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Strong bread flour - more than 1kg 2012/8/23 23:44
I live out in the inaka in Fukushima and at the local supermarket I can only find 1kg bags of flour. Not only that, I can't tell if the flour was sourced from China or not (illiterate) and Chinese farming practices concern me. I want to make bread and I have been hearing a lot about how Japanese flour just does not have the gluten content that American flour has.

Would there be a place in Koriyama, Fukushima, or Yokohama that sell larger quantities of flour. Or a place I could buy King Arthur (yes, I am a flour snob, sue me)?

Basically, anyone here bake bread and have brands to recommend (pictures included so I can find them!!!) to this pathetic expat? Or, sources for that wonderful flour? I am looking for unbleached white flour, I can find WW in my store. 1kg is plenty as you can't add too much WW and have a nice fluffy loaf. Don't care if it is organic or not.

Websites, physical locations, or 'sucks to be you's all welcome.
by Virginia (guest)  

Re: Strong bread flour >1kg 2012/8/24 12:46
Rakuten has an enormous selection of domestic and imported strong flour.

http://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/mall/-/%E5%BC%B7%E5%8A%9B%E7%B2%89-410990/f.1-p.1-s.5-sf.0-st.A-v.2

Or try Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.jp/b?ie=UTF8&node=71136051

Or search on ‹­—Ν•²

Or possibly you can buy some flour from a boulanger. The corporate enterprises might not be interested in selling you any, but there are many wonderful independently operated "mom and pop boulangeries" in Japan.
by Uma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Strong bread flour >1kg 2012/8/24 13:02
I can't tell if the flour was sourced from China or not (illiterate) and Chinese farming practices concern me.

According to the stats on Japanese import of wheat, 60% is from USA, 20% from Australia, 18% from Canada and 2% from other countries.
It is very unlikely that flour you buy at supermarkets are from China.
by a cup of tea (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Strong bread flour >1kg 2012/8/24 22:56
Okay, here's another source. I was looking for it yesterday but their web site seemed to be down then.
http://www.cuoca.com/category/10.html

Home bread baking is quite popular in Japan, and if you ask me, it's a lot harder to find a good (big) home oven there than to find great ingredients.

Bear in mind that if you don't want to use Japanese language when you shop, then you are essentially shutting out all the best suppliers, and your access to truly fresh ingredients will be severely restricted. Freshness is just as important as protein and mineral content, for bread flour.

In the U.S., have you tried Giusto's? I like them a lot more than King Arthur. Give them a try if you come back to the states.
by Uma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Strong bread flour >1kg 2012/8/24 23:23
Uma,

It is not that I don't want to, it is that I literally cannot. I am 100% illiterate. I am open to (and quite frequently do) use google translate. I never said I was adverse to using Japanese, just that I could not tell if it was sourced from China because I am illiterate. With the information that it is rare for wheat to be sourced from China, I was reassured and it no longer concerns me.

I know what characters to look for and I can manage orders in Japanese if I need to. I am just looking for a good supplier. The reason I was looking for pictures was so I could compare what I was looking at to what I am looking for, merely an illiterate's crutch (this is really bruising my ego).

I have not seen Guisto's, they might not sell it on the East Coast. I bake mostly sour dough, in that, KAF is the gold standard.

I will take the sources you have given me under advisement and when I can afford flour (I have jet to get a paycheck T_T) I will be sure to wander over. As someone very wary of Credit Cards (I despise them) I love that Japan still does COD. Alllll Haaaaiiiilllll COD! Thank you, truly.
by Virginia (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Strong bread flour - more than 1kg 2012/8/25 22:35
a place I could buy King Arthur?
I have been hearing a lot about how Japanese flour just does not have the gluten content that American flour has.

Have you confirmed that the users surely chose strong bread flours? I presume not.
Some or all of them might have used a weaker floor which was not good for making breads.
Just as you were clueless before getting information from the above two posters, they did not know from the start about Japan-manufactured flours.

A Japan-manufactured flour which is categorized under ‹­—Ν•² [ kyouriki-ko ] has a protein content of about 11 -13 percent (or maybe more).
It is advertised in the following website that King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour has a protein content of 12.7 percent, a full point higher than other U.S.A. brands.
- http://www.kingarthurflour.com/
So, you should admit that the gap is not a problem if suitable flours are chosen.
(You say "gluten content" but you cannot weigh the quantity of gluten before adding water to the flour.)

The Japanese word for "bread" is "pan," which is considered to come from Portuguese, but maybe you had better avoid this word in asking at a shop; clerks might misunderstand that you are searching for bread crumbs, called "pan-ko" in Japanese.
Keywords are " ¬”ž•² [ komugi-ko ]" {flour}, " ‹­—Ν•² [ kyouriki-ko ]" {strong floor}, "making breads" and "over 1 kg."

Frankly speaking, you seem to be thinking as if the same flour of the same brand always brought gluten of about the same quantity and resulted in bread of about the same quality.
If you believe so, you have been just lucky in making breads, I suppose.

Enjoy making breads in Japan, through trials and errors!


by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Strong bread flour but which strength? 2012/8/26 10:31
I am in Tokyo, with some some cooking experience. I can say that is not easy to find the right flour strength, because is difficult to get information.

You cannot tell the strength, only looking at proteins... Mainly you should know W, then P/L and other factors.

"W" flour strength - P/L (Chopin P/L ratio) - Protein - Use

90/130 - 0.4 / 0.5 - 9/10, 5 - Biscuits - direct dough

130/200 - 0.4 / 0.5 - 10/11 - Bread-stick, Crackers

170/200 - 0.45 - 10.5/11.5 - Common, flat loaf bread direct dough, sandwich bread, pizza, cakes, biscuits.

220/240 - 0.45/0.5 - 12/12, 5 - Baguettes, and ordinary bread, flat loaf direct dought.

300/310 - 0.55 - 13.0 - Special bread, leavened pastry with pre-dought 15 hours, and direct dough

340/400 - 0.55/0.6 - 13.5/15 - Blown bread, Pandoro, Panettone, leavened long fermentation, yeast pastry with pre-dough over 15 hours, bread for hamburger

Should be 2 categories more, one at the beginning and one at the end.

But you may know this better than me.

Since flour is not so cheap, even you buy 25kg bag, I suggest you to contact the Japanese maker customer service, they may tell you exactly W and P/L, therefore for professional backing, you will be able to get exactly what you need. Or they may provide the strength you need, before mixing it as hardness average strength.




by Luca (guest) rate this post as useful

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