The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Where to buy whole wheat bread flour

Jackiems's picture
Jackiems

Where to buy whole wheat bread flour

I have been searching online for somewhere to buy a moderate quantity of whole wheat bread flour. There are only two of us at home, so 2  5 lb. bags seems like too much, with the short shelf life. Can anyone suggest anyplace, other than Amazon? Will the whole wheat flour last longer if I freeze it? Thank you!

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Most grocery  stores will carry  it.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I don't think the shelf life is really all that short and like you said, just stick it in the fridge or freezer and it will last a really long time. Almost any supermarket should carry a 5lb bag of whole wheat flour. Even Trader Joe's sells it! 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

When using store-bought whole-wheat flour for bread, my favorite is "whole white wheat". I buy it locally:

1. Prairie Gold whole white wheat, in the yellow bag, by Wheat Montana, at Walmart.

2. Kroger brand whole white wheat at Kroger.

3. Trader Joe brand whole white wheat at Trader Joe's.

Prairie Gold comes in a resealable plastic bag, so it can go in fridge.

Kroger and Trader Joe comes in standard lined paper bags, so I put those in a plastic bag and keep in fridge.

This flour can also be used for pancakes, biscuits, muffins, etc., so I find that even cooking for just myself, I use it up before the expire date.

You can make bread with 100% of this whole white flour. You can, but you don't have to, dilute it with bran-less flour. So you'll use it up quickly.  

If you do want to dilute it with regular bran-less bread or AP flour, you can go 3:1 ... 3 cups whole white flour, to 1 cup  regular AP or regular bread flour. 

Is this what you were looking for?

Jackiems's picture
Jackiems

My preference is for whole wheat and not whole white wheat. I greatly appreciate your input.

Colin2's picture
Colin2

My experience, FWLIW, is you do best looking for supermarkets that sell it in bulk (with, hopefully, good turnover!) and buying small amounts as needed.  But that depends totally on where you are, so this may not be useful!

Jackiems's picture
Jackiems

I find that the grocery stores near me do not sell 'whole wheat bread flour', including Whole Foods. I am using "The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book", which recommends a flour of 14% protein.

I will use your suggestions to buy and freeze if necessary. 

Thank you so much to all of you!

 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

You might try looking for King Arthur Flour whole wheat. It's usually more expensive than most brands of whole wheat flour but it has the 14% that your looking for. It's oftentimes on sale during the run up to Thanksgiving so keep your eyes open for the opportunity.

Jackiems's picture
Jackiems

Thank you so much. I didn't realize that. I have bought it before, and will try it again.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Ia the issue that you are looking for Whole Foods whole wheat BREAD flour and not just Whole Foods whole wheat flour? It's likely they don't have whole wheat labeled as bread flour, but they certainly have whole wheat flour which can be used. 

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Wow, good call. I think that might be the whole issue the OP is having. Whole wheat flour is what they need to be looking for, not whole wheat "bread" flour. Most whole wheat flour is going to have enough protein to meet the OP's 14% requirement. Really the only choice that  needs to be considered is between stone ground or a finer grind.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Ah so.  I took it to mean the OP was looking for "whole wheat flour _for_ bread-making" not the exact product label of "Whole Wheat Bread Flour".   But maybe they were looking for the wrong label.

I got out my copy of Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book".  What the poster needs is indeed met by "Whole Wheat Flour".  

But there are options now, at Trader Joe's, Kroger, Walmart, Whole Foods.  So a choice still needs to be made:

a) "red" 100% whole wheat flour for bread-making,   ... or ...

b) "white" 100% whole wheat flour for bread-making.

And as you point out: coarse (stone ground) or finer grind.

(My pet hobby-horse is that "Whole Wheat Flour" for _bread-making_ is "whole _white_ wheat" from KA or preferrably Wheat Montana.)

--

(To many bakers "white" still means "no-bran, no-germ".  Whereas the reality is now more complicared, when "white" can refer to the color of the wheat berry, even when no bran or germ has been removed.)

