The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


mse1152's picture

The flour fairies were good to me today

December 16, 2007 - 2:30pm -- mse1152

Score!  I was shopping at Trader Joe's, and since I'm almost finished with my 50 pounds of flour I bought a while ago on an adventure with (Pyrex) Susan, I grabbed a bag of KA all-purpose flour to tide me over till I can make another mondo purchase.  At the register, the checker saw that the bag wasn't sealed (glue failure), so she had a guy fetch me another bag.  When he returned, he said he saw two other bags with bad seals on the shelf.  I offered to buy them at half-price, but the guy thought maybe that wouldn't fit with the store's POLICY, so I blew it off.  Th

expatCanuck's picture

A good flour primer?

October 29, 2007 - 10:20am -- expatCanuck

Greetings -

Can folks recommend a good primer/FAQ on flour, as well as some recommended sources?
(I live in Brookline, MA, a Boston suburb.)

I've been using King Arthur for my white bread and Arrowhead Mills for my whole wheat, but if there's better for a comparable price to be had, I'd welcome knowing about it. I'm certainly willing to buy 20 lbs. or so to keep the cost down.


- Richard


subfuscpersona's picture

Grain prices to rise due to poor harvests

August 24, 2007 - 7:36am -- subfuscpersona

Bakers and home millers might want to stock up on grain now, as weather problems have significantly reduced the projected wheat harvest. Eventually this will be reflected in consumer prices. Grain keeps well and does not require special storage conditions beyond a cool, dry place. IMHO, any non-white flour should be refrigerated or frozen to preserve flavor.

ryaninoz's picture

Grey Flour?? and Poilane in Paris

August 6, 2007 - 7:10am -- ryaninoz

This relatively recent article discussed Poilane's use of 'grey flour', how good it is for you, etc. Along with thoughts that steam injection is a relatively 'new' invention for us in bread baking and the 'old' french breads did not use this 'technology'...

kevala's picture

Buying Flour in Turkey

July 15, 2007 - 8:22am -- kevala

I'm currently staying in Turkey and would like to do some bread baking while I'm here. It's my understanding that at least some of the flour sold here is excellent for making breads like baguettes or like the everyday crusty Turkish white bread. Many different flours are sold at the grocery store near my adopted apartment here in Istanbul, but I'm not sure what to look for. What protein content, grind, ingredients, etc should I go for? Does anyone know a particular brand that's especially good? Any guidance or information would be much appreciated!

mse1152's picture


There are a few of us living in San Diego. Susan (of upside down Pyrex bowl cloche fame) and I (of no particular fame that we can talk about here) have gotten together a couple of times. Last week, we did a field trip to a place called Lakeside Poultry that no longer sells poultry (???), but does sell restaurant supplies, including 50 pound bags of flour. Susan bought a bag of Gold Medal Harvest King, and I bought a bag of Eagle Mills organic bread flour (from ConAgra, not exactly your old time mill).

I have been using Bob's Red Mill flours for years, so I decided to do a side-by-side bakeoff, making one loaf of sourdough from Bob's (BRM) and one from the new Eagle Mills (EM) flour. BRM is organic unbleached flour with a protein percentage of 11.75. The EM flour has 11 percent. Neither is malted. I used the recipe I've posted earlier here, except I used all unbleached flour in the sponges. I started a sponge for each batch of dough with one teaspoon of my 100% hydration white starter, created from the BRM flour. Due to yet another brain lapse, I neglected to photograph the sponges. For the record, BRM looked a bit more robust, thicker, but both had very good bubble populations. Here are pics of the two doughs just after the initial mix (BRM is on the left):














I did four stretch and folds, with 45 minutes between each (and before the first one), for a total fermentation time of about four hours. Both doughs were a bit tacky, and the EM dough rose a little more throughout than the BRM. After the fourth S&F, the dough rested for about 25 minutes before shaping. The BRM dough looked and felt smoother after shaping, as seen here (BRM on the left):


The loaves rested 30 minutes after shaping, then went into the oven at 425F (convection). I poured boiling water into a cast iron pan at (well, almost) the same time. I wasn't happy with the look or feel of the BRM loaf; it didn't take the scoring well, and the knife just dragged through the dough. It was also flatter looking than the EM. But the oven spring fairies were on duty! Here's the BRM loaf:















And the EM loaf:
















I haven't used that center slash before, and I think I like it better than 2 or 3 diagonal ones. Both loaves had very good oven spring and color. They had decently open crumb for a 65% hydration bread.

Here's the BRM crumb:















And the EM:
















So I'm not seeing much difference so far, are you? The biggest difference is the price; I order the organic Bob's Red Mill flour online, and the shipping doubles the cost of the flour ($12.00 for 20 lb. of flour plus $14.00 shipping). The 50 pound bag of Eagle Mills cost just over $18.00. Duh...

After all this, how did they taste? Well, in a side by side tasting, the clear winner, well I think I, uh, actually, they tasted very similar! And this is actually good news, because I don't have to spend so much on flour anymore.

It was a fun experiment, and I was even able to keep track of which dough blob was which throughout the whole thing.



xabanga's picture

Rye flour substitute

June 25, 2007 - 7:47pm -- xabanga

What would be a good rye flour substitute for a sourdough bread recipe. I've got a family member who does not like the taste of rye. Would substituting the rye for whole wheat or spelt flour affect the dough and the baking? (ie: amount of water, etc.)

Thanks for any insight!

cupcake's picture

trying to find a german make of flour that I can't recall the name of but which made fabulously squishy and tasty bread. it was something like "kroeks" or "criuks" and was bought in a sainburys a couple of years back. Can anyone help before I have to have insane conversation with supermarket manager. thanks

rideold's picture

Rocky Mountain Milling - anybody order from them?

June 13, 2007 - 9:01am -- rideold

Has anyone here ordered flour from Rocky Mountain Milling?  I saw three posts that mention their flour and I have a second hand recomendation for their products but nothing more tangible.  I was wondering how they are to work with as well as how their flour is.  I'm in Boulder so the proximity is attractive.


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