Author Topic: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour  (Read 3360 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 850
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« on: August 13, 2013, 08:27:03 AM »
Sicilian pizza is my favorite and I have been trying to perfect it.  For the past 5 months, I've been using KABF for my dough recipe but it is a bit heavy but tastes good.  Last night, I tried KASL instead of bread flour and it came out great!  Is HG flour what is used in pizzerias?  What do you all use when you make Sicilian pizza?

Thanks,
Mary Ann
Mary Ann


Offline The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 963
  • Location: Manhattan, KS
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 09:31:29 AM »
Mary Ann;
While "high gluten" is synonymous with pizza, it is not the only flour that can be used to make pizza because there are so many different styles of pizza. My personal favorite flour to use for pan style and thick crust pizzas is a flour that comes in at between 11% protein on the low side to about 12.5% on the high side. My experience has been when I use a higher protein flour with my dough management process I get a finished crust that is too chewy for my likes. It should also be noted that the term "high gluten" isn't a whole lot of help when determining the protein content of the flour since there is no standard for high protein flour we have seen the words high gluten used on flour bags containing flour with anything from 12 to nearly 14% protein. Check on the flour bag for the protein content, usually expressed as grams of protein per 100-grams of flour. When expressed in this manner the grams of protein will be the protein content. For example, 12-grams of protein per 100-gram serving = 12% protein content. You can also go to the web site of the manufacturer to find the protein content of the flour in question.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 850
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 09:58:56 AM »
Tom,

Thanks for your response.  I understand that this is not the only flour that can be used to make pizza.  I have experimented with AP, bread, high gluten and 00 flours, as well as many different styles of pizza.  And I use different ones depending on how adventurous I am :).  The protein in my bread flour is 12.7% and my high gluten is 14.2%. I find that my Sicilian dough with bread flour is too dense and the high gluten dough for Sicilian had a lot more oven spring.  But like you said it could've been a little less chewy.  Maybe I'll blend the two the next time I make Sicilian pizza.  Now I just need to find another Sicilian pan because my current one rusted out.  I'm leaning to wards a Black Buster nonstick pan this time...

Best Regards,
Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6968
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 01:53:05 PM »
Mary Ann, I don't know if you even realize what you have possibly accidentally discovered here.  You just witness that pizza dough made with HG flour can be lighter than BF.   ???

Why that can't be! How is that possible...since others would have us believe that isn't possible since traditionally HG flour is used for making dense and heavier products like bagels. 

It isn't easy to explain but you can actually get very similar textures with both flours individually depending on how you build the gluten structure into the dough and how each product is baked up.   HG flours have an easier time building gluten and it's actually easier to get great light and airy crumb structures than BF or AP flour.  That's because it actually requires less kneading.   The reason most folks get dense and heavy crumbs with HG flour is because they don't use enough water/hydration and they over work the dough based on faulty info/advice.  When you do adjust the hydration and kneading, you find that HG flour can make great and light airy crumb structures.  But if all things being equal meaning you adjust the hydration and kneading properly for both a HG and BF or AP product, you will notice that lower protein flours will give you a slightly more tender crumb. 

So you  can make a great Sicillian with either flour or in blending them as well.  The secret..if there is one, is in choosing the proper hydration and then learning how and when to build the gluten through kneading, stretch and folds, balling the dough, etc.  Easier said than done but I hope that helps explains why you got the results you did.

Chau
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 01:55:13 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 850
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 02:35:56 PM »
Chau,

Thank you for your commentary.  I am by no means an expert pizza maker, but I have learned a few things from Peter Reinhart about hydration levels and the lightness of the crust, as well as the nice holes that appear when it is baked. I've made his Sicilian pizza recipe enough times to be confident in changing the flour I use to achieve the same results. I also apply the same thought process when I make ciabatta bread, because of the hydration level in that recipe, I have interchanged bread flour and 00 Italian flour, both with nice results, albeit different.  One thing is for sure, I have fun making pizza!

Happy pizza making,
Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline mfonner

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
  • Location: Cols., OH
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 01:46:20 PM »
Mary Ann, I don't know if you even realize what you have possibly accidentally discovered here.  You just witness that pizza dough made with HG flour can be lighter than BF.   ???

Why that can't be! How is that possible...since others would have us believe that isn't possible since traditionally HG flour is used for making dense and heavier products like bagels. 

