The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Eagle Mills' Un-bleached All-Purpose Flour: a critique

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Eagle Mills' Un-bleached All-Purpose Flour: a critique

Yesterday, shopping at the local supermarket, I was seduced by "Since 1856 Eagle Mills® has provided artisan bakers with the highest quality flour of the day....blended with Ultragrian®, ... with the clean taste... of white flour." Nothing unpronounceable, nor frightening appeared in the ingredients,  and $2.99 for a 5lb. bag wasn't a disincentive. I'd never heard nor read about Eagle Mills flour, and new on the shelves of an often visited market. I bought a bag.

Later in the afternoon I mixed my weekly dough formula for three baguettes routinely retarded overnight. The only difference: Eagle Mills Un-bleached All-Purpose flour in place of my usual trusted AP flour. This morning I baked three baguettes.

I want to stress the ONLY difference in these baguettes is the flour, compared to approximately 300 baguettes made over the past 2+ years. The other ingredients (salt, yeast, water) were the same brand, source and quantities. Similarly, mixing, manipulations, times and temperatures were as identical as reasonably posssible. I can't swear the hydration was the same for all past bakings--I experiemented with between 65% and 72% for a long time. However, my goals from day 1 was good flavor first, repeatability batch-to-batch second.

External appearances were very similar, but that's where the similarity ended. Even before I cut into a loaf, the smell was "off", not unpleasent, but not recognizable. The crumb, as seen in the photo is reasonably open (67% hydration), but lacks the translucent luster routinely experienced with the usual flour. This loaf's mouthfeel is only slightly less al dente, but not at all unpleasent. Cut, the crumb's smell is distinctly lacking in what I think of as "wheaty".

The loaf's flavor is its biggest disappointment. Insipid, not only does it fail to deliver the advertised "clean taste...of white flour", but, for me, it left a rather unpleastent, lingering aftertaste.

Tomorrow, its back to the flour I've come to trust. Being frugal (tight-fisted?) I won't discard the remaining flour; I'm certain it will make roux and thicken sauces gravies quite well, after all a a well-made roux never has a floury taste ;-)

David G

 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

David,

What is your usual flour?

Jeff

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I frequently read about other flours on TFL, mostly west coast based, and I'd love to try them but the cost, including shipping to Fl is prohibative. King Arthur serves me well, and is readily available.

David G

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I've used the flour before, I bought it in bulk at Costco last year.  For cookies it's probably fine but for bread it is indeed awful.

See if the store has a generous return policy, if it does then return it.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

the "Ultragrain" is white whole-wheat flour.  That will taste somewhat different than an AP with no whole-grain content, as you have discovered.  I have used it in breads before, but typically with other flours (rye, WW) that bring additional flavors to the party, instead of an all white bread.

Paul

davidg618's picture
davidg618

bake regularly with white whole wheat, in sourdoughs, and my wife also in sandwich loaves. In all cases, using white whole wheat I've never encounter either smell or taste like this flour exhibited.

David G