Improve bread flour by adding gluten

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Tompeters

Improve bread flour by adding gluten

I've now tried adding gluten, and there is a real improvement. I used Allinson's Strong White Bread Flour (not their very premium one, the one with those exact words on the pack). The protein is quoted as 12.1% I bought a pack of gluten from my local loose products store 1kg for £3.54. I wanted to raise the protein to 15% which is the level of Canadian strong flour. So I needed to add 3% gluten to my flour. I use a Panasonic breadmaker and always make the smaller loaf on the menu 1 setting with the basic white mix recipe. I use butter, not oil and I always use Morrison's Fast Acting yeast (I think it is identical to Allinson's and also contains a small amount of chemical flour improver).

Not everyone finds arithmetic or maths easy so I will do this as a worked example; please don't be offended if it seems too basic...it might help someone.

The flour quantity for the smaller loaf is 400g. 3% of 400g is 12g (i.e. 3 x 4 = 12). I then 'tared' the digital scales to read zero and added 400 - 12 = 388g flour. Then I spooned over the top of the flour enough gluten to make up to 400g. [I considered mixing the gluten with the flour first but since the salt and sugar are sprinkled on top I reasoned that the mixing and kneeding process of the Panasonic would mix the gluten in fine, which it did].

Otherwise the recipe was precisely the same as Panasonic: yeast, then flour then gluten then salt then sugar then butter then water. Incidentally I weigh my water as it's critical to good breadmaking. 280ml water weighs precisely 280g. Much easier than a measuring jug.

I let the machine do its job, cooled and bagged, in the evening then served for breakfast in the morning.

The effect is definite. The bread is more chewy; less like French bread. In theory it might go stale sooner. To my mind it is an excellent toasting and sandwich bread.

The question is, does this make cheaper low-protein flour more like the finest Canadian strong flour? No, I don't think so. It makes a different kind of bread. The Canadian makes a bread that is great on the table with soup, to break, and makes a lighter crisper toast.

Next I am going to try the experiment with an inferior Sainsbury's strong flour with around 11% protein, but much less expensive.

Costing: £3.54 per kg for gluten = 0.354p per g. 12g therefore cost 4.25p for the loaf. So if you can improve really basic own brand flour from the supermarkets more to your taste, then the costing looks very attractive. Hassle factor virtually nil since you have the scales and flour-bin out anyway.

Good luck, hope this has been some use to someone, let us know how you get on or any ideas.

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Thistledo

Improve bread flour by adding gluten


"Otherwise the recipe was precisely the same as Panasonic: yeast, then flour then gluten then salt then sugar then butter then water. Incidentally I weigh my water as it's critical to good breadmaking. 280ml water weighs precisely 280g. Much easier than a measuring jug."

An interesting post Tomps. Think you'll find, however, that Panasonic instruct that the salt is added just before the water and for a basic white loaf, it's always butter and never oil. It's always important to adhere to instructions of any breadmaker to the letter and yes, certainly to measure the water in the little jug provided with Panasonic.

Please let us know how you get on with your experiment.

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Tompeters

Improve bread flour by adding gluten

Yes, you're correct, T'do. I was being a bit sloppy - I did exactly what I posted and it is not precisely according to the Panasonic recipe. It is my very small variation. It is fine but I am sure that the result would be the same following the Panasonic recipe more literally.

Several forums deal with using oil not butter - I believe many prefer to do so to reduce saturated fat but as you say, Panasonic do state butter. Over Christmas we had some guests who were averse to butter so I used groundnut oil which is neutral to most western palates - compensating for butter being 80% fat, 20% water whereas oil is 100% fat. Maybe trivial difference but I do adjust. Oil is fine in the Panasonic on the basic recipe and is less likely to be a problem on a long delay timer in a very hot kitchen or climate (e.g. an Aga?).

As for measuring water, the Panasonic mug I have is hard to read. As we all know, 1000ml (1l) weighs precisely 1kg (1000g). That's physics and not in dispute. Trying to measure 280ml accurately in my Panasonic mug is impossible. It just isn't possible and when I checked my attempts at using the mug against the scales, I was several percent out at best.

I take a measuring jug with spout, tare it on the digital scales, then pour in cold water until I get 280g -- sometimes I have to pour some out!

Happy baking and experimenting!

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Thistledo

Improve bread flour by adding gluten

Tomps, me thinks you are a male! What you do is, using a black marker pen, colour the line marking 280 or 300 ml. Got it?

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Tompeters

Improve bread flour by adding gluten


"Tomps, me thinks you are a male! What you do is, using a black marker pen, colour the line marking 280 or 300 ml. Got it? "

Well each to his own :) For my money you're better off leaving all to the scales! Yes, of course I'm male. What do expect with a name like Tom and a wife called Thomasina :)

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Welshcookie

Measuring water

Since when is such accurate measurement of water so crucial to bread-making? Some flours need either more or less water, and a little inaccuracy will not make a jot of difference.

