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Welcome To The
Peter Pan 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: Super Walmart, Salida, Colorado

What we paid for it: $0.89 for 5 lbs.

Protein content: 10%

Interesting Vendor Story: Nope. Not this time.

Our first impressions : It's been years since we used Peter Pan. We looked at the sack and were more than a bit concerned. It's pre-sifted. It's bromated. It's bleached. It's enriched. The artisan's anti-Christ in a bag. We were surprised and pleased that it handled very nicely, mixing well, rising well, delivering a workable soft dough in all our recipes. (Please note this was the first flour test in which we changed the recipe for the Bohemian Rye bread to 1 cup. The added 1/8 cup made the rye bread a lot easier to handle.) The smell of the rising doughs was very enticing, and the breads were delightful.

Any special reason we're testing this flour: I purchased this flour because I've used it in the past. And because there was a discussion recently in rec.food.sourdough about "cheap flours", and Peter Pan was mentioned. "They just can't be as good" was a loudly repeated cry. So, we'll see.

How'd we screw up the tests this time? The baking went fine. No mistakes. In fact, everything went well, for once. Sadly, we had problems in taking the pictures. They all have a strong blue cast from the blue counter top. We haven't had the time to figure out how to correct the colors to our liking. Sorry....

Conclusions: We liked it. A lot. It did everything we asked it to do, and did it well. We wish the crusts had been a bit darker on two of the breads, but that is a very minor issue.
The Breads
Peter Pan All Purpose Family Portrait

Bohemian Rye This was the first time we've baked the Bohemian Rye Bohemian rye, made with Peter Pan flour bread with 1 cup of water instead of 7/8. We feel that the Peter Pan Bohemian Rye Bread hydration adjustments we've made in the past mean the recipe wasn't all that different in practice than in past tests. In any case, we found the dough easy to handle. The bread was a delight, offering a good rye and caraway taste, with the caraway carrying over into the aroma. The crust was thick, soft, and chewy. The crumb was fairly open and irregular, with a wonderful taste. The sour tang you hope for in sourdough came through more than most of the other versions of this bread we've made for these tests.

Ciabatta is a favorite bread. Peter Pan made a version that delighted. Peter Pan Ciabatta It featured a nice irregular crumb with good definition. Peter Pan Ciabatta The crumb offered a good wheat flavor with strong sour notes. The flavor carried over in to the aroma, where there was a nice sour aroma with good wheaten undertones. The crust was nicely browned without excessive crispness. It was great with oil, as well as with soup. Very nice!

Sourdough Pan Bread - should be, more than any of the other breads here, Peter Pan Simple Pan Sourdough a celebration in sour. More than any of the Peter Pan Simple Pan Sourdough white flours we've tested so far, this flour delivers. The sour of the bread extended into its aroma - a nice lightly acidic aroma that told us this was sourdough. The bread had a thin, firm, crisp crust. The crumb was soft, irregular, and well defined. The only complaint we could level against this bread is that the crust did not brown as much as we might have hoped. As with previous versions of this bread, it made excellent grilled cheese sandwiches.

Three stage French bread featured a nice thin firm crust with nice color, Peter Pan Three Stage French though it was a little bit light. The crumb was a little Peter Pan Three Stage French tight, but nicely irregular. The taste of wheat predominated the crumb, with mild sour notes. The bread had a mild aroma.

Hydration Pictures As discussed, we took pictures at 60, 80, and 100% hydration. This flour was moister than most at the same levels of hydration, without excessive stickiness.

Peter Pan flour at 100% hydration
Peter Pan
All Purpose Flour
at 100% hydration
Peter Pan All Purpose Flour at 80% Hydration
Peter Pan
All Purpose Flour
at 80% Hydration
Peter Pan All Purpose Flour at 60% Hydration
Peter Pan
All Purpose Flour
at 60% hydration