The Fresh Loaf

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How will bread flour I had to sift react?

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

How will bread flour I had to sift react?

Hi all,

         My grocery store had a sale on 5 lb bags of the bread flour I use so I bought six I think. The ones still in my pantry are three months old or so at this point. As I was dumping a new bag into my Cambro container last night I noticed there was a 1/3" layer of compacted flour on the bottom of the bag. I didn't think much of it and just threw the bag away. This morning when going into the Cambro container of flour I noticed there are some  small clumps, 1/16th" or less in the flour.

     I sifted the whole five pounds and am wondering how it will act when making my SD dough. I weigh ingredients so I'm not worried there. I am wondering, will it take more/less water, will it handle differently? Any thoughts appreciated.

 

Best,

        wvdthree

 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

That sounds like the typical result of humidity accumulation in the flour and you have handled it properly.  If you have any more bags left it might help to freeze them, if you have room.  It would keep them from accumulating still more humidity.

As long as the flour did not actually get wet it should bake up fine.  If it is still "dry" but showing some clumping, then it will be okay.  You might find that it takes a little less water to hydrate it, but that is a variable in all flour anyway.  Just be sure to check your hydration the first couple of times you use it to figure out how it is behaving.

OldWoodenSpoon

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Thanks Old Wooden Spoon! I thought it may take less water as a result of the sifting. And yes, it did not get wet, so curious as to how it developed the clumps?

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

It doesn't have to "get wet" to clump.  All it takes is some humidity.  

Have you ever noticed loose flour on the grocery store shelf underneath the bags of flour?  That shows that the bags are not perfectly sealed.  Hence, moisture/humidity can get in.

If I remember correctly, both the bottoms and the tops of the paper container are merely folded and glued.  It's not a perfect system.  They get knocked around. Things  come loose.  And they are paper after all, they can crack, tear, or get small punctures.  The inside of the paper bags is _lightly_ "coated", but it is definitely not hermetically sealed against the outside.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sifting is a good practice, especially for the anal-retentive. I just described myself.

I often sift flour for an autolyse. IMO, it facilitates better hydration of the flour, eliminating those pesky dough balls.

Dan