The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

B & D Flour

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart

B & D Flour


Hi everyone,


 


I just wanted to take a minute and introduce myself. This is my first foray into the world of online baking communities…


 


I completed pastry school and earned my Grande Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris many years ago.  In addition, I hold multiple professional certificates in bread baking and venoisserie.  In other words, I’m a pastry chef.  


 


Like a lot of you, for years I have tried to make high quality venoisserie, brioche, croissants and baguettes using domestic flour, but I couldn’t seem to make it work with the flour we have available to us here in the States.  After all that time and money spent learning how to make them, needless to say, it left me more than a bit frustrated.  I searched and searched the internet and found many people trying “add a little of this or a little of that or try this or that”.  None of it worked to my satisfaction.  Actually, no one posted that they had great success either. 


 


I went to the top of the mountain, Grands Moulins de Paris (GMP), in a little town north of Paris by the name of Gennevilliers.  They are the largest mill company in Europe and arguably the best food and grain laboratory in the world.


 


My good friends and chefs in Paris tried to help me figure it out. The people at GMP tell me the flour that we have now developed is superior to type 45 and 55 French flour in every aspect.  


 


Knowing that there was no real solution for bakers in the States, I decided to turn my passion into my life’s work to provide this flour.  After all, we deserve high quality breads as much as Europeans.

The flour is not bleached.  The protein content is 11.5%.  There is ascorbic acid added as a preservative.  The deactivated enzymes, lipids and proteins, etc., added make the difference.  I believe one of the major benefits is derived from the enzymes that allow the starch to be broken down to complex sugars and the complex sugars to be broken down to simple sugars in the second proof.  Kind of complicated but really simple. The enzymes let the yeast live and the starches work as nature intended. Other than the vitamin C, everything added appears naturally in wheat.  Domestic mill companies buy the wheat and mill it so it has maximum shelf life.  We add the good stuff back. Just take a look at the breads on our website http://www.bdflour.com.  The beautiful color on the exterior of the breads come from the caramelization of the sugars, and of course, a good egg wash.


 


So, for the pastry students returning to the States, the product offers the opportunity to actually recreate what they learned to make abroad.


 


For the professional baker, the product will help you save money while creating a superior product possessing unmatched taste, texture, smell, appearance, and quality. Here’s a good example of how it saves you money: typically, American croissants weigh approximately 100 grams. B & D Croissant Flour creates a stronger dough, allowing for the same size croissant to weigh around 60 grams. This means that you not only use half the flour per croissant, but you use half of all other ingredients as well.


 


And for the at home bakers, well, the product allows you to make the best croissants, brioche and breads that you’ve ever tasted.


 


I’m excited to join the community of online bakers, and I welcome your questions and comments.  I encourage you to check out the website at http://www.bdflour.com, and, of course, hope some of you will venture to try the product.


 


Bart


 

 

Comments

SteveB's picture
SteveB


"Kind of complicated..."



You may have, perhaps, underestimated the sophistication of the average TFL member.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart

I certainly didn't mean to underestimate the sophistication of bakers on this site. Like I said, I'm new to all of this, so bear with me.


I think I was writing for everyone, and you'll have to admit that surely not everyone on this site has a background in organic chemistry. Your site is quite impressive, by the way. I was intrigued that you use Heartland Mill organic flour for your croissants. I'd be interested in the results you'd find with our croissant blend.


Also, I read your note about the butter. I found a butter made by Strauss Family Creamery that has 86% butterfat that I really enjoy working with. I wonder if you've tried it. Plugra works great, too, of course, with just slightly less, around 82%, I believe. 


Again, if croissants are your thing, I really hope you'll try our flour. I think a baker of your caliber will be impressed by what you find.

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Chef Bart,


Thank you for the recommendation of Strauss Family Creamery butter for croissant production.  I'll keep an eye out for it at my local specialty food store.  I have, indeed, used Plugra and that works quite nicely too.


