The Fresh Loaf

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King Arthur equivalent in Canada

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tcleves's picture
tcleves

King Arthur equivalent in Canada

I have moved from the USA to Victoria, BC. Its beautiful here and I love it. However, I haven't been able to source King Arthur bread flour. I'm buying a bread flour from the local bulk food store. Its OK but not great. I've looked at the Robin Hood bread flour but its bleached. I'm really trying to find an outstanding organic white bread flour. Does anyone have any suggestions. I'm on Vancouver Island.


Thanks,


Tim

deblacksmith's picture
deblacksmith

It is a long way from you but I bought a 20 Kg  bag of very good Unbleached Hearth Bread Flour made by Dover Flour in Waterloo, Ontario.  They call it Olympus Unbleached.  Dover Flour has mills in Acton, Ontario, Cambridge, Ontario, Halifax Nova Scotia, Montreal, Oubec and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.   This is a high protein flour and makes very good bread.  It is very strong at 14 precent.  For some bread you might need to mix it with a lower percentage flour like Robin Hood, unbleached AP flour.  While Dover Flour is a national brand, I think they are selling mostly to bakeries etc.  My normal flour has been KAF Bread Flour but I like this one better.  As far as I know I can't get this Dover Flour here in the states.


I happen to find it at a bulk food store in Waterloo because I have a son, his wife and two grandkids that live there.  He teaches at the University of Waterloo.


Dover Flour's website is    www.dovergrp.com 


Good luck with your search for a  good bread flour, you should have it somewhere -- since Canada has some of the best wheat in the world.


Dave


 

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I buy Weston's unbleached all-purpose when I can afford it, but lately I've been getting the store brand unbleached all-purpose.  It's Canadian and therefore has to come up to the standards set by the Canadian Wheat Board and makes super bread.  Five Roses makes unbleached bread flour as well; you should be able to find that, and there's also Rogers Flour, though I've never tried that.  I'm in Montreal.

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Welcome to the island, Tim! Rogers bread flour is unbleached and sold in most grocery stores. Double-check the Robin Hood brand. To my knowledge, they don't sell a bleached bread flour, only bleached all purpose. Anita's flours are all organic. Their all purpose works reasonably well for bread. Starting to be available in groc stores, but for sure at Lifestyle Markets on Douglas. Don't overlook Millstream flour products. I especially like their stoneground wholewheat, sold in small bags at Thrifty Foods. Nunweiller's hammer-milled products from Sask. also sold locally. http://www.nunweilersflour.com/


Have you found the Real Canadian Wholesale store yet? 545 Viewfield Rd. in Esquimalt. They carry some of the above in regular sizes and have discount prices on most foodstuffs. Flour and other baking ingredients in bulk sizes. In bread flour, they sadly do not carry the 20K bags of Robin Hood Keynote 45, which is probably what you want for KA equivalent. But they do have Keynote 39, which is great for pizza.


I'm not affiliated with Real Cdn, btw. They're pretty much the only game in town with decent prices for regular retail sales and small food business needs. Check out suppliers in Vancouver or Seattle when you visit there.

tcleves's picture
tcleves

I really appreciate the info. I'll check out Real Canadian Wholesale next time I go over to the Fol Epi bakery.


I've been going to the For Good Measure bulk food store that seems to cary a decent selection. I've asked them to see what's available from their suppliers.


Thanks again,


Tim

apprentice's picture
apprentice

You're welcome, Tim. After I posted the reply, got curious about Robin Hood's bread flour and double-checked online. RH bought by Cargill International (horizon) a couple of years back. Horizon only sells to the industry, but the detailed nutritional info, etc. on their products can be found here: http://www.horizonmilling.ca/products/products_flour.shtml


 


 

deblacksmith's picture
deblacksmith

Thanks for the link to this data on Robin Hood's bulk flours.  I have not found that before when searching on tech data on Robin Hood.  Robin Hood is now owned by Smucker's of Canada, but I would think it is still all being producted by Cargill as before.  Smucker's has now also bought Five Rose brand name in Canada. 


(It is possible, that Smucker's only bought out the marketing of Robin Hood Flours for the consumer market and that the professional side is still owned and operated by Cargill -- would not be the first time for such an arrangement.)


