Specific Kialla Info


Hi everyone,

I've been baking wonderful sourdough bread for nearly a year now. The unbleached white bread flour (protein 11.8%) I've been using is from Marg and Maree's in Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.

I thought I'd like to go organic, and found Kialla Unbleached Plain Flour (protein 12.5%). It nearly killed my robust starter, but it eventually came around and was ready to bake with. The starter wasn't as firm as my old starter and the dough for the bread I was making was way too wet by comparison with what I'd done before (same recipe).

I rang Marg and Maree's and they said that the Kialla flour I'm using can't be bread flour because there's no thiamine and folic acid added to the flour.

Now I'm really confused. The notes on the Kialla website distinguish what I'm using away from their cake flour. And I thought that a higher protein content would make for a thirstier flour.

I also thought that good, organic bread flour wouldn't need to have thiamine and folic acid added to it.

I want to buy 20kg lots and I don't know what to get now.

Any ideas anyone?


281 users have voted.


rossnroller 2011 April 2

My understanding is that 'bread flour' (baker's flour)  is distingushed from cake and plain flour by its higher protein and gluten content. I've never heard of additives such as thiamine and folic acid being definitive of baker's flour. Unless someone of authority posts to the contrary, I think the credibility of your advisor at Marg and Maree's is in question here, not that of Kialla bread flour.

I use Eden Valley organic biodynamic flours (and love them), so can't comment on Kialla directly. However, some widely-acclaimed organic sourdough bakeries use Kialla, as well as excellent home bakers on this site like Shiao-Ping, and I have no doubt the Kialla product is very high quality.

As for the wetter dough phenomenon, I have no explanation for that. No doubt someone else here will. In my experience, the higher protein flours do absorb more water than the lower protein ones. Maybe your current ambient temperature has something to do with it?

While you're waiting for the theoretical answer, you could just tweak your dough formula until the dough is the consistency you like. That's what I'd do - but I tend to be lazy about the theory side of things.


HVHB 2011 April 2

 Bread flour is required, by law, to have certain additives such as thiamine and folic acid.  This is allowed to be excluded from organic flours, I believe.


Protein is a good indicator of gluten potential and water absorption, but not the be-all and end-all.  However, I would say that 12.5% would not be a cake flour.


I haven't used Kialla flour in some time, but I was happy enough with it when I did.  I did notice when I changed to another supplier that my recipes needed to be altered.  I'd be interested in using it again to see what I think now.


I think, also, that the fresher a flour is the more absorbent it is.  I don't know this for sure, but I was told it is the case.  It certainly seems to be with the flour I use.  I have recipes that needed to be increased from 67 to 69% hydration to up to 92%, dependent on each batch of flour.  (This is not relevant to Kialla flour in particular)  In comparison, I've used two batches of organic flour from a major supermarket chain which were both 15% protein.  One made fantastic bread, the other helped me invent new swear words.  Allegedly, they had the same specs.

peregrine 2011 April 2

What you say confirms what I thought. I'm just going to have to reduce the water by 10% at least for this bag of flour. Now all my doughs will become experimental again, instead of reliable and just when I thought I'd nailed all my variables too!

And you're right - I thought I'd switch to Kialla because I knew Shiao-Ping uses it and I liked her results.

I don't think it's my ambient temperature - I've been baking through all seasons and haven't seen the 'strange' looseness of my 100% starter before - now I just have to think this is what the starter looks like using this flour: different not strange. My starter is my pride and joy and has lived in all sorts of conditions, temperatures and locations. It swaps easily between rye, spelt, wholemeal and then struggled with this other white flour!

It still works well, just sloppier. I always weigh out the same mass of water as flour for my 100% and I have no trouble changing it to a higher or lower percentage if I'm playing with new recipes.

I'll stick with Kialla till I've finished the bag and then I'll give Eden Valley a try.

Thank you for taking the time to comment - I appreciate your thoughts.




rossnroller 2011 April 2

It's only white flour products (bread etc) that require the addition of thiamine and folic acid, not flour per se. See govt guidelines here.

You can rest assured, Dianne, that flour with 12.7% protein content is classified as a 'high protein' flour, and that therefore the Kialla product is baker's flour. Also, as far as I know, all Kiala flours are organic.

BTW, I've been meaning to give Kialla flours a go, so will be interested in your comparison findings when you've tried Eden Valley.

Good luck with the tweaking. I'd be surprised if you end up regretting buying the Kialla.


HVHB 2011 April 2

 I doubt you'll be disappointed with Kialla's flour.


I don't know that I'd change your starter, but just look at altering your bread recipes.  Mix up a batch, weigh in your extra a little at a time (you are weighing aren't you???? or this whole topic may be moot) until it "feels right."


You need to learn to do things by feel as well and trust your instinct.  When the dough "feels" right, write down your new recipe ad take notes on the rest of the process.  Then adjust slightly if necessary on the next batch.

peregrine 2011 April 3

I weigh everything. I just made a couple of Light Rye and Light Wholemeal loaves which I make usually with great success (I posted some of my photos a few weeks ago, see http://sourdough.com/recipes/light-rye-light-wholemeal-rustic-pain-au-le... and scroll down to my contributions) and withheld what I thought felt right (about 50g water, which was about 10% of what I'd normally add) and it wasn't enough. Back to the drawing board.

Your comments are helping me to not be too discouraged!



HVHB 2011 April 3

 I had a look at your recipe.  76% is reasonably high hydration for ay flour, so:

What I do when I have a "dubious" batch of new flour is wind it back to 67% hydration to start with, then add weighed water during the kneading process.  This allows the gluten its best chance to form without being over hydrated, and lets you work out, in a more successful manner, the hydration point for the dough you want.  Gluten forms more "easily" with a stiffer dough, then you can "stretch" it more as you increase the hydration.

You still have to go by feel, but you'll get there.

Post Reply

Already a member? Login