The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

French wheat flour available in Australia

grace.18's picture
grace.18

French wheat flour available in Australia

Hello - this is my first time here and I have been enjoying all your posts.

Sadly, I have zero tolerance to all grains (not just gluten) and can therefore not eat bread of any kind.  On a recent trip to Paris, a friend suggested I try the bread as the protein is quite different to that in Australian flour.  To my joy, I found I could eat the bread with no side effects.  When I arrived in UK, I set about reading labels to find bread made with French flour and this I also tolerated with no ill effects. In fact I felt great the whole 2 months I was away.

On my return to AustraliaI have tried without success to find french white wheat flour here.  There are many "french bakeries" of course, and some of them advertise "imported flour" .  This turned out to be Italian and had disasterous effects on my digestion. 

I so loved being able to eat bread and am hoping someone knows where to find the flour here, so I can have a go at making it myself - or even a bakery who sell the real thing.

thanks

 

 

 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi grace.18,

The reality is that wheat is a globally-traded commodity.   It is very difficult to guarantee the country of origin for every brand of flour, every unit offered for sale.   For example, the woeful plant bread offered for sale in the UK is largely made using British wheat.   Indeed 3 operators made claims to using only British wheat.   However, after the worst wheat harvest in many years, it is doubtful that this will be able to continue in the next year, and grain will have to be imported from Germany and elsewhere to use for UK bread manufacture until we have an improved wheat harvest.

I accept that the French are very special in the pride they take in using their own home-produced food, but I don't see that is a guarantee that you can access genuine French flour, unless you find a source in France which is fully-provenant and is happy to ship to Australia.

I find the idea that you have zero tolerance of all grains, but you can eat bread made with only French flour to be somewhat unlikely.   Whilst French flour is special in many ways, it is still wheat, and a category of grain, just like all the other wheat produced around the world.

Best wishes

Andy

grace.18's picture
grace.18

Thanks Andy for this information.  - it is very helpful.  It is odd I agree that I could tolerate the bread in Paris and London, but as I understand it, the wheat is a different strain to the Australian wheat and has a protein that is much more easily digested.  This has been a lifetime problem for me, so I have tried just about everything!

thanks for your help

Grace

totels's picture
totels

As Andy says, wheat is a globally traded commodity, and France has been one of the top exporters in the world for quite some time. The nuance here though is that the wheat is exported, not the flour, wheat can be stored a lot longer, so even if you get flour made with French wheat it won't be the same stuff. The differences you'll want to look for are probably in the milling or the preparation of the dough. Each countries local producers will have different demands based on their market and will mix and process the available wheat to meet those requests.

I have no idea if France fulfills all of it's own internal needs for wheat before export, thusly making French bread purely made of French wheat. From what I understand, Australia isn't far behind in wheat production and export (based on relative size/population) so it's possible to find that all flour in Australia comes from Australian wheat. But world commodity markets are never that simple.

There is a good (very technical) comment by a French baker on the subject of flour differences, mostly between NA flours and French flours. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10182#comment-60375 He outlines pretty clearly how readily different parts of the world use additives to "correct" their flours, it's not unheard of for there to be some additive in your local flour that is bothering you that may not be used in French flours. You can likely talk to a physician and get tested for allergies and the like to see if there is something to your grain hypothesis or if it might be some other additive.

grace.18's picture
grace.18

Hello Totels - thank you for your post and all the helpful information.  Yes - true that commercial bread contains lots of additives that I am also sensitive to - however I live in an area where people are very conscious of organic and healthy food (Byron Bay) and we have several local bakers selling very pure and organic products (according to them) - none of which I can tolerate.

All very strange I agree. 

I will check out the French Baker link - thanks

kind regards

grace

 

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hi grace.18.

I can't add to the excellent information and comments made by Andy and totels, except to confirm that imported French flour is very hard to come by in Australia, and prohibitively expensive. As far as I know, there is one 'gourmet' French artisan bakery in Perth that claims to use only imported French flour in their bread, and no retailers providing such flour. I can't speak for the Eastern states, but I strongly suspect the situation is similar there.

The good news is that there are some superb quality Australian stone-ground certified 'organic' flours available here, at reasonable prices. Four Leaf in South Australia is one company specialising in such product; Eden Valley in Western Australia is another. I regularly use both, and can vouch for the quality.

It could well be worth giving these flours a go (there is no better place to find great advice on baking your own bread than The Fresh Loaf). As Andy and totels suggest, it is likely that the symptom-free experience you had with French flour was less to do with its locale and more to do with the way it was grown and produced. Why don't you try putting this theory to the test with the Aust flours I've mentioned, or others that are organically grown here and stone-ground?

Cheers and good luck in your quest.

Ross

grace.18's picture
grace.18

Hi Ross - I really appreciate all your lovely replies and helpful suggestions.  As you can see from the post reply above, I am in an area where certified organic and stone ground products are readily available in all manner of grains, including wheat, spelt, rice and others.  Sadly, none of them is OK for me.

thanks so much for your help and interesting posts -

kind regards

grace

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Hi

I live in Adelaide, and have located an importer of French flour in Qld, Uncle Bobs.  I don't have allergies but like to use their T45 flour for brioche.  They will post to you.  Speak to Brett Noy at brett@unclebobs.com.au.  Whether or not the flour they supply is suitable for you I don't know, but it is worth a try. I think their phone no. is 07 3283 6049.  Hope this helps, and good luck!

Sondra

shoshanna673's picture
shoshanna673

Wow, sorry, that email address did not compute well on screen.  unclebobs.com.au.  

Sondra

grace.18's picture
grace.18

Thank you all so much for your informative and helpful posts.  - I will try Uncle Bobs thanks Sondra and post how I go.

Grace

GlendaLynne's picture
GlendaLynne

You can buy Imported French T65 bread Flour from www.basicingredients.com.au  

I have not tried it but have bought other products from them and have been happy with their service.