The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from Canada

StefBreck's picture
StefBreck

Hi from Canada

Hi, I'm from Ontario Canada and am just starting to acknowledge my secret love for artisan bread baking.  Growing up we had a bread machine whose loaves I always felt proud of (because you know, we were -baking- our own bread) but since then I've tried dabbling in yeasts and wild starters. 


I just acquired Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread Book and am really excited to learn and try everything I can or at least as much bread as my family can take. I'm looking forward to contributing to the bread baking community.

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

Greetings from K-W.  Where in Ontario are you?

StefBreck's picture
StefBreck

I'm in Oakville.

Adelphos24's picture
Adelphos24

I'm in the London area. Good to see other bakers from S/W Ontario.

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Burlington here...

Grumpster's picture
Grumpster

Niagara Falls, Ont

arzajac's picture
arzajac

Moved to Kingston, Ontario from Montreal two years ago...


 

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I'm in Montreal, and have been for most of my life.  There were three years in Dublin Ireland, but Montreal is home.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I don't know if I've ever mentioned here that I was born in Montreal.  My folks lived on Nuns' Island.  I've lived on the West Coast of the US since I was two, but I did get things straightened out last year so I have dual American/Canadian citizenship.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

And this small world keeps getting smaller on the 'net.  I knew there was something about this site that kept bringing me back:  a fellow Montrealer.

StefBreck's picture
StefBreck

I just went to Ireland this year and absolutely loved it!  I envy your Dublin living.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

...a lot since I lived there, but we were back in 2005 for a visit and the rest of the country is the same beautiful place.  I found Dublin to be very crowded and very expensive this time 'round.  I lived on the north side, near the Phoenix Park, where I ran a coffee shop in the Dublin Zoo; this was over forty years ago.

StefBreck's picture
StefBreck

I know what you mean by expensive. I went in May so crowds weren't too bad at all. It's such a gorgeous island.

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

Just wondering if anyone knows of any great suppliers or has any favorite bakeries in Ontario?

Bella's picture
Bella

Also from Southern Ontario!


I would be interested in knowing some Canadian resources for supplies such as bannetons too. (And if they had free shipping... that would be even better!)

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

... other than Robin Hood, Five Roses or Monarch which are all owned/produced by Shmuckers' Foods. I'm getting mighty tired of paying $11 for a 10kg bag of "national brand" bread flour. Someone somewhere around here must sell larger bags at better prices.

ejm's picture
ejm

Pretty irritating, isn't it? What gets me is that Smuckers is making decisions about what we want (ha) based on what's more profitable for them. Five Roses dark rye and unbleached bread flours have been discontinued since Five Roses moved their headquarters to Smuckers. It's my suspicion that Five Roses will soon disappear entirely. Sad state of affairs.


I just bought a 10kg bag of "no name" unbleached all-purpose flour for $8.49 at our 'no frills' store.


I haven't yet made the treks yet, but Brant Flour Mills Ltd. near Brantford and Grain Process Enterprises Ltd in Scarborough (115 Commander Blvd) look promising. Unfortunately, Brant Flour Mills do not list their prices on their site and Grain Process Enterprises Ltd. do not have a website at all.


-Elizabeth, in Toronto


P.S. Also, take a look at Mariana's reply to the thread "Rye flour in Toronto".

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Fortunately, the Loblaws yellow "no name" also comes in the 20kg size and goes (now) for about $12 so that's still pretty decent. But to pay twice that for a half size bag of bread flour is very bothersome. And it's not like there is a good variety of brands available, it's either the three Big Names mentioned above or the house brands which usually just come in bleached or unbleached AP. Although I've noted Duncan Hines also being sold at Sobeys but they don't sell a "bread" variety.


There's a definite dearth of bread flours available in this country which is really appalling since Canada produces a HUGE amount of flour and ships it worldwide.


Costco only sells bleached AP in two brands: Robin Hood "bakery" - which I assume is same as store type but plain brown bags - and Duncan Hines.


I'll have to check Bulk Barn tomorrow and see what they have and how much it runs per kilo.

ejm's picture
ejm

Bulk barn flour is more expensive per kilo than most places - or at least it was when I last checked.


You get Loblaws yellow no-name flour in 20kg bags? I thought 10kg was the largest. That is the kind of flour we are getting: yellow no-name unbleached all-purpose. At our local no-frills store, 10kg is $8.49. At our local Loblaws, 10kg is $12.00.


I agree that it is disgraceful that we have so much difficulty getting bread flour here, considering that so much wheat is grown in Canada AND that strong flour is called "Manitoba flour" in Europe. It's just wrong, isn't it?


-Elizabeth

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Hi, no, I mis-spoke/wrote. They're 10k bags for about $12 at Fortinos. I guess I had the 10k = 20-some pounds number running in my head. 

supersonix's picture
supersonix

If you are in the Toronto area you can get Dover strong unbleached bread flour in 20kg bags from MVR cash and carry for around $15.  It's the best deal I could find for bread flour. 


