Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
mhjoseph

Professional Flours

Recommended Posts

I found a local source for 50 lb. bags of King Arthur flour from a bakery wholesaler who is willing to sell to me, a home baker. The price is $15 something, half the price compared to 5 lb. from the supermarket.

My question is which flour to buy, I don't want to buy more than one bag at a time but I have various needs and want to find one that will suit them all. Here is the selection:

King Arthur Conventional Flours.

My baking consists of mainly artisan breads (incl. sourdough), pizza and challah. I'm thinking that if I get Sir Galahad with 11.7% protein, which is best suited for artisan loafs and add vital wheat gluten when I need a higher protein level which I prefer for challah, that will give me the most versatility.

Will that work as well as a flour that is milled for higher protein content or am I missing something here?

Thanks,

Marc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I read you title, I thought to myself, "just go with King Arthur" and now after reading I know we are on the same page.

I think you have chosen well for your breads of choice. I am not sure of the enriched mention though. King Arthur says it doesn't bleach its wheat so I am not sure why the flour is enriched. I'd want to ask them about it first. I know they don't bromate the flour for certain. It is a process that they don't support at all because of the danger to health when done.


"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, to answer the previous post about "enriched" here's the ingredient label for King Arthur Sir Galahad flour::

Wheat flour enriched (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic

acid), malted barley flour.

Sir Galahad is a terrific flour. Note that it's marketed as "all purpose" by the distributor in the above link. I use it for brownies, cookies, and different types of bread. I would not necessarily add vital wheat gluten to make challah. The protein level is higher than most all purpose flours. In fact, King Arthur all-purpose flour for the home baker has a similar protein level and is recommended in a number of books on bread baking instead of "bread flour." (Hamelman, Reinhart, etc.)

Having just given Sir Galahad a good review, I can now confuse you :wink: by saying that I have also used KA Organic Select Artisan, with no noticeable difference, except for it being organic and twice as expensive. And a friend of mine who bakes bread for a farmer's market loves KA Special Spring Patent flour; he purchases about 50-100 lbs. from my shop each week. I believe this is similar to KA's "Special" bread machine flour for the home baker; protein level 12.7%. I prefer Sir Galahad.

I have also used Wheat Montana Natural White. Although this is labeled "all purpose," it is a high gluten flour, about 14% protein, and the packaging recommends it for bread. I have used this for artisan breads with great success, even though it has a higher protein level than typically recommended for these types of breads. I also use it to make my favorite bread -- bialys :raz: . One noticable difference between this flour and King Arthur is the amount of water needed to hydrate it. I always have to add a little more water than called for in a recipe.

For a $15 investment, I think you'll do well with Sir Galahad. If you want to try any of the others I've mentioned, send me a PM me and I'll be happy to mail samples.


Ilene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason I mentioned adding vital wheat gluten for challah is that I've baked challah with both KA All Purpose and KA Bread Flour and I find the the texture with Bread Flour is more to my liking, not that the All Purpose is by any means bad. I'm trying to determine if adding the gluten is going give me the same product as bread flour would.

The Montana Wheat looks interesting but if I can't get it locally the shipping charges will kill you. I just priced out flour from another mill in the midwest and shipping was more than the flour.

Your opinion of Sir Galahad is encouraging.

First of all, to answer the previous post about "enriched"  here's the ingredient label for King Arthur Sir Galahad flour::

Wheat flour enriched (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic

acid), malted barley flour.

Sir Galahad is a terrific flour. Note that it's marketed as "all purpose" by the distributor in the above link.  I use it for brownies, cookies, and different types of bread. I would not necessarily add vital wheat gluten to make challah. The protein level is higher than most all purpose flours. In fact, King Arthur all-purpose flour for the home baker has a similar protein level and is recommended in a number of books on bread baking instead of "bread flour." (Hamelman, Reinhart, etc.)

Having just given Sir Galahad a good review, I can now confuse you  :wink: by saying that I have also used KA Organic Select Artisan, with no noticeable difference, except for it being organic and twice as expensive. And a friend of mine who bakes bread for a farmer's market loves KA Special Spring Patent flour; he purchases about 50-100 lbs. from my shop each week. I believe this is similar to KA's "Special" bread machine flour for the home baker; protein level 12.7%.  I prefer Sir Galahad.

