All the local mega-marts stock various brands of all-purpose flour (bleached and unbleached), whole wheat, self-rising, even cake flour, but no semolina or other high-protein flour. Is there some reason they don’t stock it? Any idea where I can find some?
Maybe a health food store?
Given the popularity of automatic breadmakers these days, I find it surprising that you can’t find strong flour; is there nothing labelled ‘bread flour’?
Actually seem to remember one with the tag “Great for automatic bread makers”. I’ll have to give that one a try. Thanks!
That should be fine; bread flour is (nearly always)the same thing as strong flour - it is just that the labelling/marketing conventions are tending to shift away from the rather old-fashioned ‘strong’ term.
I meant to add that the nutritional breakdown on the pack (if there is one) should help you too; plain (all purpose) flour is typically 10% protein, bread/strong flour usually contains more than 13%.
Sadly, Mangetout, product labelling in the US isn’t precise enough (in most cases) to be able to approximate the gluten content with any effectiveness. Inky-, I’m assuming you’re American - here’s a basic (and imprecise, I’m afraid) chart I remember from one of my bread cookbooks (or it might’ve been Cook’s Illustrated):
Pastry flour (ranges 7-9%)
Cake flour (~8%)
Southern “all purpose” flour (~9%) (White Lily, Martha White)
National “all purpose” flour (9.5%-11.5%) (Pillsbury, Gold Medal)
Northern “all purpose” flour (11-12%) (Hecker, King Arthur, Hodgson Mill)
Bread flour (11.5-13%)
High gluten flour (13-14%)
I think durum and semolina are even higher - but I don’t make pasta so I’m not so sure.
As you can see, there’s a lot of variation between brands, usually tied to region. I buy King Arthur, which is very hard - their “all-purpose” is stronger than the national brands’ “bread.” If your grocer doesn’t carry it, you can order it directly on their website, the Baker’s Catalogue. And I see they also sell both durum and semolina, if that’s what you really need.