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Source for Durhum Flour in Boston?

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I like durham flour (high protein/gluten) when I bake bread or make Pizza. I used to be able to find it at Harvest food coop, but the last two times I was there they had none. Tried whole foods, and they had King Arthur bread flour, which will do in a pinch, but is not quite the same.

It just occurred to me that Polcari's in the North End probably has it.

Does anyone have any idea of other places I might find it?

Just to clarify I don't want Durham semolina flour which is for pasta making, or whole wheat durham flour. I just want plain durham flour. Thanks.

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  1. Not sure this is the same thing, but I've seen Italian flour 00 (specifically intended for pizza and some breads) at Capone Foods in Cambridge and Somerville.

    1 Reply
    1. re: finlero

      Actually, 00 flour is a softer, lower protein flour (8.5%). You would use it for certain types of breads that don't require a strong structure (pizza and focaccia, for example) but not for most breads.

    2. It's spelled durum. It would be faster to order it online (and it will likely be much fresher):

      http://www.kingarthurflour.com/items/...

      17 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        My typo (now corrected) above, but it can be spelled either Durhum or Durum. I knew that King Arthur sold it on-line, but between shipping, etc. it is kind of absurd to pay $15 for three pounds of flour.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          Talk about absurd -- I picked up a 5-pound bag of King Arthur bread flour at Whole Foods the other week, and it was $4.99. If you find durum flour locally I'd be happy to know about it.

          The good news is I have FINALLY conquered no-knead bread and can turn out a beeeeeeeutiful boule in 24 hours.

          1. re: yumyum

            Haven't tried the bread flour yet, just got it today, but durhum has such a good taste and chew. On the King Arthur web site they also had a High Gluten flour even higher in protein.

            In typical striperguy fashion I managed to find a wholesale bakery supplier in Framingham who had a truly amazing list of available flours and baking supplies:

            http://www.bakerspantryinc.com/

            He said he would happily sell me a 50# or 100# bag. Whew that would a while. Probably reasonably priced though. ;-)

            1. re: StriperGuy

              The easiest way to get a smaller quantity of the high gluten flour is at a friendly pizza shop or bakery, but make sure you inquire about the brand to avoid buying a bromated flour. Sir Lancelot is the high-gluton, Sir Galahad is the bread. Alternately buying a 50lb bag and splitting it among friends (you don't need to go to Framingham, Waltham will do) is another way.

              http://www.kingarthurflour.com/profes...

              Costco has medium-sized packages of flour, but they don't offer the KA high-gluten (I think they have something else, maybe all trumps but probably bromated in around 25 lb bags). They have 10lbs of KA, but usually just the red all purpose. The bread flour you can get a bit cheaper than that whole foods price at Foodmaster or Demoula's.

              1. re: itaunas

                Itaunas good call. My work is located near Iggy's and I was thinking of asking them. I am sure they have some awesome flour. Hope they will sell me some.

                I think it is in fact Savage and Company, formerly of Waltham that moved to Framingham. Saw something on their web site to that regard.

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  Thanks for the info on Savage -- when I last went by about 2 months ago I thought they were still open in Waltham. Restaurant Depot should also have the high gluten, but doesn't carry the whole line. Hard to say about Iggys, they might charge you more than mail order from KA :-), but definitely try around in Watertown. If the bakery angle doesn't work out and you want to get 5 people together, email me.

                  For Karl, I believe that KA did recently drop their wholesale prices a bit and its starting to be reflected at some suppliers... at least compared to the high last year.

                  1. re: itaunas

                    Cool.

            2. re: yumyum

              Flour prices shot up in the middle of last year. Diesel prices have not come down like regular gas prices, so we're still going to be paying increased coin for shipping and derivative costs through the production/delivery chain.

              1. re: yumyum

                Boule? Wasn't that what A-Rod's cuz was giving him?

                Harp

                1. re: yumyum

                  I was actually up at King Arthur Flour's Bakers' Store in Norwich VT a few weeks ago and the 5 lb bags there were $4.29- hardly a big discount considering I was right at the source. They're $4.59 at Market Basket, so I feel like the 30 cents to have it brought from VT to Somerville is not so bad. I mean, you can't mail a letter for that. I guess that's just what flour costs these days. Only 18 months ago it was consistently $2.99 at MB. Ah, the good old days.

                  1. re: Parsnipity

                    snips -- that's actually good info. thanks. I am getting it at Shaws for $4.50.

                    Still home made bread is muy economical.

                  2. re: yumyum

                    Stop & Shop has King Arthur flour on sale for $2.50 for a 5-pound bag! Unfortunately the Brookline one only had all-purpose, but I was happy to find it so low. Nothing like stocking up on flour right before Passover.

