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Cecilia Explains Janie's Mill Bread Flours

Cecilia Explains Janie's Mill Bread Flours

By: Cecilia Buyswheeler-Gunther (Read Bio)

Cecilia Explains Janie's Mill Bread Flours

There are two terms we will look at today to help choose the best flour for your baking needs.

Protein levels: More protein usually but not always means more good gluten and a good strong gluten development means a good strong well risen airy loaf. A protein level is used to judge a flours quality and baking strength. A higher percentage, between 12-15, is a flour best suited to breads. Lower protein levels, for example 8-10%, are great for cakes and cookies and scones, etc.

This does not mean you can't make a perfectly good loaf with a lower protein flour. However you have a better chance at an airy loaf of bread if you use a flour with a high protein and good gluten potential. And by choosing the flour with the protein level (and gluten potential) that suits your needs, you are a step ahead of the game.

Extraction Rates: Extraction Rates are all about how much bran is removed from the flour in the sifting process. At Janie's Mill we firmly believe that the germ and bran and all those lovely natural oils in a wheat berry are just as important to health and digestion as the white starchy endosperm so we offer flours at 100% extraction, this means nothing is sifted out at all, or down to 80% extraction which means 20% of the bran is sifted out. A couple of flours, the pizza flour for example, are down to 70%.

So the higher the extraction rate the more bran is in the flour.

With these two properties in mind, I will talk about four of our BREAD FLOURS: (keeping in mind that as the wheat Lots change so do the protein/ash/falling number levels so these specs are for March 2020 - please request a current spec sheet, or refer to the cheat sheet in your shipping box for the most up to date specs for the Lots being milled today).

High Protein Bread Flour

Wheat: Glenn

Extraction rate: 80%

Protein level: 14.4% (13.6 the season of 10/21)

This is my favorite flour for a great airy loaf with lots of bounce and flavor. It is made from Glenn Wheat grown just down the road. The Glenn Wheat has a really high protein level and high gluten potential. And with an 80% extraction the loaves develop a soft bouncy delicious open crumb. This is the flour I recommend to all my new Janie's Mill Bakers because it delivers consistent, great, airy loaves. It is a steady flour for beginner bakers, and popular with professionals and the taste is divine. I have been baking sourdough bread using this method, with the same starter for over fifteen years and this is my favorite flour by far. Plus, if I am blending flours, my first 50% is often the High Protein Bread Flour.

Whole Kernel Bread Flour

Wheat: Glenn

Extraction rate: 100%

Protein level: 14.7% (13.1 the season of 10/21)

Ok as you can see this is the same wheat as the High Protein Bread Flour but with a 100% extraction rate so nothing is sifted out which results in an even higher protein than the High Protein Flour. However the extra bran will give you a darker, fuller and healthier loaf. The whole kernel flour needs more water in the dough ( we call this a higher hydration) and prefers a few more stretches but be gentle. Also, don’t forget to autolyze : allow time for the water to soak into the flour - hydration takes time with these stone milled whole kernel flours. The resulting loaves are quite marvelous and very tasty. I make a really nice mill loaf for our lunches that is 50% High Protein Bread Flour and 50% Whole Kernel Bread Flour at 75% hydration.

At Janie's Mill we offer two blended flours. These flours are a blend of the high protein Glenn and our lower protein Warthog. Our versatile All Purpose flour is from the Warthog wheat.

Artisan Blend Bread Flour

Wheats: Glenn. Warthog.

Extraction rate: 90%

Protein: 10.7% (11.2 the season of 10/21)

You can see that we have lowered the protein, and dropped the extraction rate slightly to make a perfect flour for smaller products like rolls or baguettes. I have a number of restaurant bakers who use this flour for their sandwich loaves. Baked in a loaf pan. The dough rises beautifully and without such an open crumb that you have nowhere to put your butter! Again with the higher extraction rate this is an incredibly healthy option. If you increase your hydration and use a steamy baking method you can open that crumb up but this will be a hearty loaf.

Artisan Blend responds well to a long fermentation, so good for proofing overnight.

Sifted Artisan Bread Flour

Wheats: Glenn. Warthog.

Extraction rate: 80%

Protein: 10.7% (12% the season of 10/21)

Ok! Can you see what we did there? Same blend as the Artisan Blend but sifted through a finer screen taking a little more bran out for lightness. This is my choice for a lovely light loaf of table bread and I have professional bakers who use this flour for croissants and crescent rolls, baguettes, etc. It is also great for tortillas and flatbreads. Plus great in the Bread Machine (with minimum kneading).

Now you can make up your own blends - check out the protein levels and gluten development of those heirlooms and ancients - Spelt or Red Fife or Einkorn or Turkey Red and do your own equation - I am totally available on email or to call if you have a quick question or want to share one of your inevitable successes.

Be sure to keep your flours very cold. Our organic flours are stone milled from organic wheat, and nothing but wheat, so store them in the refrigerator or freezer or a very cold winter room.


Posted on March 03 2020