Frequently Asked Questions about products available on the Kells online shop
What flour is best to use in a breadmaking machine ?
To make a white bread we recommend Marriages Golden Crust flour. If you want to make a yeasted brown bread in a breadmaker we recommend 20% Native Plain wholemeal flour or Annameal and 80% Marriages Golden Crust. For a really good white yeasted loaf why not try Kells Krusty White Bread mix. All you need to add is water and yeast. Use in place of flour and add the dried yeast that the breadmaker recipe advises.
What is the best flour for making yeasted bread?
To make white bread we recommend Marriages Golden Crust flour. If you want to make brown bread we recommend up to 20% Native Plain wholemeal flour or Annameal and 80% Marriages Golden Crust. For a really good white yeasted loaf why not try Kells Krusty White Bread mix. All you need to add is water and yeast. If you are using dried yeast we suggest using half the weight of dried yeast in place of fresh yeast.
What is the difference between Marriage Uppermost Flour and Marriages Golden Crust Flour?
Both are really great flours and in many uses, they can be interchangeable! However, Marriages Golden Crust is better suited for yeast bread with short or no ‘bulk fermentation’ when you let the dough stand to ferment for less than 4 hours before weighing and shaping the dough into loaf tins. This is mainly because of the choice of wheats and partly because it contains a tiny amount of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) that helps the dough jump more in the oven to give better volume.
Marriages Uppermost are made from a different blend of wheat and do not have the added ascorbic acid and are better suited to yeasted bread with long fermentation of four hours or more before weighing and shaping into loaf tins, and, of course, for sour dough recipes. If used in a short time yeasted bread recipe, it will make a slightly softer dough and may not give the same jump in the oven.
KELLS DOES NOT SELL ANY FLOURS THAT ARE BLEACHED
What wholemeal flour can be used for yeasted bread ?
For a 100% wholemeal yeasted loaf we recommend Marriages Strong Stoneground Wholemeal Flour, which is ideal for yeasted wholemeal breads regardless of the mixing process. It has good quality gluten forming proteins that make a robust and tolerant dough. It is made from a blend of UK and Canadian wheats. Alternatively, to make a good yeasted brown bread any of the wholemeal flours we sell can be blended with a strong white flour from 10% to 50% wholemeal in the total flour blend, we recommend Marriages Golden Crust as the white flour.
WHAT FLOURS ARE MOST SUITABLE FOR MAKING SOURDOUGH BREAD?
Sourdough bread can be made from a wide range of flours. Here are a few suggestions…
For a typical sourdough bread, we would recommend starting with Marriages Uppermost as the main white flour, with perhaps an optional 10% Native Purple Wheat Plur, Native Wholemeal Plur, or Native Wholemeal Rye Plur. If you do not have Marriages Uppermost available, then Marriages Golden Crust is a good alternative.
Our French flours are good for making sourdough bread too, however, they behave slightly differently to Marriages flours and make doughs that are a little more extensible or ‘stretchy’ than the Marriages flours as a result of the selection of wheat. That ‘stretchiness’ can allow for better spring or jump in the oven but can require a little more skill or experience to get the very best results. For sourdough, we would recommend French Flour T55 Tradition ideally or if you do not have that available try French Flour T65 (Baguette du Mitron). We would still suggest a small proportion of wholemeal flour as in the case of the Marriages flour with French Flour T55 Tradition but it is optional.
For the more experienced baker, you might like to experiment with the Organic T65 MS Bio flour which is an organic French flour to make organic bread. No need to add a wholemeal flour to this especially if you want to make 100% organic bread unless you want the flavour and texture that our stoneground wholemeal flours bring!
PIZZA AND PASTA …WHAT FLOURS ARE RECOMMENDED?
For pizza, we would recommend Marriages Italian Style Pizza Flour. It is a low extraction rate or patent grade flour which means it is very white with low ash content, like Italian 00 grade flours. Protein is around 12.6%. If you do not have the Marriages Italian Style Pizza Flour, you could use our French T55 Tradition flour or Marriages Golden Crust Flour. While both are strong flours, the French flour makes a more extensible dough that may suit pizza-making better, and the milling process used is closer to Italian flour milling processes. Marriages Golden Crust is a stronger flour than the French T55 Tradition.
For pasta, we have made great pasta from our Native Spelt flours, but they are in short supply at the present. Marriages Italian Style Pizza Flour or French T55 Tradition will make good homemade pasta, as well as Marriages Golden Crust or French T65, Organic T65, and Marriages Uppermost.
SODA BREAD, WHAT IS THE BEST MIX TO USE?
Kells has a range of blends available to help make soda bread quickly, simply and consistently.
Soda bread can be made in a tin or baked on a tray on the ‘oven sole’ (without a tin).
Soda bread baked in a tin is the simpler one as you mix the dough and put it straight into a lightly greased tin and pat it down. You can sprinkle flakes, flour, or topping on to the top of the dough and then slash or cut the dough along the center for the length of the tin to help the rise on baking. For this style of bread we recommend the Brown Soda Mix- add water only or Millers Munch (to which you add buttermilk).
If you want to make the soda bread in a cob form without a tin, we recommend the Nore Soda Mix. When you make this you add buttermilk to make a dough. The dough is then weighed out into the bread weights you want and moulded or rounded with dusting flour to help. Mould to a ball and then place on a greased or floured baking tray and slightly flatten. Decorate with flour as an option. Then cut with the traditional cross and bake
In all cases, you can add some extra interest by adding some seeds during the mixing (say 10% to 20% of the weight of mix) but here is a tip…sunflower seed can go blue-green in some soda breads as the oil in the sunflower seed reacts with the baking soda. It is perfectly safe, but can be a surprise!
WHAT IS THE BEST FLOUR TO USE IN SODA BREAD?
A traditional soda bread is normally a blend of a wholemeal flour and a white flour with baking soda, salt and buttermilk. Some recipes are 50/50 wholemeal and white and that is a good starting point, however some have larger proportions of wholemeal and less white flour. Some people do not use salt, and some people add vegetable oil and sugar, it is down to the baker. The flours we recommend for the wholemeal are Native Plain Wholemeal Plur (fine bran) or Annameal (coarser brand chunks) or Retail Extra Coarse (largest coarsest chunks of bran). For a white flour, ANY of the white flours we sell would suit, remembering that self raising already has some baking powder in it. Specifically we would recommend, Native Olands, or Native Plain Plur or French Flour T55 Tradition or French Flour T65 Baguette Du Mitron.
For a 100% wholemeal soda bread, this is a denser bread, but we would recommend using Marriages Strong Stoneground Wholemeal and Annameal together as a flour blend to make a full wholemeal soda bread.