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egalecki 10-24-2008 01:32 PM

flour types
I was at the store today and looked at the protein contents of various flours (heaven only knows what the employees thought of me reading all the bags!). My understanding has always been that bread flour has more protein in it than AP flour. Does the caputo have less protein than AP flour?

I was looking at White Lily flour, and it says it's made from soft wheat, and it did have less protein in it than AP flour. It also said that to exchange it with AP flour you'd have to add 2 tablespoons of it per cup. I was wondering if it would substitute for caputo in pizza dough better than AP flour would. This was NOT self-rising flour, by the way.

I do have a 5 pack of caputo, but I'm having trouble bringing myself to use it- I'm not happy with my dough or my skills yet, and I'd hate to waste it on an inferior batch! "fear of good flour"... a strange thing for someone who isn't afraid of much in the kitchen! :rolleyes:

Ed_ 10-24-2008 04:56 PM

Re: flour types
I couldn't say about White Lily in particular, but I have heard that you have to be little careful sometimes with flour in the south. I gather the regional preference is for slightly lower protein content that might be more appropriate for biscuits and the like.

That being said, I've had excellent dough results with good ol' King Arthur AP. I don't know how its gluten content compares to other brands, but I do know that they have a very consistent milling process. It's nice to know that you're putting exactly the same thing into each attempt.

A friend of mine who bakes for a living told me he prefers King Arthur AP to bread flour for his bread. (And for what it's worth, one of the baking teachers at Zimmerman's said my friend makes the best baguettes in Ann Arbor. :D)

egalecki 10-24-2008 05:20 PM

Re: flour types
I do use the King Arthur AP flour. It was a red letter day in my household when I could get it at Kroger. I also use their bread flour and the whole wheat. (sometimes I use the Montana Mills whole wheat if I shop at the store which carries it, it's really good too).

I know White Lily makes great biscuits- my grandmother swore by it. She used the self-rising flour- which I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. I prefer to add my own stuff, not buy it already mixed.

In the Carol Field book The Italian Baker, she says not to use bread flour in her recipes, because it's too strong to substitute for Italian flour. I wonder if that's true for baguette? Her book, by the way, is a really good one- not quite in the same vein as Reinhart's, but it has a lot of really good recipes. I'm going to try out some of her cookie-type things soon.

I was just wondering, since White Lily's a "tender" flour, if it would make good pizza dough.

Wiley 10-24-2008 07:47 PM

Re: flour types
I understand your quiry to the Forum regarding suitability of Lily Flour for pizza in hopes of finding out if someone had already tried using it. Personally, I would suggest purchasing a five pound bag and try making pizzas with it. Worst one could do is waste a few bucks on dough and toppings but the experience would most likely be worth the cost. Who knows you may find a flour that works for you so that you don't need to always purchase the spendy imported stuff. And who knows, what with the world economy (ies) on the verge of some sort of meltdown/recession, what the cost and availability of the imported stuff will be in the future.


dmun 10-24-2008 07:54 PM

Re: flour types
I've never used white lily, but there's been gnashing of teeth about the loss of it's traditional mill:

White Lily closing downtown mill : Business : Knoxville News Sentinel

It's a staple of Southern cuisine, and the replacement stuff is not thought to be up to snuff.

egalecki 10-25-2008 07:21 AM

Re: flour types

Originally Posted by Wiley (Post 43497)
And who knows, what with the world economy (ies) on the verge of some sort of meltdown/recession, what the cost and availability of the imported stuff will be in the future.


In addition to my "fear of caputo", I was sort of wondering about this very thing. I've also been trying to buy local and in season as much as I can. while the White Lily flour isn't exactly local, it's closer than some! There's a mill locally, but I don't think they use soft wheat. They also bleach the flour, which I'd rather not have, but I think the White Lily is bleached too. I'll have to look that one up.

I'll go buy a bag and make a batch of dough with it and with the regular AP both and report back. I just wasn't sure whether it was similar at all to caputo. We'll see.

egalecki 10-25-2008 07:53 AM

Re: flour types
Flour Test - Flours of America

I found this comparison of flours online- looks like the protein content is about 8 percent, which is a tad lower than the italian 00 clone from KA.

The really good news is that the Big Spring Mill flour listed is the one from about 10 miles away.

I'll try them both, but I sure wish they didn't bleach them!

Wiley 10-25-2008 09:43 AM

Re: flour types
It is my understanding that bleaching (using either clorine gas or bromine) is done to age the flour and to turn the flour a uniform white. During the process some vitamin e is lost. However, if one is looking at bread as one's only source of vitamin e then one is probably running on the low end of the daily amount one should have.

So it is a process done to assure a more uniform product. I try to look at the positive side of this issue. So for a moment try thinking of it this way: If you were in the flour business the milled and sacked flour would have to be rotated such that all bags get an equal exposure to the atmosphere. That means restacking pallets so that those inside go to the outside and vice versa. We are not talking five or ten pound bags but rather the huge 100+ lb bags like you see in warehouses. That's an added cost. And if somebody doesn't do their job it is possible to get a bag of flour that isn't properly oxidized and it may not work as well as one would expect in a receipe. That would result in a bad reputation for the flour. Besides warehousing the flour would also add cost. So in the race for the lowest price on the shelf it's not economically smart.

That all being said I saw something I found curious yesterday; Coarse sea salt but unlike the white bright stuff we are used to seeing the grains were grey. They were marketing this salt as "Grey Sea Salt" and selling it at a premium price. I have seen grey sea salt out of country, in the third world, it is always discounted because the grey comes from earth/clay (dirt has a bad connotation); it is from the bottom of the salt pans. It is considered an inferior grade, yet some marketing guru came up with the idea that the earth in the salt adds minerals (which it probably does) and are asking an inflated price. DUH, like saying a third pressing of olive oil is better because it contains more pulp, "Fiber...good for you, don't you know?"


egalecki 10-25-2008 10:42 AM

Re: flour types
According to Reinhart, bleaching removes some of the flavor and character of the flour. I just never thought it was necessary since really, it whitens up with age anyway, but I never thought about it in the terms you suggest- rotating stock, etc. I'll probably never be able to REALLY taste enough difference to care- I still have trouble not eating all the bread while it's still hot!:p

I have some of that grey sea salt- I think it's actually better than regular kosher salt for finishing a dish. It's saltier tasting, so you don't need much, and I find it has a "certain something" in the flavor, which I like. Maybe it's just dirty I'm tasting, but I like it. I have some pink himalayan salt too- it looks cool, but I can't really discern much of a difference with it, while I can taste a difference with the grey.

I still wouldn't say it's worth the ridiculous price, though. I only have them because my mom has much better grocery stores than I do and I buy silly stuff to try at home when I visit.

Wiley 10-25-2008 11:44 AM

Re: flour types
Elizabeth, Here's a link to an interesting site I just found. According to the site proper "Grey Salt" is from a particular area in Brittany in France. Although the salt I saw in South America looked no different than what I saw yesterday at the store and according to the site is obtained using the same process. Odd or maybe not, in S. America it is what the poor use and in the epicurian kitchens of the world, what the rich use :-)

GourmetSleuth - Guide to Culinary Salts


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