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Author Topic: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?  (Read 1595 times)

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Offline stamina888

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How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« on: February 20, 2017, 12:36:17 AM »
Is unbleached much better than bleached?  Is Walmart brand fine?  Is Gold brand fine?

Are the types of flours recommended significantly more expensive and is it worth the extra money if so?

Offline Minolta Rokkor

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 08:23:35 AM »
Brands in my experience will give you different results. I've tried very low end flour and got good results. Low end as in generic store brand.

You have to find which flour works for you best. I like King Arthur's Bread Flour the most. Gold Medal is another exceptional brand.
Too me, Gold Medal and King Arthur has a pretty big difference in texture and browning.

But you shouldn't worry a ton about different brands, I don't know of any truly terrible ones so you really can't go wrong with any.

I do recommend you get bread flour though, it's stronger than all purpose and seems to be able to ferment longer without breaking down.

The only thing you can do wrong is use Caputo 00 flour in a home oven.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 12:02:10 PM »
Additionally, when the flour is bleached this means that the beta carotenoid pigments (yellow) in the flour have been bleached out making the flour whiter in color. This used to be an important aspect of flour used for making white pan breads but anymore more breads are made using non-bleached flour. As for bromated V/S non-bromated, that's an issue that you will need to resolve based on the health concerns being expressed over the use of bromate in flour. From a flour performance stand point I personally see little if any significant impact of bromate on flour performance in all but some very specific applications such as high absorption dough that will be fermented for a long period of time, and even then, my jury is still out.
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Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 02:41:04 PM »
Is unbleached much better than bleached?  Is Walmart brand fine?  Is Gold brand fine?

Are the types of flours recommended significantly more expensive and is it worth the extra money if so?

Different flours and brands produce different results and serve different products.  Try making pancakes with bromated All Trumps, they'll make good hockey pucks.


Offline mitchjg

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 02:47:34 PM »
Brand matters.  But, focus more on getting the right type of flour (driven, at least mostly, by protein level).  In other words, cake flour vs. all purpose vs. bread flour, etc.

You have not described what kind of pizza you want to make.  But, you will probably be best to start off with a name brand unbleached bread flour and then take it from there.

Mitch

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Offline les_garten

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 05:49:37 PM »
Brands in my experience will give you different results. I've tried very low end flour and got good results. Low end as in generic store brand.

You have to find which flour works for you best. I like King Arthur's Bread Flour the most. Gold Medal is another exceptional brand.
Too me, Gold Medal and King Arthur has a pretty big difference in texture and browning.

But you shouldn't worry a ton about different brands, I don't know of any truly terrible ones so you really can't go wrong with any.

I do recommend you get bread flour though, it's stronger than all purpose and seems to be able to ferment longer without breaking down.

The only thing you can do wrong is use Caputo 00 flour in a home oven.

I haven't made Pizzas in a while and thought I would order some of the Caputos 00.  What happens in a home oven?
---Les Garten--- Leave the gun, take the cannoli -- Fat Clemenza

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Offline mitchjg

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2017, 05:59:52 PM »
I haven't made Pizzas in a while and thought I would order some of the Caputos 00.  What happens in a home oven?

Bad pizza. 

You need about 800 degrees or more for Caputo 00.  Many have tried, all have failed (except for those with exceptional ovens that can crank it up really high.
Mitch

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2017, 06:17:02 PM »
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline les_garten

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2017, 11:20:34 PM »
Looks like I'll just stick to my KABF!

Is this the result for all the High Gluten Flour in a home oven?
---Les Garten--- Leave the gun, take the cannoli -- Fat Clemenza

A Pizza with radius z and thickness a has volume Pi*z*z*a

Offline heyerok

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 03:54:37 PM »
Bad pizza. 

You need about 800 degrees or more for Caputo 00.  Many have tried, all have failed (except for those with exceptional ovens that can crank it up really high.

@mitchjg - what about Caputo Metro in a home oven? Still bad pizza? I've worked with some 00 flours in home ovens with baking steel under the broiler and it's seemed to produce a pretty good pizza, despite minimal browning on the bottom.

What do you guys mean by 'bad pizza' specifically? Just trying to learn. Thanks!

