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Since we've moved to the UK our pizza dough hasn't been tasting the same as it was in the states. We'd normally use King Arthur flour (Sir Lancelot or bread flour) with Saf yeast.

Now in the UK we're using either Sainsbury or Coop flour along with Dove's Farms quick yeast.

We're having a real issue with the flavor of the crust. We have a few different recipes. 1 day which starts with a poolish or a couple day ferment in the fridge. The finished pizza crust has really been lacking flavor compared to our pizza's in the states.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to try. I just bought some fresh yeast (Saf Levure).

Is it the water with the higher hardness? Type of yeast? Type of flour?

Wondering if anyone else has had an issue like this.

Also going to try building a sourdough starter and using that.

2018-11-09 update: I got the new yeast and the malted barley. We used both for the next batch of bread and the results were very good. Actually a lot better flavor than the previous batch. I added 2tsp of malted barley to about 3.5c of flour. We'll need to do some more experiments and see what the sweet spot is. :-)

One thing I noted below was how much more intense the smell was from the poolish the next day which would mean my previous yeast was probably too old or just not good for my needs.

The next test will be making pizza again.

  • Is there any reason to think it's not simply the flour? Also, where in the states did you live? – FuzzyChef Nov 4 '18 at 19:37
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    Have you noticed similar blandness in other baked goods, or just in your pizza crust? – Erica Nov 4 '18 at 20:19
  • PIzza and bread. We generally do a 1 to 2 day ferment. Just doesn't seem to be developing flavor very well. – Marty Nov 5 '18 at 9:59
  • Chicago area @FuzzyChef – Marty Nov 5 '18 at 9:59
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    Marty: the reason I asked is that some places have strong wild yeast cultures that add to flavor there, such as SF and Seattle. I don't know whether Chicago does. There's also your source of water to take into account. – FuzzyChef Nov 5 '18 at 16:44
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Looking at King Arthur Flour's website it appears that both their Sir Lancelot flour, and their bread flour have Malted Barley flour added, which is likely the source of that extra flavour you experience.

As far as I am aware this isn't a style of flour we much have in the UK, anything here which is headlined as 'malted' will be more like what you may be familiar with as a sprouted grain flour, I believe.

Your best bet may be to import Sir Lancelot for yourselves or to look for 'Diastic Malt Flour' or 'Diastic Malt Powder' and experiment with adding that to see if you can hit the right result.

That said, most supermarket bread flours are not as strong as Sir Lancelot eg Sainsbury's is 13.6% protein to SL's 14.2%. I understand that this is just a product of the fact that the UK climate just doesn't grow such hard wheats as the Americas. The flour I use for sourdough bread and pizzas is Marriage's Very Strong Canadian at 14.9%

  • Thank you. Never noticed it had malted barley in it. Sainsbury 00 style flour is 14%. I used that with good results (texture) but not the flavor. – Marty Nov 7 '18 at 8:07
  • For my sourdough pizzas I use 45% Shipton Mill 00, 45% Marriages Extra Strong Canadian with10% Gilchester Organic's Semolina. neither Shiptons nor Gilchester reveal protein percentages though. I can really tell the difference if I have to fall back on a supermarket breadflour for any reason! – Spagirl Nov 7 '18 at 11:33
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    So I added 2 tsp to 3.5c of flour and used brand new Saf Levure yeast. The yeast definitely made a difference in the poolish. The smell was much more intense than the previous batch. I got much more rise after combining the poolish with the rest of the flour. I should have only done that but I did add the malted barley also so I'm not sure which made the most difference. Overall the bread was much better than previous batches. – Marty Nov 11 '18 at 15:28

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