This section is from the book "A Treatise On Flour, Yeast, Fermentation And Baking Together With RecipesFor Bread And Cakes", by Julius Emil Wihlfahrt. Also available from Amazon: A treatise on flour, yeast, fermentation and baking, together with recipes for bread and cakes.
The absorbing power of a flour is determined by weighing out 25 grams of flour into a suitable dish and adding water from a graduated burette, then making up the two into a dough of the proper, and a certain standard consistency, which latter always must be alike for all samples tested. The number of cc and decimals used of water as indicated by the burette, are multiplied by 4, and the product expresses the percentage of water-absorbing power.
This result is next confirmed by making a sample baking, using the proper amount of yeast, salt and other ingredients, taking care to make the dough of the same consistency as before. Weigh the dough carefully and make a notation of its weight. Next proceed to work the dough in the usual, but very careful, manner into bread. Immediately, upon drawing from oven, the bread is weighed, and the loss calculated. This gives the moisture-retaining power of a flour. In order to get proper results, the sample dough must be carried at a uniform temperature, the length of fermentation must be always the same, and the same hold good for the heat of oven, which should be 425° F. Unless uniform conditions prevail, the retaining power of a flour will be affected.