Strong flours absorbence
The thread about 00 flour finaly woke up a doubt that I've been willing to ask you about for a long time.
In italy strong and high kluten flours are obtained milling north american and australian wheats, blended most of the times with german and austrian flours (supposedly because they have a high tenacity that english speaking wheats :-) lack). Ash content is always 0.55-0.65% max, never more.
The fact is that those flours generally absorb less flour that one would expect judging from the spec sheet and the from the protein content (ranging from 14 to 18% on a 15.5 max moisture rate). Those flours are really strong, but in order to develop all the gluten they can they have to be kneaded for ages. Kneading by hand (for example refreshing my firm starter) I have to use 50% hydratation or less to get a firm dough, while I assumed that those flours could drink at least 60% water.
Do your flours behave the same? I have the feeling that they are very different from the flours I use. If so, do you have an idea of the reason for the huge difference in absorbence?