The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Flour quality

HungryShots's picture

Flour quality

Two loaves compared

For many years I baked sourdough bread with the same flour, thinking that there cannot be such a big difference between flour brands or flour producers. I struggled for years with the same flour bread flour to get great results. Sometimes I did, sometimes was disappointing from the esthetic perspective. Nevertheless, I ate all my bread and nothing went to the bin.

 Until one day, when I got stubborn to understand why my bread was not looking the same as the one of the original recipe. What was the secret? What I was missing? Was it the flour? Why my dough was not looking and behaving at all as I saw in some youtube videos? 

I bought then a Manitoba flour of 14% protein content to compare with my old flour labelled as Bread flour (at 10% protein content). That moment was my "Wowwww !" moment and change completely my perspective. I started then reading books and scientific studies to understand why the flour can be so different. Little by little, I understood why and how to adjust hydration to fit the qualities of the flour of your choice. I understood why following the exact same recipe, method and temperature won't lead you to the same result. The flour is the key, and if you understand how its qualities are influencing bread baking you have a solid ground to get to a gorgeous bread.

As a home baker, I collected a lot of knowledge about flour and experienced it myself. My road is far from being finished, I still have a life to learn about flour and baking methods.

I share with you now what I learned about flour in an informative blog and video.

And now, my challenge steps up to bake gorgeous bread also from flour with low protein content flour.

For example, the 2 pieces of bread in the photo I baked with the exact same recipe, method and temperature. What was different was the flour. In the left, a loaf of bread with flour of 10% protein content and on the right a loaf of bread with flour of 12.5% protein content.

Besides all the tips and tricks that I've collected and presented in the blog and video linked above, would there be others related to flour? Do I still miss something here?

I should perhaps adjust the hydration of the loaf in the left ...

dbazuin's picture

Basic bread is flour, water, salt and some levain therefore it not strange different flours give a different result. 

In a dutch book I just bought the author and baker specifically mention with in each recepi what kind of flour is used. 
That is also what I did when I shared my pizza recepi here. 

Thanks for sharing you knowledge. 

DanAyo's picture

I want to thank you for taking the time to publish such an informative and ARTISTIC video.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and subscribed to your You Tube Channel.


HungryShots's picture

Thank you very much, Danny!

I learned a lot from this community, it is time now to give back my experience as well :)


BXMurphy's picture

A baker could not ask for a more complete explanation of the various components and qualities of different flours and why they are important in baking bread.

This is a "must watch" - and read - of the transcript. Thank you for producing this wonderful video and sharing it on The Fresh Loaf.

I have subscribed to your YouTube channel. Your blog is just as beautiful as your video.


HungryShots's picture

Thank you very much, Murph! I am really happy that you liked my video and my blog. I try to be creative both with my bread as with its presentation :)

username9's picture

Great video.  Thanks so much