MVR is located in the weston/steeles area.  Here is the google map link:


http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=mvr+cash+and+carry&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=37.871902,68.291016&ie=UTF8&ll=43.77977,-79...


 


 


 


 


 

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I've checked goldaskitchen.com and she doesn't have bannetons either; that's the only Canadian outlet that I know of, though specialty kitchen shops may carry them.  There's one here in Montreal called Ares that seems to have almost everything.

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

I get organic flour from Oak Manor Farms (between Kitchener & Stratford).  Call ahead (519-662-2385) as they have a small retail shop and occasionally have a limited selection.  Anyone know where to find an Electrolux DLX in Ontario?

supersonix's picture
supersonix

I live in toronto and bought a DLX about 6 months ago but had to order it from the US as I could not find a Canadian retailer or distributer that sold it unfortunately.

damnbaker's picture
damnbaker

Hi, I'm from Toronto too.  Just starting to make my own bread and am looking to pick up an Electrolux DLX (after I take my Cuisinart 7qt back to Sears).  Supersonix, where did you purchase yours from?  Did you have any problems with duty/customs getting it delivered?


Thanks,



Sean

cordel's picture
cordel

There is a little town north of London, called Arva, that has a flour mill where they mill and sell flour and other grain products. We always stop there when we visit London and pick up our supply of flours and grains. If you drive right up Richmond street, and continue on Hwy 4, you can see the mill from the road.

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

I believe they used to have a website... this map gives the street address.  I have bought from them as well.  Nice folks.

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I just bought a 20kg bag of unbleached hard white from Arva for $21.25 taxes in.


I believe the 10kg bags are about $12 there.  Also they sell 50kg bags and if you buy 5 or more there is a small discount.


It's amazing how quickly I can go through a 50lb bag of flour.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I've been buying it at Loblaw's for a few months now, unbleached, $7.49 for a 5kg bag and I usually buy two at a time.  It's very good for bread, and whatever else I bake that doesn't call specifically for pastry flour.  I've never tried the store brand, but I may in the New Year.  I haven't seen a 10 kg bag of any kind of flour for less than $15 in Montreal!

cordel's picture
cordel

I have used Weston's flour and been quite happy with it.

arzajac's picture
arzajac

When I lived in Montreal a few years ago and Weston's flour came on the market, it was super cheap and I bought a few bags.  It worked well.  A little while later, I bough more and was less impressed.


I've noticed that the supply as well as the prices for Westons fluctuate more so that with other brands;  sometimes there are no bags on the shelf for long periods of time and then all of a sudden they have a crazy sale.  I wonder if they get all their flour from the same supplier.


That being said, the last time I bought a bag of Westons, it made some great bread.  Since then, I have tried a few different white and whole wheat flours from health food stores.  Most of them buy from Grain Process Enterprises and the supply and prices are relatively constant.  It's good flour.  I particularly like the stone ground organic flour.  I can also get local organic whole wheat flour from health food shops, which is too expensive, but good.


I use the 10 Kg bags of no-name unbleached AP flour at No-Frills for $8.79 (was a few dollars more a few onths ago).  I find their flour really fresh.  It makes excellent french bread.  There is a great turnover of these bags.  I assume the number printed on the top of the bag is the day of the year that it was bagged.   If I'm right, there's a two month shelf-life before purchase which is almost constant.


 

ejm's picture
ejm

With regards to Arva and Oak Manor, do any of you know how much (approx) per kilo do they charge for unbleached all-purpose and dark rye?


-Elizabeth

KM's picture
KM

Hey,


I've finally found someone from my neck of the woods! Unfortunately I am moving to Netherlands this weekend, but plan to keep baking bread there, once I find a new source of flour.


I have had recommendations of the bread flour from Grain Process in Scarborough, which you can buy in up to 25kg bags. I did plan a trip, but never made it. I know this is the source of the bulk bread flour in Whole Foods Oakville, so it might be worth trying out a small amount before you make the trip.

kitteny's picture
kitteny

Having lived in the Netherlands, you will find it difficult to find good quality flour as grocery stores aren't the same there as here, they're way smaller. However, they don't make mass produced bread there so there's a bakery on every corner and each grocery store has their own bakery as well. If you're looking for flour, finding a good health food store is your best bet. Where in the Netherlands are you moving?

KJM's picture
KJM

Sorry for the delayed response. Computer got packed up 31st Dec, arrived last week and we just got back on internet. I am living just north of The Hague. No baking yet, until shipment arrives at end of month, but I have noticed flour only available in 1kg bags in local grocery stores. Does anyone have any specific places I could go looking?


Thanks


K

Jw's picture
Jw

K, you get your flour in Holland at .. a windwill (working one).


