What is a strong flour?

Home baking is now a normal activity in many families. The handmade part of bread making (mixed flour, kneading) is fascinating, but the main reason is that it is easy to do math: yourself to bake bread instead of buying in the supermarket and you will save a lot of money.

In this article I will talk about wheat flour, the bread most commonly used around the world. Historically, wheat was one of the first and most important cereals used in ancient civilizations. It first appeared for almost 10,000 years BC near Tigris and Euphrates, near the east by the river bottom, known as the Fertile Crescent. For centuries, wheat began to grow in other regions, such as Europe and China. Worldwide, wheat is now mainly produced in the EU, mainly in Italy and France.

The seed (or grain) of wheat consists of three parts. The bran is a shell and contains fibers and vitamins (especially B). The endosperm is the source of starch (polysaccharide carbohydrate). The germ is small but full of Vitamin E and B and antioxidants. These three parts can be combined to obtain different kinds of flour

White flour is produced from ground endosperm. Whole grain (also known as whole wheat) flour makes all three parts grounded together. A specific type of whole wheat flour is called Graham Flour, with three parts grounded (finer endosperm, richer bran and germ), and then mixed back. Germ Powder is made from endosperm and germ. Germs and bran alone can also be found as a by-product of the milling process. The germ is usually used as a supplement for athletes to help gain muscle resistance while bran is added to the bread to enrich its fiber content

The correct flour for bread baking is "strong". The strength of flour depends on the amount of gluten, the protein complex consisting of gluten and gliadin. The gluten absorbs up to 150% of its weight, and when the dough is left to rise, it retains the CO2 produced by the yeast, giving the bread a typical bubble and sponge-like structure. If you have ever kneaded a strong flour, you will notice that the more you work, the harder the dough is. This is the power of flour. Gluten forms an elastic coating that can be stretched during kneading and retain its shape during baking

The higher the protein content, the stronger the flour. Ideally, the percentage of protein should be 15%, but 12% is also good. If the protein is less than 10%, it means that the flour is "soft" and should be used to prepare the cake. In addition to bread, strong flour is also used to prepare Italian dishes such as pizza, pasta and fresh pasta