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King Arthur Organic Bread Flour Vindicated!!

A while back I was sent some King Arthur Organic Bread flour from the mainland to test. It was sent from a humid area where it had been stored for a while and I kept it stored here in a warm humid area for some time before testing it.

The bag had a rip in it as well. When I did the first testing, I mentioned how the flour felt funny, it had a chalky feel and was clumpy. The flour tested terribly and I wasn’t sure why at the time. You can see it all in this post : http://northwestsourdough.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/king-arthurs-organic-bread-flour/

The King Arthur Company’s media relations manager, Allison, offered to send me a new bag of their organic bread flour, gratis, for retesting.

This she kindly did – thankyou Allison and King Arthur Co.  I was anxious to retest it because I felt something had gone wrong with the first  bag of flour. I used the whole bag during testing, and every batch came out bad.

Well, the new bag of flour totally vindicated the bad performance of the original bag of flour. I think the original bag of King Arthur Organic Bread flour, may have been infected with a mold which was picked up because the bag was ripped and stored improperly(oops!).

The new flour had a nice feel to it, was not chalky or clumpy this time. When I mixed up the preferment, it handled well and did not fall apart like the first one did. Then the final dough was vigorous, smooth, felt wonderful and was full of life. No slacking on the performace this time.

The dough proofed quickly (it was very warm here, in the upper 80’s in my kitchen) and baked up with a very nice oven spring.

The crust was crispy and crackled as it cooled. The crumb was the custardy kind of feel, soft, moist and full of holes. I would have to say this test more than vindicated the older failed test and I would like to make it up to King Arthur Company and highly recommend this flour now (I would have been afraid to even buy it again after the first test, so I am glad they sent a new bag of flour).

However, do keep in mind  if you are in a humid area, to keep your bag of flour enclosed in a plastic bag to avoid the problems I had with the first test.

Thanks again Allison, I hope these results have made up for the first test!  Teresa

14 Comments

  1. Judy Judy
    February 25, 2010    

    I must say I have had the highest regard for King Arthur flour. I consider it a quality product. I do not consider myself an expert baker so that reinforces the idea that it is a quality product when I experience good results.. I am surprised that while you think you ARE a better than average baker that you would criticize a product so vocally when all the factors you mentioned were evident from the start. I think they were MORE than kind to send you another product. Probably only to salvage any damage to their reputation. You really should apologize profusely !!!!

  2. Tom Passin Tom Passin
    February 25, 2010    

    I think this post *more* than covers it, Judy.

    Teresa, does this mean you will repeat your comparison tests, like KA vs Gold Medal? Or should we now all be gun-shy of comparisons, thinking that no one or two tests will tell the story, especially from just one or two bags of flour?

    • February 25, 2010    

      Yes, I think you are right, it takes more than one bag of flour testing to tell the story. However the tests were for the fun of experimenting and I am willing to retest any flour where the results were questionable. I think I learned a lot by doing the comparison tests. Teresa

      • Tom Passin Tom Passin
        February 25, 2010    

        One thing I’ve learned about comparison testing. It’s important to use a recipe and method that you can count on to be consistent. Otherwise you can’t know what changes you are really testing. I know you have been doing that.

        My own baseline is a 65% hydration, 15% whole wheat sourdough (starter is 30% of bulk flour by weight) where both the starter and the bulk dough get to ferment for 14 – 18 hours at room temperature (70 deg F, as I’m not in Hawaii (I lived on Oahu for a year a *long* time ago, BTW)). This bread has been very reliable for me.

  3. Patty Patty
    February 25, 2010    

    Hi Teresa! Wonderful bread as usual. BTW, I received my lame from Wyllis. The hole in the end I asked for is perfect–it now hangs proudly next to my kitchen sink where I grab it to make my slit & immediately rehang it–PERFECT! Thanks Wyllis & Teresa–I love this beautiful, yet functional, addition to my sourdough baking tool arsenal. Fellow bakers, if you haven’t bought one of Wyllis’s lames yet, you’ll be happy when you do!

    • February 25, 2010    

      Thankyou Patty, Wyllis is happy you like it. He changed the design so that they all have hang holes now, your idea was a good one. Teresa.

      • Ice Ice
        February 28, 2010    

        I guess my hole free model is now a limited edition!

  4. EFB EFB
    February 26, 2010    

    I am really glad you were pleased with the 2nd bag of flour. The bread looks just beautiful! What a nice texture. Elisabeth @ KAF

  5. February 26, 2010    

    So glad the new bag of flour gave you much better results, Teresa! Thanks for sharing with your readers. Happy Baking!

  6. almostsour almostsour
    February 28, 2010    

    ‘Very classy, Teresa – to shout the corrective. That’s certainly no surprise.

  7. February 28, 2010    

    Hi Teresa,

    Thanks for the great post! I wonder if you have ever heard of Central Milling out of California? They can ship you any of their commercial flowers in a USPS flat rate box – sounds like you might enjoy testing some of them out?

    Here’s the link if you’d like to peruse the list of what’s available. I’ve ordered a few now and am having a blast playing with the large variety :)

    http://insearchoftheperfectpie.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/plotting-my-next-flour-purchase-central-milling-here-i-come/

    Thanks again!
    -Ryan

  8. March 18, 2010    

    amazinge organic food

    greeting from Indonesia

  9. January 19, 2013    

    Now that looks wonderful. I have been trying lots of flours for my breadmaking too. Over here in the UK we don’t have King Arthur flours so I won’t be able to give it a go. Pity.

  10. sonya sonya
    February 12, 2013    

    Yay for King Arthur!!! Another awesome thing about their flour is that they claim that one of the ways that they stand out among other flour-makers is their consistency. They are so consistent from bag to bag.

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  1. King Arthur’s Organic Bread Flour « Discovering Sourdough on February 25, 2010 at 6:28 pm

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