The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Where to find ingredients in Canada?

LittleTee's picture
LittleTee

Where to find ingredients in Canada?

Hi there -- I'm new to artisan bread baking, and really enjoying this new hobby!


My trouble is that I cannot track down high-quality ingredients, or specialty items, here in Ontario (I live a 2-hour drive from Toronto). I can get basic white-bread flour and whole wheat, and some dark rye, but that's the extent of it. Nothing organic (for bread), or high-protein bread flours. I also cannot find things like malt powder to make bagels and such.


Wondering if any fellow Canucks know where I might find some of these products? Or if I can order them online from somewhere?


Thanks a bunch!

Mumsie Leonie's picture
Mumsie Leonie

I'm two hours away from TO too. I don't seem to have a problem finding ingredients that you have asked about.   Arva..a flour mill within the London network is a great place to get organic and many different kinds of flour.  However, they do not provide spec sheets so you'll just have to try their products.  I use their light rye consistently without problem. Oak Manor farms owned by the Reiblings in Tavistock has wonderful specialty flours and you can find them in the Superstores although a little pricey. I get my Red Fife heirloom flour from Ottawa..this is a good solid hard wheat flour with good protein properties. You can also go on line to King Arthur Flour and find all of these things albeit a little more expensive.  They don't deliver to Canada but I have had them deliver to an UPS store address and gone over and picked it up.  You can use Barley Malt syrup for your bagels and that can be found at any Bulk Barn or health food store. I have also used molasses for bagels..as well. 


Sue


Mumsie's Kitchen™

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Is there a Planet Organic near where you live?  That's where I find most of my organic ingredients for baking. 


Mati's picture
Mati

Hello all,


I'm also new to this forum and to artisan baking.  I live in Toronto.  I've found organic hard white flour at The Big Carrot, at Noah's and at the St. Lawrence market. At The Big Carrot you can buy Malt powder.


I am milling my own whole wheat flour and I have not had any difficulties finding organic winter wheat berries.


I am having difficulties though finding bannetons.  Any tips?


Mati


 

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

"2 hours from Toronto" could put you in Buffalo, London, Owen Sound or Kingston.


If you are west of Toronto and can get into Hamilton, there's a place called Traynor's Bakery Wholesale where you can nab large bags of flour and other baking items. 905-522-2730 


191 Victoria Ave. S, Hamilton L8N 3C8


You WILL want to find it on Google maps before you head there. Print out both the "TO" and "FROM" directions (they'll be different) and get an arial view map so you can see how to get at (and from) it. It is NOT easy; it's a mega pain in the backside to drive to because of all the flippin' 1-way streets in Hamilton. But it is a goldmine when you get there.


It's wholesale and a warehouse, they're open during normal business hours only, they don't have an online site to peruse their stock. But you can walk in and buy a couple of 20K bags of whatever flour you want and pay cash, they don't demand you be a "business". I picked up 40k of unbleached flour (20k bread, 20k AP) for $27.20 total. 


I've yet to see unbleached bread flour in a grocery store. They ALL carry the same thing: bleached and max 5kg in your choice of Robin Hood, Five Roses or Monarch - all three made/owned by Smuckers. If you look at Robin Hood's AP and bread flour, they are both 4g protein per 30g serving; AP and Bread are both "high" protein flours. The bread flour differs because they add "improvers"; even their own site says you can replace their "Best for Bread" flour with their AP.


If you're not near Hamilton, however, I haven't looked for other places (I'm in Burlington) so I can't help you much there.


Malt powder: Find your local brew-your-own-beer shop. Beer making uses malt, in powder and/or liquid form. They get it in bulk and usually sell it in half-liter amounts. If you find malt in, say, a health food store, you'll easily pay four or five times more.

LittleTee's picture
LittleTee

Thank you for the suggestions! I am in Belleville (so closer to Kingston) -- should have mentioned that lol!


I forgot about Red Fife, I remember hearing about it -- there is a place in this area (I believe) that sells it, otherwise I'm sure I can track it down in Ottawa. I will try it. And thanks for the tip on the malt powder at a brew shop! If I am in Hamilton, though, I will definitely check out Traynor's.


Glad to connect with fellow Canuck bakers!

johnsankey's picture
johnsankey

There's a Bulk Barn in Belleville - no place is better for variety of flours. In Ottawa my local Metro store carries Bob's Red Mill and Red Fife. I've never found diastatic malt locally.

jsmanson's picture
jsmanson

If it's diastatic Malt Powder you're looking for  - after spending a considerable time researching the malt powder and malt syrup's that I could get my hands on in BC, I finally gave up and ordered it from Barry Farm in the US, as ALL of the local varieties turned out to be non-diastatic.  They are sending me 3 lbs of diastatic malt for less than $20 US.  The powder is about $6 and the postage is going to be less than $10.  This is of relevance to those that are using malt to improve the enzyme action in their breads, not those that are looking for alternative sweeteners as non-diastatic will do for that purpose.


Bannetons - I just received a bunch through amazon.com, they shipped to Canada.  The seller is brotform.com - Got three different sizes with the cloth thingies for under $100 with postage.  San Fransisco Baking Institute also has them for arounf $15-20 each, and I beleive they will ship to Canada.


Flour - you guys are lucky near Toronto - I'm still lokking for bread flour in bulk out west, something more than 5kgs...


John.


