The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ingredients (Flour/Grain)

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Steve H's picture
Steve H

Ingredients (Flour/Grain)

I'd love to find a store that sells a great selection of flour, preferably in larger quantities, like 5 pounds or maybe 25 pounds for a staple like bread flour.  Living in DC, I'm able to get just about anything I want, but many times they are in small packages and expensive.  For example, I can find a rather pricey 2# bag of spelt (I think it was about $5-6) or even Teff flour at a local egyptian grocer.  There aren't any farms in the area; the closest spelt seems to be north of harrisburg, which would be a long trip.  Shipping flour is quite expensive; for example a $30 bag of 25# of spelt is like $11 to ship and ends up being a better, but not exactly great price at ~$1.60/lb. and 25# of flour is a lot to keep around of kind of flour for an individual baker.


Any ideas on where I could get a good selection of specialty flour in semi-bulk packaging?  I love this sourdough spelt recipe but at $7/loaf its a bit steep to justify making all the time :)

suave's picture
suave
ericb's picture
ericb

I don't live in DC, but perhaps there's a nearby restaurant supply store that will sell to you. In my town, there's a terrific store that carries fresh produce and exotic ingredients for all the high-end restaurants. They open a few hours each day for the general public. Their prices are always below retail, including their flour.


Anyway, if you're having trouble finding a restaurant supply store, try calling around to bakeries to see where they buy their flour. Some people have even suggested that small bakeries will sell you a few pounds of flour out of their stock. I've never had the guts to actually ask, but it might be worth a try.

patishaffer's picture
patishaffer

How far are you willing to travel? There is a Bakery Supply near Columbia MD just off I95. You will have to call for price and availability. They don't sell in half quantity but do sell to the public. You may want to find someone to share with. I work in Baltimore but live and bake my stuff in PA. I am doing a Farmer's Market at the moment and hope to get more going. Depending on what you are looking for, I may be interested in splitting some things if you don't mind driving to Essex, MD


.http://www.grruhl.com/products.html

laellis's picture
laellis

Wow, I'm so excited and so glad that you listed George Ruhl and Sons web address.  I just purchase 50 lbs of KA Sir Lancelot and have lost my source for bulk items.  I'm in Carroll County MD and needed a new local source.  I can't wait to call and get their public hours.


I have some bagels rising at the moment, yesterday I made the Buttermilk Bunch along with a Country Rye loaf of bread.  


I love the Fresh Loaf and everyones Fresh knowledge and information.  Keep it coming.  

patishaffer's picture
patishaffer

Their public hours are 9-1 Monday thru Friday. You don't live far from me. I live in New Freedom, PA so if you ever need anything I do have a good bit of flour on hand. I have been grinding my own wheat too. I am trying to get a small bakery going selling at markets and wine festivals. I love this site also, I have learned so much!!!

Steve H's picture
Steve H

Thank you for all the advice.  I think these places are all a bit too far to be cost-effective for now.  I also need to make sure I am not buying too much and risking these things going stale or rancid.  I'm still looking into CSAs and what might be available.  Cheap spelt might be out of my reach for now.