The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to know the flour have good ability to absorb water

kopng's picture

How to know the flour have good ability to absorb water

Most of the time we need high protein flour for better ability to absorb water.

Any parameter we can refer to from flour manufacturer on this matter? Is it to refer to the flour protein, flour Water Absorption, stability provided in specification or to refer to other matter?

wally's picture

Higher protein flours do absorb more water; however, the protein content of the flour you use is generally related to the ability of the flour to form gluten. And depending on the type of bread you are trying to make, you will want to use either ”bread” flour (usually 11%-12% protein) or ”high gluten” flour (13%-15% protein). Typically, if you go to the flour manufacturers website they will specify the protein content of the flours they produce.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if all flour packages would state not only the protein but how much of that protein is gluten.  Packages often state roughage or fibre content.  The more fibre, the higher the total protein but there is a lower % of gluten in the flour. 

Bran also has a higher protein level and absorbs more water than the endosperm gram for gram if allowed to do so.

There are flours with high proteins and very low or no gluten content.  So I understand this thread to be more about about wheat flour. 

To test water absorbance use equal weights of flour and water, stir, allow ample time for the flour to absorb the water (45 min) and then stir again to see how much water has been absorbed by the flour.  Letting it then stand to settle, see if the water will separate from the wet flour and form a layer on top.