In the USA Smucker's bought out White Lily Flour and closed the mill in Knoxville, TN but still is producing the the same flour in the contract mill in Ohio that the old White Lily used to use.


Would be interesting to know where King Arthur gets their USA flours produced (they don't do any milling of their own that I know of.)  Most likely either Cargill or ADM.


I have a very distant family relationship to Smucker's but no money connection.  (My family name is Smucker.)  The president of Smucker's of Canada is named David but that isn't me, I am the blacksmith.


Dave

apprentice's picture
apprentice

You're right, Dave. According to a CanWest Media report, the Ohio-based Smucker company bought Robin Hood mills across North America from former owner International Multifoods Corp. in June 2004. But it sold the mill and a couple of other "dry baking mixing" facilities in 2006 to Horizon Milling G.P., a partnership formed by U.S. grain giant Cargill and CHS Inc., a company owned by American farmer investors.


It's not a big issue to us bakers who owns what, I suppose, except when we're trying to track down the specs on a particular flour. In this case, I happened to notice in the SnowCap products catalogue (industry supplier) that Robin Hood's owner was Horizon. That's how I knew to google "horizon" when the regular Robin Hood consumers' website was useless re: flour specs. (btw, Snowcap still shows ADM as the owner for Five Roses.)


Must thank you for mentioning the website for Dover. I love Swans Down cake flour, one of their products. But last I heard, it's only sold in 1K bags at the retail level -- no bulk sales to the industry or anyone else. <pout> You've inspired me to research it further though. Thanks!


Added by edit: Forgot to mention. That same news story said that J M Smucker retained the rights to market the Robin Hood brand at the retail level. They buy product from Horizon (Cargill) through what is called a "co-packing agreement." So it looks like your relatives are still in the flour business. :)

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

Smuckers Canada, from what I've been able to find, currently owns


 



  • Robin Hood Flour (at least the retail brand)

  • Five Roses Flour

  • Monarch Flour


 


so in effect three of the top brands in Canada. Monopoly, anyone?


I've written to Dover 10 days ago now,( dovergrp.com/flour.htm - their site leaves a lot to be desired) asking where one can get their "King" unbleached bread flour but I have not received a reply. I sent another message today. Their headquarters are literally just a couple of streets over so if all else fails, I'll go knocking at their door.



Update: I finally got in touch with Dover and they said they stopped selling their flour retail in early 2009. A few places do order in bulk then offer it for retail, however. Costco in my area has their bread and AP flour but only the bleached variety. There is also a baking supply store in Hamilton (Traynor's) which supposedly sells it by the bag. I haven't been yet, I'll be in the area next week and will drop over to check. 


So in the meantime, I'm stuck with grocery stores and their high retail prices as resources for unbleached flour. 



I did see their bleached AP at Costco's for the first time a week or so ago. I had  previously only seen 20k sized bags of the Robin Hood brand "Baker's Flour" and AP (both types are bleached).

Katarina's picture
Katarina

Hello everybody...I am new to this site. After reading it, I also contacted Dover Flour and was told that there are three outlets in Ontario that sell their flour under their own names. Thet are Soby's - Compliments, Walmart - Great Value and Costco - Great Planes. They do not all carry every variety but Sobey's might have organic version,. I will investigate further and post results. Thanks for the great info everyone.

lalune's picture
lalune

After calling Robin Hood to find out where I could get larger bags of flour (at one time I had seen they were available in 10kg size), they told me that they'll soon be discontinuing the 5kg bags I have been buying and only offer 2kg bags!

I'm just a home baker, making breads daily, but really need a better source in the Hamilton ON area for flour. I go through about 20 kg/mth.

Traynors, btw, will only sell to the industry :(

 

ejm's picture
ejm

Yes, this has become a big problem. Smuckers appears to have zero interest in supplying flour for serious bread makers. Nor does Weston. (Loblaws' "No-Name" 'unbleached' flour contain azodicarbonamide (ADA), a bleaching agent. They can call it an enhancer all they want. It's still a bleaching agent.)