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Offline Mike H

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 08:55:37 PM »
I buy the cheapest AP flour I can find and can't tell the difference in my home oven, and use it for NY, Sicillian, and Chicago style. Usually Sams's Club Bakers & Chefs All Purpose H&H Flour, which I believe is Ardent Mills/ConAgra H&H FLR-RI, at $6.17/25 pounds. Harris Teeter also often has either Gold Medal or HT generic flour for $0.99/5 pounds, which I will buy in lieu of Sam's simply because I don't have to repackage it after opening.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2017, 09:17:17 PM »
You want to be careful with A.P. flour. Since there is not predetermined level for performance of A.P. flour (all purpose = jack of all trades but master of none) the protein content as well as the type of wheat the flour is made from can/will vary all over the board. If you fins an A.P. flour that works for you changing brands may give you a flour with very different performance properties. Bread flour, on the other hand, has a predetermined level for performance/expectation, that is to be able to make decent bread so in a way this type of flour is somewhat standardized between the different milling companies and changing brands is,'t as critical. High gluten flour (actually there is no such thing in existence) has absolutely no predetermined identity (High....with reference to what?) In a sampling that we did some time ago we found that the protein content of "high gluten" flour from different millers/manufacturers/brands would vary from a low of just over 11% protein content to a high of 14%+. When buying "high gluten" flour be sure to check the ingredient and nutritional panel on the bag as it will provide information as to the protein level of the flour. This is the reason why when I talk about flour I almost always speak in terms of protein content. There is one good bench mark flour that I will reference quite frequently, Pillsbury Bread Flour AKA Pillsbury Bread Machine Flour. This specific flour was introduced back in the days when everyone had to have a bread machine and everyone wanted to make bread just like that made at the bakery so there was a demand for a "bakery grade bread flour". This flour consistently runs at 12% protein or just a little more. I consider it to be a good "go to" flour for making just about any type of pizza, especially for someone just getting started at making pizza at home.
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Offline CaptBob

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 09:49:11 PM »
@mitchjg - what about Caputo Metro in a home oven? Still bad pizza? I've worked with some 00 flours in home ovens with baking steel under the broiler and it's seemed to produce a pretty good pizza, despite minimal browning on the bottom.

What do you guys mean by 'bad pizza' specifically? Just trying to learn. Thanks!

I am so late to this party but.....Caputo A Metro works just fine in a home oven. Much better than Caputo Pizzeria......
Bob

Online csnack

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 09:54:48 PM »


There is one good bench mark flour that I will reference quite frequently, Pillsbury Bread Flour AKA Pillsbury Bread Machine Flour. I consider it to be a good "go to" flour for making just about any type of pizza, especially for someone just getting started at making pizza at home.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
I use KABF exclusively. How would you compare that to the PBMF? If you could only use one or the other for the rest of your life which would you choose?

I tried Gold Metal Better for Bread flour and didn't have a good experience with it. The pizza came out tough, though that may have been user error at the time, but I've never had a problem with KABF. It's just always worked well for me. I score it from Target for $3.69/5lb, which is the cheapest I've ever seen that brand. It's closer to $6 everywhere else here.

Offline Randy

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2017, 03:46:49 PM »
It can make a big difference.  WhiteLily as an example is a very low protein.  It makes wonderful cakes and biscuits but very bad pizza.

King Arthur for store brands use to have very high standards but of late.  The protein levels seem to going down is my best guess.  Might be too the very warm winters we have been having of late, has screwed up the really good, northern wheat.

Another bad brand for pizza is Sam's high gluten flour.  Not sure what they do to flour but it does not make good pizza.

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Offline Minolta Rokkor

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2017, 08:57:14 PM »
I use KABF exclusively. How would you compare that to the PBMF? If you could only use one or the other for the rest of your life which would you choose?

I tried Gold Metal Better for Bread flour and didn't have a good experience with it. The pizza came out tough, though that may have been user error at the time, but I've never had a problem with KABF. It's just always worked well for me. I score it from Target for $3.69/5lb, which is the cheapest I've ever seen that brand. It's closer to $6 everywhere else here.
Same here, Gold Medel flour is always tough for me. I swear by KABF, need to buy some merchandise honestly.

However, Gold Medal flour makes GREAT quick bake steel pizza 3 min - 3:30secs. Good solid texture.

Generic All purpose has been disastrous for me, I stretch dough, create holes in dough, and cuss up a storm.  >:(

KAAP however is great if you want very light and soft NY style or Fork & Knifeable quick steel pizza.

Online csnack

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Re: How much of a difference does brand of flour make?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2017, 09:19:46 PM »


Generic All purpose has been disastrous for me, I stretch dough, create holes in dough, and cuss up a storm.  >:(


I swear a lot for no reason.

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