Originally Posted by ntbsnthlrchn
Can I mix semolina and all-purpose flour and get something that behaves like bread flour? ... I am in Canada, apparently protein content varies depending on where it came from.
Canadian flour is prized worldwide for making excellent bread, so it is difficult to know why you feel you need to add semolina flour to your available flour(s) to make bread. If you are experiencing problems with your bread rising, I wonder if it is due to the flour you're using or other factors.
It is true that all purpose flour
, as sold in the US, is a blend of soft wheat
(best used for cakes, pastry, biscuits, etc.) and hard wheat
(best used for bread). However, I find that many brands of US all-purpose flour are great for making bread. I seldom use bread flour
unless my bread also includes a large amount of low-gluten grain flours (such as rye, barley, oatmeal, etc) or legume flours (soy flour, etc).
Semolina flour actually comes from a different species of wheat - durum wheat (triticum durum)
- which is primarily used for pasta. The species of wheat used for bread is bread/common wheat (triticum aestivum)
In general, you should treat Semolina flour as an additive to your bread and should not look to it to make a stronger
flour that will somehow make your bread rise better. Also, you will need to know how finely milled the semolina flour is - the semolina flour I can buy in the US is slightly gritty to the touch, and this kind of flour will not absorb water as readily as ordinary bread flour and certainly will not help make a strong
flour (see this DC thread on semolina flour
US companies that sell flour generally indicate on the package whether their product is suitable for bread. In the US, there are companies that sell flour specifically labeled as bread flour
. Bread flour is always a good bet for most breads.
In my experience, some US All-purpose flours also make excellent bread. For example, either Heckers Unbleached All-purpose flour and Gold Medal Unbleached All-purpose flour make an excellent bread (both are labeled suitable for bread machines
) on the side or the back.
I am sorry that I can't help you with Canadian brands of flour, but I hope some of this will help.
If you'd like to know more about "soft" vs "hard" wheat and "spring" vs "winter" wheat and how they're used in flours and what it means for your baking, whether bread, pastry or cookies, just ask.