I have been buying Metro's store-brand "Selection" unbleached all-purpose flour but it comes in only 2.5kg bags (as opposed to the 10kg bags of bleached all-purpose). Unfortunately, they do not respond to any queries about why they refuse to carry 10kg bags of unbleached all-purpose AND whether they will start. 

Rogers flour (out of BC) produces 10kg bags of unbleached all-purpose flour with no chemical additives. I just learned that it may be available at the Highland Farms supermarket in Mississauga. I don't know how much it costs yet.

Does anyone know if it's possible for non-commercial buyers to get 'chemical free' "Golden Harvest" flour that comes  out of Kitchener?

Elizabeth, in Toronto

MissTati's picture
MissTati

Yes, welcome to Victoria Tim! As for organic flour, Anita's is also in Thrifty's. And if you ever travel up-island, there is a bakery in Cowichan Bay (True Grain Bread) that sells Red Fife Wheat (http://www.truegrain.ca/bread/). It's about 1.5 hours from Victoria. As you may know that's what Cliff at Fol Epi uses (and Wild Fire too).


apprentice - thanks for the good info. I have been using RH Unbleached All-Purpose, which I thought was around 13.3% protein as labeled (4g/30g). Their White Bread flour is marked with the same numbers, and I couldn't understand why the AP would have such a high protein percentage. I wrote them recently to find out the actual difference between the AP and Bread (other than flour type), and they replied that both the AP and White Bread are 12.2% protein! But according to the specs in your link, the AP is actually 11.9%. Even better! And the specs for the AP Unbleached state, "top patent flour especially designed for applications where long sponge or brew type fermentations." I suppose this is why my bread comes out nice :) My guess is that the retail Bread flour is 13% as labeled, since all the ones listed in the above link are also 13%. I never knew RH produced such a variety of bread flours, for the commercial end, in addition to Durum and Organic Wheat. Shame we can't get ahold of them. I've also been curious to try baking with Rogers, since Costco has 20lb bags. But I'll have to check your other store suggestions.  


Thanks again!


Tatiana


 

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Although we do grow some of the best wheat in the world, our actual flour choices in Canada are quite limited.  There just aren't as many small mills around as in the US.  We grow tons of Durham, but try to get it.


In the Toronto area, I get very good hard, unbleached bread flour (13%) from Grain Process Enterprises in Scarborough, also Durham flour.  They do have a retail outlet.  Olympic in Whitby is another good source for Saskatchewan and Erie area flours; wholesale only.


Dan Leader gets a lot of his flour in Montreal.  Finally found the source:


http://www.lamilanaise.com/anglais/produitsboulanger_en.html .


Check out the "Baker's Corner" section about labelling; very complete and informative, finally!  Even ash ratio.  Looks like they use Continental French flour designations, including T55, finally!  They do sell grains as well; home millers take note.


I've got some flour coming here, and I'll post results.


CJ

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Just got some Milanaise bread and six grain flour, and very nice it is to work with.  It seems that the mill in Quebec does not yet have the resources to market their flours on a retail level in Ontario, except for cities near the provincial border, like Ottawa.  With a friend, I'm considering trying to get the smaller bags (2 kg, 1kg) into the Toronto area (I'm in the country, north and east of the city), but it would really depend on demand.  If I could get some idea of interest, we could see if it would be worthwhile to do it.  These flours also come in 20 kg bags.


CJ


Melian's picture
Melian

When I was living in Montreal la Milaneise was the only good option available, together with some flours sold at the Jean Talon Market in some "natural food" store, but supermarket-wise...only Milanaise was available, but I have to say I quite like it for the bread, for the pizza was way too strong, I had to use a pastry flour to have a "neapolitan pizza" dough...but it is a very common "problem" of all the flours in north america.

rsherr's picture
rsherr

LaMilanese Millers in Montreal, who make an artisan type bread flour, now have a distributor in Atlantic Canada - BMS distributors, ph: (902) 755-3020 and they may have distributors elsewhere across Canada.   I'm getting a bag of their T55 flour in Nova Scotia and will let you know how it turns out. Has anyone else been using it?


BDflour in the US is sending me a sample of their ameliorant that is supposed to make North American flours behave like french Baguette flour.  It will be interesting to try that also.


