The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Loaf Using Hayden All-purpose Flour

tpassin's picture

Sourdough Loaf Using Hayden All-purpose Flour

I recently bought a sack of Hayden AP flour.  This flour features Sonoran white wheat, which is supposed to be very extensible, rather soft flour.  In this AP it is combined with some bread flour.  Sonoran white is used to make those incredibly thin, large Sonoran tortillas - see

Here's a link to the flour -

I tried it out and was able to make very good tortillas - not as large and dramatic as in the linked article, but close.  The dough was amazingly stretchy.  I wondered whether this characteristic would make a difference in making a loaf of bread.  So I made what is basically my standard baseline sourdough bread.  I planned to make a single, small loaf using 10 oz of flour and 3 oz of 100% hydration white flour starter.

Normally I would use 6.5 - 7 oz of water for this bread.  What a surprise!  The flour soaked up water like a sponge. I had to add enough more water to get to at least 95% hydration to have the dough feel like I expected.  At 65% there wasn't enough to even moisten all the flour.

I followed my baseline process - mix, rest 1/2 hour or more, knead/stretch, then bulk ferment with a few more S&F sessions.  To my surprise the dough was not very extensible at first, nor after the first s&f. Only at the 3rd (and last) s&f, after several hours, did I notice some real extensibility.

I had started bulk ferment on the late side so after it had risen close to 2X I refrigerated the container until morning.  By then it had risen something more than 2X.  I patted the dough into a fairly thin rectangle on my counter so it could warm up more effectively than if it were a ball.  After half an hour I shaped the dough into a single batarde.  This was easy since the dough was still cool.

After 2 hours proofing I baked it with initial steam at 435 deg F (224C) for 34 minutes. The loaf turned out much like the same bread but made with Gold Medal or King Arthur AP.  The flavor may be subtly different.  The crumb is modestly open, the crust is crispy, and does not shatter into lots of flakes when bitten.  The flavor is a mild buttery very pleasant flavor.

This bake has been interesting but I'm not sure there's enough difference from my usual AP flours to justify getting this flour for bread. Now for tortillas, that's a different matter!  Photos follow -


Benito's picture

That is one good looking Viennese roll Tom.  Very nicely shaped and scored.  It looks like that AP flour works well for this type of dough, but I’m with you, if there isn’t some noticeable advantage to using a more expensive flour then why bother.


tpassin's picture

Thanks, Benny!