The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Where to buy whole grain/alternative flours?

Dana D's picture
Dana D

Where to buy whole grain/alternative flours?

Hello all! 

I see a lot of recipes on here including flours such as red fife, buckwheat, spelt, etc. I also recently purchased Tartine Book No.3, which focuses on whole grains. I used to live in Austin, Texas and had a great relationship with a miller there (Barton Springs Mill!) but have since relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There isn't much of a bread scene here, and the most exciting thing I've been able to find is white rye. I looked into ordering online from Anson Mills, but you have to buy 10 lbs at a time, and I don't have the freezer space for that.

Any suggestions for a home baker in Louisiana on where to source whole grain flour?

 

Justanoldguy's picture
Justanoldguy

In addition to being a home baker you might also consider becoming a home miller. All the grains you mention are available from a wide variety of retailers online in the form of raw berries, that is 'kernels, the same as your friend the miller processes. In that form they require no refrigeration for storage, only protection from temperature extremes and insects. There is also a wide selection of grain mills suitable for home use and several are very affordable. You might look into milling your own flour. I just finished up a 26 pound pail of hard red wheat berries that I bought 6 months ago and the flour that went into my loaf was as fresh as it could possibly be and performed the same way as the first batch I milled. Yes, it adds another level of skill to acquire but it also adds a level of control and quality that's impossible with off the shelf product. When it comes out of your home mill it is truly whole grain flour, unadulterated, unmanipulated and unenriched with unpronounceables. 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Call Graison at 504.827.0008 at Belgarde Bakery in NoLa. He mills his own and is working to establish organic wheat production in Louisiana - once again. I don't know if he's supplying the home baker trade but he's most likely the guy to give you a straight shot to a good local source. He's mak'in quite a splash in the fine food of NoLa as reported below in "The New Orleans Advocate";

The New Orleans Advocate Story:

http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/food_restaurants/article_4f1ecfc4-5b15-11e6-8a79-938e1e06a204.html

Belgarde Website: https://bellegardebakery.com/

Wild-Yeast

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

This is from a post back in 2011 when Smucker diddled with White Lily flours makeup causing a fairly big stir in the culinary world of fine biscuit making - worked its way to a near national flap for the J.M. Smucker Company.

Feb 9 2011 - 6:40pm

 

Do Not Forsake the Importance of Regionally Grown Ingredients

 

The following is excerpted from:


"Understanding Baking The Art and Science of Baking", THIRD EDITION, Joseph Amendola & Nicole Rees, page 7...,

"Generally, soft wheats have a high starch yield on milling and a low
protein content. They are grown in areas of high rainfall and lower soil fertility, primarily east of the Mississippi River. Low-protein southern flours are deployed to their best advantage in their growing region's specialties-biscuits, pies, and cakes where tenderness is prized over strength. Beyond wheat's given genetic quotient of hardness or softness, environmental conditions determine the hardness of any given crop. Not only the overall protein content but also the quality and specific amounts of each protein present can be affected by seasonal variations."

Death of White Lilly flour has caused a major perturbation of the biscuit force South of the Mason Dixon Line and other sundry places where biscuit aficionados reside.


Becoming a national catastrophe, the story was covered by none other than the New York Times in June of 2008. The story can be read here:


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/dining/18flour.html


The question remains; "Is there a viable replacement for White Lilly Flour?"


Bien Cordialement, Wild-Yeast