The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

more questions about flours

edh's picture

more questions about flours

Hi all,

I'm a new member, writing from a small town in coastal Maine. Not much within a two hour drive by way of specialty stores, so we make do with what we have. Most of my flour comes from a co-op that orders monthly; quite a bit available that way, though. My question; I've been using organic flours produced by Champlain Valley Millers (I think that's the right name; it just says CVM in the co-op catalog); I've got their whole wheat bread flour and unbleached white with the germ. Both types seem to perform perfectly well, but as I'm running out of both, I'm wondering if I should be experimenting further afield. The co-op carries KA  organic bread flours of various types, including something called Artisan. Does anyone have any experience with this flour or the one they call classic? If so, are they worth it? The price isn't substantially different from the ones I've been using.

Thank you for your thoughts,


sphealey's picture

I have only encountered a few people who _don't_ like King Arthur flour; most who don't use it say it is because of the price[1]. If you can get KA at the same price as your usual flour, I would say there is no harm in trying some - you may decide it isn't as good as your usual brand, but it is unlikely you will really dislike it.

You might want to order KA's paper catalog - it has a lot of detailed information on their flour types.

The KA Artisan Organic is intended to be closer to the flour used in French bakeries than the standard American flour types. I haven't tried it, but I would guess it is really very similar to their US-style organic AP.


[1] Some King Arthur production lines are nut-separated, but some are not. If you have a nut allergy problem you need to check each flour type before using. Pre-purchase you can call or e-mail their customer service line which is quite helpful.

edh's picture

Thanks for your thoughts; I just noticed that I can try a smaller bag of the artisan than I thought (I thought they only had it in 50# bags), so I think I'll try a 10# bag and see what it does. Probably order my usual too, just to be safe!


mountaindog's picture

Hi edh - welcome to the site.

I am a long-time King Arthur fan and now use their 100% organic artisan flour and their organic whole wheat flour. I recently did a recipe comparision between the regular KA AP (which I used to use and is great too) and the KA organic artisan, results here.

I highly reccommend the KA organic artisan if you can get it at a reasonable price. I order 5lb bags by the case from my local health food coop here in upstate NY and get a 10% discount.

BTW, where on the Maine coast are you? I have lots of immediate family there in Bath, Phippsburg, and Blue Hill, and we spend quite a lot of time there (my favorite place on earth). Did you get a lot of snow this weekend? We got over 2 ft of powder here in the Catskills and no sign of a melt yet...and here I thought I'd be planting peas in my veggie garden at the end of this month!


edh's picture

Hi Mountaindog,

Thanks for the nice welcome; this site has become my instant day-improver!

It's a funny thing about flour; I grew up with KA AP and only switched to the CVM bread flour because it was organic and I thought there might be a slight nutritional gain with the germ still in. Having run out of that before my next co-op order, I went out and bought a bag of AP yesterday (mostly because of the advice I got here0, and couldn't believe my eyes when I opened the oven door a couple of hours ago. Same recipe I've been working on for a couple of weeks, but it produced a loaf at least half again as big as I'm used too. Wow!

Now I need to get beyond the cooking it in a covered pot thing. I used to bake on a stone, but the no-knead, covered pot thing makes it so easy to get the perfect crust.

I'm about 4 hours further up the coast from Bath...



Squid's picture

Hmmm..... I just experienced the same thing. I was using Bob's Red Mill organic bread flour and I found a local mill who referred me to a bakery who was willing to sell me their bread flour (I can't get KA flour in Canada). I couldn't believe the difference in my bread. I'd been having difficulty getting big holes with the previous flour.

Of course, I later found out that the Bob's Mill was 11.9% gluten and the one from the bakery was 13%. I'm assuming that was the difference?