The Fresh Loaf

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Opinion on a few flours?

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cranbo's picture
cranbo

Opinion on a few flours?

So I've made a connection thru a local restaurant that should help me get access to bulk flours. I'm definitely going to buy 1 50lb bag of GM Harvest King Flour, but I'm interested on any opinions on the following flours:

  • Giusto All Purpose Enriched Unbleached Flour
  • Pendleton Power high-gluten
  • GM Rye Flour

Any feedback appreciated, thanks in advance folks. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I prefer the Giusto All Purpose Enriched Unbleached Flour over the King Arthur Sir Galahad Flour, which is an AP-like flour at 11.7%.

Giusto is usually more expensive, but I think that has less to do with quality than with distribution costs.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Thanks for the feedback thomas. 

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Some years ago I took a 4 hour course from Dan Leader.  He was trying out recipes from a new cookbook he was writing at the time, I think.  It was from him that I first learned how to make baguettes.  Anyway, during the course he told us that he uses Giustos exclusively.  If you like how his breads taste and can afford Giusto's flours, give them a shot. 

If you call them, Giustos will tell you the closest place to buy a smaller quantity than a 50lb bag.  I know that the Rainbow Market in San Francisco has their flours in bins.  I'd also be willing to split a 50lb bag with you.  I live in the metro NYC area.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Hi there,

I've never tasted Leader's breads, so I have no frame of reference, but thanks for the recommendation. I live in SoCal, so in terms of shipping costs, I don't know if it'd be worth it to you to split the bag, but if you're still interested I will look into it. 

Maverick's picture
Maverick

You can buy 5 lbs of Giusto flour on Amazon. It is eligible for their free shipping offer if you spend enough or have the prime thing. Also, I understand that Whole Foods 365 Organic All-Purpose flour is from Central Milling. It is their Organic Beehive Unbleached Malted All Purpose flour rebranded. Keith Giusto's mill is Central Milling, and Giusto Bakery supply (or something like that) is the distributor. I cannot say for sure that Giusto's flour is the same thing because I think the Giusto flour might mean it is from the Northern California "Giusto Vita-Grain" mill. I find it all very confusing. But I know Keith Giusto says the Beehive makes great baguettes. Plus, Acme bread gets their flour from Keith Giusto.

By the way, the Giusto all-purpose is called "Baker's Choice."

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I'm pretty sure Giusto's Vita-Grain is NOT the same as Central Milling. They are family-related, but  are 2 different companies. 

Keith Giusto is involved with Central Milling; Central Milling is actually in Utah, and Keith has a related supply office in Petaluma. See Central Milling's info sheet (PDF format). Keith used to work for Giusto's aka Giusto's Vita-Grain, but then spun off his own flour company. 

Giusto's Vita-Grain office is in South San Francisco, according to their web site.  It's not clear from the web site, but Fred and Al Giusto may still be involved in running that operation. 

You are correct; Acme now uses flour from Central Milling, but it used to use Giusto's Vita-Grain. See the Acme Bread Info page here

Easy to see the confusion: same family name, same general location (Bay Area), similar product field (flours). 

Good idea about the flour & Amazon, I may give that a try. 

 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

It might be worth your time (and $$$) to call some local health food stores as well.  Our local store carries several Giusto's Vita-Grain flours in bins, and will sell me 50# sacks at their retail price per pound (no discount for buying the whole sack).  Compared to buying 5# at a time and paying for shipping, it is still a decent but not excellent deal.

As for the flours, I've baked for most of a year now exclusively with Pendleton Mills "Power" and "Morebread" flours, and then just in the last couple of weeks with Giusto's Unbleached Artisan flour (12.7% protein).  I switched from KAF to Pendleton Mills Power (and to their Morebread [All Purpose] flour as well) last year when I found a local Cash and Carry where I could buy Power in 25# and 50# bags at about $.45 / pound (today's price).  They offer the Morebread flour at a similar (relative) price. 

I like the Pendleton Mills flours a lot and found that in my uses they performed comparably to the KAF flours on a point-in-time trial.  I did not compare them over time in side-by-side baking.  Then I recently tried some Giusto's Unbleached Artisan flour, and I found it exceptional.  The Pendleton Mills flour is very good, but it is drier (could be the fault of the C&C supply chain), and whiter, although it is unbleached for certain, and usually somewhat clumpy.  The clumps always break down by hand as a dough is mixed, but I do notice them nonetheless.  The Giusto's flour I have I ordered from NYBakers.com.  It is a silky soft flour with a rich, smooth "feel" under my hands, no clumps, and a beautiful creamy color.  In the two bakes I have done with it so far I have found the dough developed more quickly than the Pendleton flour, but not better than the Pendleton.  It has always taken a couple of extra folds to develop the Pendleton flour gluten.  Those extras are not needed with the Giusto's flour. 

When I made the switch to Pendleton Mills flours I concluded that my KAF results were not sufficiently better to warrant the 2.5x price premium it costs to buy the KAF flour at local retail stores.I'm going to seriously consider and shop for an acceptable price on the iusto's flour, and if I can find a price I can live with I will switch again.  If not, I'll buy some now and then as a treat and continue with my current selections.

Not a very technical review, but I hope it is of some help.
OldWoodenSpoon

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Thanks OldWoodenSpoon, just the kind of info I was looking for! I'll find out pricing tomorrow, so hopefully I will have a bag of "Power" in the future. 

bnom's picture
bnom

I used Pendelton high gluten flour some years ago...but I prefer the Pendelton Morbread flour.  The high gluten flour is about 14% protein and the Morbread is 11%.   I buy the Morbread in 50lb sacks from Cash n Carry.  

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Thanks for the feedback bnom

BakerTom's picture
BakerTom

I'm in San Jose, CA and after finding out that Costco was stocking Central Milling flour at some locations I called and asked them to stock in San Jose, which they did. They now stock Central Milling's Organic Beehive Unbleached Malted All Purpose flour - (labeled as Central Milling Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour) in two bundled 10lb. bags, as I recall for around $10 (don't quote me though). I just finished my first 20 lbs, all for standard sourdough and it performed really well. I'm going back tomorrow for another 20 lbs.

If you're a Costco member I'm sure you can get them to stock at your location as well. For anyone in Silicon Valley please go to the Senter store and buy lots of it so they'll keep stocking! :)

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I'm in SoCal, but it's worth a shot, I'm a Costco member and there is one close by. 

SCChris's picture
SCChris

cranbo, if you find anything or get a lead on CM or Guisto's flours in SoCal please post it..

 

Thanks

 

Chris

 

baybakin's picture
baybakin

If you e-mail central milling directly they can arrange for shipping for bags of flour (I spoke with them about it previously).  They may be able to provide you with the names of some bakeries near you that use their flour. 

If you find a bakery and ask them, they are usually pretty nice about piggybacking a bag of flour onto their order for you, granted you pay for it and pick it up from their location.

SCChris's picture
SCChris

Thanks

Chris

 

SCChris's picture
SCChris

Nicky Guisto provided me with David Dalzell's of the LA Bread Bakers Group contact information.  They were just finalizing an order for the group and I commited to 50#.

 

Thanks All

 

Chris

 

baybakin's picture
baybakin

Awesome!  I hope you like the stuff, good flour.