I have also used Wheat Montana Natural White. Although this is labeled "all purpose," it is a high gluten flour, about 14% protein, and the packaging recommends it for bread. I have used this for artisan breads with great success, even though it has a higher protein level than typically recommended for these types of breads.  I also use it to make my favorite bread -- bialys  :raz: . One noticable difference between this flour and King Arthur is the amount of water needed to hydrate it. I always have to add a little more water than called for in a recipe.

For a $15 investment, I think you'll do well with Sir Galahad. If you want to try any of the others I've mentioned, send me a PM me and I'll be happy to mail samples.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you located near any Amish communities in Ohio? (I'm familiar with the Ashland community, but don't know how far it is from you.) All the Amish bulk food stores get deliveries from Dutch Valley Foods (see link in my previous post) and can order Wheat Montana flours as well as KA and others. You can search the Dutch Valley online catalog to see the varieties of flour offered.


Edited by Beanie (log)

Ilene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great idea. I'm about 60 miles from Amish country, I never though about it.

Are you located near any Amish communities in Ohio? (I'm familiar with the Ashland community, but don't know how far it is from you.) All the Amish bulk food stores get deliveries from Dutch Valley Foods (see link in my previous post) and can order Wheat Montana flours as well as KA and others. You can search the Dutch Valley online catalog to see the varieties of flour offered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you might be getting confused by "professional" flour. Most bakeries that produce bread dont use special fancy four. They go to there supplier and order generic bread flour, pastry flour, cake flour etc. Sometimes a higher protien flour may be ordered to produce a product with a higher gluten content, thus producing a more chewey product. King Aurther is a great product, but added cost isnt always worth the cost. It may help to compare it to chocolate. Valhrona is a great product, but very very expensive. Since the customer is rarlely consuming the chocolate in its raw/pure state (meaning is mostly used in a cake, mousse, ice cream, etc), it would be almost impossible for the customer to tell that I was using Cocoa Berry or El Rey verses something that costs twice as much. I am a pastry chef at a restaurant, if I were to only use Valhrona chocolate my dessert cost be $2-3 per dessert (my cost) verses $1-1.50 as it is now. But with that said, I stock 3-4 types of chocolate at one time depending what im making and what flavor im going for, I might use Valhorna as one type.

Sure is about using a great raw product, but its more so what you do with that product that makes it great. Perfect your technique, then play with unique artisan flours. It would be great for you to make a basic boule with 4 different types of flour and do a side by side comparsion. Maybe one is a store brand bread flour.

If you do insist on using a $15 bag of flour, at least use Voss water instead of tap.

I agree with Beanie, but local or fresh milled if available. But these tend to have a shorter shelf life, so keep them in the fridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, no, no :biggrin: that's $15 for 50 lbs.

I think you might be getting confused by "professional" flour.  Most bakeries that produce bread dont use special fancy four.  They go to there supplier and order generic bread flour, pastry flour, cake flour etc.  Sometimes a higher protien flour may be ordered to produce a product with a higher gluten content, thus producing a more chewey product.  King Aurther is a great product, but added cost isnt always worth the cost.  It may help to compare it to chocolate.  Valhrona is a great product, but very very expensive.  Since the customer is rarlely consuming the chocolate in its raw/pure state (meaning is mostly used in a cake, mousse, ice cream, etc), it would be almost impossible for the customer to tell that I was using Cocoa Berry or El Rey verses something that costs twice as much.  I am a pastry chef at a restaurant, if I were to only use Valhrona chocolate my dessert cost be $2-3 per dessert (my cost) verses $1-1.50 as it is now.  But with that said, I stock 3-4 types of chocolate at one time depending what im making and what flavor im going for, I might use Valhorna as one type.

Sure is about using a great raw product, but its more so what you do with that product that makes it great.  Perfect your technique, then play with unique artisan flours.  It would be great for you to make a basic boule with 4 different types of flour and do a side by side comparsion.  Maybe one is a store brand bread flour.

If you do insist on using a $15 bag of flour, at least use Voss water instead of tap.

I agree with Beanie, but local or fresh milled if available.  But these tend to have a shorter shelf life, so keep them in the fridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...