Flour power

ChowderMan

Pizza Chef
Super Site Supporter
following up on my "Giant dumped Ceresota brand" rant, the store I thought was a Stop'nShop isn't that - and I have no local source for Ceresota Unbleached AP....

so, jumped in the barrel and went over the falls, starting with KA unbleached AP.

I posted my rainy day oatmeal raisin cookies a while back. here's the same recipe using KA unbleached flour
- same recipe
- same oven
- same temp
- same cookie sheet
- same round container of Quaker Oatmeal
- same 240 grams of AP flour
- same brand of butter
- same brand of eggs
- same bag of granulated sugar
- same bag of light brown sugar

there's no "liquid" in these, so mis-measured {liquid whatever} does not enter the picture.

I did put 50 grams of sliced almonds in this batch.

the upper pix is the Ceresota flour - which I spooned onto the sheet - got 24 cookies out of that batch. they spread out nicely, etc etc - perfectly normal and expected behavior.

the lower pix is the KA flour - DW suggested I use a scoop because the first batch were too large to fit in her diet... so I did. the scoop yielded 30 cookies.

note: no "cups" involved. flour & sugar added by weight. this is 240 grams of Ceresota vs 240 grams of KA. the KA flour did not spread / level out - I noticed the dough was 'stiffer' and the cookies maintained their scoop shape.

they are a bit drier - still a very good cookie.

so, for all the folks who "have issues" baking things - you're right - and this is why. flour is not flour and one needs to tweak one's 'grams per cup' conversion. otherwise - and especially on a first go around - things may not turn out quite as one expected . . .
 

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QSis

Grill Master
Staff member
Gold Site Supporter
My Aunt Stella swore by King Arthur's for making pierogi (I use it for pierogi as well) and all her baked goods.

Both batches of cookies look delicious to me!

Lee
 

ChowderMan

Pizza Chef
Super Site Supporter
I didn't mean to imply there is anything "bad" or "good" about either brand - my point is - brands are different.

and because they are different, it pays to "stick" to one or the other reputable brand. brand names are more expensive, but they are also more consistent.

buying the "deal of the week" store brands is the really ungood way to bake - store brands change by who's offering a lower dollar per ton, this week.....

I quit doing the cups measuring thing to achieve more consistency in making small two-people batches. my PITA rant is now I will have to "re-experiment" all my recipes to account for the fact that 240 grams of KA behaves differently than 240 grams of Ceresota.... hopefully as I zero in on use "xx% of KA in the place of Ceresota" the xx% factor will be semi-constant...
 

lilbopeep

🌹 🍉 Still trying to get it right.
Site Supporter
The bottom batch looks more appealing to me. But they both look ? yummy to me.
 

Johnny West

Well-known member
I like a soft cookie and the top looks like something I'd want.

My dad's mom cooked with a wood burning stove and would invariably over bake and burn cookies. It was what he grew up on and love his cookies burned.

KA is what I buy. The pizzas we made the other night were made with KA pizza flour and the best crust I've had. I'd like to try making rolickies with the pizza flour some time.
 

Moxie

New member
Shirley Corriher did a very thorough discussion of this in her first book, Cookwise. She explains that it is the percentage of protein in various brands, and names many name brands, ranking them from the softest southern flours, to the hardest bread flours. She discusses how the protein percentage determines the volume of liquid the flour can absorb. She even lists quantities for comparison.

Get your hands on her book, and you won't have to experiment - just use her numbers for your calculations. I'd print it here, except the discussion is several pages long.
 

ChowderMan

Pizza Chef
Super Site Supporter
I have her book - I'll check the chart. as I dimly recall from last century or so , , , there's more to it than just protein levels - but certainly it's a place to start!

I use the KA bread flour + Bob's Red Mill Semolina for pizza crusts - excellent stuff!
got some 00 to try with it as well. I think I posted about that - but short story is:
about 1/3 00 works, but when I tried all 00+semolina it did not crisp as well.
 

