The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Quality Flour in Toronto.

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Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

Quality Flour in Toronto.

Hey Guys!!


 


  I am in Toronto Canada and have been buying my flour at bulk barn.  I usually get their unbleached bread flour, whole wheat, and rye flour.  Does anyone know of a place in Toronto to get better quality flour than this?  I would love to try making bread with some quality ingrediants.


 


  Also is there a local dealer for SAF yeast?


 


 


  D

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I buy my daily use flour at Costco in 20kg bleached all purpose bags for $13.99 each. I buy 5lb packs of King Arthur flour whenever I go to the US.


If you can, contact Dawn Foods to try and source King Arthur flour, they have an office in the GTA.  Another alternative if you don't minde the drive is London, ON where I live.  There is a flour mill in Arva, unbleached flour is about $22 per 20kg bag.


Wait for a Bulk Barn coupon and buy a few of the large 2lb yeast packages.  I keep a container of it in my freezer, and a smaller container in my fridge for daily use.

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Don't know if this is too far to travel for you but it may fine be if you're looking for big amounts at really good prices.


There's a place called Traynor's in Hamilton that sells all manner of flour in large quantities. I got my flour there (Dover's Vienna) for ~$13 for a 20k bag. I picked up one bag of "Vienna" Unbleached Bread and one bag Unbleached All Purpose every three or four months. Although it's a trip into Hamilton and you have to deal with all their one way streets, it's worth it.


They have other brands of flour but I found Dover a very good one. You could give them a call ahead of time (regular M-F biz hours) and ask them what brands they have in unbleached bread. Then you can research which kind is considered best before you visit.


Once you get there, walk into the office upstairs from the door at the furthest left side of the building, give the guy or woman your order.  Be SURE to note you want UNBLEACHED or they'll give your bleached by default. Then pay for your bags - cash is fine - then take the order sheet to the loading dock. They'll go fetch the bags and drop them off at the dock door. You then grab and walk them over to your car. 


They aren't Artisan Bread experts so don't expect much help from the office folks on what type of flour to get. They supply big bakeries so they deal a lot in mixes and bleached flour. The fact they have unbleached bread flour and will sell one or two large bags at wholesale prices to someone who just walks in for cash is the golden egg here.


They don't have a website nor answer emails. They are old school. And they're a little difficult to get to (Hamilton has weird streets). 


Traynor's Bakery Wholesale
191 Victoria Ave South
Hamilton, ON L8N 0A4


(905) 522-2730


Google: http://goo.gl/maps/9Env


Added: You might want to check with your Bulk Barn staff and see who makes the unbleached bread flour they put in the bins. Although they don't put brand names on the containers, they are not adverse to letting you know who's product it is. I believe that the bread flour may even be Dover brand. If so, then I'd say you have a good flour right there already. Just because it's bulk flour doesn't mean it is low quality. In any case, find out what you are getting before hunting for "better" stuff.


Happy baking,


Paul 
Yumarama


 

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Suggest you search out the recent thread on Toronto sources, where you'll find Grain Process Enterprises, 105 Commander Blvd. (Commander and McCowan).  They will have what you need.  King Arthur has no interest whatever in setting up operations in Canada; I asked.  Some high end grocery stores in the city are carrying La Milanese flours from Quebec: excellent.  SAF is being imported by a group in QC, but supply seems spotty as yet.  You might have to order it online.  Italian flours, Caputo for example, can be found in Italian markets in Woodbridge and Richmond Hill.


CJ

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I do all of my flour buying at bulk barn as well. I'd be interested in who their supplier is as well - I've been quite happy with the results so I never bothered to look further. I was buying 'Robin Hood Best For Bread Homestyle White Flour' until I found out it's bleached - the name would leave you to believe otherwise :) Bulk Barn's spelt (I think it's organic) is quite nice and makes a nice 'nutty' flavored loaf - I add a little to most of my sourdough loaves - I much prefer it over whole wheat.


If you're set on looking for better (aka more expensive) I did find the 'La Milanese flours from Quebec' at my local http://www.naturesemporium.ca/ be warned  - it's quite expensive - too rich for me!

Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

Wow!!


 


  Thanx guys!


    A few quick questions.  I like the recommendations so far.  I do not drive and was hoping to find something downtown.  Does anyone know of a place downtown I might be able to get high end flours?


