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High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour Test

Disclaimer - Before we get into the test, it's worth mentioning that we are not connected with any flour vendor mentioned on this web site. We can't tell you where to find any of these flours outside our own home town, and we have no idea why the vendor discontinued your favorite flour, or why your favorite recipe is no longer on the back of the package. And now... here's the review of this flour.....

Where we bought it: City Market, Gunnison, Colorado

What we paid for it: $5.00 for 25 pounds

Protein content: 10%

Interesting Vendor Story: The name confuses everyone. Many people here in Gunnison, Colorado, at an altitude of 7,700 feet (2,346 meters) above sea level, think this flour is good to use at high altitudes. Actually, it's no better than any other flour at high altitudes. And they are confused about the "Hungarian" part too.

The "Hungarian" part of the name comes from the process used to mill the flour, which was developed in Hungary in the 1800's. It was brought to Colorado by J.K. Mullen in 1875, and is still used on this flour. The flour is milled from hard wheat from Colorado, the Dakotas, and Montana, so the "high altitude" refers to where the grain is grown - some people feel that grain grown at high altitude is healthier than other grains.

Our first impressions: We've used this flour on many occasions, because it's one of the cheaper ones at our local market. We've always thought it made good bread, and was useful for all the other usual kitchen chores - making roux, thickening gravies, making biscuits, breading meat and so on. As we started this test, we were very eager to see how the flour did in a controlled test.

We tested this flour right after the Wheat Montana Natural White Flour, and we noticed that the doughs made with this flour had an ever so slight yellow cast compared to the Wheat Montana Natural White. The breads also had a touch more color. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of aesthetics. We liked it, but then again, we felt the Wheat Montana Natural White was a bit too white.


The Breads

Bohemian Rye The Bohemian Rye was everything it should be. Bohemian Rye made with Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour It sang with a flavor that all but made our toes curl, with a nice balance between rye, caraway, and sourdough tastes. The crumb was well formed and had great mouth feel. The crumb of Bohemian Rye made with Hungarian High Altitude All Purpose Flour The crust was thick and firm without going into the realm of bullet-proof. The Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose flour's taste didn't get in the way of the rye tastes, but instead seemed to accentuate the overall taste. A winner.




Ciabatta is one of our favorite breads. Ciabatta made with Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour It's a very simple bread that relies on the quality and suitability of its ingredients. Crumb of Ciabatta made with Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour The ciabatta we made was a visual delight, with great crust color. However, inside things were less delightful. The crumb wasn't as open as it should have been, and it was a bit too soft as well. The ciabatta's taste was a bit too mild, although it was able to absorb the appropriate 43 times its weight in olive oil in our ciabatta dipping tests. In the end, it was a hit here, but not a big hit, and people began asking if there was any of the Wheat Montana Natural White and Rocky Mountain Milling Artisan Flour combination ciabatta left.

Sourdough Pan Bread came out much better with Sourdough Pan Bread made with Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose flour Crumb of Sourdough Pan Bread made with Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour than it did with our previous test with Wheat Montana's Natural White flour. The sour taste was more forward than in the Wheat Montana version of this bread, and it had more of a wheat taste as well. The crumb was nicely open and somewhat soft without being insipid, and the crust was delightfully crisp. The bread had a nice color, and, as with the Wheat Montana version of this bread, made a killer grilled cheese sandwich. While we like this bread for sandwiches, and just for nibbling, somehow the crumb of this bread just does wonderful things with butter and cheese.

Three stage French bread is another simple bread French three stage bread made with Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour that absolutely depends on quality ingredients to work right. For us, it was a near miss, Crumb of Three stage French bread made with Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour with the taste of the bread not being as complex as when we've made this bread in the past with Rocky Mountain Milling's Artisan flour. The crumb was a bit softer than we'd like for this bread, though the crust and color were just fine. However, we can can forgive many flaws if the taste is right. And this time it wasn't quite all there. If we had to make this bread with this flour, we'd add a cup or so of whole wheat flour to pump a bit more life into the loaf.

Hydration Pictures
As is our custom, we took pictures at 60, 80, and 100% hydration. This flour seemed somewhat more moist at every hydration. This in turn caused the crumb to be somewhat softer than with some flours. We'd probably add a bit more flour to these recipes if we were to remake the breads.

Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour at 100% hydration
Hungarian
High Altitude Unbleached
All Purpose Flour
at 100% hydration
Picture not available of Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour at 80% hydration
Hungarian
High Altitude Unbleached
All Purpose Flour
at 80% Hydration
Hungarian High Altitude Unbleached All Purpose Flour at 60% hydration
Hungarian
High Altitude Unbleached
All Purpose Flour
at 60% hydration