We are talking about bread here not a chemical experiment!

Why not put 300ml in a jug and take out 1 tablespoonful?

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JAMES

It's not

And tea spoon over or under will make no difference to the bread as long as you are almost there.

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JAMES

??


"
"Tomps, me thinks you are a male! What you do is, using a black marker pen, colour the line marking 280 or 300 ml. Got it? "

Well each to his own :) For my money you're better off leaving all to the scales! Yes, of course I'm male. What do expect with a name like Tom and a wife called Thomasina :)"



But your name is David. ??????
How confusing!!!!!!

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Tompeters

Improve bread flour by adding gluten


" And tea spoon over or under will make no difference to the bread as long as you are almost there.

"

I have never experimented deliberately over/under using ingredients but after my first experiences of breadmakers (Morphy Richards and Tescos own) some years ago I had hits and misses. I googled and all the advice was to be as precise as you are able. Since digital scales allow you to easily 'measure' liquid to +/- 1ml it seemed silly not to. I've just googled and if you follow this link to an Australian flour manufacturer, they are saying exactly what I said including compensating for the water content of butter. http://laucke.com.au/baker-s-corner/bread-making-process/ If that link didn't work, the company is Laucke.

But as I said, I haven't tried to disprove it.

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Welshcookie

Making bread


'including compensating for the water content of butter'.

Are you being serious? When I read that I got uncontrollable giggles!

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Tompeters

Improve bread flour by adding gluten


"
'including compensating for the water content of butter'.

Are you being serious? When I read that I got uncontrollable giggles!"


Well, if it gave you a chuckle it was worthwhile :)) Did you read the link I posted. The flour manufacturer says the same. Same is true when you substitute Trex for butter. Still, let's move on. I can only post it as I see it. If you disagree or want to do it some other way that's fine. You do it your way and I'll do it mine :)

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Tompeters

Improved bread flour by adding gluten

WC -- Sorry pressed the wrong button on the iPad by mistake! I meant to add that the point of the thread is adding gluten to flour. The rest of it is 'baking' and irrelevant to that key topic.

I understand that if you add gluten you will need to knead more so I assume totally unsuitable for no-knead bread? The various opinions out there seem to agree that if you are adding gluten you need either a breadmaker or a machine mix.

Word is that this years harvest is terrible and protein is down in most wheat, the finest commanding really high prices. So this could be a seriously interesting subject to those who, like me, bake almost daily yet have to manage on a budget.

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SonyaK

Improve bread flour by adding gluten

"BUTTER/OIL: If adding butter, oil or margarine, reduce the water proportionately."

So if adding a tablespoon of oil, reduce the water by 1 tablespoon.

That's what I saw on Laucke's website, but it's in the bit about adapting machine recipes if you're going to shape the dough by hand.

I use Laucke bread mixes all the time (being in Australia) but I don't use the exact proportions they recommend. It varies with different bread makers, so I've written down what I usually do, and start from there.
Then I check the dough while it's still kneading and add a little more water (or bread mix) if I think it's necessary.
It's varies on different days - heat, humidity etc. but I usually go by the look of the dough and adjust it if need be.

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Tompeters

Improve bread flour by adding gluten

Sonya, That's what the website says but I think what they mean is to compensate for the 80/20 fat/water ratio of butter instead of oil. i.e. it's not one tablespoon per tablespoon but 20% of that.

The same is true of 'Trex' which is a solid veg fat over here, the brand leader for pastry, and the box states clearly that you should compensate for the fact that Trex is 100% fat whereas butter is only 80% fat. I know it might seem trivial, but the manufacturers bother to tell us to do it. I suppose they know more than we do?

As for humidity, etc., yes I'm sure you're right. I believe that professional bakers mix accurately according to precise weights then while the dough is mixing in the commercial machine make a judgement as to whether to add a splash of water or a touch more flour. Not so easy in a breadmaker if left on automatic. Not so easy for the amateur home cook.

I don't have any more information or experience to add to that part of the discussion. The suppliers say it matters, so I do it. I'm not really interested in what would happen if I didn't weigh correctly because I bake because I want the bread and anyway it is so easy to do it 'properly' :)

I'll be trying the gluten in much poorer flour in the next few days and will let you know if the gluten improved it.

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Tompeters

Improve bread flour by adding gluten

I'll be trying the added gluten in really cheap own brand strong flour later today but meanwhile the previous loaf has staled far, far earlier and more completely than usual. I'm thinking crumpets.

 
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