Richard

swiggin's picture
swiggin

I use the Milanaise flour for all my bread baking. I am able to get T55 in 5 kg, as well as other varieties in 1-2 kg bags (from The Sweet Potato, Toronto). Although I have heard that there is some differences in the characteristics of each bag I haven't found it to be a problem, or noticeable. A recent result: 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/16169/recommendations


Seth

rsherr's picture
rsherr

Thanks. Glad to see the flour works so well, Seth.

merlie's picture
merlie

I'm suprised nobody has mentioned Rogers flour - it is milled right here in Armstrong,  British Columbia ! The mill and store is very close to where I live but their unbleached flour is also  sold in Costco. The people at the mill assured me that it is bread flour even though the bag is not labeled "Bread". I have been using this and their AP flour for nearly a year now with good results.


Merlie

M2's picture
M2

Hi Tim,


I use Anita's Organic flours, and their products are great.  Their unbleached white is from hard red spring wheat and contains 13% protein content.  I'm really happy with the quality.  Their staff are friendly also, another bonus.  I buy all the other flours from them: stoneground rye, spelt, whole wheat etc...everything is great and fresh.


I highly recommend it:


http://www.anitasorganic.com/index.php


Michelle

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

and wouldn't mind some suggestions for bread flour sources there. I've been buying Dover's Vienna Unbleached Bread Flour here in Ontario from a wholesaler (Traynor's in Hamilton) at $13 for a 20kg size bag. I'd like to locate a similar source out there.


Can anyone recommend good places with good prices for flour on the island(s)? We haven't pinpointed out final destination yet, we could be anywhere from Nanaimo to Duncan to Victoria to Salt Spring.

Susan Lynn's picture
Susan Lynn

Good prices? I guess it depends on your perspective. Generally the further south on Vancouver Island, the more expensive the real estate. Saltspring and the other Gulf islands are certainly out of my price range! North of the Comox Valley, prices are lower, except for some of the out islands which have the added epxenses of travel and freight costs.


Flour: For regular non-organic, Rogers, either A/P or bread flour available in unbleached. For organic, Anita's or Nunweillers. Don't forget that our A/P is stronger than U.S., so bread flour isn't a necessity. 


 

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

good prices for flour, not houses. I should have made that clear (and have added that to the post now). Sorry for the confusion. My inclusion of places was more for the possibility of pinpointing flour sources specifically in these areas.


I would prefer to find a wholesale source (that lets you buy one or two large bags) where the flour prices aren't as prohibitive as one may find on a grocery store shelf. For example, right now Robin Hood "Best for Bread" flour at your typical grocery is running about $7 for 5k or about $1.40/kilo where the wholesaler can give a comparable flour at 65¢/kilo, less than half the price and in larger amounts than found in grocery stores. Since I know there are numerous bakeries on the island, I would presume there is a source for bulk flour around somewhere nearby without needing to hop over to the mainland.


Failing that, locating a decent retail source would be the next best thing.

Fred41's picture
Fred41

I reside in Victoria and have used Rogers with excellent results ... All Purpose (unbleached) ... Whole Wheat ... and Rye ...purchased at any of the larger grocery chains ...(Fairways, etc.) ...


Heading South (Yuma) shortly for the Winter (5 months) and have purchased a couple 10 kg bags to take with me.


Difficult to beat at the sale price of $8-$9 per 10 kg bag ...


As I understand it Canadian flour is know throughout the World for it's quality ...


Cheers!


 


 


 

abunaloaf's picture
abunaloaf

I buy 20 pound bags of Vienna flour from Costco.  Here is a response from the manager  when I inquired about the content. 


The ingredient declaration on the bag of Vienna Unbleached Strong Bakers Flour accurately reflects all that is added to the flour and is as follows:

Wheat flour, niacin, iron, ascorbic acid, alpha amylase, thiamine mononitrate, az...odicarbonamide, riboflavin, folic acid.

The niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid are the Vitamin and iron enrichments added as required by Canadian law.

The ascorbic acid, alpha amylase and azodicarbonamide are food additives which are allowed, by the Canadian Food and Drug Act, to be added to wheat flour. These food additives improve the baking performance of the flour.