It isn't easy to explain but you can actually get very similar textures with both flours individually depending on how you build the gluten structure into the dough and how each product is baked up.   HG flours have an easier time building gluten and it's actually easier to get great light and airy crumb structures than BF or AP flour.  That's because it actually requires less kneading.   The reason most folks get dense and heavy crumbs with HG flour is because they don't use enough water/hydration and they over work the dough based on faulty info/advice.  When you do adjust the hydration and kneading, you find that HG flour can make great and light airy crumb structures.  But if all things being equal meaning you adjust the hydration and kneading properly for both a HG and BF or AP product, you will notice that lower protein flours will give you a slightly more tender crumb. 

So you  can make a great Sicillian with either flour or in blending them as well.  The secret..if there is one, is in choosing the proper hydration and then learning how and when to build the gluten through kneading, stretch and folds, balling the dough, etc.  Easier said than done but I hope that helps explains why you got the results you did.

Chau
[/size]

I had to read this a few times but I think I am catching on to what you are saying. Changing one of these 3 things (hydration/gluten level/kneading) will affect the texture of the finished crust. Kneading less = lighter, and more= heavier.
The same would be said for adjusting the hydration but probably opposite; more= lighter, and less= heavier.

So by only changing one of these things one could find the right combination for what they are looking for?

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 850
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2013, 03:53:01 PM »
You are exactly right!  :chef:
Mary Ann

Offline dmcavanagh

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1912
  • Location: Glenmont, NY
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2013, 04:33:54 PM »
I'm not sure I'm in total agreement here, if such was the case are you telling me you can make a cake batter out of high gluten flour? Flours have different properties, that's why there are so many produced, each has it's place in baking, and each has a job it's best at. Some people go way outside the norm with high hydration and can change the way some flours react, but that's way beyond the scope of a novice pizza maker. Flours have a specified absorption rate, the point at which flour is sufficiently hydrated for normal use. Going way beyond those limits may suit an experienced baker, but can lead to real frustration to someone just learning the intricacies of dealing with dough. Generally, the lower the protein of a flour the more tender the finished product, and as you increase the protein you move to a more dense, chewy finished product. Not everyone has the experience that some others have, suggesting that everyone can achieve a light airy crust with Sir Lancelot flour may not be the greatest advice to give, especially if some one is just getting their feet wet in pizza making.

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6968
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2013, 12:33:16 AM »


I had to read this a few times but I think I am catching on to what you are saying. Changing one of these 3 things (hydration/gluten level/kneading) will affect the texture of the finished crust. Kneading less = lighter, and more= heavier.
The same would be said for adjusting the hydration but probably opposite; more= lighter, and less= heavier.

So by only changing one of these things one could find the right combination for what they are looking for?


Not exactly...kneading less or more doesn't necessarily affect how light or dense the end crumb is.  Kneading less or more affects how open or tight the crumb is.  You can have an open looking and a relatively dense crumb while you can also achieve a tight looking crumb that is pillowy soft in texture.

As far as hydration goes, generally speaking yes but that is assuming the gluten is properly developed.  Higher hydration doughs that are underdeveloped and not all the moisture baked out leads to heavy wet crumbs.

You can find what you are looking for by balancing hydration, gluten development, and proper baking of each flour (protein content).

Chau
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:20:25 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6968
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2013, 01:04:39 AM »
I'm not sure I'm in total agreement here, if such was the case are you telling me you can make a cake batter out of high gluten flour? Flours have different properties, that's why there are so many produced, each has it's place in baking, and each has a job it's best at. Some people go way outside the norm with high hydration and can change the way some flours react, but that's way beyond the scope of a novice pizza maker. Flours have a specified absorption rate, the point at which flour is sufficiently hydrated for normal use. Going way beyond those limits may suit an experienced baker, but can lead to real frustration to someone just learning the intricacies of dealing with dough. Generally, the lower the protein of a flour the more tender the finished product, and as you increase the protein you move to a more dense, chewy finished product. Not everyone has the experience that some others have, suggesting that everyone can achieve a light airy crust with Sir Lancelot flour may not be the greatest advice to give, especially if some one is just getting their feet wet in pizza making.

I'm not sure I understand what you are getting at....where did I say you can make a cake batter with HG flour?  And no you can not make cake with HG flour, at least I don't think you can, but yes you can make a batter with HG flour by mixing in a lot of water yes.   If you bake it up will you get cake?  No, but then again I never said that.

What I said was that you can make light and airy crumbs by increasing the hydration and developing the gluten properly and then making sure you bake it long enough to bake the moisture out.  And just because you use HG flour, you are not relegated to making heavy and dense products like bagels and such. 

