Aussies Living Simply

What is strong flour?

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    Just been reading my new copy of Dan Lepard’s beautiful book, The Handmade Loaf and getting my shopping list together so I can start my bread making journey without the breadmaker 😉 and need to know what ‘strong flour’ is :confused:

    Who knows if I’m even going to be able to get rye and other flours in Alice Springs anyway…there’s only one organic/hippy 😀 type store in the whole joint. Otherwise it’s just Coles and Woolies.


    Isn’t the higher the gluten level is the stronger the flour is? Wait that may be hard/soft flour.

    Edit; I better throw a shrug in here somewhere :shrug:


    Yeah, probably. But what am I asking for in the shop??? :shrug:


    You are asking for bread flour not bread mix. It is often just called strong flour and you should be able to get it in coles or woolies. Now Forest would know cause I rekon she told me once what the difference was but I forget:confused:


    OK, thanks, now I know strong flour is known as bread flour I’ll ask for bread flour. I have looked for it before in Coles and Woolies but they don’t have it the nongs!

    I don’t need to know why it’s strong flour thanks anyway folks, my head is SO full of eleventy three different preserving methods, bread making, hot and cold smoking, raising and milking goats, powering down and building lifeboats that it’s gonna burst if I learn anything else this year! :lol::lol:


    Tullymoor wrote:

    I don’t need to know why it’s strong flour thanks anyway folks,

    I’m sorry I was only trying to help with any info that I knew. I think in future I will think twice or even three times before responding to any of your posts. for the good of the forum.

    Your heading was. What is strong flour? A reasonable answer would be A strong flour is defined by it’s gluten content!


    Building lifeboats! Are you preparing for a flood, Tullymoor?


    Hiya Tulls,

    John Seymour, in the original “Self Sufficiency” has quite a rant about strong and weak flours, which are the same as hard and soft ones respectively.

    Hard wheat has a “more tenuous gluten” that is able to withstand the pressure of gas better, meaning you can fit more bubbles in per unit bread, and therefore the bakers can make more loaves per sack of grain. Ultimately it means less substance per loaf…

    Of the English wheat he says:

    Well, the battles of Agincourt and Crecy were won by men reared up on bread made from English wheat, whether it was “soft” or “hard”, and “hard” wheat was never heard of in the British Isles, one supposes, until the opening up of North America as a wheat-exporting country in the nineteenth century.

    You’ll mostly get hard wheat/strong flour now because it can hold a lot more gas and water, things that cost the baker very little 😆


    So in theory I could add gluten flour to normal plain flour to make a strong flour?


    😆 What a coincidence Reid. I was just saying last night how I’m noticing anytime I respond to one of your posts you mostly question it and throw it back to (at?) me.

    I don’t feel any luuuuuuurve at all from you so, yep, probably better not to talk to me at all :tup:


    Short Answer – Strong Flour = High Protein Content, 11% or higher.

    Longer Answer – Strong flour is an indication of the protein content which itself determine gluten content. The higher the protein content the the more resilient the dough is to manipulation and the more gluten is developed to trap gases as they expand. Hence the term Strong Flour. This is milled from Hard Wheat varieties.

    Cake flour on the other hand is milled from Soft Wheat varieties which has lower protein counts and so does not produce an much gluten and cannot endure too much manipulation. Hence when making cakes, scones and muffins or the likes fats are added to hold the mix together and it should generally only be “just mixed”. Overworking cake/pastry flour and ruin the final product.



    Woz wrote:

    generally only be “just mixed”. Overworking cake/pastry flour and ruin the final product.


    Is that why muffins are just mixed?


    Looking forward to hear geoff get told how, Why strong flour is called strong flour is totally irrelevent to this thread!


    I said I didn’t need to know the ‘whys’ so as to save people their time and energy.

    I just needed to know what to buy.


    I do deserve it, unfortunately it took me a while to put my post together and the whole lot had hit the fan by the time I pressed send. Nothing like clarifying a question with a cricket bat. Can we go halves in your telling off, rather than getting an extra dose??? 😆 :awch: :rip:

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