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How to Identify Different Gluten Levels in Baking Flours?

In home baking we often use high gluten flour and low gluten flour.

Beginners only know that flour is a white powder made from ground wheat and can be utilized to make all kinds of pastry.

We usually classify flour as low gluten flour, medium gluten flour and high gluten flour according to the amount of protein in the wheat flour.

Types of Flour

Low-gluten flour

Low gluten flour has a low gluten content, with a protein content of 8.5% or less.
It’s characterised by low water absorption, low gluten, low ductility and low elasticity.
Suitable for fluffy and crispy pastry, such as cake, muffins, lasagne, biscuits and tart crusts.

Medium Flour

Medium gluten flour is the most common type of flour and is generally found in supermarkets without any special instructions.
It has a protein content of 8.5% to 11.5% and is suitable for making dumplings, steamed buns, noodles and other Chinese pastry to produce a foamy but slightly chewy food.

High gluten flour

High gluten flour with a protein content of ≥11.5%
Flour is mixed with water and then stirred and kneaded repeatedly, characterised by good ductility and high elasticity.
The resulting pastry is light, soft, fluffy and chewy
Mainly used for elastic food.

Other high gluten flour includes super high gluten flour, which has a protein content of 13.5% or more and is suitable for toasting bread.

Of course if you buy flour without packaging the easiest way to use it is: look at it with your eyes!

It’s clear from the pictures that the higher protein flour is slightly darker in colour than the lower protein ones.

Alternatively, you can pick up a handful of flour in your hand and hold it in your fist to form a dough and then release it
If the dough falls apart quickly, it is high gluten flour
If it forms easily and stays in shape, it is low gluten flour.

How do I adjust the gluten level of the flour?

The gluten level of the flour can be adjusted to suit your need to obtain a new gluten level.
However, the gluten level can only be adjusted downwards, not upwards.
This means that even if you use 100 packets of low gluten flour you will not be able to make a high gluten flour.

As an example
-Medium gluten = 4 high gluten + 6 low gluten = 8 high gluten + 2 corn starch
-Low gluten = 4 medium gluten + 1 corn starch = 1 high gluten + 1 corn starch

That’s it for today’s baking tips hope you find them helpful.
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