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mylesonic 06-12-2006 06:07 AM

Italian Flour
 
From what I'm remembering (and I'll re-research this because I know I have a lot of info on it stored somewhere....) A lot of the European flours that work great for some Italian breads (and also french baguettes etc. but not the peasant style breads) do so mainly because they are lower in protein content than the (much) higher protein bread flours that we mainly use here. 00 etc. can pretty fairly be approximated by using a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of AP flour, and your usual bread flour. More extensibility, etc.

Also a percentage (maybe 30 - 60 percent depending on the bread you make) of the finest grind Duram flour that you can find can get you a lot closer to some of the great Italian semolina breads that you may be looking for. Just remember that all of these combo's will be different to work with, and truly easy to damage if you are not mixing by hand.

Besides, I'm fairly certain that any self-respecting Italian (or French) baker would be really loyal to the flour grown on his own soil! I like to think that in North America we have every bit as much reason (and maybe more) to want to use our own products. You simply won't find better quality flours than what is coming out of some American Farms/Mills these days. Italian and French breads developed out of people using what was available and the best that they could find.

IMHO there isn't really any reason to go for expensive (and maybe old???) imported European flours unless you just want to try it. We have so many great small mills and organic flour suppliers in this county that are accesible, cheap and reliable. Just reasearching the chemical nature of the flour that you want is a good first step. Lots of great info out there.

james 06-12-2006 01:36 PM

I think that is true for bread flour. There are excellent producers here, including King Arthur and Giustos, and local producers in local markets.

That said, there isn't anything here like good Italian Tipo 00 pizza flour. That one's unique. :)
James

Richard 06-13-2006 01:47 PM

I use King Arthur AP. Bread, white whole wheat and rye flours.

Also purchased the Tipo 00 and am very pleased with its perforemance

As with tools, the right one for the right job. Tipo 00 is my flour of choice for pizza


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