I have noticed something interesting about flours that I thought to share with y'all. I'm wondering of one of you real flour experts, perhaps someone who runs or has worked in a mill, can explain it to me. I have tried every brand of AP flour available to me, and have noticed little difference in their performance in my particular application--until now.
For some time now I've been using King Arthur Unbleached All-purpose, mostly for feeding my starter. A couple of weeks ago I bought a sack of Red Mill Unbleached. (It doesn't say all-purpose, but I assume that's what it is.) As soon as I opened it I noticed a definite difference in its appearance. All the other brands have a "flat" appearance, but the Red Mill has a slight gloss to it. Furthermore, it felt somewhat different--looser, perhaps; I don't know how else to describe it. Upon using it, I found that it wet much more easily when mixing into my starter, and the starter was somewhat stiffer.
Being the curious type, I decided to investigate. Weighing a cup of KA, using the "spoon and scrape" technique, I found that the average of five trials was 116 grams. (KA says a cup weighs 120 grams.) The Red Mill came in at 124 grams. Now that would explain the difference in the stiffness of the starter, but it says nothing about the gloss and the wetting properties of the different flours.
Does anyone know why the difference in the appearance, feel, and wetting characteristics?
Regardless, I have become a fan of Red Mill. Being basically a lazy man, I like the fact that it's easier to mix. My father always said "If you want to know the easy way to do something, ask a lazy man."