The Wheat flour makes up 99.9% of the content of the bag and the enrichments and food additives all totaled represent less than 0.1% of the bag contents.

I hope the added information is of value to you.

Thanks for your interest in our flour.

Manager, Quality Assurance
P&H Milling - Saskatoon


 


As well bromate is illegal in Canada and the US so we don't need to worry about that.

ejm's picture
ejm

I am becoming more and more frustrated, trying to find 10 kg bags of unbleached all-purpose flour that does NOT have azodicarbonamide in it AND does not cost an arm and a leg AND does not require a major drive on already crowded roads to purchase it.


abunaloaf wrote:



The ascorbic acid, alpha amylase and azodicarbonamide are food additives which are allowed, by the Canadian Food and Drug Act, to be added to wheat flour. These food additives improve the baking performance of the flour.



They may well be allowed by the Canadian Food and Drug Act. It is also allowed in the USA. But in the EU, azodicarbonamide is disallowed. As I recall, bread in Europe is pretty stellar. Clearly, azodicarbonamide isn't really necessary to improve the baking performance.


Azodicarbonamide is also a bleaching agent.



Azodicarbonamide (ADA) is an oxidizing agent used as a substitute for potassium bromate to help improve the quality of wheat flour.

- Garuda International, Inc.: Azodicarbonamide FCC Grade (98%)


====================================



Case reports and epidemiological studies in humans have produced abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization in exposed workers. Adverse effects on other systems have not been studied.

-World Health Organization: Concise International Chemical Assessement Document, No 16: Azodicarbonamide



 


-Elizabeth, in Toronto, where 'no-name' "unbleached" flour that contains Azodicarbonamide is now sold only in 5kg bags for $7 as opposed to the 10kg bags that before the repackaging in the summer 2010 were available for $8. (Alas, I no longer have any of the old flour bags but I wonder if ADA was in the unbleached flour before the revamp.)


It's my guess (and this really is just speculation) that the presence of ADA in the flour is to make things easier for the flour companies to ensure that their flour stays "fresher" for longer.

Melian's picture
Melian

Hello,


I am in Montreal at the moment and I have found la Milaneise flour but only in small bags, which probably is less convenient compared to big bags. Do you know of a good place where to buy flour (possibly organic)  in Montreal? Is there any miller in the city?

ritalynn's picture
ritalynn

Hi.

For flour, etc. in montreal area, try Farinex. They sell 20K bags of Milanaise, Robin Hood etc to the public. The going rate right now is about $20 for non organic and $26 for organic.

 

geordie's picture
geordie

Hi Tim...you can get reall good flout at Galloways in Richmond beside Lansdown Mall. If your retired you should be able to get the ferry free Monday thru Thursday.......

JerryC's picture
JerryC

True grains has white flour also. I have a 2 kilo bag, but haven't tried it yet. I have tried their Red Fife and really like the bread that resulted. They also have spelt and kaput and rye. That's where I would shop if I was living in the area.

byronfry's picture
byronfry

Organic flour is really the only way to go. As a professional baker, I mill much of my own grain from organic heirloom grains, and buy my organic all-purpose flour from Nutrasun Foods. This is the same flour that is bought and rebranded by Anita's Organic, and True Grain Bakery's Mill. It's an extremely high-qaulity flour, much better for breads than the alternative of Rogers Organic. The Nunweiler's brand is pointless, as hammer-milling destroys flour, and even through professional distribution you end up with flour that is many months, if not a year old. If you want small bags, then by the Anita's at a grocery store, or ask an organic bakery to buy some from them. The industry distributer is Richardson foods. It's about $1.20/kg.

WeeHughie's picture
WeeHughie

I am so lucky - my mother travels back and forth between the US and Canada (she lives in both countries) and just brought me back a 50 lb. bag of King Arthur "Patent" flour, which appears to be the same as their retail version of Unbleached Bread flour.

I think one of the things that makes it so great to work with is that in addition to high quality premium wheat flour, King Arthur also blends in malted barley flour. 

I bake a LOT of bread and have simply not found an equivalent quality of flour available in Canada. And at 25 bucks (US) for a 50 lb bag of awesome flour... that's a price hard to beat.