The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Buying flour from a bakery

pjkobulnicky's picture

Buying flour from a bakery

This is question for the professional bakers out there or from others who have experiences.

I have, from time to time, been successful in buying hard to get flours from local bakeries. But I am wondering what the general feeling is regarding the right way to approach a bakery if you have not bought flour from them before. I always try to include in my purchase some of the bakeries products so I am not seen as just taking advantage of them,  I never ask about the price since they have to make a profit even on flour, and i usually try to ask the baker instead of a clerk (all the better to talk bread and get shown around the bakery). Any other thoughts to make this a positive experience?

JoeV's picture

Since we are both from Ohio (I'm from Mentor) we share a wonderful resource in the Amish Community. I buy specialty flours from B&R Bulk Foods in Middlefield, Ohio, and their prices are below what I can buy in the grocery stores. An example is 25# of Montana Sapphire for $.49 per pound, which is $2.50 less than a 25# bag at Giant Eagle. I also buy whole wheat, spelt and all-purpose flour at similar savings, as well as coarse grind cornmeal at $.30 per pound. If I want something that they don't have on the shelf, they can order virtually any flour that the mills produce from their supplier. They package all their flours at whatever size you want, from 1# on up. I also get my 18" bread bags for free form Italian loaves from them, at $2.98 per 100 bags. I bought two packs the last time I was there.

Every Amish Community has places that cater to their own, and most will sell to the general public. A little research is all it takes to find where these stores are at. This way you are not inconveniencing the local bakery.

I buy in bulk because I give away lots of bread and donate to events at my church. Two weeks ago I made 30 loaves in one day for two church events.

24 loaves of Italian:

Honey Whole Wheat bread and rolls:


Sorry to get windy, but I tend to err on the side of giving more information if I have it.

nbicomputers's picture

when working i never would refuse a request for something that was hard to get in a store. i would say call early in the morning not to early cause we get busy from 2 to 7 am getting things ready but if you call arount 7 or 8 in the morning and ask to speak directly to the baker and tell them that you are making an old family formula that has been handed down and you need to use smoething called.... do you know what that is and can i buy some from you if you have it cause i cant find it anyware and nobody i talk to knows what it is eather.

another way is to just saythat you need a pound of and cant find it in a stor would you sell some to me.

i would give people things like freash yeast or bakers bran all the time because i know it is hard to find. and once in a while the person would bring mw a taste of there baking and from one cook to an other i would to sample other peoples cooking and baking it would give me ideas for new products or ways to improve a formula i was using.

sometimes thay would give me the formula  also.

it never hurts to ask the worst thing that could happen is thay say no.

boilerbaker's picture

Rye berries look like wheat berries, an elongated grain, skinnier than barley kernels. Lorna Sass has written an excellent book, Whole Grains, Everyday, Every Way.  Look for it at your local library to real more about rye and other grains.  The back of the book gives sources. I ordered 45 lb of rye berries through our local Great Harvest Bread Co. Check the internet for other sources, as I am sure you can mail order smaller quantities. 

Deonia's picture

Thanks boilerbaker, for the response. I have never heard them called "berries" before so that kinda threw me. I will pick up Sass's book and check it out. Thanks again for the info.