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Looking for high protein flour in Los Angeles

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  • Looking for high protein flour in Los Angeles

    I'm having trouble finding high gluten flour in the LA area. I live near Roma Market in Pasadena so I have access to "00" flour but a good high protein flour like Power Flour or something similar seems hard to find around here without a restaurant business license. I can get it online but the shipping costs more than the flour and that's just annoying. If anyone has a good source I would greatly appreciate it.

  • #2
    King Arthur (and probably others like Bob's Red Mill) sell "vital wheat gluten". It's cheap, probably having been taken out of all those gluten-free products. You can supplement your flour to achieve whatever protein level you like.
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    • #3
      Thanks rwiegand! That's a great idea. I'll give that a try.


      • #4
        For those of us who don't live anywhere near a store that sells vital wheat gluten, I've been trying a DIY method to increase the protein.
        It works for me..

        For a batch of dough prepared using 1kg flour @ 60% hydration:

        Take 200g flour .
        Add about 110g water.
        Knead well into a dough.
        Cover and let stand for an hour or two.
        Give the dough an occasional stretch and fold to ensure all the proteins have formed into gluten.

        After a couple of hours, start washing the dough to remove the starch:
        Put a couple of hundred mLs of clean water in the bowl.
        "Scrunch" the dough in your hand in the water.
        The water will go milky white as starch is washed out.
        If you do this right, you'll wash out the starch and leave a glutinous mass behind.
        it takes multiple changes of water to get the gluten starch free.
        About ten changes of water does it for me.

        Once the water is coming away clear, wring the gluten dry-ish, wrap in cling film and throw it in the freezer.

        To use:
        Thaw the gluten.
        Put 600mL of water in the mixing bowl.
        Pull the gluten apart into small pieces and add to the bowl.
        Start mixer and start adding 1kg flour, 1 tsp yeast, 4 tsp salt.
        I find it works best if I stop adding flour about the halfway mark and let the mixer run on that for a while before adding the remainder of the flour.
        Mix until you obtain a smooth dough ball.
        This will take longer than usual, as the mixer needs to pull the small pieces apart and incorporate the extra gluten.

        It will eventually be evenly distributed and undetectable in the dough.
        When it is all done, the dough ball will be noticeably stiffer than usual, and the mixer will be working a lot harder than usual.

        Handle your dough in the usual way from this point.
        You will find it will stretch to a larger diameter than usual without tearing.

        Theoretically, this method turns a dough that is 10% protein into slightly under 12% protein.


        • #5
          Creating a "protein block" from wheat flour is an old technique. It is often compared to Tofu as an alternate meat substitute and called Seitan (pronounced like satan ). Here's a link to a 2010 article in Smithsonian magazine.

          Remember that the push to higher gluten breads/flat breads can also lead to tougher end products. We tend to want the highest protein/gluten products we can find to make "Artisan" breads but the reality is that technique is often more important. The classic French Baguette is usually attributed to high protein flour, when in fact the flour that produces that fabulous tasting and textured bread is made with flour of 11.8-11.9% gluten (considered on the higher end of AP flour in the US). I actually prefer Gold Medal "Better for Bread" (AKA Harvest King in larger quantities) for both pizza and base flour for my breads because it's right at this level (and what Wotavidone achieves with the seitan addition). I know there are lots of opinions and that this is just my 2 cents's really just about personal preference which is exactly how it should be.
          Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
          Roseburg, Oregon

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          • #6
            I just call it gluten. I thought it was called seitan after the vegetarians had flavoured it and fried it so they could delude themselves it is meat.


            • #7
              I'm of a similar opinion regarding protein levels in pizza flours. Caputo pizzeria is 12.75% according to their website. I'd imagine that would be all you'd ever need.
              Most say a little less makes life easier, and many say 10% is OK.
              However, I started experimenting with the gluten boosting when my usual generic flour dropped from 10.9 to 10% protein on the label. I'd been thinking the dough was weak lately, and when I saw the change I decided to see what happened when I boosted it. There was a big difference. The bulk dough ball used to sort of flatten out, the boosted bulk dough ball maintains a much closer to spherical shape.
              Ditto the individual balls. However, they are easier to stretch into a crust.
              And best of all I got that nice big puffy corniccione back.
              It's not a lot of work and its sort of satisfying to do it yourself, but a few grams of vital wheat gluten would be simpler.