Protein %age in flour

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by chefbrian, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. chefbrian

    chefbrian

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    I was checking the protein content of the AP flour available up here in Canada . According to Ochef, the Canadian Grain Commission has decreed that white flour shall have 13% protein, of which 12% is glutenins and gliadins and 1% being water-soluble albumin. Nice to know that at least the flour is consistent.

    But my question is this. When I'm looking at a recipe and trying to judge how tender/chewy it will be using AP flour, do I work with the 12% figure - just the gluten - or do I have to factor in the albumin as well and work with the 13% figure? Hope what I'm asking makes sense. Thanx.
     
  2. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    You look at the overall protein content, even though it's the gluten that contributes chewiness.

    Most baking recipes assume that AP flour is 10% protein, so if your AP flour has more protein than that, then you can expect a tougher final product.
     
  3. chefbrian

    chefbrian

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    I did not know that. That's certainly useful to know. Thanks!

    Okay then, let me ask you this. In addition to the 13% AP flour sold up here I also have available 8% pastry flour. I'm looking at a recipe that calls for 1½ cups all-purpose flour + ½ cup cornstarch. I'm certainly not about to dump a ½ cup cornstarch into the cake. In this case, would 2 cups of 8% pastry flour about equal the 1½ cups all-purpose flour + ½ cup cornstarch? I know the simple answer is to experiment and see, but I'd prefer if someone could give me an idea. Thanx.
     
  4. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    Cornstarch makes a cake more tender by diluting the gluten, so it's possible to just use the lower protein flour to begin with.

    Cakes are usually made with 'cake flour', so if you could get that, it'd be even better.

    I assume that your recipe is written for home cooks? Since most people only have AP flour at home, the writer sometimes converted the 'cake flour' to AP flour + cornstarch.
     
  5. summer57

    summer57

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    I'm a Canadian and yes, our flour has a higher protein content. I've tested recipes to compare Canadian and US AP flour, and haven't noticed a difference.