                    1. re: quirkydeb

                      If you are in Brookline you might check the Johnnie's on Harvard as I believe they have a sale on 10lb bags of all purpose (at least Foodmaster locations do) and they usually carry the basic bread flour. The 5lb bags there are $2.77 so you probably won't save much (it might be $4.50 or so). That said, McKinnon's in Somerville has the 10lb bags of all purpose for less than Foodmaster ($3.99) but no bread flour. Demoula's is stocking the pastry and cake flours in the 2.5lb boxes, but its really hit or miss finding them -- I haven't found them in Somerville and only sometimes in Chelsea (I would call first).

                      1. re: itaunas

                        Johnnie's Foodmaster on Beacon? $4.50 for a 10-pound bag would be very nice. I'll have to head over there. I need to go there anyway as it's the only place I've found Hershey's mini-kisses. I do want bread flour too. Thanks.

                        1. re: quirkydeb

                          Last week McKinnon's butcher shop in Davis Sq. actually had 10 lb bags of King Arthur all purpose flour for $3.99 which is what I was paying for a 5 pound bag at Shaw's and Stop and Shop.

                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            That's a great deal - close to the 50lb sack price per pound.

                          2. re: quirkydeb

                            Yeah, thats right Beacon the one that is called a Johnnie's Fresh Market. Their stock is different than other Foodmaster locations so no guarantees, but the Somerville and Arlington locations tend to stock the 10lb bags + bread flour (5lb only) more regularly than other retailers. If they don't have it, make a point to ask the manager why they don't carry them.

                            The McKinnon's sale might end on Thursday (and sometimes they have sales which end when they run out of stock) or they could continue it for some longer period of time, but for those interested I would go sooner rather than later.

                2. While you're searching the durum flour, vital wheat gluten can be added to a bread flour for more gluten. This may give you the chew and taste you're looking for (but you probably know this, given your search for such a specific product).

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: alwayscooking

                    It is both the protein and the yummy taste of Durhum I am looking for.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      I get semolina flour at Joe Pace's in the North End - I think I saw durum flour there the last time.

                      Now I want to try some myself. I get a terrific, chewy texture/crumb by using a long, cold rise in the fridge, though. Baguettes I made today disappeared almost faster than I could bake them (never did get to take the photos I planned..)

                      1. re: threedogs

                        I typically do a 15-24 hour rise for the first rise. Try it with Durhum flour it makes a difference, though for a baguette it might be over doing it as you don't want them that chewy.

                    2. re: alwayscooking

                      Market Basket carries Bob's Red Mill line of specialty flours and grains. I've gotten Vital Wheat Gluten there and I believe they had durum but it could have been durum semolina. It is in the international and specialty foods aisle, NOT baking supplies.

                    3. Try Polcaris, I know they have an assortment of flour.

                      1. S&S & Shaw's have smaller bags of specialty flours. The S&S ones are in their natural foods area and the big Shaw's - like the one on Comm Ave - carry a bunch of flours. Trader Joe's sells King Arthur flour for a buck less. And one of the oddest sources for flours is Ocean State Job Lots - there's one in Norwood on Rt. 1. They carry an entire line of of a small maker's fours. I think it's Bob's Red Mill or something like that.

                        1. I have no trouble getting durum or high gluten flour at Whole Foods in Bedford, or Debra's in West Concord. I only need 1C per loaf, or per week, and I wouldn't want to store more than a month's worth at a time. (I know it keeps in the freezer but I prefer it fresh).

                          I use durum flour to boost the rising strength of the wholewheat flour and other mixed grains I combine to make a multi grain loaf, and I've been using the Bittman/Sullivan St Bakery no knead recipe (is this what you use, yumyum?) www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081....

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: cassis

                            That link wont work for me, but my no knead is similar to the Bittman/Sullivan St method but doesn't involve the cheesecloth/tea towel, instead utilizing a parchment paper sling to facilitate the transfer of boule to cast iron pot.

                            Made a loaf last night to mop up the juice from big bowls of mussels and was so darned proud of myself. I also think I convinced a guest to try baking bread. It's a movement that we should all get behind ... economical, satisfying, smells good. OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.

                            To get back to Boston food-related topics, have people found good BULK flour sources in a place with high enough turnover that you know you are getting good product?

                            1. re: yumyum

                              I just baked some Pizza last night using the King Arthur bread flour. Perhaps not quite the same as Durhum, but pretty darn good. It certainly had a decent amount of gluten which is what I was after. Not Durhum flour, but pretty good in a pinch.

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                I'm using KA bread flour too. Have you tried any bulk bins at Whole Foods or the like? Maybe Harvest Coop in Central?

                                1. re: yumyum

                                  Tried both (as mentioned above) I used to get it at Harvest, but not lately. I do like the yeast from TJs.

                              2. re: yumyum

                                You know what I discovered? I was going through parchment paper like crazy, and started using a cheap Silicone Zone silicone baking mat as the "sling" instead. It works great, the edges don't burn like parchment paper sometimes does, and it's infinitely reusable.

                                Boston food...boston food.. Market Basket's turnover of King Arthur Flour is remarkable- it's not bulk, but the 5 lb bags seem to fly off the shelves so I have to imagine it's a fresh product.

