The Fresh Loaf

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Importing French flour -- who wants in?

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GlutenAficionado's picture
GlutenAficionado

Importing French flour -- who wants in?

Hi,

I am in discussions with 2 French importers about bringing organic French T65 flour to the U.S. Assuming I can get some (a big "if") and the price is acceptable, I could personally commit to 10kg/month of T65 and 10kg/month of the French equivalent of cake flour (BTW, does anyone know what that would be?) Getting any would become more feasible the more that gets ordered. That's where you come in.

If you could get it at a reasonable price, how much of which organic French flours (T55, T65, etc.) would you want one-time, and how much on an ongoing basis? Perhaps with my order there would be enough demand to motivate an importer to get some.

I hope I can get this thing off the ground, and will keep you posted. Please post her how much you need. Thanks!

Chris

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I might be interested, depending on the price, and more importantly, shipping! Where are you located? 

I'd consider 5kg per month of T55 or T65

 

rcmullins's picture
rcmullins

I am a hobby baker, can anyone tell me a bit about what is so special about this flour?

cranbo's picture
cranbo

See this thread about French and European flours for some relevant info about differences...

ehanner's picture
ehanner

There are a wide variety of flours available in France. Some are wonderful and some are awful, as reported by French bakers. The specification by it self is not a guarantee of premium Organic, unbleached product. Malt is also a consideration.

I suggest you obtain a bag of several types after looking carefully at what is being offered and test bake to see what you like first.

Eric

Patissier's picture
Patissier


Hi,

French flour will be expensive especially if it is organic. Here in Montréal Farinex (http://www.farinex.ca) import two of the best french flours. Retrodor    (T55) and Bagatelle (T65) the price is between 40 $ cn and 60 $ cn maybe more as the price grows up
The big difference with French Flour and American and Canadian flour  is the flavour of the bread and the proteins amount. It gives good taste but if you use what is call in north America Artisan bread made with winter wheat  you can have similar result especially if you add malt to enhance the flavour.

In France there is no cake flour, even pastry flour. What they call pastry flour is the equivalent to our bread flour but whiter (it is not bleached it is just a very short patent)and it is especially used for enriched dough and flaky paste for the other pastry dough they use T55.

But in the industry they have something smilar to the pastry flour that some mills can sell to baker it is called Farine biscuitier.  In north America we have all the flour for pastry and I don't think it will  be interesting to buy it from France.

Berry

Wileen's picture
Wileen

Hi.

I just learned about The Freshh Loaf.

I'm looking to buy French flour, not just for the difference in taste, but because it is much lower in gluten than American flour and I am sensitive (but loooove bread and a home baker).

What happened since the last reply on this string of replies (in June)? Please let me know if you were able to order the French flour.

Thank you!

 

 

 

3 Olives's picture
3 Olives

but it depends on the price. I'm pretty much sold on the European Style and Artisan Flours NY Bakers and Giusto's sell. I would pay a few more dollars/5 Lbs. to try tha French flour.

mido_mijo's picture
mido_mijo

I'm in but also depending on price. (I'm from California if that makes a difference)

yewshua's picture
yewshua

Hi:  I am also interested, depending on price and shipping. I am in Houston.

 

Thanks

Ann

GlutenAficionado's picture
GlutenAficionado

@rcmullins: Also check out these threads:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10182/french-and-american-flour-123-formula
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8066/great-baguette-quest-n%C2%B03-anis-bouabsa

@Eric: Good idea. I just requested that. Thanks.

@Patissier: Thank you very much for that information.

@cranbo: Maybe 5kg/month, got it.

@mido_mijo: Are you near the SF Bay Area?

 

GlutenAficionado's picture
GlutenAficionado

Remarkably, my local (San Francisco Bay Area) French market has the following in-stock:
    T55 organic, $8.50/kg, 1kg packs

I've also been able to find organic French flour for ordering in the U.S. The smallest quantity is 9lbs @~$1.70/lb + ~$1.70/lb for shipping. In the SF Bay Area I _may_ (don't know) be able to get the flour and/or shipping for less in bulk. Here's what they have. All are unbleached, unbromated, and milled in Normandy by artisan millers:

"Gruau" Wheat Flour - T45  -  France
    Gluten (protein) content: ~ 14%

Traditional Wheat Flour - T55
    Gluten (protein) content: unspecified

Organic Wheat Flour - T55
    Gluten (protein) content: ~ 10%

Organic Wheat Flour - T65
    Gluten (protein) content: ~ 10%

Organic Wheat Flour - T80
    Gluten (protein) content: ~ 10%

Organic Wheat Flour - T110
    Gluten (protein) content: ~ 10%

Organic Spelt Flour - T80
    Gluten (protein) content: ~ 10%

Organic Buckwheat Flour
    Gluten (protein) content: none (may contain traces)

Organic Rye Flour - T110
    Gluten (protein) content: none (may contain traces)

Wileen's picture
Wileen

Hi

I would really appreciate it if you can let me the contact information for your local French market.

