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Author Topic: The difference between flours in Australia  (Read 580 times)

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Offline Hetoldmenottodoit

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The difference between flours in Australia
« on: March 25, 2021, 12:49:51 AM »
I have had success using plain (the equivalent of your all-purpose) flour for my pizza dough recipe.  I then thought I would use the same recipe to make a dough using Pizza and Bread Flour.  I have found that the same amount of water just can't go into the Pizza and Bread Flour as it is as fine as talcum and just turns into a mess like sloppy clay.

How do people work with this very fine flour and try to keep the hydration level at approximately 75% which is what I believe my recipe is approximately?

The recipe is 500g (3 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp) all-purpose or 00 flour
JN says – use 400 mil because that weighs 375 g (1 1/2 cups water plus 2 x 15 mil tbsp) warm water, divided
1g (1/4 tsp) instant yeast
10g (1 1/2 tsp) fine salt

I will attach two photos of the flours I have used.  Should I just abandon my quest to use the Pizza and Bread Flour and just revert to the plain flour?   :(

Offline Hetoldmenottodoit

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 12:51:40 AM »
And here is the other flour photo.

Offline foreplease

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 08:17:04 AM »
Typically, the higher protein flour (bread flour) would accept more water than the lower protein (all purpose). Do you have a scale? If you choose which flour you would rather use for this example and are able to weigh all ingredients I think you will be able to get some help here.


75% water is quite high for either flour, particularly if you are just getting started. Once we can confirm what you flour weighs I think you will find it easier to weigh water in an amount closer to 60%-62% of the flour’s weight.


How are you baking these? With or without a pan, with or without a baking stone of some kind?
-Tony

Offline Hetoldmenottodoit

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 04:53:34 PM »
Hi foreplease, thanks for your response.  I use a scale to weigh the flour, 500g flour, I weighed the water, 375 g is equal to 400 ml water, used a 1/4 teaspoon measure for the yeast, and a teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon measure for the fine salt. 

I am cooking in a Breville Pizzaiolo.

I have cooked three times with the Pizza Bread dough and it consistently comes together like slippery wet clay. The consistency is alarmingly different to using the plain flour.  When I made up a dough yesterday, I would have left approximately 120 ml of water unused because the flour cannot absorb it.

The recipe I use requires me to mix the water and the flour, cover and let sit for 20 - 30 minutes.  Then add the salt followed by the yeast which has been mixed in water taken from the original water measure.  Do some folds and turns.  Cover - sit for an hour.  A few more folds, etc. let rise, covered, on the bench for 5 - 6 hours till double.  Remove from container, divided into 4 doughballs, let rise again for 1 hour, then either cook with them or refrigerate for up to two days and then freeze. Each dough ball weight between 200 - 220g.  This is adapted from a Kevin Forkish recipe from https://www.withspice.com/blog/artisan-pizza-dough-crispy-chewy-bubbly-crust/

When using the plain flour, the majority of the time, all of the water is able to be absorbed and the crust is light, puffy and has a lovely crispness to it.  With the pizza flour, it is not as light, still has a lovely crispness, doesn't rise as well, and is less in volume because of the lesser amount of water used.

Now I have typed all of that out, I am thinking that seeing as I get a great result from the Plain flour that I just might make a few loaves of bread from the pizza/bread flour packets that I bought, instead of continuing to persevere.  I only changed because so many people seem to have a better result with the higher protein flour.   ::)  I simply can't believe the difference in the absorption factor between the two different flours.  ???


Offline Hetoldmenottodoit

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2021, 07:16:27 PM »
I was just having a quick roam around the web and found this site

https://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/45460/do-us-uk-and-australian-flours-absorb-water-differently

looks like other people have experienced the same situation.  I will stick to the plain flour in future. :-\

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Offline gordonderp

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2021, 02:50:14 AM »
Hey man I also live in Australia and went through some research trying to get some good flour. The best flour you can get at your local woolies/coles is defiance white baker's flour. I've used the anchor stuff but I've had better success with defiance.

You can get em in 5kg bags and they work out to be like $2 per kilo or cheaper if its on special. Here's a link https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/91304/defiance-white-baker-s-flour

75% hydration is too high for flours you can get in your local supermarket, the absorption rate for these flours is like 60% and I wouldn't go any higher than that unless you know how to handle high hydration dough. A lot of American recipes are made with american flour which often have a higher absorption rate, so they're able to use higher hydrations with little issue. Generally the higher the protein the better the flour can handle hydration, and a lot of these american flours are at like 13-14% protein level while Australian flours are at like 12% max.

If you want a flour that will handle higher hydration then you'll have to pay for it unforunately. I've had success mixing defiance flour (12% protein) with caputo manitoba ora (14.5% protein) and it's been able to handle 70% higher hydrations better.

Really it's about knowing how much hydration your flour can take, how hot your oven can get, and how long you cook for pizza for.

Offline Hetoldmenottodoit

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2021, 06:10:20 PM »
Hi gordonderp, thanks for your response. 

I have had success with my high hydration dough, and after looking at a lot of videos, you pick up the information on how to best handle them.  It is really interesting to observe the changes in the dough from being "goop" to the finished product of a tall, puffy, crusted pizza. 

I have decided to go back to just using Coles Plain flour, because it was seriously the best result for my high hydration recipe and is cheap to buy.  My idea of going for a more expensive flour (just because of what I reading on line and my desire for perfection), led me to lose sight of the fact that the dough I was making was already excellent, I could handle it and liked the process and it came out perfectly in the Breville Pizzaiolo.  So, why fix it if it ain't broken. ;)

Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2021, 08:16:11 PM »
I didn't read any further after I seen you say that 400ml of water is 375g... I mean... I don't mean to be rude. But when weighing water, 375g is 375ml. 1g is 1ml and 2000g is 2000ml. The Americans on here may not have noticed your error, but as a Canadian, I can tell you that your math is wrong. :)

Offline Hetoldmenottodoit

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2021, 02:35:31 AM »
Thanks for pointing out the error of my weighs - I forgot to tare the container off before weighing.  You have such a lovely way of saying things for someone who is not meaning to be rude.  :(

Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: The difference between flours in Australia
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2021, 08:52:42 AM »
Thanks for pointing out the error of my weighs

 :-D

Nice pun!!

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