ChowderMan

Pizza Chef
Super Site Supporter
if you want to start a food fight, just ask "How much does a cup of flour weigh?"

dug out Cookwise; regrets the info is not something I can directly 'translate' into an action plan

- and it only gets worse.

per their web sites, KA unbleached AP is 11.7% protein
sussing between the lines, Ceresota/Heckers unbleached AP is 11-12% protein
dang close a toss up....

I have a large plastic 'bin' for flour storage - one for AP, one for bread. when checking for volume measures I 'rotate' the bin to 'tumble' the flour so it is not 'compacted' - then I scoop&scrape a one cup measure, putting 4x that into a bowl and weighing 4 'cups' to average out a 'grams per cup' number to use.

for Ceresota/Heckers AP I've been using 120 grams per cup since the late 1970's.
Ceresota bag says serving size 1/4 cup = 30 grams.... seems to fit, no?

so in the oatmeal raisin cookies, using the same weight of KA flour would be using less volume of flour which would make for a less stiff dough.
didn't happen, eh?

theory: protein is the main factor - exits stage left, it's all wet.

next, on the KA web site they say 5 lbs of KA unbleached AP = 18-19 cups.
fun with math . . . 5 lbs * 16 ounces/lb = 80 ounces
80 ounces / 18 cups = 4.444 ounces per cup = 126 grams/cup
80 ounces / 19 cups = 4.210 ounces per cup = 119.4 grams/cup

Cookwise by Shirley,,,, 5.6 ounces per cup = 158.8 grams per cup.

I did my cups&scrapes thing today with KA unbleached AP; result 136.5 grams per cup


- - - back to back they faced each other, , ,
= = = drew their cups and flowered each other . . .

and thus so is created the need to bake a recipe and take notes. adjust based on results because despite "as seen on TV" none of the theories explain much of anything other than "it didn't work"

but, but, but, but the humidity changes . . . .
true, but capital horse pucky.
the moisture content by weight of flour varies roughly 10% from 30% RH to 90% RH - gosh, why do not all the internet expert sources agree . . . . it's such a simple question.....
note - the flour does not vary in weight by 10%, the amount of water weight varies by 10% of the flour weight.
more math involved, inquired by poster if interested, one still open source:
http://www.flourmilling.co.uk/fmoist.html

it's not just protein, it's not just ash content. other factors are type of wheat, fineness of grind, distribution of particle size, starch content, bran content....I've missed something I'm quite sure.

bottom line to this whole rambling rant is:
unless you have a lab to test A, B, C, thru ZZ and know how that affects your recipe....
use a consistent brand name flour - weigh your ingredients - take notes
 

ChowderMan

Pizza Chef
Super Site Supporter
rambling on . . .

have switched to KA AP - the oatmeal raisin cookies not yet working . . . had a yen for chocolate chip.

so, used the recipe on the Nestle bag, 135 grams per cup of KA_AP
now, something is wrong with my sweet tooth. the oatmeal raisin were too sweet, the choco chip calls for 3/4 cup brown and 3/4 granulated white (3/4 cup = nominally 150 grams...) so I used 100 grams of each.

and the blinking things are _still_ too dang sweet for me. I am not an anti-sugar nutcase, btw....

the recipe turned out 'as expected' - i.e. the cookies flattened, browned nicely - directions say 9-11 minutes, my oven needed 14 minutes with a turn at 10 minutes for even browning - came off the baking paper cleanly, crumbly when hot, semi-crunchy when cooled.

and I dislike them intensely.
DW likes them.

any non-Nestle chocolate chip cookie recipes out there?
. . . need to check my grandmother's files . . . .
 

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Johnny West

Well-known member
Let me find my grandmother's recipe. It's really good.

She said these were the soft kind which I like.
I'll start a thread on these.

Grandma B's Chocholate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup of shortening
1 tsp soda
2 Tbs hot water
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 small package chocolate chips

Cream shortening and sugars; add eggs and beat well;
add remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees F. for
10 minutes.
 
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ChowderMan

Pizza Chef
Super Site Supporter
that's quite similar to the Nestle bag -

Nestle calls for 3/4 c sugar each, and I used 1/2 cup each, and it was too sweet for me...

they used 2.25 flour

the one interesting add is the hot water. that should help make the batter a bit thinner.....
 
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