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Bread Flour


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This is really starting to annoy me. Where the hell can you buy bread or cake flour in sydney? I don't want bread mix with Soy Lethicin and yeast and whatever else they try and cram in there. I just want honest to god flour with a protien content above 12%. Maybe 15% if it wasn't hoping for too much. And what about cake flour? Something below 8% would be nice too.

Instead, every single flour sold at every single supermarket I've ever been in is between 9 and 11%. The only things outside of that range are wierd mixes.

PS: I am a guy.

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I know what you mean! In Melbourne I could find big bags (5 kilos?) of bread flour at certain Coles supermarkets. You could ask at your local Coles and see if they can get it in for you even if they don't normally carry it. I wish I could remember the brand name for you so you could ask for it by name. Anyone else know the brand?

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Your could try Health food store, in Melbourne some health food shops sell different variaties of flour :rye , spelt etc, I have use Four Leaf Flour they are quite good, you can find out where you can get it from www.fourleafmilling.com , otherwise you can try begging your local bakery, they nomally get 25kg bags. I find they are far superior then anything you can buy at local supermarket. goodluck in finding , what sort of bread are you intending to make ? :wink:

Edited by Dim Sim (log)
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The bags of real bread flour you can get at supermarkets aren't ever close to the 15% protein mark. The two brands still available in Melbourne appear to be Defiance (11%) and (?)WhiteWings. The other day I also noticed small bags of a new line by TipTop, which includes a "high grade" flour. EDITED for correct brands.

Other than a friendly baker who isn't using some sort of pre-mix(!), the best sources are often Middle Eastern grocers, at least in Melbourne.

Cake flour... as in real low protein fine cake flour... nowhere? USAfoods in Melbourne sells Swan's brand, but I gather from US friends that it's not a quality brand.

Some Italian importers might stock a variety of Italian flours beyond the much-sought-after Tipo 00.

As an aside, remember that Australian cake recipes are written for standard Australian plain flour.

Edited by lamington (log)

-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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BTW: I managed to find some 13% wholegrain flour from Safeways of all places. So why is it that any flour other than AP is all but impossible to find in Australia? Do Australians not bake breads and cakes except from mixes? Do people just use normal flour and hope for the best? Where do bakers get their flour from?

PS: I am a guy.

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BTW: I managed to find some 13% wholegrain flour from Safeways of all places. So why is it that any flour other than AP is all but impossible to find in Australia?

I think there are a few different issues that need to be sorted out here.

To my knowledge, it is unusual to find white flour that comes close to 15% protein content anywhere, not just in Oz. Bread flour in AU, UK, US tends to be in the 11.5-13.5% range.

Bakers buy commercial flours, many of which are not available at consumer level (just surf the websites of flour mills!) and are generally in the 12.5-14% range, tailored to particular commercial uses.

Wholegrain flour usually contains more protein, so I'm afraid it's not a relevant comparison with white flour.

Do Australians not bake breads and cakes except from mixes? Do people just use normal flour and hope for the best?

I grew up being told that Australian wheat varieties are generally harder than overseas (presumably Europe/UK -- North America is very varied). Plain white flour here often has 10+% protein (the one on my shelf now has 10.8%). Australians have been successfully baking bread and cakes with this sort of flour for rather a long time, so there's no reason why you shouldn't manage too :hmmm: within traditional home-baking parameters.

Cake flour is rarely available at consumer level in AU or UK, so again, home-baking has successfully survived on standard white flour. Meanwhile, if I understand things correctly, in the US you need to be careful about knowing where in North America a recipe is from, due to strong regional differences in flour types.

And last of all, protein content is not the sole indicator of how good a flour will be for a given purpose, so theoretically you could still end up with a high protein flour which has been poorly milled and has undesirable qualities relating to, eg, extraction rate, ash content, or absorption. In consumer level products this is particularly true.

-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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BTW: I managed to find some 13% wholegrain flour from Safeways of all places. So why is it that any flour other than AP is all but impossible to find in Australia? Do Australians not bake breads and cakes except from mixes? Do people just use normal flour and hope for the best? Where do bakers get their flour from?

