The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Behavior of organic stone-ground flour

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mk3269's picture
mk3269

Behavior of organic stone-ground flour

Hi all,

First a quick confession: I've been lurking around this site for a little while now, and I have to say, it has been fantastically helpful in my ongoing bread adventures. Y'all are amazing.

I recently moved to Canada, where KA flour is not available, so I picked up some organic, stone-ground, "white bread unbleached flour" from a company called Moulin A. Coutu (I'm in Montreal). It looks like an amazing flour, creamy-looking with small brown flecks in it, but my latest bread (French style country bread from the KA website) turned out heavy and dense. I know this it not entirely attributable to the flour, as I'm still beginner-intermediate and thus have various issues to work through, but this is my question:

How does such a flour behave differently from normal bread flour? Should a  like this be used in smaller proportions than regular bread flour, or are there any other adjustments I should think about making?

Thanks so much. MK

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi MK,

I just had a look on the Moulin a Coutu website, and the unbleached bread flour is listed as a Durum flour.   This means that it is a hard wheat, and it has a high protein content.   However, durum is a different strain of wheat to that used in most bread production, although it can produce wonderful bread, and has found popularity with many artisan bakers.   It is the type of wheat used to make pasta.   Whilst it is high in protein, it is difficult to mix dough with durum flour which produces a really strong gluten network.   Not that I have ever used it, but from all that I have read, the King Arthur flour is highly reliable for producing high quality dough.

I would have a look around the TFL website for more on durum flour breads, but here are a few fine posts which will help get you started to think a bit more about how to get the best out of the flour you have bought:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24172/first-success-altamura-project

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/24702/pain-au-levain-red-fife-2-and-attamura-bread

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/29673/spicy-and-savoury-semolina-levain-bruschetta

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/29273/durum-load-wfo

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14268/pane-con-semola-rimacinata-di-grano-duro

Best wishes

Andy

mk3269's picture
mk3269

Hi Andy,

Thank you so much! This clears up a lot of confusion for me. I really appreciate all your help. Happy baking, Molly

proth5's picture
proth5

Without the specifications for the flour (especially protien content and falling number - maybe farinograph) - it is really hard to tell you anything about how the flour might be different.  Your miller should be able to tell you the specs.

Potential problem areas are:

  • Protien content lower than what you are used to
  • Flour has not had falling number corrected
  • Flour needs aging

However without the specs it would be foolish for me to point to any one of these as a difference.

Sorry this isn't more helpful.