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Jun 22, 2012 07:46 PM

Changing bread flour - how to alter recipe

I have worked for some time to produce a proper toasting bread: crisp, open crumb, in my bread machine, and am close to a good recipe. I have been using KA Bread Flour but our co-op market has switched to Stone Buhr, which is higher in protein. I would like to start off running rather than make a dozen or so trials. I don't expect to have identical results, but would like to be close.

If I am using 565 grams of KA and use 565 grams of SB, assuming that the same weight of protein would result, could I expect something near the product I have been making?

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  1. Not sure which KA or which Stone Buhr bread flour you're using. Stone Buhr Unbleached White Bread Flour varies (according to its label) between 11.5 and 12.1 % protein and KA's label indicates its Unbleached Bread Flour is 12.7% protein. That would make KA higher in protein than Stone Buhr. Not sure what we're dealing with here but, for practical purposes, the difference of .9% (averaging of 11.5 - 12.1) between the two flours shouldn't make any significant difference so I'd simply proceed as usual.

    5 Replies
    1. re: todao

      I do see where KA bread flour is listed (on their web site) with a protein percentage of 12.7%. Stone Buhr nutritional info on the package has 5 gm of protein in 30 gm flour, which is 17%. On their web site, I see it is listed as you stated. I hadn't looked there but at this package info, and now I am vexed and confused.

      Is there something wrong with my math, or with some other parameter ("Protein on the bag doesn't mean gluten..")?

      I think that if the protein percentages do turn out as your reply said, that I will just go ahead with my present recipe, but now the question has taken a life of its own

      Thanks for your reply.

      1. re: Gualtier Malde

        >now I am vexed and confused<

        I'm sure your bread will be just fine. It may not (probably won't) be exactly the same but I don't think there is much you can do with your recipe to change the nature of your flour.

        1. re: Gualtier Malde

          "("Protein on the bag doesn't mean gluten..")?"
          Yes, that's right. Gluten is a by-product of the proteins contained in wheat flours and only about 80% of the protein in wheat flour contributes to gluten development.
          I am amazed how this question has, as you put it, taken a life of its own. I don't have a bag of Stone Buhr flour to refer to but one of the nutritional labels I find on their web site lists the serving size as ( g) with no quantity assigned to the grams designation and, as you noted, says that it contains 5% protein per serving. Another of their pages indicates a serving as .25 cups (which would be approx. 30 grams) with the same protein ratio. So, as you said, that'd be 17% protein. Based on the fact that reliable data is clearly not available, I'm going to suggest you proceed as you normally might, using the Stone Buhr, and see how things turn out. Please post the results or your experience so we can all learn from it.

          1. re: todao

            You might want to head over to to ask this question. I'm not saying we don't have highly knowledgeable people here, but that whole site is devoted to bread making. Your question might have a better chance to be seen by someone who can answer it.

            1. re: hilltowner

              Good idea. I've been a member of that group for several years and there's some good (sometimes, some not so good) resources contributing there. But it's fairly easy to separate those who are knowledgeable about the subject from those who do a lot of guessing.


      2. Hi there! So how did it turn out? As noted by others the Nutrition Facts Panel is not ideal because the numbers are rounded and a 1/4 cup was based at 35g. The reality, as noted on the website, is the Bread flour has a protein percentage of between 11.5-12.1%. The gluten strength is difficult to measure by the protein percentage - the "falling numbers" are a more accurate measure. For instance, I have used some flours with lower percentage but had better performance in yeast bread recipes. Anyway I would love to know how your recipe turned out!


        1 Reply
        1. re: StoneBuhr

          I had been inclined to use a bit more water anyway, so upped the water from 1.5 - 1.75 cup and then used the same weight of Stone Buhr as King Arthur, and the loaf came out fine. The last few KA loaves had been "camel backed" but this one was symmetrical. Crumb just as I like it and a 1/4" slice toasted crisp.

          I did notice, for the first time, that the crumb became denser from top to bottom. On one hand that may be logical, but it does seem new and I will have to experiment a bit.

          Thank you for your replies and the freshloaf link which I will use - because now I need a soft sandwich loaf and am likely to get started at that site.