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Bread flour: does the brand really matter?

36 posts in this topic

Anyone know of a mail order source of 50 pound bags of KAF Select Artisan Organic Flour? Amazon had it for as I recall $129 plus shipping, which seems more than a little over priced. I was not willing to pay that much, and as far as I can see now, Amazon no longer offers it.

I called KAF and they said I would have to come to Vermont or go through a distributor. They do not ship. The representative gave me a list of KAF distributors but did not know if the distributors would sell to individuals. And I do not have a vehicle, I would need to have the flour delivered here.

I like KAF flour. I have been making bread with it for about twenty years -- most recently about seven minutes ago.

Check with your local restaurant wholesale suppliers like Shamrock, Sysco, etc. Some of them will allow people to buy from them if the person picks up at their back door and pays cash. (no delivery)

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Trader Joe's flour is actually King Arthur flour?
Is this a fact?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

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Trader Joe's flour is actually King Arthur flour?

Is this a fact?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

It's a question. From responses made above, it seem TJ's used to sell KAF under the TJ name, but they no longer do. (Which is really too bad, but what can ya do?)

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As mentioned upthread, no, this isn't true. Here's a post in the Trader Joe's thread, quoting an emailed explanation from TJ's customer service dep't.

BTW, to refresh folks' recollection, KA didn't used to make flour TJ's flour. Rather, the latter was selling KA flour, one of the few non-private label items in the store outside the liquor aisle. In 2009, TJ's discontinued KA and brought in a similarly-formulated private label flour.

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I too like to use KA. But it is mostly a matter of choice. If you were to make three loaves of bread with th eonly difference being the choice of flour brand I am sure I could tell no difference.

Perhaps those of a more educated palate could.

The differences between the brands are more about performance rather than flavor.

What do you mean by performance?

So you folks are saying protein differences matters. Its interesting when it comes to ingredients wise - i buy Gold Medal flour mainly and the ingredients are typically just flour i think. Im over in Vancouver, Canada right now and when i was at the store, the generic stuff they had included a bunch of preservatives i think that ive never seen before. Interestingly it said that the flour was blended specifically for bread machines - what does this mean? Would it affect reactivating a sour dough starter (i brought some starter with me to try and make a loaf, its been almost 2 hours and im not getting much rise, getting a little worried that the flour isn't conducive or something)?

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Protein is important--you want to match the protein content to the recipe. Stronger/higher protein flours are unsuitable for tender things like piecrust, cakes, muffins, and baking powder biscuits, while it is necessary for a proper bagel or thin NY pizza crust. But factors other than protein percentage impact performance....

Performance: as I mentioned upthread, flour is complicated. Factors like starch damage, extraction (particle size), age, "falling number" (amount of amylase, an enzyme) and so on all impact your baked goods.....better brands are consistent in all of these factors from bag to bag thanks to blending and a high degree of quality control. Less desirable brands have a high degree of variation from batch to batch, which lead to a high level of variation (more or less water required, browning/crust color differences, size/oven spring differences, etc).

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The Protein content of the different flours can differ by quite a lot. For example the White Lily Bread Flour is the same as the King Arthur AP flour(11.7). Here are a few examples of supermarket flour protein levels.

A-P

KA 11.7

Gold Medal 10.5

White Lily 8

Pillsbury 10.5

Bread Flour

KA 12.7

Gold Medal 12.5

White Lily 11.7

Pillsbury 12


Edited by Charcuterer (log)

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Would the 0.2 difference between KA and Gold Medal ever make a difference that might be noticeable, aside from lets say a 'bad' batch where the protein content is different.

I guess, when is it that protein percentages begin to matter?

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Would the 0.2 difference between KA and Gold Medal ever make a difference that might be noticeable, aside from lets say a 'bad' batch where the protein content is different.

I guess, when is it that protein percentages begin to matter?

The protein percentage will matter any time you have a specific texture in mind.

If you want chewy, rugged, open-structured bread, you want a high percentage of gluten; if you want a finer, more delicate crumb, you want a lower percentage (although adding fat will move the texture in that direction, too); if your goal is more general (e.g. texture not of particular importance), protein content isn't such a huge deal.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Would the 0.2 difference between KA and Gold Medal ever make a difference that might be noticeable, aside from lets say a 'bad' batch where the protein content is different.

I guess, when is it that protein percentages begin to matter?

The protein percentage will matter any time you have a specific texture in mind.

If you want chewy, rugged, open-structured bread, you want a high percentage of gluten; if you want a finer, more delicate crumb, you want a lower percentage (although adding fat will move the texture in that direction, too); if your goal is more general (e.g. texture not of particular importance), protein content isn't such a huge deal.

Is all the protein in flour the gluten type proteins or is the percentage of gluten protein to non-gluten protein as variable as the overall protein levels in different flours?

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