Author Topic: a few gluten related questions  (Read 4000 times)

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stock

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a few gluten related questions
« on: February 29, 2004, 10:34:47 PM »
after reading http://www.pizzamaking.com/yabbse/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=229 and http://www.pizzamaking.com/yabbse/index.php?board=7;action=display;threadid=218, i have a few questions about gluten.
1: there seem to be a number of references to the percent of protein in flour--is there an equation to figure this out?  i bought a 50 pound sack of conagra foods harvest bread flour from costco, and it has 12 grams of protein per cup.  how would i go about converting this into a percentage?
2: while shopping today, i had the aforementioned threads in mind, and i picked up some vital wheat gluten, which has 70 grams of protein per cup.  if it turns out that my bread flour is rather lacking in the gluten department, how much vital wheat gluten should i add per cup of flour to help supplement the protein content, or does adding wheat gluten not really help that much?
3: if indeed i should be adding wheat gluten to my flour, should i add it to all varieties of pizza that i (attempt) to make?  i have a feeling i am exposing a bit of my pizza making ignorance here, but would i only be concerned with high gluten when making a pizza that i am going to stretch out by hand like, say, a new york style pizza as opposed to a chicago deep dish?
4: that said, i've seen a number of disparaging references to rolling pins on these forums.  should it be the case that i do pretty much all of my dough shaping with my hands, regardless of what type of pizza i'm making?
5: after seeing the positive reception of 'american pie' on this site, i've ordered the book, so if any of these questions have painfully obvious answers, hopefully 'american pie' will cure me of asking similar questions in the future. :)
-scott


Offline Pierre

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Re:a few gluten related questions
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2004, 02:38:50 PM »
Question 1)

50 US Pounds are equal to 22.69 Kilograms.

Cup Weight varies quite a bit depending on how one fills the cup with the flour. We wanted to set a standard here on the Forum but have not yet agreed upon that. I personally prefer weighted measurements for accuracy and consistency.

Assuming that a cup of flour filled flat contains:
4,0 oz (113,40 grams) then 12 grams Protein per cup would be ~ 10,6% Protein

4,5 oz (127,57 grams) then 12 grams Protein per cup would be ~ 9.5% Protein

5,0 oz (141,75 grams) then 12 grams Protein per cup would be ~ 8.5% Protein

As you see you probably have a bread flour with a not very good protein level. Does the maker of the flour specify the weight of the cup on the bag. If you ask me they probably didn't want to label the bag with the protein percentage to the total weight to mask up the true Protein content. The protein level in the flour you bought is more that of cake or pastry flour. It doesn't mean that the flour you bought is bad, it may perform good for Pan pizza, Chicago style or Thin Cracker Crust.

Question 2)

1% Vital Wheat Gluten (based on the weight of the flour) would raise the Protein content by 0,6%. So to raise the protein content of your flour by 1/2 percent, that would mean:

per 4,5 oz Cup (127,57 g) of flour plus 1% wheat gluten would mean you need to add 0,045 oz or 1,275 grams. Multiply accordingly to raise ever more.


Question 3)

High Gluten flour is needed for New York Style crust to create that "bite" and "Chew" typical to New York Pizza.

Maybe DKM, Steve or Randy can answer if they would use it for the other styles crusts as well.

Question 4)

If you are wanting to make a cracker thin crust you will probably want to roll out the dough thin. Many pizzerias use a mechanical sheeter for that, the rolling pin would be the cheapest homemaker version.

Pierre

stock

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Re:a few gluten related questions
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2004, 03:20:15 PM »
thanks Pierre, i found your post to be incredibly informative.  in answer to your question about whether the flour maker specified the weight of the cup on the side of the bag: embarrassingly, yes, they did.  it's 120 grams per cup, and each cup has 12 grams of protein, so that would mean, if the label is accurate, that the flour is 10% protein, right?  (as a student of the college of letters and sciences, it's been a long time since i've seen anything like algebra).

i'm glad you brought up the idea of actually looking to see how much the maker said 1 cup of flour was supposed to weigh--that took a lot of the mystery of figuring out the percentage of protein when i only had number of grams of protein in a cup.  

if in fact it turns out that i want to be using high protein flour for varieties other than new york, i'll just use the rest of this flour for making sandwich bread (which i'm none too particular about, as opposed to pizza).  since the bag was only $8.29, i guess it's not all that devastating of a blow to my wallet.

so, in conclusion, it seems as if i may have to (1) look into buying a kitchen scale, and (2) find a new flour source. :)
-scott

Offline Pierre

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Re:a few gluten related questions
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2004, 04:19:06 PM »
A digital scale would be best if you want to measure small amounts as well, they are usually accurate to 1 gram (mine cost me 19 € and can be switched to ounces as well). They usually have a Tare funktion so you can use any bowl you wish, place it on the scale and zero out. Then fill in your flour to the desired weight, zero out again and add the other ingredients, one after the other.

