In the world of pizza, not all flours are created equal. You might have heard the term "bleached" thrown around, but what exactly does it mean? Is it safe? And why is it even used in the first place? Today, we're going to dive into the fascinating history and science behind bleached flour.
The Chemistry of Bleached Flour
Let's start by demystifying the term "bleached." In the context of flour, bleaching is a process that involves the addition of certain chemicals to make the flour appear whiter. It's important to note that this isn't the same bleach you use for your laundry, but when you delve into their chemical makeup, they share some surprising similarities.
So, why add bleach to flour? The primary reason is simple: aesthetics. People have a preference for whiter flour. Some claim that it helps with gluten activation, but the main goal is achieving that pristine white color.
The Evolution of White Flour
To understand the need for bleached flour, let's take a quick journey through the history of flour. In the past, all flour was whole grain, typically wheat. The process of refining flour to make it lighter involved sifting, specifically removing the germ and bran from the grain—a technique known as bolting. This painstaking process made white flour a luxury item reserved for the elite.
As technology advanced, steel roller mills made it easier to produce white flour, which became more accessible and affordable. White flour offered desirable baking properties, a longer shelf life, and quickly became a staple in households worldwide. However, traditionally aged white flour had a slight yellowish hue. This aging process allowed the flour to develop gluten and enhance baking quality.
As with many processed foods, chemicals entered the picture to expedite what nature did over time. Bromate and bleach were introduced to accelerate the aging process and achieve a truly white product.
Our Commitment to the Best Flour
At PJs Brick Oven Pizza, we take a different approach. We only use General Mills Harvest King high gluten flour. Our commitment to providing quality flour means that we do not use either bromate or bleach in our pizza dough. Harvest king is naturally treated with malted barley flour, an ingredient that mimics the effects of bromating without the use of harsh chemicals. It enhances gluten reactions and ensures a high-quality pizza experience.
Jerry Zampella self proclaimed pizza nerd.