The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Shopping...

scarlett75's picture
scarlett75

Shopping...

I feel kind of silly. Since I've started this baking habit, I've been paying alot more attention to what's available at my local grocery store (in terms of flours). I was actually quite disappointed to see that they had a VERY limited supply of flours (white, unbleached, whole wheat, and "Bread Machine").

Then, I went to Trader Joes... thinking they might have "more". Nope. They only had ONE type of flour. *sigh*

I don't know why I thought to go to the next place, but I decided to try Lassen's Health Foods. *insert trumpets* I found a bevy of choices. :) Now, because I'm a novice and have NO IDEA what prices are reasonable... give me your estimates on what you think are "reasonable prices"? I paid $3.29 for a small bag (2lbs) of rye flour. The same for a small bag of out flour. I saw that they had whole wheat flour, but it seemed pricey at $4.29 for a five pound bag! I also found bulk containers of poppy seeds, from which I had the clerk weigh out two ounces ($1.98). What do you pay for these items?? Where have you found the best bargains?

I've found that even with the prices I paid, I'm still saving money on my loaves. Just curious if I could do even better.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Trader Joe up here has King Arthur's Flour, which a lot of bread bakers swear by. Our TJs has a white and a whole wheat King Arthur's 5 lb. bag. I'm pretty sure neither one is more than 4 bucks (perhaps even under 3).

King Arthur's is based on the east coast, so I always check the freshness date before buying any.

I typically buy my flour bulk. Our grocery store has Bob's Red Mill flours bulk. Bob's is based in Oregon, so it is really easy to find up here, but I know they distribute up and down the west coast. I've always been pleased with the quality and never paid more than a dollar a pound. I think their organic whole wheat flour is typically 69 cents a pound, and they make every kind of flour imaginable (wheat, rye, rice, corn, millet, soy, and so on).

The other one you often see on the west coast is Stone-Buhr. My grocery store has a 5 pound bag of their bread flour for ... I think it is about 2.50. It is extremely high protein and I've found it great to use for bagels and french breads.

stephen198's picture
stephen198

I guess Trader Joe's must vary from area to area, the one I went to in Sacramento had something like 7 different flours.

As for other items:
Poppy seeds, vanilla, red pepperflakes and the like try SF Herb (www.sfherb.com, or www.atlanticspice.com if you are East of the Mississippi) I have shopped in the store and on line and have been very happy. The saffron is well priced generally.

Nuts: www.nutsonline.com Not the cheapest but I have always been pleased with the nuts' quality.

Chcolate: www.chocosphere.com

sonofYah's picture
sonofYah

Chris,

One of your best bets for bulk flours is to check with your local 7th Day Adventist Church. A friend of my wife attends a 7th Day Adventist congregation in a little town up the road. Since we started eating biblically kosher, we were interested in the products they offered. The congregation in a larger town nearby has a store to help support their school. They also buy from a bulk supplier.

Some of the prices we paid were:

Blue Poppy Seed ----- 5 lb. -----5.75
Chemical Free Hard red winter wheat berries ---- 50 lb. ----18.50
Organic Rye Berries ---- 25 lb. ----- 10.00

Will check the prices of the flour. But each congregation may have a bulk supplier they use. It's worth a try. And this particular congregation has never contacted us other than to see if we want to place an order.

Gordon