If you know a bit of Dutch:
http://www.molendatabase.nl/nederland/


I found this one in Zoetermeer:
http://www.molendehoopzoetermeer.nl/molenwinkel/de-molenwinkel
http://www.molendehoopzoetermeer.nl/fotoalbum for pictures


In Leiden go to http://www.kortenoord.nl


I get my flour in Weesp
http://www.weespermolens.org/vriendschap.htm 


Usually the volunteers working there have a few recipes as well.  


Maybe a 'reformwinkel' in Den Haag has flour as well. Today I was in an Albert Heijn store downtown DH, they had flour in 2kg bags (with yeast and sunflower already in it).


 Succes! Groeten, Jw.

kitteny's picture
kitteny

That's a brilliant idea (and you can be pretty sure it's stone ground too!). When I lived there I bought mine at Ekodis Natuurmarkt; they had big 20kg bags for sale.

KJM's picture
KJM

Thank you so much for these suggestions. I really really appreciate the time taken finding me the links.


Dutch will start next week when I start my first class!


K

Jw's picture
Jw

Then please translate some of the bread baking terminology for me later...
succes ermee. Jw.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

The bread is brought in from Germany every day. The Dutch don't do their own bread baking. We lived in Groningen in the NE corner of the country. I gave up trying to bake  bread when we lived there. The bakeries were so well stocked and everything was so good. The Dutch do  sometimes make their own cakes and cookies at home so you can try that instead. Speculaas cookies are so good. Also apfel kuchen. I have a couple recipes if you would like I can type them in. A neighbor gave them to me when we lived there. Caroline

KJM's picture
KJM

I would love these recipes. I have noticed lots of apple baked goods so am keen to try and bake some myself. Currently I am trying to work though the breads at my local bakery, one shelf at a time, to find one I really like.


Thanks for your help,


K

Patf's picture
Patf

...of types of wheat flour and bread. One of the great things about this forum, every nation seems to have bread as the basic food. And it varies according to the type of wheat grown there.


How much of the land in Holland is given over to growing wheat? It's only a small country, so there can't be much. We visited once, and loved the Dutch people.

Jw's picture
Jw

About Holland: in 2006 30% of Holland was used for agriculture (approx 1 million ha, another 30% is grassland. A quarter of the agriculture land is used for wheat, mostly in the provinces Zeeland and Groningen (source is CBS, nat. stats. office).

I would guess that most wheat is importorted from France or Poland. Will ask at the mill next time.


Groeten,
Jw. (who is very, very Dutch, but lived in Hoosier country for a year as a student. Great bread at the Amish there, much liked in Switzerland here).

cdnDough's picture
cdnDough

FYI, I've started a new thread with a listing of Ontario supplies.

jembola's picture
jembola

I just posted a comment under the new thread about Merrylynd Organics (Lakefield/Peterborough) but also thought I'd mention that I've had great success with President's Choice Organic unbleached all purpose flour.  Not sure where it comes from but it does say Product of Canada.  I used to swear by the organic WW President's Choice (when I did a lot of breadmaker bread) but they must have switched suppliers because the texture changed and it had a lot of sharp bits of bran or chaff in it.  Maybe it's better now; I haven't bought it for a couple of years.  In any case, the price is very good for organic flour.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I must say I wasn't impressed by the PC ww flour either; there were way too many sharp bits in it and the bread had a very hard time rising.  I've since switched to the NO NAME ww flour, but still buy the Weston unbleached white flour.

ejm's picture
ejm

I buy No Name unbleached all-purpose and have been pretty happy with the results from it. But I am unimpressed by No Name whole wheat flour - not enough protein (or at least that was the case some years ago). Since then I have been buying 10kg bags of Five Roses OR Robin Hood ww - whichever is the lower price at the time. 


However, since learning that both Five Roses and Robin Hood are now owned by Smucker Foods, I'm planning to look around again.


It's just a guess but I suspect that both PC and NO NAME flour may be Weston. Because aren't they all run by Weston?


-Elizabeth

ejm's picture
ejm

That's the trouble with President's Choice. I don't think there is really any quality control. I sometimes suspect that the President is making choices based on lowest price rather than best quality, even though the company claims otherwise.


(offtopic: We used to buy President's Choice mango ice cream. It was fabulous. And then suddenly it wasn't fabulous because they changed suppliers. And surprise, surprise, it wasn't even available at our store any more because nobody was buying it.)


-Elizabeth

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

If you can get it in your area; it's made in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and is the best ice cream I've ever had.  As for the flour, all flour has to come up to Canadian standards, I gather, to be sold here, and it is possible that Weston might be from the Loblaw's company, I'm just not sure.

Bella's picture
Bella

Yes, the Westons own PC, No Frills, No Name, Weston and probably a whole host more different labels but I am sure that most are from different suppliers.


On another note.. they might not be a bad family to marry into!

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I'm from Aurora, Ontario. I've been looking/googling bannetons for weeks now and can't find anything. Did anyone else have any luck?


Thanks.