The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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bakerb's picture
bakerb

Hello...I'm looking for an organic farmer & miller in Michigan, I'd like to buy fresh-ground unbleached bread flour, locally.  I live in Bay City.  Tomorrow I'm headed south (Linden, Michigan) to Westwind Milling Company to try their products.  Does anyone know of another place?  Thanks!

tmac's picture

Organic vs Non-organic Flour

December 23, 2007 - 11:39am -- tmac
Forums: 

I have been baking a french baguette recipe with KA all purpose flour.  I need to bake some more for Christmas but could only find the KA organic all purpose at market today.  I would assume I can just substitute one for one between the two flours, but don't have the experience to say for sure.  I did note that the recipes for baguettes on the back of the sack is different from the one on the KA site for normal all purpose flour.

 Thanks for any help. 

 

mse1152's picture
mse1152

Hello,

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 is...um, well I think I liked...er, 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.

Sue

 

pumpkinpapa's picture

Harvest Moon Artisan Bakery in the Bruce Penninsula

March 11, 2007 - 7:13am -- pumpkinpapa

I've visited the Harvest Moon Artisan Bakery once every summer while on vacation in the Bruce penninsula here in Ontario. They built their reputation on their pies, wonderful fillings and great flaky crust. Plus so many savoury items, bread's, cookies, cakes etc. I can't say enough about them. They also have an organic herb garden and a heritage orchard on their property interspersed with trails and sculptures. A nice break from travels!

And I never have enough money to buy all the creations they lovingly prepare.

Caro_'s picture
Caro_

Hi, my name is Caro

I made indifferent bread from recipes for many years, until five years ago I took a year off work with chronic illness and started making bread almost every day, first as therapy, then out of fascination with being able to create something almost living, that was hand-made, creative, artistic and useful in my own small kitchen without any fancy equipment. After a while I didn't need recipes anymore, or even needed to measure much. I borrowed books from the library and read eveything I could about bread, moving on to master baker books. like 'Crust and Crumb" and even a manuel for building your own wood-fired oven.

Then, while on holiday in Scotland on the Isle of Iona, a local hotel needed a baker fast, mid-tourist season, and i stepped in, and worked there for a year, learning an enormous amount about baking on a larger scale and to a timetable.

I've been invoved in Bio-dynamic and Organic farming for many years and always use these ingredients, if I can. I'm not working in the food industry anymore but still bake all bread for home.

I live in Sydney, Australia, and would love to hear from anyone with the same interests or from Australia !

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