Shalmanese,

I know exactly what you mean, having experienced the same angst myself. Returning to Sydney from London where I was spoilt with choice with many different types bread flours to choose from, all from the local supermarket, found Sydney was woeful!

I suspect that flour mills and supermarkets are trying to push bread mixes because (a) higher profit margin; and (b) they think, rightly or wrongly, that most people who make their own bread use a machine. From my own experience, not that many people make bread and cakes from "scratch" these days.

I have come across a lot of recipes for bread in local magazines which state plain flour - and pity those who follow it with poor results.

Bakers order their flour from distributors and it comes in 25kg bags, from such places as Manildra mills.

With regard to unbleached bakers flour, I have found that "Wallaby" flour made by Laucke works well. It has 11.9% protein. I get this from my local Coles (Hurstville), in 5kg sacks.

I also know of a fruit shop nearby which sells Manildra bread flour in 10kg bags and very economically priced, but haven't tried it. I have tried Defiance Baker's Flour but found the resulting bread to be hard and not very well risen. If you look on Laucke's website, they also make several types of other bread flours for different types of bread, with varying protein and water absorbency, but I haven't found these at supermarkets.

"I'll just die if I don't get this recipe."
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I can sympathize: it's hard finding the right bread flour, much less at a decent price. I sidestepped the eternal hunt for bread flour by buying a huge bag of vital wheat gluten and adding just the right amount for the protein content I want.

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BTW: I managed to find some 13% wholegrain flour from Safeways of all places. So why is it that any flour other than AP is all but impossible to find in Australia? Do Australians not bake breads and cakes except from mixes? Do people just use normal flour and hope for the best? Where do bakers get their flour from?

Cake mixes are almost foolproof, so that probably explains their popularity. AS my fiance pointed out (during my rant about being forced to use pre-mix), they're popular with young children who want to learn how to bake. I'll do the same when we have kids, but only as a stepping stone to teaching them how to bake from scratch (if they're interested, that is).

I baked three cakes on the weekend using the mixes (don't ask), and they all turned out fine. It's just a pity they taste like crap.

However, I also baked a cake from scratch (the lemon-yoghurt cake from G&L Malouf's "Arabesque") and that turned out a treat. It had texture, it had flaws, but it had flavour and it was so much better than the premix cakes.

Incidentally, one of the flours I used for the cake was an organic flour I purchased from Safeway.

Edited by Shinboners (log)
Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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Everyone's baking... man, I want to bake too...

and Shin, you will have a kid soon... so start practising!

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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  • 1 month later...

I have been looking real hard to get the high protein flour for my projects so ended up buying some stuff direct from distributors fairly cheap but with 25kg bags was an overkill considering that I would run a test batch and not use the whole bag(wate of time)

Forget Coles or Safeways all the hard wheat flour in supermarkets are pants protein labels on packets or bags are not a reliable indicators of protein levels

unless you get from the millers a technical info sheets and then you'll find that the real protein is between 11.5 and 13.0% is about the max you can get here in OZ without hitting the premixes that millers may offer you if they want to keep their business, then again you'll have to buy many many bags from them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought some Eden Valley Premium Baker's Flour (biodynamic, which the package says is particularly well suited to bread making. I got it at Leo's Supermarket, $4.55 for 1kg. There is no information on protein content. I won't get around to baking bread until next weekend, but I'll let you know how it works out.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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I buy bread flour here at health food type shops which have lots of bulk items like nuts, dried fruit, legumes and grains. They're also a great source for rye flour and other things like that.

I personally find that the plain flour here is softer than in the US. I'm not an expert though, so this is just my perception of it. I would suspect that it's geared toward the end products which people are most likely to produce, like scones, maybe cakes.

I actually also use plain flour a lot of the time in making bread, since it's easier to find. Most of the bread I make involves multiple long, slow raisings, which seems to help develop the gluten. I've done it enough times that I've gotten good at judging the way the dough feels and adjusting the flour and water proportions based on that. I'm glad that I can do this as the humidity of the air seems to fluctuate quite a lot here.

