Flavor of flour?
I am returning to bread making after a long time away. The last time I baked with intent the internet had not been invented, and I am glad to see that so much knowledge about baking is being shared so freely.
I have a question about flour, and more specifically about the flavor.
I have made a few batches using King Arthur Organic Bread Flour and found that even as I struggled to get back into the rhythm of baking and realizing a nice crumb, the breads had an inherently delicious and wholesome flavor
I have been making a preferment and adding that to a mix leavened with dry active yeast. I have been very pleased with the flavor.
Recently, I tired another brand of organic hard red wheat malted flour, presumably from a premium miller, with the exact same recipe. This is a type 85 flour which I expected to taste earthy and wholesome. It had great rise and open crumb but it tastes bland and flavorless. It has that unfortunate "cardboard" after taste that generic whole wheat products seem plagued with. The 0.85% ash rating seems to result from a profusion of bran rather than a complex of minerals that might contribute to flavor. My instinct is to add some honey to the recipe to mask the unremarkable flavor of the flour and provide some sort of flavor profile.
The experience has caused me to wonder, what provides the flavor I am so appreciative of when using the King Arthur Organic Bread flour? It is complex, multi dimensional, and rich, even though my recipe produces a very basic and lean dough. The bread made with that flour just tastes good. How can I quantify how it differs from some other flours?
Thank you for any ideas you can share.