                                1. re: Parsnipity

                                  Another great tip on the silicone mat. Awesomeness.

                                  Um, Boston food, Boston food ... the SAF active dry yeast at Trader Joe's on Mem Drive is very good, fresh, and cheap.

                            2. I found "Sperry Extra Fancy" durum flour at Restaurant Depot in Needham. Would that work for the no knead recipe? They didn't have any unbleached bread flour, but they did have this stuff in a 50 pound sack. I'm thinking of buying it regardless, could probably use it for pasta.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: nsenada

                                Great for pasta and great for no knead bread. 50 lb is alot of flour and it can get stale lying around if you don't use it in say 6 months or so. Heck, I'd offer to buy 10 pounds from you, but I don't really do much baking until the fall. If you are buying a big bag I would go straight to the source. There is a big wholesaler of flour in the area that will sell 50 lb to you and it will be that much fresher. I forget the name, but if you google wholesale flour Boston or something like that you will find it. I actually think they are a bit west of town...

                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  Will certainly share, if I pull the trigger on it - given the current non-summer we've been having I've baked more bread recently than ever before. Also I have a sourdough starter that makes literally the best bread I've ever had. I will also check out that other source you mentioned, but would bread made from 100% durum flour be too chewy? How would you say it compares to the KA bread flour?

                                  1. re: StriperGuy

                                    Just picked up the Sperry Extra Fancy 50 pound sack. The no knead boules I baked were a bit flat, I think I'll add some whole wheat or all-purpose flour next time. The flavor and texture were great though, can't wait to try it with pizza dough and pasta. If you need any, and are in the boston area, I'm happy to give you some, as I'm going to track down some other high gluten flours as well, and I am taking up way too much space in the kitchen with my flour collection.

                                    1. re: nsenada

                                      Wow, you are hard core. I found some smaller amounts of Durhum at Stop and Shop. Think I posted above.

                                      Bet that Sperry stuff is good though. Heck, might take you up on it, my e-mail is aram underscore salzman at yahoo.com

                                      Thanks.

                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                        I've been baking with King Arthur semolina flour (Durum) using no knead bread recipes. It's great, but too expensive. (100% durum or 15-25% white + durum works fine). Where to get it in western suburbs of Boston?? I've tried Hannaford, Star, Whole Foods, Trader Joe, Formaggio Kitchen, no luck. Which Stop and Shop did you find it at? Thanks.

                                        -----
                                        Formaggio Kitchen
                                        244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                        Trader Joe's
                                        1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                        1. re: semolinafan

                                          I actually still have quite a bit, and would be willing to share. I recently bought another 50 lb sack of KA bread flour, and the durum is just not going as fast as I thought it would.

                                          1. re: nsenada

                                            sounds interesting. Whereabouts are you in the Boston area?

                                            1. re: semolinafan

                                              Financial district or needham would be most convenient. You can send me an email at nsenada at gmail

                                            2. re: nsenada

                                              You sir are a baking machine.

                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                The machine may throw a cog soon- too many baked goods.

                                  2. Just to tune back in to this thread. nsenada was kind enough to share his Durum flour with me and we blew through 10+ pounds in no time.

                                    My SO LOVES it for Pizza, and last week made some egg pasta with mushroom walnut sauce that was truly mindblowing. I use it when I bake bread. Might have to get my own 50# sack... I believe nsenada paid $16 for one at Restaurant Depot.

                                    Sure puts retail pricing in perspective...

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                      I've actually still got some, with no plans to use it - I'm attempting to go 100% whole grain over the next few months (god help me). Happy to unload it.

                                      1. re: nsenada

                                        100% whole grain, OH THE HUMANITY, really, no lard, no cracklins...

                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                          But there will be delicious lentils, dehydrated miso, (sniffle, sob), exotic sounding things known as "vegetables." I won't miss my collection of animal fats at all, I'm sure.

                                    2. I know this is an old post, but Dave's Fresh Pasta near Davis Square has durum (fine) and semolina (coarse) for $1.00 per lb. Just ask for it at the fresh pasta counter.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: pastaperfect

                                        Thank you! I haven't made semolina bread since I ran out of the shared 50 lb bag of semolina flour. It was wonderful. I'm in Maine for the summer, but will look into it when I am back in the 'Boston area. Just an idea for bread lovers....the focaccia recipe in Cook's Illustrated a while ago (2010)? blows people out of their seats when I serve it. It takes an overnight and most of a morning to make it (lots of waiting time for multiple rises), but it is worth it. You can fool around with flours and toppings to vary it. Mmmm

                                        1. re: semolinafan

                                          Bob's Red Mill sells Semolina. I've bought it(haven't used it yet), but don't remember where I found it. Could be:
                                          Ocean State Job - has the widest selection
                                          Shaw/Star - Wild Harvest aisle
                                          Roche Bros - baking aisle
                                          Stop and Shop