Miller's Milling AP flour from Costco
Ages ago, I picked up a bag of AP flour from Costco. It came in a 25 pound plastic bag and said "Miller's Milling" and said it was from the Oakland, CA operation. (I live very close to Oakland). To my great surprise, that AP flour has plenty of gluten and made the best sourdough (and pizza too) that I have ever made. It's all I've been using for over a year with just excellent results every time.
Last week I went to Costco to buy more and this time it came in a paper bag that says it's from Fresno. The color is orange/tan (well compared to the whiter shade of what I have been using). And I have had nothing but trouble with it. At first I thought it was just the temperature change of the cooler season ... the starter gets bubbles but doesn't rise and then the dough feels like it has enough gluten immediately after kneading but the gluten disappears during the rise time and when you're ready to shape it the gluten is all gone and all the gas just makes small bubbles on the surface and I get no rise. The dough starts to feel like goo.
I called Miller's and they told me that Costco had insisted on paper bags instead of plastic and Oakland doesn't do paper so they had to go with the Fresno flour. But I still have no idea why the same labelled product (H&R AP flour) would behave so differently. I'm guessing there is some enzyme (diastic barley malt maybe?) that is causing the gluten to dissolve during my long ferment time. (my sourdough method is a 3 hour warm rise with stretch and folds and then a cool rise overnight for 12-15 hours and then into the oven).
Anyone else have this issue?