Confusing

I went to Coles to buy the Bread & Pizza flour from Lighthouse, as the online shopping indicated that they might have it (with the Click & Collect feature). When I got there today, no such luck, they just had plain flour and self rising flour, but not bread flour.

In search for my bread flour, I went to an Italian/Maltese shop around the corner from where I live to check. I thought to myself – Won’t hurt to look, worst case scenario: they don’t have it.

At least I THOUGHT that was the worst case scenario, until I got there. They obviously didn’t have the Australian brands, they had an Italian one: Caputo. So far, no issue. The problem comes when it stops being a binary choice: is this a bread flour? The answer varied a lot. They had a number of different types of flour for bread, something I was not expecting.

First they had Tipo 0, which I had never heard of. I had only heard of Tipo 00 for pasta and pizza (more on that later). Then they had a Manitoba (strong) flour, a fresh pasta and gnochi flour, Tipo 1 (?!?) and Classica (I’m guessing an all-purpose flour).

Now, the recipe I’m planning on using is asking for bread flour. And I’ve read somewhere that the higher the protein content of the flour, the fluffier it will get.

Below is a product x description x protein value. The information was extracted from Caputo’s website (as were the images used for the feature image).

ProductDescriptionProtein
Pizzeria (Tipo 00)Flour with strong, elastic gluten, ideal for dough that requires a long fermentation12.50%
Cuoco
(Tipo 00)
Flour with strong, elastic gluten, ideal for dough that requires a long fermentation13.00%
Classica
(Tipo 00)
Flour with calibrated grain size, ideal for light and fluffy dough11.50%
Manitoba Oro
(Tipo 0)
Flour with reduced starch and gluten, ideal for shiny, consistent dough14.50%
Tipo 1It’s a traditional light brown flour with a distinctive fragrance colour and taste, which can enhance every preparation.13.00%
Pasta fresca e gnocchi
(Tipo 00)
Elastic flour with high protein content.12.25%

I threw the Pasta fresca and gnocchi flour in the table just for comparison, I would not buy it for bread (as it’s clearly – eye roll – not suited for bread).

First thing (which may have been a misconception) is that the gluten was the protein of the wheat. If this is correct (and now I’m questioning my knowledge), then the description of the Manitoba Oro is incorrect, saying reduced gluten with a high protein percentage.

But, let’s say it is correct and I’m wrong (after all, I can’t be right ALL the time). That still leaves me with a number of questions:

What is considered long fermentation? 2-4 hours? 20 hours?

Also, both Pizzeria and Cuoco have the SAME short and long description, but one has a slightly higher protein content. What’s the difference? – I don’t know. They both have the long description below:

Elastic gluten and soft starch help doughs to get a great hydration. Light, with a perfect rising, satisfy the best maestri pizzaioli’s needs. Ideal for neapolitan classic pizza.

Every single word is the same, no change.

Last but not least, if it is the protein that will determine the fluffiness of the bread, why wouldn’t I just buy the Manitoba for the bread I’m about to make. I could even replace all the flour I was going to use on it with Manitoba. This is confusing and I’m intrigued. I actually want to buy all the different types of flour they had and make the same bread to see the different results. Might do that as a separate project, for now, I just want to get back into the game of bread making.

The last thing I need to mention is that they only had 5 kg bags of flour. It wasn’t as if I could buy 1 kg to try it out. Being as it is, I will likely buy the Cuoco flour, after all, if all goes wrong, I can still make tons yummy neapolitan pizza!

Note: Apparently the number beside the Tipo indicates how fine the wheat has been ground. Tipo 00 being the finest, and 2 being wholemeal flour.

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