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Flour Test - Gold Medal 10% All Purpose Flour


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Flour test- Harvest King flour

I happened to be at Vivomart and was surprised to see the much touted Harvest King flour from General Mills on sale there. This flour was specially created for artisan breads and is now available to the homebaker. The protein content printed on the bag stated 4g and this was out of a 30g serving. This worked out to be slightly over 13%. I was puzzled because the specs for this flour from the manufacturer stated that it was between 11 to 12%. According to Maggie Glezer and Hamelman, hearth breads are better made with flour with 11.5% protein. This is a number I shoot for when I select flours.

On the back is a recipe for hearth bread by Rose Levy Berenbaum. I did not use this recipe for the test because I wanted to taste the flour and what better vehicle than a simple white bread. I made 2 breads with 20oz flour each. The control was my regular flour, the characteristics of which I know well. Both were of the exact hydration of 75%. This allowed me to gauge the water absorption of each flour.  At that hydration, the dough made with the Harvest King was much less firm and probably would have had the same consistency as my regular flour had I added 5% less water.

I was reluctant to add more flour and that proved to be a mistake as the dough was a little on the wet side. It stucked to the brotform and that affected its appearance and perhaps the crumb as some gas would have escaped.

Verdict: In terms of flavor and taste, it was not superior to my regular flour. Crumb and crust were comparable to my regular. For $6.50 for a 5 pound bag, it was not cheap. I am happy to have done the test because until now, I had never been sure if I was using the right flour. Now I know.

The nicer twin is from my regular flour.

The ugly twin from GM Harvest King.

Crumb from my regular flour

Crumb from Harvest King









This site was last updated 03/08/07