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Old 01-25-2004, 10:44 AM
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Jeannie Jeannie is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: In the piney woods of Texas
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Hi Y'all...

How about a little info on flours..
Not all flours are created equal.
There are hard wheat and soft wheat flours.
Hard wheat flours, those that contain a high protein level, will produce higher and better loaves of breads.

Soft wheat flours are for cakes, pastries and yes, Biscuits!
That is why southern biscuits are so tender, they use

White Lily flour available in the south....and it's 8 percent protein.

Gold Medal is inconsistent.. it varies from 9.8 to 11 percent protein
Pillsbury runs 10.5
However, Pillsbury has been purchased by the the gold medal people so the consistency now is questionable in my opinion

North Dakota Mills Dakota Maid for bread runs 13.2
King Arthur runs 12.7

The important thing here is consistency. That's why these mills prices for flour is a little higher, the quality is higher.
North Dakota mills Dakota maid is $1.00 for 5 lbs....I buy it directly from the mill.
Whereas, stores will charge from $1.87 to 2.87 for King Arthur flours.

Gold medal and those store brands buy buy the cheapest price they can get...thus the consistency varies.

Even among commercial flours you buy in the grocery store, the QUALITY varies. Gold medal, and store brands are commercial flours that as far as I am concerned aren't worth even using.

I use King Arthur or Dakota Maid flour ( which is available mail order...and I pay 13.75 for 20 lbs, 10 bread flour, 10lbs unbleached all purpose, and the 13.75 includes shipping.

Here's the addy for North Dakota Mills...
https://www.ndmill.com/ndmill/mill/bakery.htm

if you order, it's better to call their toll free number than to order on the net.

Bread flours contain 12-14 percent protein.
Use Unbleached flour whenever possible. It's better than bleached.... It will give you a higher rise as well.

As a side note, Canadian flours are better than store brand flours in the US..... they are of much better quality.

Vital wheat gluten extends the life of the bread as well give your bread good structure and rise and actually makes breads taste better. You only need 1 Tablespoon per loaf of bread.

You must be careful with temps of the yeast. I use SAF fast rise yeast and it has given me consistently good bread, and is a little more forgiving
Measuring accurately is very important, and if using a bread machine, to add the yeast last.

So the essentials of bread baking, is flour, fresh yeast and the right temperature water, and accurate measuring. Kneading is imperative. You can use your bread machine to do the kneading, ( let it knead it twice)....and then shape the loaf, put in a prepared pan and let rise again.....then bake... easy! If you follow this formula your bread will be like this...
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Last edited by Jeannie; 01-25-2004 at 10:47 AM.
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