The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Color

billmac's picture

Bread Color

This may seem like a silly question, but I was wondering who uses unbleached bread flour and what color your bread turns out.  I have BBA and Peter Reinhart consistently recommends unbleached bread flour, but all the pictures in his book show bread and dough that is essentially white.  I use unbleached bread flour from our local food co-op and my bread always is distinctly brown, like a lite whole wheat bread.  I guess it shouldn't matter other than when making things like white, french, and italian breads there is a certain aesthetic expectation that the bread will be white-ish.


Floydm's picture

I suspect the whiteness of the crumb in the photos in his book is due to overzealous color correction on the part of the photo editor.

Unbleached AP flour won't result in a brilliant white loaf, but it is still quite white. If you use organic unbleached flour, you'll often find there is a bit of a yellowish cast to it.

billmac's picture

Yellowish is what the book says too, but my flour (and bread) is unmistakably brown.  Again, not a big deal but it makes me curious.  I'll have to ask the folks at the co-op what gives.

breadnerd's picture

You might be buying whole wheat flour. I've seen bins in the bulk section of natural foods stores that are marked just as "bread flour" but turned out to be a finely ground wheat flour. Taste will really tell you--it will be definitely wheat-ier flavored. It's good stuff, but won't be as white as the BBA photos. You could mix it half and half with another flour if you want to lighten it up a bit.


I sometimes buy cheaper bread flour and even unbleached it's pretty darn white. Some of the nicer brands have a creamer color to them, which I like a lot. Gold Medal's "Harvest King" has added barley malt flour added, for example. If I want a little more color I add a little whole wheat flour, rye, or wheat germ or bran. I think it adds visually and to the flavor of the bread.



jm_chng's picture

Here in the UK you can't buy bleached flour. My bread is as white as I've seen any picture of white bread either in the US or the UK. I don't think that's white flour. There are many grades of flour. A quick google search to different flour sites will show you the different grades. I've had type 65 which was a warm yellow through to brown.