The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourcing local flour

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lindyc's picture
lindyc

Sourcing local flour

I'm curious about flour in the US and whether there are many small mills around that mill quality / organic flour and sell locally.


There is a lot of discussion on this site about which flours are best and which are suited to particular breads but most people seem to be buying flour from very large companies (even the much discussed quality King Auther flours now sell to 50 states as their website says). I also noticed this thread comparing supermaket flours and the conclusion that most of the different brands actually come from 1 or 2 very large companies! It may be the cynic in me but is this perhaps done to give the allusion of 'market choice' where there is actually none?


There also seems to be a lot of people that mill there own flour at home. Is there any middleground? Mill at home or buy flour mill from huge commercial mills?


I live in a regional part of Victoria, Australia and recently found a very good flour that is milled only half an hour away in a tiny speck of a place (globally speaking) called Clunes. The flour is Powlett Hill Biodynamic Stoneground wheat flour and it has a gorgeous flavour. I also use an organic plain breadmaking flour from South Australia.


 


 


 


 


 

jdorf's picture
jdorf

http://www.findthefarmer.com


Stone-Buhr (http://www.stone-buhr.com) is the only major flour brand with transparency back to the farmer.


You are correct that most family flour packages are made by Cargill and ADM....

nova's picture
nova

Lindley Mills about 30 miles from my house is the mill that grinds KA flours.  I can and do purchase my unbleached bread flour, high gluten and All Purpose from them.  All these flours are organic and use grain that is either grown in state (soft wheat) or shipped in.  We may also purchase the grain as well.  I count myself lucky to be able to have a quality mill so close.


One of the big issues being discussed in the Sustainable Agriculture movement, thruout the States is discovering and growing, once again, wheat locally.  There are several grain trials going on where heirloom old wheats are being tested for disease resistance as well as acceptable baking production by the bakers.  The effort is really global, since many of the wheats we used to grow, 100 years ago, have been lost.  There are grain seed banks in Europe that are sending seed grains to the US.  What is sent is supposed to be similar genetically to the grain strains grown previously in a specific area.  The grains that used to be grown were brought in by the immigrant groups that settled in the various US regions.  It is an exciting period to be connected to the resurgence of interest in bread baking at home and at the artisan level.


nova


 

genem5329's picture
genem5329

Nova, I too purchase my flour from Lindley Mill.  I live on the coast in a small town called Winnabow, about a 4 hour drive but worth every mile.  I love their flour, the best I have ever tried and the least expensive.  Didn't know they ground for KA. The laughs on me.  I wrote KA and told them I thought their flour was too expensive and that I could buy better flour for half the price from my local mill.  I'm surprised because I get a much better rise out of Lindley Mill flour than KA flour,  Hmmm!  That is strange.  Lindley Mill has a very nice list of products including White Spelt, Rye berries and hard wheat berries.  They say that most of their flour originates locally in NC.


Gene

nova's picture
nova

Gene,


I am thinking that the flour we buy in the Lindley Mill bags may be blended differently than the KA.  All the KA brands would be available to us (maybe?) if we bought in 50 lb bags.  You know, the lancelot, galahad and Guinevere brands....I know when I have looked at their price list and never see the KA listings....of course, what we buy is also what the local coops stock and organic bakers use.


I have never used KA, due to the cost, especially when the Lindley flours are so much cheaper in bulk.  I use their rye berries, hard winter wheat and soft berries for milling and sprouting.  Glad to hear someone else also enjoys their products.  The way I found out they did KA was when I attended the Bread Flour meeting in Ashville, this past March and Joe Lindley was at the meeting.  Really a lovely guy.  He is a 9th generation miller...the mill was started about 1750!


nova


 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I found the Hudson Cream line of flours at a local supermarket, Dillon's, here in Leavenworth, KS. The supermarket carries bleached and unbleached all purpose, unbleached bread, self-rising and a whole wheat flour.


While I "bricked" the honey whole wheat loaf recipe today, the other times I used the product have been good. Even with my lack of experience, I rolled out a fine pizza crust first time out with the bread flour.


The flours are priced competitively for this area at $2.39 for five pound bags. They are produced by the Stafford County Flour Mill in Hudson, KS.

tcleves's picture
tcleves

Hi Lindy,


Sorry to be a little of topic but I just posted previously to you on the Ingredients thread of TFL. You and I are both searching for the best flour we can use to make bread. I think you are a little ahead of me, but I'm confident that I'll find what I'm looking for.


Its funny that you are in the state of Victoria in Australia while I'm in the city of Victoria in Canada. I guess we have a long dead queen to thank for that!


Anyway, I have a loaf of bread baking right now. It won't be the best bread I've ever made but it will be a lot better than anything I can buy and I'm working on making it the best.


Tim