July 31, 2020 at 7:23 am #25854
Serious Eats has an in-depth article on flours:July 31, 2020 at 8:17 am #25855
Interesting. No one talks about ash content which is very important in Europe. They’ve talked about it on the BBGA site. I believe it affects moisture absorption.
And they completely skip over unbleached cake flours. There are a couple of those.July 31, 2020 at 9:00 am #25857Joan SimpsonParticipant
Interesting read.July 31, 2020 at 10:54 am #25860
I also thought that they gave Bob’s Red Mill short shrift. I prefer their bread flour to King Arthur’s, and I am very happy with their whole wheat. I’m only sorry that they stopped carrying their white whole wheat, not to mention their unbleached cake flour.July 31, 2020 at 11:28 am #25861
Never tried BRM whole wheat or white whole wheat. I only saw organic so it was really pricey. But I loved their cake flour and their whole wheat pastry flour.July 31, 2020 at 11:44 am #25862Mike NolanKeymaster
The amount and value of information made available to US retail flour consumers is pitiful. Large-scale customers can get detailed reports on their flour, though I still see a fair number of posts on the BBGA forum from commercial bakers trying to figure out how to deal with a batch of flour.
The more I learn about flour, it seems the more I have yet to learn. Recently I’ve been reading a book on flour milling first published around 1905. I find it easier to read than the standard text on flour mills (Posner & Hibbs, costs about $168 on Amazon) and I suspect roller mills haven’t changed a lot in the last 115 years.
I haven’t bought much whole wheat flour since I got a flour mill, so I can’t say much about the brands out there.
I normally keep KAF AP, KAF bread, Gold Medal unbleached and a store-brand bleached flour on hand, plus KAF pastry flour and some kind of semolina. Recently that’s been BRM, because that’s the only semolina available locally. I’m going to order a bigger bag of it soon, now that I’ve got a freezer I can store it in.
For cake flour I go with one of the bleached cake flours, like Swans Down, I have not been impressed with KAF’s unbleached cake flour and I haven’t tried BRM. I don’t use a lot of cake flour, I probably haven’t bought it in 2 years.
There was a post on the BBGA forum a while back that linked to a document about European flour grading standards on a country-by-country basis, with a lot more information than I’ve seen anywhere else.
Here’s that link again.July 31, 2020 at 5:15 pm #25866
Thanks Mike. I have the doc but lost the link. Since we were talking about flour storage this link was posted on the BBGA for flour storage and life.
And a master baker from Cargill said that gluten gets stronger over time and flour loses moisture even in a humid environment so they keep their flour in plastic bags and freeze it to prevent that even though they go through it quickly.
The thing about KAF cake flour is that it has really high protein – 10%. Haven’t actually tried it in a cake. BRM worked well enough in Cake Bible white velvet cake but I may go back to one of the bleached cake flours for that. I don’t make them very often and I’ve found other things I like to use in my pizza dough.August 1, 2020 at 12:26 pm #25883cwcdesignParticipant
Way back when, I bought the KAF unbleached cake flour because hey – it was unbleached. It is really too strong for an angel food cake which is what I primarily use cake flour for. I still have a box of Swan’s down in my plastic baking bin. Not sure how it will be when I go to use it.August 1, 2020 at 12:29 pm #25886
I never liked the KAF unbleached cake flour, but I did like the Bob’s Red Mill unbleached cake flour. I still have some in the refrigerator.
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