Most of my friends have bread machines, but I do it all by hand. It doesn't take very long, but it does leave quite a mess to clean up.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Hi,

I'm relatively new to Melbourne.

I bake bread frequently and am finding it a difficulty to locate good bread flour with 11+% protein and other types of flour...especially rye.

I live in Carlton. Does anyone know the nearest place where i can find good flours?

thx a million!

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timtune,

Good luck with the flour search! Although, you may find a natural foods store that stocks some. We have tried every brand of supermarket flour we could find for comparison and have settled on Lauke Wallaby baking flour. We are in the 'burbs so are somewhat limited but you might have access to a local baker who might help you out.

Also, check out the newbie necessities thread. These kind aussies have been a huge help!

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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Hi,

I'm relatively new to Melbourne.

I bake bread frequently and am finding it a difficulty to locate good bread flour with 11+% protein and other types of flour...especially rye.

I live in Carlton. Does anyone know the nearest place where i can find good flours?

thx a million!

Hi Timtune, welcome to egullet. If you look in the Australia and NZ pages you will find a topic on bread flour. I hope this works, never tried to link other thread before, here we go

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=70210

there is a place in Brunswick sells flour in bulk, Bas foods, 423 Victoria Street, Brunswick. Which is not too far from Carlton. just go to the back of the shop you will see all type of flour on pallets.

Oh, depending on how often you bake, Mediterranean Wholesalers, 482 Sydney Road, also in Brunswick, it is a big Italian supermarket, they sell 1 kg bag of Italian bread flour, as well as flour for pasta, and tipo 00.

Edited by Dim Sim (log)
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Thx Dim Sim and fou!!

Have you been to the shops? I was wondering if they sell other grain flours too, like spelt and rye, and...

If you don't mind, can you tell me the rough cost for a kilo of bread flour there?

I'll probably start my journey there soon. :) ...walking i guess... need a bike soon...hehe

I thought it would be easier to find bread flours here, than where i came from, but... :wacko:

Any ideas of where to buy within the city?

Edited by timtune (log)
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Thx Dim Sim and fou!!

Have you been to the shops? I was wondering if they sell other grain flours too, like spelt and rye, and...

If you don't mind, can you tell me the rough cost  for a kilo of bread flour there?

I'll probably start my journey there soon. :) ...walking i guess... need a bike soon...hehe

I thought it would be easier to find bread flours here, than where i came from, but...  :wacko:

Any ideas of where to buy within the city?

It is funny how we don't bake in Melbourne. most European and North American that I know seem to incorporate baking into their routine. Consider we could hardly get any decent bread until quite recently ( about the last 10 years), when all those small boutique bakeries started to open up one after the other, I would have thought more people would resort to baking their own bread.

I have always found it hard to get good bread flour, or cake flour for that matter, if you are nice to your local bakery, they might sell you some. It will generaly be better than anything you can get at the supermarket, You shouldn't have any problem living in Carlton. there are a few good bakeries around and a few more in North Fitzroy( which is the next suburb), if you need the name of some bakeries let me know.

I afraid that I can't help you with the prices of the flour, as for the rye and spelt, you might have to go to the health food store, I know a couple of organic stores in the Queen Victoria which sell them.

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Rye and spelt in the organic section in Queen Victoria market?

Yes, it would be helpful if u can recommend a good bakery in the carlton area. :)

I'm quite lost actually, in locating where to get stuff here. :wacko:

Gonna begin my journey to Brunswick now. Bye! & THX ..hehe

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hey Dim Sim,

Thx for the addresses of the shops!!

I actually walked to Mediterranean wholesalers with my bro today, and actually found italian bread flour and tipo 00 at quite good prices!! And also pasta flour ...and chestnut flour at only $3.50 for half a kilo.

It's sure a great and affordable place to shop for italian goods!! THX.

However, i didn't manage to visit Bas Foods. Anyway, i just bought like 5+ kilos of flour in total. Glad about it :)

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