
I would start with the GM better for bread flour if I were you.  I've made some pretty good pies with that stuff.  Some like it better even than trumps.

Nate

Tks Nate. I'll give it a try on my nest shopping bing in the US
Carl

Offline tinroofrusted

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2015, 08:46:19 PM »
My wife says I have become obsessive and is now starting to hate pizza.  ;D 

Welcome to the club, LOL.  Someone should start a support group for spouses of pizza-obsessed people.  Pizzanon, or something like that.  In answer to your question, flour is very important, but not as important as technique and process.  Once you have your process more or less figured out then you can improve your pizzas with better quality flour. But you won't know it until you have made a lot of pizzas and have standardized a bit.  I've used many different types of flour, and there aren't too many that I find to be really superior.  Central Milling is certainly one.  You can try their flour if you buy the Whole Foods 365 Organic AP flour.  I also really like King Arthur. It's a superior product in my book.  I also really like Gold Medal Better for Bread.  It makes a really nice pizza at a very fair price. 


Offline waynesize

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2015, 09:10:55 PM »
I just mixed KA All Purpose, GM All Purpose, and GM Better For Bread for the batch of dough I am making at this moment. Why? Because that is all I have on hand at the moment.  I bet my pies will be just fine. I have used each one individually, without changing anything else in my recipe or work flow.  63% hydration dough for NY-ish pizzas.  Find one you like that gives you good results.

Wayne

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2015, 09:15:34 PM »
Carl,

Given a choice between quality flours and comparable supermarket brands of the same type of flours, I would go with the quality flours. Where you are in Canada, that might mean flours like Robin Hood and Five Roses. The Nutrition Facts (or comparable nutrition information in Canada) might be the same for a quality flour and a supermarket flour of the same type, but the differences are often lost because of rounding factors. You usually can't tell from the labels.

In the U.S., it is common for some professional flours, such as some of the flours sold by General Mills and King Arthur, to also be sold at the retail level, but that isn't always the case with all millers of flours. And the milling specs can vary quite widely. For example, the flours milled for King Arthur are milled to a protein content that varies by +/- 0.2%. Most millers mill to +/- 0.3%. But I have seen flours with variations in the protein content of up to 1.3%. And that can hold true for professional flours, such as the so-called H&R (hotel and restaurant) flours. The supermarket brands of flours can work but you really don't know the true composition of the flours unless you are able to identify the source of the flours and do some homework to find how the flours vary from what is sold at the professional level or under brand names that signify quality. The quality name brands will have more consistent specs and more consistent baking results.

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2015, 09:39:55 PM »
The quality name brands will have more consistent specs and more consistent baking results.

Peter

  And less bugs in them too.   ;)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


Offline Harsh2206

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2015, 07:20:44 AM »
Just go with what feels good for you. My last dough and pizza were made from a 500g bag of plain white flour which cost 59p. Some of the best pizza I've ever made. It was better than the dough made from 5.99 Sainsbury finest strong Canadian white bread flour. Experiment like crazy with kneading, resting, mixing etc and most of all have a great time doing it!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2015, 08:04:03 AM »
  And less bugs in them too.   ;)
Bob,

It would be nice if that were true. Living in a warm climate, i have found that bugs can find their way into flour two ways--by hatching of eggs in the flour that survived the milling process, and by live bugs entering the flour from the outside. Freezing the flour and then refrigerating it seems to be the best way of avoiding bugs. That may be practical for small bags of flour but is a challenge for large bags, such as 50-lb bags that many of our members purchase.

In Carl's case, since Canada itself is essentially a big refrigerator/freezer a good part of the time, he should be in pretty decent shape, even with large bags of flour.

Peter

Offline carl333

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Re: OK, I confess...
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2015, 08:21:45 AM »
Bob,

It would be nice if that were true. Living in a warm climate, i have found that bugs can find their way into flour two ways--by hatching of eggs in the flour that survived the milling process, and by live bugs entering the flour from the outside. Freezing the flour and then refrigerating it seems to be the best way of avoiding bugs. That may be practical for small bags of flour but is a challenge for large bags, such as 50-lb bags that many of our members purchase.

In Carl's case, since Canada itself is essentially a big refrigerator/freezer a good part of the time, he should be in pretty decent shape, even with large bags of flour.

Peter

From the wheat fields of Saskatchewan, Alberta Canada, bug free flour for sale. Step right up, get your bags right here... ;D
Carl


 

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