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recommendations from King Arthur Flour?

Because my local health food store has gone all yuppie and high-end, and now sells mostly prepackaged (though organic) stuff, it no longer stocks plain old pint containers of bulk yeast for baking. So it looks like I'm going to need to order it from K.A. Their prices are reasonable, but given shipping charges, it seems I ought to take advantage of the opportuntity and order some other stuff. I have a sour dough starter of my own that I'm happy with, I guess (don't have much to compare it to); is theirs really spectacular? What about the little packets of pain de campagne starter? They seem kind of pricy; are they worth it? Anything else I should consider? I'm not a fan of gadgets, but are there any I ought to at least look at?

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  1. I have no King Arthur suggestions, but I got 2 bags of vacuum-packed yeast (about a pint apiece) from Sam's Club for around $5.

    Shopping the King Arthur site sounds more fun, though. :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: JGrey

      unfortunately I'm not near a sams club, costco, or Trader Joes, all of which were recommended to me on my local board...

    2. I have the Pain de Mie pan- great for making sandwich bread . Also have the Italian bread pan. Have bought their colored sugars, ascorbic acid, pumpernickel plus, and lots of their flours. Love them!

      1. I've been considering doing an order myself. The things that appeal to me are their candied fruits and peels which I will use for holiday baking. I'm also keen to try some of their flavorings - princess cake flavor, fior di sicilia flavor. For what it is worth, King Arthur is one of amazon.com's 3rd-party sellers so you can see their products on Amazon, and some have reviews.

        Added later: Just noticed that someone has the fior di sicilia flavoring listed in the "secret ingredient" thread on this board.

        1. I have some of their specialty flours - white whole wheat, organic whole wheat, semolina, artisan bread - which I can't find easily. I got the pain de campagne starter and the bread it makes is excellent, but my husband took over breadmaking and he prefers his own starters.

          2 Replies
            1. re: oakjoan

              Yes truly! I got him started by giving him Joe Ortiz' Village Baker.

          1. I used to buy flour from them, visited their store in Vermont, have loved everything I ever got. Their recipes were great. Good people to deal with. So scarf up everything that you can afford and use their flour, especially high protein for sourdough breads, and get their catalog sent to you. Can't recommend them highly enough.

            1 Reply
            1. re: EclecticEater

              well you certainly sold me! I just placed an order for yeast, some starter, various flours and a lame-- had to restrain myself from a peel and stone :)