Welcome To The Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour Test
Part of the Big Flour Test
|Please note - 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: Safeway, Gunnison, Colorado
What we paid for it: It was on sale for $0.89 for 5 pounds
Protein content: 10%
Interesting Vendor Story: Nope, not this time. It's Gold Medal Flour. It's not made by high mountain elves. It's everywhere.
Our first impressions : This was probably the first flour we ever used. And we never really thought about it much. It was there. Always. And the first thing we did to try to make better bread was to stop using this flour. And... that may have been a mistake.
Any special reason we're testing this flour: We thought it would be a mistake to ignore so common a flour.
How'd we screw up the tests this time? Oddly enough, we didn't. We did it all right for once.
Conclusions - we really liked the flour, and felt that it lived up to its name. It made all the breads well, it was easy to work with, and had a very nice taste. We could live with and use this flour without any problems. We have heard rumors that the big flour mills re-formulate their flours for different parts of the country. As a result, the Gold Medal All Purpose flour you buy may not be the same as the Gold Medal All Purpose flour we bought. Still, it's worth a try.
Bohemian Rye The Bohemian Rye was very good. It had a nice balance of flavors, and a good crumb. The hydration of the dough was nice and needed little adjustment.
Ciabatta is one our favorite breads. A loaf of ciabatta, a jug of wine, and a bowl of nice olive oil are a little bit of heaven around here. This bread had a very nice balance between rise, crumb, and taste. This loaf didn't last long... the vultures descended on it, and it was all gone in a hurry.
Simple Sourdough Pan Bread - The Friends of Carl's Simple Sourdough Pan bread is all the recipe promises. It's easy to make, the recipe is well tested, and it can be a celebration of sour in white bread. This was one of the best batches of this bread we've made. The crust, crumb, color and taste were all delightful. It still wasn't as sour as I'd have hoped, but it had a nice little bite to it.
Three stage French bread is, or should be, similar to a classic French country levain, or sourdough, bread loaf. With an all white flour, we can't get the light brown color in the crumb, of course. This bread came closest to being disappointing as any bread in this test. It didn't rise as well as I'd have liked. However, the flavor was wonderful, a nice balance of wheat and sour tastes. The crumb was, perhaps, a bit too soft. I feel that changing the hydration using this recipe would have cleared things up. Still, it was far from disappointing - everyone who tried the bread asked for more.
Hydration Pictures As discussed, we took pictures at 60, 80, and 100% hydration. We found Gold Medal All Purpose Flour handled very nicely. At 100% hydration, the mixture flowed, but wasn't easily pourable, which is typical of many flours. It was easy to mix it to 80 and 60% hydration, and even at 60% hydration the dough was easy to handle.
All Purpose Flour
at 100% hydration
All Purpose Flour
at 80% Hydration
All Purpose Flour
at 60% hydration