No one is going to argue that specific flours have specific absorption rates and specific purposes, but what do you consider is "normal" use?  Is it normal to use bread flour to make ciabatta bread?  If so what is the typically hydration ratio of a ciabatta bread and does it fall within the normal absorption rate for bread flour?  The answer is no.

And who is going way beyond the normal absorption rate of any given flour?  Where did I recommend hydration ratios? I did not.  And if you want a more light and airy crumb using HG flour at typical recommended hydration ratios, all you have to do is increase the hydration ratio by 3-4%, so nothing outlandish.  But again, that goes hand in hand with proper gluten development, and proper baking.

Generally, the lower the protein of a flour the more tender the finished product, and as you increase the protein you move to a more dense, chewy finished product.

I said that in my first post....

Not everyone has the experience that some others have, suggesting that everyone can achieve a light airy crust with Sir Lancelot flour may not be the greatest advice to give, especially if some one is just getting their feet wet in pizza making.

Yes not everyone's experience will be the same when working with higher and lower protein flours.  That's because there are many other variables that come into play.  That's the point you missed about my post.  You don't want to say that HG gluten flours will make a heavier and dense crumb because it will not always depending on other factors such as hydration, gluten development, and baking.  And where did I suggest that everyone can achieve a light and airy crumb?  I said it's doable if you balance those three aforementioned variables.  And I don't know if Mary Ann is a beginner or an experienced baker, but she obviously noted the same observation.  I merely was explaining the "why" to her observation that she made a lighter crust and crumb with HG flour compared to BF with lower protein. 

Chau

« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 08:45:44 AM by Jackie Tran »


Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21239
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2013, 08:20:31 AM »
Mary Ann,

I agree with Chau.  Most flours can be used to make a lighter crumb in a Sicilian pizza if the hydration is high enough and the mixing methods are right.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 850
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 08:39:54 AM »
Yes, Norma.  That is what I'm trying to say. Maybe I didn't articulate this properly.  I guess my original post came across a little "inexperienced".  ;)
Mary Ann

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21239
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2013, 09:17:48 AM »
Yes, Norma.  That is what I'm trying to say. Maybe I didn't articulate this properly.  I guess my original post came across a little "inexperienced".  ;)

Mary Ann,

Yes you are right!  ;D  I have made Sicilian pizzas out of many different flours, different hydrations, and different formulations.  Keep up the good work in experimenting.  8) You have already learned a lot and you will continue to learn.  Your original post really didn't come across as inexperienced.  It just shows what you can learn from doing experiments.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 850
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2013, 09:46:03 AM »
Thanks, Norma.  As I'm typing this, I'm using a Pizza Hut recipe that Chau reposted for me last week.  Hope my daughter loves it.  Although, the recipe's hydration level looks a little low, I'm giving it a go because it came from a former Pizza Hut employee.

 :chef:Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21239
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2013, 11:22:52 AM »
Thanks, Norma.  As I'm typing this, I'm using a Pizza Hut recipe that Chau reposted for me last week.  Hope my daughter loves it.  Although, the recipe's hydration level looks a little low, I'm giving it a go because it came from a former Pizza Hut employee.

 :chef:Mary Ann


Mary Ann,

I hope your daughter likes the Pizza Hut recipe Chau gave you and the final pizza.  I am sure if it was Chau's formulation the pizza will be good. 

If you might want to try a higher hydration Sicilian pizza at some point in time, if you are interested this is a thread I didn't start not to make a Buddy's Detroit style Sicilian pizza, but that is how it evolved.  That is a much higher hydration Sicilian pizza.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21559.0.html


Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 963
  • Location: Manhattan, KS
Re: Bread Flour vs. High Gluten Flour
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 10:14:57 AM »
And don't forget to add fermentation to the mix. Remember that fermentation rate is influenced by yeast level, salt level, sugar level, finished dough temperature, and we could probably toss pH into the bag too (but that probably won't influence the issue at hand). With that said, if you employ a long fermentation time or high fermentation rate it could weaken a lower protein bread flour while not weakening the high protein flour this would give a significantly higher finished volume/height to the finished crust made with the high protein flour. The converse is also true. What does all this boil down to? The flour characteristics must be matched to the type of pizza being made as well as the dough formulation and dough management procedure used to manage your dough, and then it must be weighed against what characteristics you are looking for in the finished crust. This is why we see so many different types of flour being used by so many different people to make the same or different pizzas. Of course this is where the fun now actually begins, looking for the flour or flour blend that works best for your specific pizza. Remember, your mistakes ARE edible. :)
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor