When it comes to baking bread either at home for your family or as a small business artisan bakery, it is essential to choose the best flour to ensure a consistent and high-quality loaf of bread.
At Nelstrop, we have been creating the best flours on the marketplace for over 200 years. Many of the leading artisan bakeries in the United Kingdom purchase their flour from us because of the quality and consistency we deliver.
This article aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of flour to ensure you buy the best flour for your specific requirements.
The Importance of Protein in Bread
Whilst flour is made up of many components, the most important ingredient for a baker is protein. There are two different types of protein in flour, glutenin and gliadin. As part of the baking process, gluten is created when water mixes with flour. Gluten is what gives bread its structure. Glutenin creates elasticity which essentially designates how chewy a bread is, while Gliadin will dictate how much the bread rises when baking.
At Nelstrops, we sell a range of flours, which in our opinion, are perfect for making different types of bread. We have a specific set of flours in our bread range, many of which have won Great Taste Awards. Our bread range includes Traditional Strong White Flour, Traditional Wholemeal Flour, 100% Cheshire Wheat Flour, Multiseed and Flake, Maltflake Flour, Spelt Wholemeal Flour, Spelt White Flour, Dark Rye Flour, and Light Rye Flour.
Choosing The Right Flour For Your Tastes and Preferences
Essentially the key differential between each type of flour is the amount of gluten protein in each type of flour. As you can imagine, this will affect how your flour performs during the baking process. All-purpose flours typically have a protein content of approximately 9-10 per cent, versus a harder type flour or whole wheat flour, which contains 12-15 per cent of protein.
Let’s imagine that you want to bake sourdough bread. You should choose strong white flour, like Nelstrops Traditional Strong White flour, over all-purpose flour for this type of bread. This is because the higher protein content contained within the flour will produce a high-rise bread with the sought-after rustic crust of an artisan-style loaf. Strong White flour is also suitable for pitta breads and breads made from a bread machine. If on the other hand you are making a Soda bread, then an all purpose Plain flour such as Nelstrops Plain flour will be perfect to get the crumbly soft texture you are looking for.
Armed with a good recipe book, baking by hand or using your own breadmaking machine and Nelstrop flours, the world is your oyster when it comes to baking a beautiful loaf of bread of which you can be proud.