Try upgrading your flour with the gluten you bought. Make 1 batch with the added gluten, one without and test each as to how good they bake and taste.

I believe all the upper members of the forum have tried Wheat gluten before, some did not like the results. You have to understand that Baking is a science and that there is a lot of interaction with enymes, protein, starch, etc...

A flour that is pourly balanced enzymatically will not perform good.

Try it anyway and let us know how your results are. The flour will probably be OK for the other style crusts. For the New Yorker you have to try it.

I bet that DKM, Steve and Randy or the other members can add more to this....

Pierre

stock

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Re:a few gluten related questions
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2004, 12:01:50 AM »
i'll certainly let the forum know when i get around to testing out a new york style crust, or pizza with vital wheat gluten added vs one that lacks such an addition.  as it is, i'm in what peter reinhart refers to as, "the most difficult situation in which to try to make a great pizza," as i have a standard home oven with no baking stone, and only a cookie sheet with which to make my pizzas.  i have a deep dish pan on the way, and i'm hoping some of the others will chime in as how important gluten content is to other types of pizzas, specifically chicago style.  

also, i've started documented what i'm learning from these forums, my reading, and other places, though i don't have much at all yet, and it's questionable as to whether i'll ever finish what i've started.  anyhow, my loose conception of 'an introduction to pizza making' can be found at http://muffin.homeunix.net/docs/pizza.shtml.  (after showing that page to my friends a few minutes ago, i was called 'crazy' :) )
-scott
« Last Edit: March 02, 2004, 12:02:39 AM by stock »

Offline DKM

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Re:a few gluten related questions
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2004, 12:09:48 PM »
I'm short on time, but I wanted to point out that it is better to purchase flour that already has a high protien content then to "add" it.

Most Bread flour for Bread Machines that is sold in market places are 4 grams protien in 30 grams of flour or just over 13%.  These are work fine for the average home cook.

DKM

I'm on too many of these boards

Offline Steve

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Re:a few gluten related questions
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2004, 02:26:10 PM »
http://www.pmq.com/mag/2002spring/lehmann_terms.shtml

QUESTION: We are trying to make a New York style pizza, but we have yet to be able to achieve the chewy texture. We have tried mixing the dough more and less, but to no effect. We have even tried increasing and decreasing the amount of water we add to the dough, but to no effect. What do we need to do?

ANSWER: The answer to this question is not in mixing or dough absorption, but rather in flour selection. The protein content of the flour that you elect to use will determine the textural properties of your finished pizza. By changing to a stronger flour, or by adding between two and four percent vital wheat gluten (available through any bakery ingredients distributor) to the formula, you should be able to achieve the desired chewy texture in the finished crust. For making this type of crust you want to use a very strong “pizza” flour. I would also recommend that you adjust the yeast level to between 0.75 and 1.00 percent compressed yeast, combined with salt levels of 1.8 to 2.0 percent. The lower yeast level will provide for less fermentation to the dough, resulting in a tougher eating characteristic. The slightly higher salt level will act to control the yeast activity, enhance flavor and toughen the finished crust.

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Re:a few gluten related questions
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2004, 06:22:25 PM »
thanks steve and dkm.  would my 10% gluten flour be okay for stuff like chicago style pizza, or should i probably just make a trip to the store and pick up some new flour?
-scott

Offline svapne

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Re:a few gluten related questions
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2004, 10:10:53 PM »
You can order from King Arthur. I just got 5 bags, and let me tell you it is well worth it for NY/NH style pizza, there is no other way.. :)

http://ww2.kingarthurflour.com/cgibin/htmlos.cgi/4991.3.536583630717283887


-Scott

http://www.binaryrevelations.com/images/flour.jpg
« Last Edit: March 02, 2004, 10:20:01 PM by svapne »
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