Author Topic: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?  (Read 172 times)

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Offline oshuja

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Hello,

In Pakistan, we rarely find protein levels mentioned on flour packaging. I am having a hard time finding a suitable flour for pizza.

I have made several NY type pizzas as described on this forum, but the pizza crusts did not come out as desired. To find out the suitability of flour for pizza, are there any tests that one can conduct at home? I have come across 'Gluten Hand Washing Method'. This testing is approved by  AACC (American Association of Cereal Chemist). Has anyone used this test? And is it suitable for the application? Any help would be invaluable.

Thanks,
Ovais

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 12:11:06 PM »
Hello,

In Pakistan, we rarely find protein levels mentioned on flour packaging. I am having a hard time finding a suitable flour for pizza.

I have made several NY type pizzas as described on this forum, but the pizza crusts did not come out as desired. To find out the suitability of flour for pizza, are there any tests that one can conduct at home? I have come across 'Gluten Hand Washing Method'. This testing is approved by  AACC (American Association of Cereal Chemist). Has anyone used this test? And is it suitable for the application? Any help would be invaluable.

Thanks,
Ovais
Ovais,

I will be interested in Tom's response but on the forum Norma is the one who did the most with the wet gluten mass test. Examples can be see in the thread at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=18075.msg175336#msg175336.

I created an ongoing table of the results of the various gluten mass tests that Norma and I (to a much lesser degree) conducted. The last version of the table can be seen in Reply 65 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=18075.msg182328#msg182328.

Since we know the protein contents of the flours in the table, if you can come up with your own set of numbers for the flours you have, it may be possible to come with the protein contents of your flours even if they are rough numbers. But you should also keep in mind that the gluten quantities do not say a lot about the quality of the protein, which can vary among flour types and brands and from lot to lot. Also, I have seen a couple of variations on how to conduct the gluten mass tests but Norma and I tried to use the same methods consistently as much as possible and in a home setting, not in a laboratory setting.

Peter


Offline oshuja

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 01:08:12 PM »
Peter,

Thank you very much for your detailed reply and providing the links.

Can you also kindly provide the link for the procedure and calculations you use for your tests. How much variation did you get from the data mentioned on the packaging?

You have mentioned that protein quality is also important. How do you check that? Is there some baking test for that?

For NY type pizzas, what are the protein levels or other factors you prefer in a flour?

Thanks,
Ovais

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 04:28:52 PM »
Peter,

Thank you very much for your detailed reply and providing the links.

Can you also kindly provide the link for the procedure and calculations you use for your tests. How much variation did you get from the data mentioned on the packaging?

You have mentioned that protein quality is also important. How do you check that? Is there some baking test for that?

For NY type pizzas, what are the protein levels or other factors you prefer in a flour?

Thanks,
Ovais
Ovais,

Norma can correct me on this if I am wrong but I believe that we used the gluten mass tests as described at Reply 3 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=18075.msg176493#msg176493. Norma and I also did a lot of gluten mass tests in the Mellow Mushroom thread at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3940.msg32937#msg32937. In that case, Norma had a sample of a real MM dough on which she performed gluten mass tests and if you search that thread with the words gluten mass test, you will find several other examples of how the tests were performed, not only on the real MM dough but on several of our attempted clone doughs.

In conducting the tests, all we were trying to do was to determine the amount of gluten in given samples of different flours. We were not trying to translate the gluten mass numbers into protein percents as stated on labels or spec sheets. In fact, as I understand it, that would not be possible since flours contain protein that is separate and distinct from the protein that forms gluten when the flour is mixed in water. I think that the best we could do was to try to come up with general correlations between the gluten mass values for flours where we already knew the protein percents.

As for protein quality, there are laboratory methods for determining same, using instrumentation called Glutomatic. You can see how that test is performed on page 53 at http://www.grains.k-state.edu/igp/wheatflourbook/wheat-flour-book.pdf and also at http://www.perten.com/Global/Brochures/GM/GM%20method%20brochure%20EN%2020150610.pdf. See, also, the discussion under Flour Protein at http://www.cooknaturally.com/detailed/detailed.html.

As for flours that lend themselves well to the NY style of dough and pizza, many pizza operators use a high gluten flour. That flour typically is bleached and bromated and has a protein content of around 13.2-14.4%. However, using high gluten flours has not always been the case, and many prefer to use bread flour that is also often bleached and bromated and typically has a protein content of about 12-12.8%. These are general numbers since there are no industry standard percents for the different types of flour. However, you can get a general idea as to how different flours with different protein levels and enrichments and other additives can be used in this document: http://www.generalmillscf.com/~/media/Files/Industry-Resources/Pizzeria/exploring-products/flour-portfolio.ashx. You might also take a look at the thread at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=40212.msg401012#msg401012 where I have tried to aggregate all kinds of information on flours from all around the world (but not Pakistan as yet).

