The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Orleans artisan flour

IBringThePain's picture
IBringThePain

New Orleans artisan flour

I'm moving to New Orleans from northern California this fall. I've never lived there before and don't know anyone there who bakes bread, so I have no clue where I can get good flour for the pain au levain I make. For a year or so I've been getting Giusto's organic unbleached bread flour and whole wheat flour (the former is 14.2% protein, the latter 15%) from my local food co-op, and they are VERY good. However, it's a Bay Area company, and I'd rather not have to have my mom ship me flour on a regular basis. Is there a place where I could buy high-gluten organic flour in New Orleans or the surroundings that anyone knows about?

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I've seen some posts that indicate Whole Foods sources some of their store brand flour from Central Milling.

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Well, not too many responses yet, and let me say up front, I've never been to The Big Easy. That said, you don't have to have ever visited there to understand it's a major city that thrives with restaurant after restaurant. I would have to assume that the bakery and bread industry is also quite robust, and therefore, there should be no short supply of just about anything you could think of. I'm really going to guess that the at-home bakers there have enough demand that either your actual flour, or a completely suitable replacement, should be readily available through a number of retail avenues. If that doesn't turn out to be the case, then it won't take long to find a restaurant/bakery that can get you what you need. I wouldn't sweat it, and highly doubt mom will need to ship you anything due to unavailability. Not only is New Orleans a major US city, but is also a major port (ranked 7th largest in US - year 2004), so anything that is imported should be equally easy to obtain.

I believe you just upgraded your available resources, not the other way around... Hope you like humidity! hehe

Best,

- Keith

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

Have not seen Guisto's flour for sale locally, but the company does internet sales, so you don't need to involve your mom in the flour transactions.  G's will ship it directly to you.  King Arthur's organic bread flour is available in local Whole Foods stores, but the high gluten Sir Lancelot generally isn't.  Again, mail order will get it right to you.  I still have to mail order Caputo 00, as well.

It's hot as Hades in NOLA, so be prepared for a big adjustment in your bread's behavior.  Humidity never lets up, and dough will often overproof if not watched carefully.  On the other hand, life isn't possible without air conditioning during the summer months, so you might end up with a slightly cooler kitchen than you'd think.

The New Orleans Food Coop may carry flour--the Coop is scheduled to move into a renovated multipurpose facility at some point soon.  See the Coop website here:  http://giustos.com/home_baker/flours/bread-flours.html

Welcome to the coastal South...

IBringThePain's picture
IBringThePain

I'm going there for school, so I'll miss most of the summer, luckily. You must be right. . . when I visited I saw some very legit bakeries. Thanks for the reassurance.

nolajo's picture
nolajo

 If you're going to Tulane or Loyola, Maple Street Patisserie is nearby. They do good work and are very friendly. I'm sure they could point you in the right direction. A little background:

http://www.nola.com/dining/index.ssf/2010/09/maple_street_patisserie_offers.html

 

 

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

http://www.dawnfoods.com/public/managed/contact_us/locations/louisiana/index.asp

John E. Koerner & Co., Inc.

I get my hi-gluten, etc. from Dawn Foods in Denver. Good prices, good selection (King Arthur commercial flours, Guisto, etc.), but I don't know if that holds in New Orleans.

Give them a call and they'll either have what you're looking for or know where to find it locally.

(You might be shocked at having to buy in 50 lb. bags, but it goes fast and stays fresh for a long time–and the price can't be beat: you'll pay less for 50 lbs than you will for 10 lbs in the supermarket.).

If they say they don't sell to individuals, just show up and say you want to buy some. Works everytime for me, as the people on the phone only want to talk to volume buyers.

King Arthur makes an Organic Hi-G flour @ 14.0% protein/.56 ash from hard red spring wheat flour, unmalted, unenriched, but I doubt you'll find that in New Orleans. These are my people, and they eat fried pork fat for snack. Organic? What's that? :)

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

And fried pork fat has a long, glorious history as a bread ingredient:  see cracklin corn bread, fougasse de foix, casatiello, pane con i grassetti, and so on....

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

Have a recipe? (Is it just adding ground cracklin to corn bread?)

I could buy some cracklins from Poche's in Breaux Bridge and have them shipped to me in Denver: http://www.pochesmarket.com/detail.htm?ProductID=Cracklin

They won't be too tasty by the time they get here (they go rancid so fast), but they might be perfect for adding to cornbread.

Not too long ago, I'd say t'would be easy to find pig skin and lard to make my own cracklins, but I can barely even find stock bones to make stock, beef fat to make tallow, etc.

(Oh, the lamentations of the foodie and his first wortld problems!) ;D

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

I certainly wouldn't bother to order cracklins through the mail, especially NOT in hot weather.  At cool room temp, you get, at most, three or four days from cracklins.   Pork skin is still widely available in ethnic groceries:  find a carneceria or Asian supermarket...or a ghetto supermarket with a not-so-white clientele.

No real recipe, just add rough-chopped cracklins to cornbread batter, put into a HOT black iron skillet liberally greased with bacon fat.  Just make sure that the cornbread isn't a sweet, cakey mess (like Jiffy out of a box); you want a mostly corn (not too much wheat flour) style cornbread.  Chopped green onions, sage, parsley are nice add-ins, as is beaucoup black pepper.

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

If you have a favorite cornbread recipe of the type you mention above, please point me to it.

The one I use if from eGullet, and it's essentially corn cake, having a lot of sugar. It's very good cornbread, but not the kind you describe above.

Also, thanks for the pointer to carnicerias. Denver has a robust Latino community, so they are many carnicerias around here (most of them spelled canceria!) Oddly enough, I was looking for ground pork yesterday and a butcher at Costco pointed me to a carniceria!

I have fond memories of my grandfather makin' cracklins in a big cast iron witches pot full of hot lard. T'would be fun to make some and then try it cornbread.

CelesteU's picture
CelesteU

I have a cast iron chaudiere much like the pic, only mine is wider & shallower, just right for cracklins or jambalaya.  Skillet cornbread is easy--Homesick Texan's recipe is spot-on:  http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2007/01/iron-pan-perfect-cornbread.html  But I never have buttermilk on hand, so I just stir a little vinegar into regular milk.  If you can find it, the White Lily self-rising cornbread mix is pretty good (but it's white cornbread, and I like the yellow meal a tiny bit better).  I grew up eating Pioneer Mills' cornbread mix--it's milled in San Antonio, at the historic Guenther Mills on the river downstream from downtown.