The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Costco flours

RudyH's picture

Costco flours

My wife is a member at Costco and we are generally happy with this. We have recently experienced a couple of the minor hazards of buying their bulk flours. I'm the baker in the family so when I put flour on the shopping list my wife has sensibly tended to shop price.

1) A 25 pound bag of all purpose flour was bleached rather than the unbleached, which is what he have customarily bought. The flour was also not sifted like the more expensive commercial flours like Pillsbury. This was no big deal, but my perception is that unbleached flour is healthier, so I prefer to pay the extra for unbleached.

2) Next time she bought 20 pounds of all purpose flour that is actually a kind of variant on the all purpose flour theme. It's got fiber and a different kind of grain that is claimed to be more nutritious. That was a good concept but it really alters the breads I make with it, so I am essentially making a new kind of bread. So if you buy flour there, check the details of the label.

As a result of this, I'm beginning to specify brand names on the shopping list.

flournwater's picture

I currently use COSTCO Eagle Mills All Natural All-Purpose Unbleached Flour for my bread making.  My family and I prefer bread with an open crumb but without exagerated holes in the crumb structure (baker's bedrooms) with a delicately crisp crust and somewhat chewy texture.  The Eagle Mills flour gives me the results I want in that (Italian style) type of bread.  It has a 13% protein level, is slightly darker in color than the typical bleached AP flour that I formerly used in bread making, and brings a nice flavor to the finished loaf when prepared with a perferment formula.

A snack at our house is a glass of wine with this bread dipped in a good quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper; or sliced with a rub garlic and olive oil with a sprinkling of a favorite cheese.

mredwood's picture

Does not sell unbleached flour. Others across the country do. If you buy bulk anywhere buy only unbleached and you won't run into the problem of other grains added. Try the sysco, smart & final, cash & carry stores. If they don't have what you want write down the names of company they do sell, look them up on line and then ask the manager or buyer to order what you want. The distributor to these warehouses can usually get some other flour that that milling company mills. Works for me.


sphealey's picture

I haven't bought bleached flour since the 1970s, but if it is bleached with an oxygen compound it isn't outright harmful.  Costco however still sells tons - literally - of BROMATED flour.  Bromates as a food processing chemical have been banned in the EU for 20 years and California for 10, and for good reason.  It boggles my mind that Costco, generally a "good guy" when it comes to big companies, somehow finds and sells bromated flour.


erdosh's picture

I prefer to buy plain flour and add other ingredients (whole wheat flour, rye, grains, seeds, whatnot) according to my own taste and plans. I sometimes add gluten flour to increase protein content (available in bulk in health food stores) and diastatic malt powder (helps yeast eat and reproduce better). I don't suggest to buy flour with added ingredients.


George (author of What Recipes Don't Tell You)

mcs's picture

As mentioned above, Costco has many types of flours available, bleached, unbleached, and whole wheat.  Here's some of them.  If they don't stock these at your store you can ask if they can get some for you anyway.  If you want to see the protein/ash content, and all of that stuff for any of the ConAgra flours/grains, it's all in this PDF.