If you haven't already seen it, there is a thread here on TFL in which French T65 and King Arthur All-Purpose flours are compared in the production of pain au levain. It may be of interest to you.  That thread can be found here:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10182/french-and-american-flour-123-formula


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

ericb's picture
ericb

Hmm. I never realized ascorbic acid was added to flour as a preservative. I always thought it was meant to enhance the rising capacity of flour.


Learn something new every day.


 


:\


Eric

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart

From what I understand, ascorbic acid targets enzymes in the food itself that continue to metabolize after harvest by making the pH uncomfortably low for the enzyme. And that's how/why it's used as a preservative in foods.

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Actually, the preservative properties of ascorbic acid are more a function of its ability to act as a reducing agent rather than a function of its acidity.  It is a particularly good free radical and oxygen scavenger, producing dehydroascorbic acid in the process.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


   

jdorf's picture
jdorf

Bart - is the flour from France? The website only says "European type" flour.


I trust the opinion of French master baker, Dominique Geulin, M.O.F., who exclusively bakes with the same Northwest flours we sell.


http://www.sainthonorebakery.com/about_masterbaker.php


 


http://www.findthefarmer.com  


http://www.stone-buhr.com

ericb's picture
ericb

Also, I'm very interested in these mysterious "enzymes, lipids and proteins, etc." added to the flour. I mean, ascorbic acid to flour is nothing new. I can't find flour *without* ascorbic acid. But enzymes and lipids and proteins? Oh my! And etc? What else are you throwing in there? More info, please!


 


 


 

MJO's picture
MJO

 


 


Lipids,enzyms, and proteins are always in flour--in varying degrees. 

thebreadfairy's picture
thebreadfairy

Do you sell any flours equivalent to French T65? (I am assuming your baguette flour is more like a T55).

Leah Vetter's picture
Leah Vetter

Does anyone think 5 pounds of this flour is worth $15+?  That's what it comes to with shipping cost.

ericb's picture
ericb

But just think, Leah, you only have to use half the flour! :)

jdorf's picture
jdorf

That'd be the most expensive flour on the planet.... considering they are paying probably around $0.20/lb that's a profit margin!

ericb's picture
ericb

But it would turn your homely, boring bread into the best bread you ever tasted! Really, Jdorf, I'm not sure why you even bother baking without it. ;)


Maybe B&D should offer to send members of the forum a free 5lb bag (and a farinograph) so we can see just how good it is. I have a feeling that endorsements by trusted members of TFL would convince some of us to splurge on their European Type Flour. Advertisements by one who has been a member for 2 hours don't hold much weight.


-Eric, who is in rare form.

jdorf's picture
jdorf

you want farinographs of Stone-Buhr flour?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


Advertisements by one who has been a member for 2 hours don't hold much weight.



In fact, that's exactly the selling point of this flour. If you read the promotional material on the web site, you find that you can charge your customers for the extra air in your croissants. That surely justifies the extra cost of the flour, since you don't need to use as much.


David, who is in his customary form.

SteveB's picture
SteveB


"David, who is in his customary form."



Would that be a bâtard?  :)


(a joke I can only use with people I respect!)


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hello, David:


While we're on the subject of flours, may I ask you which line of the Giusto flours would be an equivalent of KAF bread flour? I have Baker's Choice, which I believe is an AP equivalent; I also have the coarse and fine high protein whole wheat Ultimate, which obviously are HG.  Then which one can I use in place of bread flour? Many thanks.


Yippee

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Yippee.


Giusto mills a higher-gluten flour they call "Ultimate Performance." This is an organic flour. They also sell a non-organic version.


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

As a Frenchy who bakes better croissants than most bakeries (yes, I WILL admit it!), if some farmer would just plant some soft wheat over there and stop adding a bunch of crap to the American ones to duplicate our, you could get an excellent croissant making flour and not have to pay a fortune! I bake with organic T55 NOTHING added. No ascorbic acid, no added gluten, no added malted flour, NOTHING.


