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Welcome To The
Hard White Winter Wheat (Premium Golden 86)
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: It was donated to our church's food pantry, and we needed to test it before we gave it to other people

What we paid for it: Nothing. But, if you went to Nitro-Pak, it would be about $10.95 for 5 1/2 pounds. Plus shipping.

Protein content: 11%

Interesting Vendor Story: Nitro-Pak specializes in the Mormon market. It is my understanding that all Mormons are (asked? required?) to keep a year's supply of food on hand for all their family members. In times of crisis, this can be extended to cover more years. When people were panicking about the Y2K crisis, these companies did a land-office business. Each can of the un-ground grain is packed in nitrogen, and has an oxygen absorber pouch. It is supposed to last up to 25 years. (This grain was purchased by someone concerned about Y2K, and then donated to the food pantry.)

Our first impressions: It's a quality, if pricey, product. We had to grind the flour ourselves. We used the grain mill attachment to our KitchenAid mixer. At this time, we are not sure how many of our impressions are due to the grain, and how many are due to the grinder. Still, this made some tasty breads. We don't think we'd want to go out of our way to purchase this product, but we also weren't worried the world was ending in the year 2000.

Any special reason we're testing this flour: This grain was contributed to our church's food pantry by some people who were concerned that life, as they knew it, would end on December 31, 1999. We needed to be sure the grain was good enough and wholesome enough to give to the food pantry recipients. It was.

How'd we screw up the tests this time? Other than by grinding the grain, we didn't. (If there is a WhisperMill or similar mill owner a reasonable distance from Gunnison, CO, we'd love to bring 5 lbs by to see how much difference the mill makes.) Grinding was loud and slow. Perhaps we weren't meant to be pioneers.

Conclusions: For free, it was great. It was somewhat more granular than most flours, but a better mill would have taken care of that. All in all, we prefer a number of other flours, though this one was OK.

The Breads
Nitro-Pak White Flour Family portrait

Bohemian Rye The Bohemian Rye had a nice caraway aroma, Nitropak White Flour Bohemian Rye Bread (sorry - the camera moved) a nice chewy crust, a tight crumb. However, it had little sour taste or aroma. Nitropak White Flour Bohemian Rye The bread had a good caraway taste, but the rye taste was muted, with a weak wheat taste. All in all, this one was not a keeper.

Ciabatta is a favorite bread. At its best, it's fun to eat, however this one didn't qualify for that title. Nitropak White Ciabatta The bread was too dense. In part, this was because Nitropak White Ciabatta the bread collapsed as it was being put in the oven. The bread had a good wheat taste, a crisp crust, and a crumb that was a bit too heavy.

Sourdough Pan Bread is usually a celebration of sour. Nitropak White Flour Simple Sourdough Pan Bread This one was no exception. This flour was essentially a Nitropak White Flour Simple Sourdough Pan Bread a whole wheat flour, which always adds to the sour taste. This was a very pleasing taste, and it was well balanced with a good clean wheat taste. The crust was crisp and the crumb was soft and tight. A more open crust would have been nice. Still, this recipe was the pick of the litter for this flour.

Three stage French bread had a deep wheat aroma, with a thick, chewy crust. Nitropak White Three Stage French Bread The bread was Nitropak White Three Stage French Bread dry, not sour, not wheaty, and - to be honest - not interesting.

Hydration Pictures As discussed, we took pictures at 60, 80, and 100% hydration. This flour, as with the Nitro-Pak Hard Red Winter Wheat handled strangely. This is probably due in large part to the relatively coarse grind produced by the KitchenAid grain grinder, or at least my use of the grinder. The flour seemed wetter than most flours at high hydrations, and then absorbed the moisture and seemed dryer than you'd expect. As with most whole grain flours, this required more playing with the dough than a white flour.

Nitropak Hard White Winter Wheat at 100% hydration
Hard White Wheat
at 100% hydration
Nitropak Hard White Winter Wheat at 80% hydration
Hard White Wheat
at 80% Hydration
Nitropak Hard White Winter Wheat at 60% hydration
Hard White Wheat
at 60% hydration