I am in NYC and can't find anywhere that sells the French flour. Really want to be able to purchase the flour used in France.

 

 

GlutenAficionado's picture
GlutenAficionado

My local market is "The Gourmet Corner" in San Mateo, CA (http://www.thegourmetcorner.com). The owner is French. He orders from a NYC-based online resource (whose name I lost when my hard drive crashed), but doesn't mark it up much. The list of available flours is from that dealer and thus what the Gourmet Corner can order. If you're in NYC you'd best find the local dealer for shipping of course. I found a Canadian dealer (http://farinex.ca/alimentation/produits.php?numl=15#id_80) who will only ship to Canada (and wasn't super helpful). However they supposedly have "Retrodor" flour (http://www.retrodor.com) which is the basis of the most amazing baguette I've ever had by far bar none period.

Good luck!

ps: BTW The Gourmet Corner also has the _best_ yogurt: "Mamie Nova". He flies it in, and likely can't ship it.

pps: I won't be ordering flour for the group because shipping costs would be prohibitive and the amounts aren't enough. However this should provide you with a way to order some directly should you want. Happy baking!

vicoletti's picture
vicoletti

count me in- I am in Atlanta, hobby baker

Wileen's picture
Wileen

Thank you very much for the information!

I am going to contact The Gourmet Corner and see if they can give me the information on the New York supplier.

I wonder if Retrodor is also low in gluten content. I will check it out.

Also, what a great tip!-- I love good yogurt too! I'm definitely going to look into ordering some from them!

Thanks again!!

Happy baking to you too :)

vancares's picture
vancares

Thanks for setting up this thread.  I'm interested and would love to order depending on the price.  I'm from Seattle.  Thanks!

bakeshack's picture
bakeshack

This is the New York-based online distributor for the French T45, T55, and T65 flours as well as the French Gruau flour (High gluten).  I bought T55 and T65 from them a few months back.  These are organic flours milled by Arnaud andXavier Roupsard.  

http://www.lepicerie.com/catalog/product_137010_Organic_Wheat_Flour__T55.html 

You can order directly from them and shipping charges are same as if you order other types of flour online somewhere (which means expensive).  Cost per lb is about $1.20 - 1.40 depending on the size of the bag.  Personally, I was not impressed with this flour.  Flavor was good but it produces a very dense bread compared to CM and Giusto's flour.  

 

 

 

GlutenAficionado's picture
GlutenAficionado

bakeshack, you rock.

Thank you for finding that company -- indeed I remember that is the one from which my local guy buys his. Good to hear about the better ones, though. Sorry, here comes the newbie question: Which flour is "CM"? Also, which of their and Giusto's flours have you used to make baguette? Thanks!

bakeshack's picture
bakeshack

Thanks!  CM is Central Milling.  I use their Artisan Bakers Craft as well as their Hi Mountain (Hi Protein flour).  With Giusto's, I use their Golden Haven Organic Flour as well as their Artisan Unbleached Flour.  These are the lower protein bread flours from Giusto's which I use to make baguettes.  Before I ran out of the French T65 flour, I would mix it with the Artisan Bakers Craft or the Golden Haven flour (50/50).  

The texture of the crumb I get with the Giusto's and CM flours are unmatched in my opinion.  

 

 

Fin fin's picture
Fin fin

Still looking for the real French wheat flour T55, anyone heard of this http://www.lepicerie.com/Bread-Pastry-and-Specialty-Organic-French-Flours/

any suggest? 

nomulligans's picture
nomulligans

Did you ever figure out how to buy french flour in the US?  I'm in the Chicago area and interested in french flour.

nomulligans's picture
nomulligans

Interested in buying french flour.  Did you ever find out where and how?

GlutenAficionado's picture
GlutenAficionado

Viron, the French milling company that makes the flour used in the aforementioned "Retrodor" baguettes, now has a FDA number and exports directly to the U.S. They reached out to me and are looking for baking companies in the U.S. who would be interested. Minimum purchase is 17 tons of flour, so this wouldn't be for amateurs AFAICT.

Their new web site (mostly marketing, no product types listed as of 4/2014) is here: http://www.french-flour.com

Christopher