Jane

jdorf's picture
jdorf

Jane - actually the vast majority of wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest is "soft" - literally like 75% of the acres planted!

Janedo's picture
Janedo

So why add all the extra stuff (as the B&D flour)? I have spent a lot of time looking at the bags of flour professional bakers use here (full of extra stuff like ascorbic acid, malt, gluten and fungicide), tasted their products, and quite frankly it is rare now to find very great tasting bread and viennoiseries. The GREAT products come from bakers using organic or very high quality non organic flours. It all comes from the quality of the original grain. The flour I use has nothing and for certain types of bread, I have added organic gluten to add some strength to the dough. But I wouldn't give up the flour just for a better rise. Croissants are imagined to be light and airy, but you musn't think that everyone here is looking for a puff of air. They want the outside to be crackly and the inside to be soft and buttery tasting.


Another thing, in France bakers often use a flour called farine de gruau T45 which is a very very white flour but with a higher protein content than regular T45 which is a basic pastry flour, not used for bread.  The goal is obviously to get a lighter croissant. But a very good baker that I sent time with lately uses T55 for his brioche and viennoiseries. Your AP is our T55 basically.


I looked at B&D and that is a product I find down right SCARY! I'll take the Stone-Buhr over it any day.


Jane

SteveB's picture
SteveB

But Jane... how do you REALLY feel?   :)


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 


 

jdorf's picture
jdorf

Steve - want some soft wheat flour to try?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, jdorf.


My local groceries carry Stone-Buhr WW and Bread flour, but I've never seen your AP flour around here. Is that the soft wheat flour to which you are referring?


It has been my understanding that, in the USofA, soft wheat is used mostly for pastry and for bisquits and is milled to a finer consistency than APF. If one used pastry flour to make baguettes, would it be closer to French T55 than American AP flour?


David

jdorf's picture
jdorf

David - ask your grocer!  Yes, we've been selling an AP in the Pacific Northwest at most major grocery stores (QFC, Safeway, Haagen's, Bartell's, etc.) for almost a year now. If you email me the store info I can look into it. (email: josh at stone-buhr.com)


(Sorry to claify: our AP is not made from soft wheat.)

SteveB's picture
SteveB

jdorf, if you could forward to me the complete specifications of the flour, I would be glad to take a look at them to determine whether I would be willing to purchase a small quantity for bake testing.  I find that purchasing any materials that I test allows me to provide a more impartial evaluation.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


     

jdorf's picture
jdorf

(Uh oh, I'm getting more and more nervous now in this thread... you guys are hardcore bakers! ;-)


I admit when I first read Bart's original post I just wanted to defend US wheat, which I will put up against any wheat on the planet. Obviously different types and varieties of wheat yield different results but numbers alone don't account for all. I can get you a lower protein "bread" flour that will outperform higher protein flours.... I believe our flours provide the typical homebaker great performance and transparancy back to the farmer.


There is a baking quality that is harder to spec than protein, moisture, ash and variety/type.  The best I share is the farinograph and falling numbers for our flours but for almost all consumer baking that's way too technical. (At least for my level of baking it is!)


Anyway, we don't currently sell any flour from "soft" wheats but I have a new test batch of "cake" flour that is all from soft wheat from a specific farmer in the group. All of the farmers we work with grow mostly soft wheat. I've sent a bunch of samples of this flour out to get consumer feedback as we're looking at offering it to consumers. It was milled for a bakery customer and is bleached. My bet is you could make a great light croissant with it....


 


2008 Stone-Buhr Flour Specifications:


 


14402 - Stone-Buhr All-Purpose


Ingredients: Unbleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Enriched (Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin and Folic acid).


 


100% Hard Red Winter Wheat


 


11.0 – 12.5 % Protein


14.0% Max. Moisture


0.55% Max. Ash


275 Min. Falling Number


 


** Farinograph Report:


57-62% Farinograph Abs


5 -8 Min. Peak Time


10-16 Min. Stability


20-50 B.U. MTI


 


16607 & 16606 - Stone-Buhr Whole Wheat Flour


Ingredients: 100% Whole Wheat Flour


 


100% Dark Northern Spring Wheat


 


13.0 – 15 % Protein


14.0% Max. Moisture


1.75% Max. Ash


350 Min. Falling Number


 


** Farinograph Report:


70-76% Farinograph Abs


5 -9 Min. Peak Time


12-19 Min. Stability


20-50 B.U. MTI


 


15502 & 15503 - Stone-Buhr Bread Flour


Ingredients: Wheat Flour, Malted Barley flour, Enriched (Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin and Folic acid.)


 


Blend of Hard Red Winter and Dark Northern Spring Wheats


 


11.5 – 12.1 % Protein


14.0% +/- 2% Max. Moisture


0.52% Max. Ash


250-350 Min. Falling Number


 


** Farinograph Report:


59-63% Farinograph Abs


5 -8 Min. Peak Time


11-17 Min. Stability


25-45 B.U. MTI

 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

as David and Steve, but I will say that I am very happy with Stone-Buhr's AP, Bread and WW. I like supporting the NW farms and the company.


Betty

jdorf's picture
jdorf

Thanks Betty!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Bart,


When you first posted here looking for dry butter now that you had finally found the best flour on Earth, I wrote you off as a nut case. I sent you a side email using the email on the web site, asking for specific numbers on the products you are offering and got no reply. I offered to do a test evaluation as I have done for other people who have come here with new flour offerings and I didn't get a reply. You must have the numbers for the flours since you took them to the top of the research mountain in France.


Today, I decided to waste $15. and order a bag of the baguette flour just to see what our members are being subjected to. I'll make a couple batches of French bread and report back. I don't mean to be disrespectful to you but so far your communication skills haven't shown me any respect.


In MY customary form (impatient and to the point).


Eric

wally's picture
wally

I bought a 50lb bag of Sir Galahad flour (which makes excellent baguettes) at KAF for about $21.


David - I think that pastry flour, whose protein content is typically 8.5 - 9.5% would be close to French T55, whose protein content, when measured via American standards, comes out at about 9.5%.  In MacGuire's translation of Calvel's Le Gout du Pain, he mentions that Calvel "had great success in North America with both "bread" flours on the lower end of the protein range and also with "all purpose" (hotel and restaurant) flours of above average strength."  He goes on to note that much beyond 12% and you lose many of the desireable characteristics of baguettes, e.g., crackly crust.


Larry

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Because pastry flour is not intended to support fermentation, there is generally no malt or any other source of amylase added to the flour at the mill.  With bread and all-purpose flour, the mill does testing on the wheat before milling to check its amylase levels, and they usually have to add some to "correct" it to a certain standard.


Just for funsies, my baking science class made simple, lean-dough rolls out of about 6 or 7 different flours. The cake and pastry flours fermented much more slowly, and they didn't brown well at all.  That's not an issue in most pastry work, though, since formulas there usually have sugar and/or fat.


Of course, you could add your own malt to pastry flour to make it ferment and brown better.


BTW, most wheat grown in Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle is soft wheat, I believe.


--Dan DiMuzio

wally's picture
wally

....ah, thanks Dan for that piece of information - and sharing the results of your experiment!


Larry

Aprea's picture
Aprea

simply produce a soft pastry like flour - like the prevalent bisquit flour in the South - with malt in it?  If we add malt to this easy to get flour would it perform like a french pastry flour?


 


I have read countless analysis of flours on this site and no one seems to have answers. - why can't we come up with a decent organic flour with decent accessibility?  - I think the market would support it.

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

When Professor Calvel (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6432/quotbread-and-baker-sourcequot-podcasts%22) made his videos for the CIA and the Guild, he seemed to say that French bakers often have to correct for malt levels themselves.  I'm not certain if that implies that French flour typically has no malt supplement added to it at the mill, or if that means the standards for correction by the mill can vary significantly.


Incidentally, I don't mean to suggest that white flour has no naturally occurring amylase present.  It definitely does, but since wheat farmers harvest their crop well before sprouting can occur, this causes the amylase levels to be less than they would be had the wheat gone to seed.  That's why mills correct for amylase using malt.


Perhaps Jane can give us some insights into the presence or absence of malt in French-milled bread flour.


--Dan DiMuzio

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I have had a long look at some very high quality T55 and T65 (tradition) flour bags, one of them being a constant winner of the best Parisian Baguette and there is ALWAYS malted flour added (farine maltée). But when you look at the different web sites for the products, they rarely give the information in the site. As I said above, you'll find gluten, malted flour, ascorbic acid and fungicide as common additives. And so I have to think, when I see gluten added (and I said this to a baker recently) that bakers here use flour that is given more "force" and have strayed away from "pure" products of yesteryears. Organic bakers don't use those flours and their breads are MUCH tastier. But traditional bakers here have fallen in to the trap of neglecting taste for esthetics (bigger rise, bigger holes, etc).


Jane

ehanner's picture
ehanner

jdorf,
Are your products available in the Midwest, specifically Wisconsin? I don't recall seeing them on the shelf here in the places I shop at.


Eric

jdorf's picture
jdorf

Eric - Stone-Buhr is typically only found in the Pacific Northwest and California.... I have looked at some options in the Midwest but nothing as of now....

angeliaw's picture
angeliaw

Oh my.  I thought I was doing great in buying the organic wheat from my local farmer and grinding it myself.  It actually made some great bread!


Fifty pounds for $30.  Called K-State and talked to an professor there.  He told me to put it in the freezer or store it in the plastic containers that are airtight. 


I haven't ventured to far yet in back anything but basic bread.  Hopefully I will this fall!

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart

 


I have been busy filling in re-orders from commercial bakers in Seattle, Santa Monica, Houston, Maryland, Miami, and Atlanta.  Sending truckloads at reasonable price takes a lot of energy and time.  This is my primary market, the professional pastry chef and baker.  


Many years ago, I tried to re-create Folded Brioche' and Croissant.  I tried and tried but couldn't get the outcome I desired.  I went on a mission to develop a flour that will allow us to have pastries and breads like exist on the streets of Paris.  We succeeded. I can assure you everything in our flour is natural.  


I saw a question about whether or not it can be considered similar to t55 or t65 flour.  I am forwarding that question to M. Guinot and will post it as soon as he returns the information.


If I missed some legitimate questions, I am sorry.  I will try and get online more often.


I will include here some info on the people that made this flour possible.  Keep in mind that these people are professionals and don't spend so much time and money on the internet.  


Nicolas Bernardé - France 

Born in Paris, France, Chef Nicolas Bernardé began his culinary journey in 1982 at the school Jean Ferrandi where he ranked first in pastry training and was named "Best Apprentice in France." He honed his skill at the very famous pastry shop Dalloyau in Paris, and later obtained his professional pastry certificate at the Paris Chamber of Professions.


As Pastry Chef of the Moka d'Or Pastry Shop, Chef Bernardé organized buffets and receptions for foreign presidents. He continued his career at the Hostellerie du Prieure, a four star hotel with a Michelin starred restaurant, before returning to Dalloyau as Pastry Chef in 1989. In 1990, Chef Bernardé assumed the responsibilities of Pastry Chef of the catering company Jusseaume. In May 2000, he joined the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for the organization of receptions and cocktails in honor of foreign government officials.


Mr. Bernardé has been named an Auditing Member of the Culinary Academy of Paris and has won numerous awards. He participated in the culinary international competitions of Arpajon and Les Journees Gastronomiques de Romorantin, where he won bronze medals in both. In 1993 he won the gold and bronze medals at the Lucien Peletier contest and the gold medal at the Charles Prouset contest for two consecutive years. His greatest achievement was reaching the finals of the "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" contest for two consecutive years.