 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

John.  Check this site out for brotforms/proofing baskets.  As low as $3.00 each.  The problem is the international shipping. It cost way more than the $50.00 order.  Still turned out much cheaper than Amazon and other sites I have seen.

http://www.luckyclovertrading.com/tray-baskets-c-1_5.html?page=1

John

supersonix's picture
supersonix

Hi there,


You can buy large 20kg bags of Dover bread flour at MVR cash and carry.  The price is around $17 so it's definitely worth it to get the large size.  It's in Toronto near Hwy 400 just north of the 401.  Do a search for the name and you can check out the website and location.  It's a large wholesale place catering to the food service industry but the general public can purchase from there as well.


In regards to malt, I think what you are looking for is a diastatic malt powder.  This is not what they sell at the brew shops unfortunately.  I remember going around to a few some time ago and while they did have malt powder, it wasn't diastatic.  I ended up making my own from wheat berries. It's really quite easy and works well and you can't beat the price!. :)


 


 

prairiegal's picture
prairiegal

John looking for flour out west... where out west are you?  Edmontonian here.

jsmanson's picture
jsmanson

I'm in Victoria....

prairiegal's picture
prairiegal

I have purchased flour from these people: http://anitasorganic.com/products.php


It was from soft white wheat (before I started making bread) and it was delicious.  They do have wheat berries and flour from hard red and white wheat.  I'm not sure about shipping costs.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I agree with you on Anita's.  They have amazing products.  I stocked up last week and baked a few different breads with the goods.  VERY good quality.

John

LittleTee's picture
LittleTee

Okay I did some searching... found one near Peterborough and they have retailers in the Toronto area:


 


http://www.merrylynd.com


 


I may give them a try. I don't know what to expect price-wise so what do those veterans out there think about these prices?

chickadee's picture
chickadee

I'm a little late coming into this discussion, but Little Tee I understand your problem. I live in Northern Ontario which is even farther from good sources. However I have found a variety of flours at Bulk Barn. I'm sure there's one in Kingston or Ottawa. I was in one in Barrie last week and came away with several different flours. Good luck.

kathj's picture
kathj

I live in Ottawa and would like to know where we can purchase their Red Fife Flour here? Thank you!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I am close to Vancouver so I can not help you out locally.  Here are some places I purchase from.

Amazing organic flour, grains, etc.  Great prices too:

http://anitasorganic.com/

A few of my bakes using their flours and grains:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/31891/40-fraser-valley-organic-medium-rye

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/31758/my-first-danish-rye-rugbrot

I noticed a HUGE difference in using their flours compared to store bought flours such as Robin Hood.

As for proofing baskets and brotforms, I ordered online from this site.  Very cheap but the international shipping hurts.

http://www.luckyclovertrading.com/tray-baskets-c-1_5.html?page=1

Good luck!

John

grind's picture
grind

Hi John, that's a good link.  Which ones did you purchase?  I'm interested in the cloth covered ones.  I remember buying the cloth covered ones at Ikea years ago for a loonie a piece.  I still dream about them.  Thanks.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Hi fellow Vancouverite.  A loonie a piece???  Wow.

I got a few of each of the brotforms and the linen lined baskets.  I only wish I did not get item #0297D.  Way too large for any loaf.

Just be careful, as you have to make a $50.00 minimum order and the shipping is rediculously expensive.  After everything, it still ends up being cheaper than the other sources I have looked into online.

Take care.

John

ichadwick's picture
ichadwick

I'm about 2 hours NNW of Toronto. Anyone know of a good source for diastatic malt powder and unbleached organic flour north of Toronto, or in Toronto itself?

ichadwick's picture
ichadwick

PS. A flour mill in Beeton, not far from Toronto, has some interesting products:

http://k2milling.blogspot.ca/

 

 

ichadwick's picture
ichadwick

Got an email back from the K2 mill. They sell not only flour, but diastatic malt! A road trip is in the planning stage...

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

Sounds very interesting...I couldn't see the hours on the site for k2milling - did you get them in the email?

ichadwick's picture
ichadwick

 We are open Mon - Fri: 930 - 430 and Sundays 11 - 2.

 We have diastatic malt flour as well. Flour is available in 3, 10, 20 and 40 pound bags.

ichadwick's picture
ichadwick

I plan to visit K2 mill tomorrow. Flour, malt and sourdough bread (maybe they'll sell me some starter...) on the shopping list...

ichadwick's picture
ichadwick

K2 Mill in Beeton, ON

Got 10lb of Red Fife flour and 10lb of a local, hard spring wheat flour today. And a small bad of freshly ground malted barley. Oh yes, and a boule of sourdough bread from a nearby bakery...

ichadwick's picture
ichadwick

Made another trip to the Bulk Barn today, as well as as the local Fresco grocery store. BB has jars of Eden malt syrup for about $8. The label says its diastatic. They also have two organic flours, one labelled a "bread" flour. Fresco also sells packages of organic flour.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

You might double check that "diastatic" on the Eden malt syrup, just to avoid confusion. As I recall, there is some confusing language on the label but I don't think Eden sells a diastatic malt syrup(to retail consumers).

Maybe something different in CA though.

ichadwick's picture
ichadwick

My apologies. I think you are correct. I read the label too quickly and saw the word "enzymes" which made me think it was diastatic. I checked the website and it doesn't seem to be anything but a sweetener.