The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help! Mixed up flour!

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Help! Mixed up flour!

I have Lock 'n Lock canisters that I keep my flours in.  I have (currently) three types of flour in them - White Lily AP, a local Southern style AP flour that is about 9.2% protein, and bread flour @11.6% protein (Costco bread flour).  All three were labeled with labels that (I thought) were glued on securely.


I found 2 of the labels on the floor and I can't remember which flour is which!  The WL AP is OK, it is still labeled (and I guess I'll be TAPING that label on with clear packing tape) but in the meantime I have about 5 lbs of 9.2% AP flour in one canister and about the same amount of bread flour in the other, and no way to tell which is which.

I know that there should be a difference in absorption, but I'm not sure how much flour I need with how much water and what to look for there.  I suppose I could try to make an entire recipe and see what happens but it seems like a waste of a pound or more of flour to do that.

I guess my only other option is to mix them and just use the mixed up flour like a general purpose AP flour (like a GM or Pillsbury AP).  Although about the only thing I would normally use that sort of thing for is pie crust - could take me QUITE AWHILE to get through 8 or 10 lbs of mixed-up flour that way, LOL!

Any suggestions for how to sort this out, or is it a lost cause?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

home style.   It goes something like this...  

Take equal amounts of each flour, label them A and B.  Let's say 50g flour and add 25g water to each one   use separate forks and bowls

First observation for this 50% hydration mixture.   Which one is dryer?    That would be the bread flour.  End of test.

If both act the same way or are both dry,  add 50 drops  of water (or 2.5g) at a time to each and continue to blend this 55% hydration dough, one should clearly form a dough while the other is stiff.   Repeat if needed to a 60% hydration dough.


Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

The flours are now sorted - due to health stuff and a move half way across the country (yes, I DID move 8 or 10 lbs of unidentified flour) I just got around to doing this.  And made lemon bars yesterday since I now know which flour is which again, LOL!

So currently they are differentiated by my having put a small glass bowl in the canister of AP flour.  Tomorrow I will hopefully get something to mark stuff up properly.  Such as, getting my printer unpacked and finding the clear heavy duty packing tape, LOL!

At 50% hydration it was pretty obvious which was which.  Thanks for the pointers.