Also,


www.grandsmoulinsdeparis.com


www.tagcrumbs.com/maanum/placemarks/pinaud-pascal-boulangerie


www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Laurent/Guinot/?trk=ppro_find_others


 

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Now you have me really confused.  During what you described as your training in France, you must have learned something about the differences between T55 and T65 flours.  And surely you must know every detail of the specifications for your own flour blends.  Why, then, do you need to consult with someone else about something you, as a pastry chef and principal of B&D Flour, should have intimate knowledge of?  Is this really Chef Bart who is making these posts or is it Marteen Greek instead?


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 


 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I have to agree with Steve. There is something false going on, here! You should know the flour inside out and also you should know that the Meilleur Ouvrier de France isn't a first place, second place contest. It's a level of achievement and when you enter the "concours", you are either accepted as a MOF or not and if you are, it's once in a lifetime.


You should also have read the posts that followed your initial one and responded, or not got involved on the forum at all.


People here are intelligent. Please don't treat them as less.


Jane

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart

I do respect everyone that has something to say.  I also apologize for being so tardy responding.


I am not a scientist, that is why I hired the best in the world.


Don't tell these people about the MOF deal.


http://www.amoretti.com/docs/chefs.php


Stay tuned.  I have a very exciting national competition in the works.  It will be carried in the national and international media The competition will have it's proceeds go to a very worthy charity.  It will be great fun and very informative.


 

jdorf's picture
jdorf

Bart - can you clarify if this flour is milled in the US or abroad?

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart

Our flours are milled in the United States.  The laminated dough (croissant, puff pastry) flour, the bread (baguette, batard) flour, and the heavy protein (brioche') flour all use the same high quality base flour.


The Ameliorants that are added come from Gennevilliers France.


I am including here a note answering a few questions asked earlier.  Not being a food scientist, I ask those that are.  



Dear Bart,


 


Concerning your request:


 


- The baguette Flour is close to T55 but it contains some improvers in order to help the bakers in the process.


 


- For the Croissant Flour it is important to reduced the layers to 16 and adjust the water absorption to 63% and not forget to put the dough fold in resting time in the fridge during 20 minutes.


In order to preserve the folding and the butter inside it is very important to put in cold temperature few minutes.


 


I staid at your disposal.


Best Regards


 


P.BATISTA


Master Baker, Grands Moulins de Paris


dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

Hello,


May we respectfully ask what those "improvers" are, specifically?  Does your product contain fava bean flour or soy flour as oxidizers?  What are the ratios of these added "ameliorants" to the wheat flour itself?  If ascorbic acid is used, how many parts per million?  If vital wheat gluten is added, how much?  And, without meaning to be combative, why aren't these specifications supplied without asking?


--Dan DiMuzio

Chef Bart's picture
Chef Bart

The product does not have any fava bean flour.  GMP in France does use soy flour in the ameliorant.  A very minute amount of gluten is added to the Bread and the brioche' flours but not the croissant.  The insertion ratios are 5% for the brioche', 2% for the croissant, and 1% for the bread.  The ameliorants are totally different for each as the needs for the specific type of breads are different.


We spent two full years "improving" 9 different domestic flours from ConAgra, Cargill, ADM, and others.  The scientist picked one of the best and most expensive flours from one specific mill for the base.  The ameliorants are based on the average seasonal flour from those particular sources and that particular mill.  One of the wonderful thing about the ameliorants is that they increase the tolerance or account for the difference in the seasonal nature of the wheat.  


The exact recipe for the improver is proprietary.  The FDA has approved the ameliorant for sale and consumption in the United States.  AIB has certified my facilities with a superior rating.  AIB tested the flour and the only listed allergen is wheat.  


I hope this answers most of your questions.  The proof is in the breads.