Hopefully, in due course Tom will see your posts and give you the benefit of his expertise on the above matters, and no doubt also educate me at the same time.

Peter


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 10:01:54 PM »
Hand washing gluten is good for comparing the amount of gluten forming protein in different flours. I do not like to compare the results against any other except for generalization purposes. The reason for this is "operator" inconsistency which is inherent in the testing procedure (this is why the Glutomatic is so popular today, it takes the operator error out of the procedure. For this reason I like to use the hand washing procedure for comparing the gluten derived from different flours only when they are all washed by the same person (this minimizes the error factor), and only then it is acceptable for finding that one flour is capable of producing more or less gluten than another flour. There are some charts that you can compare your wet gluten weight against to get a rough idea of the protein content. The ideal situation is to get your hands on some known good quality flour, wash the gluten from it and use that as your bench mark for comparing other flours. Keep in mind however that all gluten forming proteins are not created equal, depending upon characteristics of the wheat from which the flour is milled some gluten may be soft and extensible, others tight and elastic, some may not carry much water (low dough absorption) and some may not exhibit as much resistance to fermentation. None of these will show up in the gluten washing test, but I think the gluten washing test will help you sort out different flours pretty quickly.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline oshuja

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:01:52 AM »
Peter,

Thank you for all the information that you have provided. It it invaluable.

I am a novice and trying hard to make a good pizza.  :)


Regards,
Ovais


Offline oshuja

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #6 on: Today at 05:19:29 AM »
Tom,

Thank you for providing your input. You have shared so much of your experience on this forum. It is invaluable.


Regards,
Ovais

Offline oshuja

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #7 on: Today at 02:27:40 PM »
Peter,

I have gone through the pages that you recommended.

I have two questions: 1) Norma used a 6 oz flour sample size. In your Master Gluten Mass List ( https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=18075.msg176649#msg176649 ), are the wet gluten values out the 6 oz flour sample size? 2) In the AACC method, only 25 gm (0.88 oz) flour sample size is used. Why Norma used a larger flour sample weight? Is there some advantage?

Regards,
Ovais

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #8 on: Today at 03:35:07 PM »
Peter,

I have gone through the pages that you recommended.

I have two questions: 1) Norma used a 6 oz flour sample size. In your Master Gluten Mass List ( https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=18075.msg176649#msg176649 ), are the wet gluten values out the 6 oz flour sample size? 2) In the AACC method, only 25 gm (0.88 oz) flour sample size is used. Why Norma used a larger flour sample weight? Is there some advantage?

Regards,
Ovais
Ovais,

Most of the gluten mass tests (I estimate about 95%) that are shown in the Master list were conducted by Norma, since, as a professional, she had access to those flours from time to time or may have searched them out for the purpose of conducting the mass gluten mass tests. So, I have a pretty high degree of confidence in the numbers since Norma produced the majority of the tests. And I am pretty sure that Norma, and I as well, used a 6 ounce flour sample size.

By way of background, I should mention that a lot of my gluten mass tests were conducted on clone doughs that I had put together in an attempt to simulate the Mellow Mushroom doughs. MM is a major pizza chain in the U.S. Many of these tests were conducted after Norma had conducted gluten mass tests on a sample of a real MM dough. My objective was to try to find the high gluten flour that MM was using or one that was close to the high gluten flour that MM was using.

As I discussed at Reply 23 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=783.msg7865#msg7865, I found the gluten mass test procedure that Norma and I used in a publication called Encyclopizza that was written by an industry expert and consultant John Correll (and a longtime friend of Tom Lehmann). That publication used to be available for free but no longer is. But I managed to find the publication in the archives of the Wayback Machine. And the gluten mass test is described in the section GLUTEN MASS TEST at about the middle of the page at http://web.archive.org/web/20040606220400/http://correllconcepts.com/Encyclopizza/04_Dough_ingredients/04_dough_ingredients.htm.

It was only later that I learned about the AACC gluten mass test, as is described, for example, at http://abbottpm.com/documents/2015/12/qc_wheatflour.pdf, so I did not have the benefit of that specific test procedure when Norma and I conducted our tests. And, since we never conducted an AACC test, I cannot say whether the AACC method offers advantages over the Correll method. However, I think using a larger test ball made it easier to work with the doughs and to weigh the gluten masses after the tests were performed, without having to use a higher precision scale that could measure out very small quantities of the gluten.

Peter


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: How can one estimate flour protein levels or suitability?
« Reply #9 on: Today at 10:18:19 PM »
When I was a student at AIB (J-63) one of our lab tests was washing gluten. I stand to be corrected on this but I think the flour weight was 200-grams. The weight really doesn't matter since if you want to get an idea of protein (gluten forming only) content of the flour you will be dividing gluten weight by flour weight. The greater flour weight decreases the significance of error, remember that this is a hand washing procedure. Be prepared for COLD HANDS as the entire procedure is done with very cold water (ice water).
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor