The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Anyone familiar with Central Milling's flours (in particular the High Mountain flour)

BigHungryBelly's picture
BigHungryBelly

Anyone familiar with Central Milling's flours (in particular the High Mountain flour)

I am thinking about giving CM's organic flours a try. I typically bake sourdough bread, yeasted baguettes, and pizza. I am mostly familiar with King Arthur's bread flour and have generally had great experience with it, in particular in relatively high hydration applications (my sourdough breads typically range from 78% to 85% hydration). 

With respect to CM, I only have experience with their non-organic Red Rose Bakers Special flour. At 12.5% protein, Bakers Special flour doesn't seem to handle as much water as KAF's bread flour. A hydration level that is above 75% seems to produce really unwieldy doughs for me. Perhaps the right way to describe the doughs made with the Red Rose Bakers Special flour is that they are really extensible, to the point that it is hard for me to build good strength, and the resulting breads tend to spread more than they rise. On the other hand, I've made breads with KAF's bread flour that were 90% hydration, and I felt the doughs were much easier to handle. 

I wonder which CM organic flours would be good for my typical applications. I've done some search on the forum, and found that some people suggest Type 70 and Organic Artisan Bakers Craft Plus. Since both have 11.5% protein, I wonder if these two flours can handle relatively high hydration applications. On the other hand, it doesn't seem that there is much discussion on the High Mountain flour which is 13.5% protein level. I wonder if anyone has experience with this flour.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

It was before Covid when I contacted them, but CM had very fast response to my tech question. I think I just used their online contact form.

so just ask what their suggestion is for replacing KA Bread flour, and is also thirstier than RR Bakers Special.

RR Electra Light, or RR Keith's Best might do.

Update: CM says RR Electra Light is the non-organic equivalent to their organic High Mountain -- but the RR Electra Light is malted.   (Malted vs un-malted is another thing one needs to keep track of with CM flours.)

--

(warning: this is a bit of a rant. ;-)  With some exceptions, usually there is no technical benefit to organic wheat flour.    In general, I avoid it because organic wheat, like most organic crops, has less yield per acre, and more water used per unit of output, than regular wheat, so organic wheat is harder on the environment.  Less yield and more water is also what makes it more expensive.  

Aquifers in America's Bread Basket are shrinking, so I am all for conserving water. (look up Ogallala Aquifer at Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogallala_Aquifer )

All US wheat, even non-organic, is 100% non-gmo -- meaning it can be hybridized, but only via regular cross-breeding, not gene-editing/splicing.  (All wheat has been hybridized at some point, even if was between 100 and 3000 years ago.) 

Ok, I admit to buying organic Kamut, but only because I can't get non-organic generic Khorasan.

[rant mode off]

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

I have half a 50lb bag of Central Milling  High Mountain getting used up at a quick rate. I think it is great. I have been using it in place of KA bread flour in a lot of situations.

And it passed the very picky inspection team!Inspection Team

Benito's picture
Benito

I think your cats are waiting for you to take the flour out of the box so they can get into it.  😛

BethJ's picture
BethJ

Ha ha, Benito!  Yes!   >^..^<

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Really? You don't think they are approved grade A flour inspectors?!

Benito's picture
Benito

I suppose that is possible LOL. 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Sniffing precedes cheek-rubbing which marks the object as their's with the scent from glands on their cheeks.

Each one is saying "DIBBS!"

Benito's picture
Benito

Very true Dave.