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I love white whole wheat as well. It isn't as strong/nutty as red whole wheat and a little sweeter while maintaining all the goodness of whole wheat. I use both and choose red for a coarser grind and white for a finer grind (for no particular reason other than availability and experimentation). Sometimes I use a portion of both. Now if only rye wasn't so scarce these days...

Jackiems's picture
Jackiems

Yes, when reading the information in the bread cookbook, I was thinking I specifically needed 'whole wheat bread flour', which may not be the case. Your input is so helpful! Thank you.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Where do you live that whole foods doesn't have it? Their generic 365 brand is very good. Maybe you can ask customer service there. I usually use King Arthur because Whole Foods is too far from me now.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

5 pound bags at Walmart, $3.69, last I checked in Indianapolis. In gold colored plastic bags shelved along with the other flours.

Prairie Gold, by Wheat Montana, 14% protein or slightly better.  See: http://www.wheatmontana.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/Prairie%20Gold%20Bulk%20Flour%2004.19.pdf

It is a Hard White Spring Wheat.  It has all the grain, including the germ.  I love it, and have been using it, store-bought and home-milled for over 10 years.

(You can't go by the "Nutrition Info" box on flours, because those numbers are rounded off, as required by regulation. And they use a small "single serving" basis, usually 30 g, also required by regulation, so a small rounding error works out to a significant percentage.  So a .49 gram rounding error in 30 grams, will make a difference of 1.6 percentage points.)

My local Kroger carries King Arthur traditional red whole wheat, and King Arther white whole wheat, for over $5 per 5 pound bag.  See their  percent protein content at:

https://shop.kingarthurflour.com/items/king-arthur-premium-100-whole-wheat-flour-5-lb

https://shop.kingarthurflour.com/items/king-arthur-white-whole-wheat-flour-5-lb

And seriously, while the quality difference of the generic Kroger white whole wheat, and generic Trader Joe white whole wheat to the PG and KA  may be noticeable, it's not all that big a difference.

Until one's  baking skills get to really high levels, I personally don't think it's worth it to get wheat or flour via web/mail order where you are paying $3 a pound or more after shipping.

In my opinion, PG, at under $.80/pound at Walmart, is just as good as KA flour at $1.12/pound at Kroger.  But everyone has their preference.  

And.... you can still use these flours in pancakes, muffins, cookies, pitas, tortillas, pizza dough, etc., though maybe not at 100%.  You'll use it up before the expire date. So buy a bag of PG at Walmart, and I bet your nearest major grocery store has King Arthur whole white wheat, so buy one of those to compare. to.     --- These _are_ "whole wheat bread flours."

Bon appetit!

Jackiems's picture
Jackiems

idaveindy,

 

Thank you so much. I really appreciate your input and all the information. I have been baking bread sporadically for the last few years with some success. I will try some of the products you have suggested. Much appreciated!

Marie

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

If you still want red whole wheat, as opposed to white whole wheat...  

Wheat Montana makes "Bronze Chief" a Hard _Red_ Spring wheat, also 14% protein, 100% whole grain as is Prairie Gold, also available at most Walmarts, for $3.69 per 5 pound bag.  if not at a "Neighborhood Walmart" you might have to go to the full-size Walmart.

"BC" specs: http://www.wheatmontana.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/Bronze%20Chief%20Bulk%20Flour%2004.19.pdf

KA also has a "traditional" whole wheat which is red, not white.  But I don't know if it is winter or spring.

( When we  say "white whole wheat" or "whole white wheat" the "white" does not refer to flour that has had bran and germ removed, like standard AP or "bread flour".  In these terms, white refers to the color of the wheat berry.  They are still 100% whole grain.)

 

Jackiems's picture
Jackiems

Thank you to all of you who have replied and educated me on what is available. I do have Whole Foods nearby as well as other stores which carry KA whole wheat flour. I want to try some Montana Flour as has been suggested, and see how it comes out.

Last week I tried making a loaf of rye, with a combination of dark rye flour, whole wheat pastry flour( which is what I had) and all purpose flour from Wegmans. The flavor was fine but the loaves didn't rise, probably because of the pastry flour. And the Wegman's flour had no date on it, so who knows how old it was. I'm learning!!!

Everyone's input has been invaluable. Thank you!