  Concerning the bulk barn flour.  I have been having some weird issues with it.  I was thinking it was the flour.  For instance, I have 2 starters 1 whole wheat and one rye that are both very close to being ready.  If I take out a bit and feed it with the unbleached bread flour from bulk barn, it does nothing.  Will not increase in volume, it will get a bit bubbly. Even after a few days of feeding, nothing. I was thinking it was due to either the flour actually being bleached, or the protein is to high for the weaker wild yeast to rise it.

Thoughts?

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Is your wheat or rye starter doubling? What ratio are you feeding with the bread flour?

Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

Yeah both wheat and rye are doubling.  Feeding is usually 1 tbl old starter, 4 tbl flour, 2 tbl water. When I do this with the bread flour I get no action even after a couple of days.

Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

So i just found an ingrediant list for the unlbeached flour at bulk barn that I use.


 


  Wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid.


 


  Is there anything in there that I should be weary of?


 


  -D

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

All normal, its just enriched flour with vitamins/minerals.  Stay clear of "bromated" flours for sure.

Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

Well it seems the flour at the Bulk Barn I get it from actually comes from a place called New-Life Mills here in Ontario.  Does anyone know anything about this flour?


 


  Thank you in advance


 


    -D

iamonline's picture
iamonline

Canadians don't have to worry about bromated flour as it has been banned for years.


In addition, all flour sold in Canad is enriched with various vitamins and minerals as unenriched flour is prohibited from sale:


http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/inform/flofare.shtml

Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

Could it be these additives that is stopping this flour from making a starter?

I just baked my first loaf with this rye starter and it worked out no problem. This white flour seems to kill it though...

Hmmmm

-D

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

It's not the additives, I'm using similar flour milled in Ontario with no problems.

I started another starter about a month ago using bottled water, it was much quicker to get it bubbling, and the taste/smell was more mellow.

johnsankey's picture
johnsankey

The standard enriching additives are no problem for making starters, but a lot of other things are - many cheap flours have huge amounts of ascorbic acid and other things added. In Ottawa, I can get Robin Hood Traditional All Purpose in 10 kg bags for quite a bit less than Bulk Barn's equivalent, and it makes great breads. There's no replacement for Bulk Barn for all other kinds of flours though - see my blog at http://johnsankey.ca/bread.html


I do find that boiling the water before using it makes a big difference with starters or old doughs - Ottawa uses chloramines to kill yeasts in tap water; boiling deactivates them.


John


 

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Recently, I was contacted by the Toronto/GTA representative for CIPM, a certified organic grower and flour miller.  This is a pretty small operation in eastern Ontario, and, at the moment, their flour list is pretty short, but interesting:  Red Fife, Hard Red Winter Wheat, Rye, Spelt and Buckwheat.  All are available in 2.5 or 20 Kg bags.  The smaller amounts are packaged in old-time cotton sacks. Soft White Wheat and Hard White Wheat are in the works.  These flours are stone ground and pretty heavy in the bran department, so the usual procedures followed when using whole grain flours apply.  Preliminary tests show them to be of very high quality.  If you're interested, send me a message on the Forum or an email, and I'll forward the rep's contact information.  And, no, I'm not commercially connected to CIPM.

CJ

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I'd love to try WWW but haven't been able to find it (I'm just north of Toronto) is the CIPM flour going to be mail order? Did they give you any prices?

Jackie.

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Jackie,

Don't know about mail order.  The flours they do have right now are $6.00 per 2.5 kg bag.  Why not send me an email at info@marygbread.com, and I'll forward the rep's phone number.  His name is Kevin, and I'm sure he'll be able to answer your questions.

CJ

rzhou's picture
rzhou

I happened upon SAF Yeast at a Chinese grocery store this weekend, what a surprise find! I don't shop there often so I can't say if they have it all the time. But it is on the shelf now and priced at $4.99 for 1 LB, which is cheaper than what some online Toronto retailers offer. The grocery store is called Foody Mart in English, the address is:

355 Bamburgh Circle  Scarborough, ON M1W 3Y1
(416) 490-9890

It is in the Western food aisle.

 

Dough-No's picture
Dough-No

I actually have been buying yeast at the bulk barn and it has been great.  I have not noticed a difference to the SAF I used to buy.

banobin's picture
banobin

You can purchase la Milanaise and King Arthur flour at Summerhill market in Rosedale.