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Choosing The Right Flour For Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread became really popular during COVID when suddenly everyone seemed to have a container of sourdough starter growing on their counter. Search results for sourdough skyrocketed, and if it weren’t already a staple in American homes, it was now. Making sourdough at home is fun and easy, but it all starts with the right flour. Here’s the 411 on choosing the right flour for sourdough bread.

Flour and rolling pin.
Photo credit: Yayimages

Bread Flour

With a protein content of 12-14%, bread flour offers a higher gluten content, which is essential for giving sourdough its structure and chewiness. This flour is ideal for those looking for a robust and elastic loaf.

All-Purpose Flour

With a protein content between 10-12%, all-purpose flour is versatile and easier to handle, making it suitable for beginners. It produces a softer sourdough loaf compared to bread flour.

Whole Wheat Flour

Known for its hearty and nutty flavor, whole wheat flour is rich in fiber. However, it can make the sourdough denser and cause it to rise less. To counteract this, it can be mixed with lighter flours, like all-purpose flour, for a balanced texture and flavor.

Rye Flour

Three spoons of flour
Photo credit: Yayimages

Rye flour adds a distinct, slightly sour, and earthy flavor to sourdough. Due to its lower gluten content, it is often mixed with other kinds of flour to improve the bread’s structure.

Understanding the properties of each flour can help you tailor your sourdough to your preferences, whether you’re looking for a hearty, dense loaf or a light and chewy one. 

My suggestion is to experiment with different blends to find the perfect match for your sourdough creations. 

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