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King Arthur Flour worth the $?

Just bought a bag of King Arthur flour for the first time to experiment with in my baking.

Have you noticed a difference with King Arthur vs. Gold Medal, and other flour brands? I noticed a recent thread that TJ's is no longer carrying KA but now carrying a TJ brand... What are people's thoughts and opinions on brands of flour, can you really tell the difference?

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  1. I go back and forth on this since it's more than twice the price for me to buy KA flour. I use both. If I'm baking cookies, bread, where it'll make a difference, I use KA. If I'm coating meat, making a roux, etc., I use cheaper flour. I use KA bread and white whole wheat flour almost exclusively. Although the cost throws me, when you come down to it, the cost per batch of cookies isn't that much higher--you're talking about a few dollars a month at most, if you bake often.

    1. Just a thought- KA has a higher protein content than many other brands, including Gold Medal. So you might consider keeping it on hand for items like yeast bread, where it works especially well, and using a more affordable brand for items like cookies, which don't benefit from the extra protein (or items like biscuits, which prefer a low-protein flour, like southern brands... White Lily?). I believe Cook's Illustrated uses Gold Medal for their run-of-the-mill cooking.

      13 Replies
      1. re: happybellynh

        This does not make sense. If one of the defining characteristics of a flour is its protein content, why should KA use a different standard that other brands?

        1. re: paulj

          Different resulting texture in the final product.

          1. re: paulj

            KA is known for a particularly high protein content but there is a huge range among brands of AP flours. Shirley Corriher's book Bakewise has a chart where she lists the various protein contents.

            1. re: Velda Mae

              If GM AP is too low in protein, why not use their bread flour (instead of the KA AP)?

              1. re: Velda Mae

                The publicly-viewable peek available at Amazon of Cookwise is all about flours and protein. Absolutely worth a read.

                1. re: Cinnamon

                  I didn't realize that Cookwise also has that table of protein contents. It gives unbleached KA AP as 11.7% protein, other unbleached AP brands as 10-12, or 11-12 for other Northern brands (Robin Hood). This compares to 'bread flour' at 11.5-12.5. So if you want a consistently high protein flour, KA AP is a good choice, possibly even better than one labeled 'bread flour'.

                  But Corriher also discusses the advantages of lower protein flour for things like cake, pie crusts, even muffins.

                  It's interesting that many of us have accepted the idea that unbleached is better, more 'natural'. Yet the way Corriher puts it, bleached is, in many ways, superior for things like cakes. In the same way, we can easily fall for the 'higher protein is better' line.

                  1. re: paulj

                    It depends on whether your priority is texture, flavor, or nutritional value, for certain items. I use some whole wheat flour in my pie crusts because I like the flavor, even though it makes the dough harder to work with and yields a less flaky crust. If I were making a pie for company or a bake sale, I'd use a lower-protein flour for a better crust. I don't mind a coarser crumb in a simple homemade cake/quickbread/muffin, either.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      In her Pie and Pastry Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum advocates adding a bit of whole wheat flour to pie crusts for the flavor and also because of WW flour's lower gluten content. I think the amount she adds is less than 1/2 cup (I don't have access to the book at the moment). I don't know how that compares to what you do, greygarious, but her technique is pretty involved and handling may be different than standard (I haven't used that particular recipe in the book).

                      My mother makes all-butter pie crusts with all whole-wheat pastry flour, and they are surprisingly flaky, given the all butter, WW ingredients. I generally use all WW pastry flour in muffins, quick breads and the like, and I like the texture of the sturdier crumb.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        I don't expect to make this in the very near future, but out of curiosity, what would you use to attempt an Italian pandoro ... those are the superlight, very, very risen white cakes that you dust with powdered sugar and then drizzle with cream and eat while warm.

                        Would you use the least-protein cake flour readily available, or something else?

                        1. re: Cinnamon

                          Shirley Corriher recommends using the lowest protein flour for light cakes, eg. bleached cake flour. The more protein, the more chewy texture you will get. There are cakes/cookies that replace some flour with cornstarch to get the light ethereal texture.

                2. re: paulj

                  It's not that KA has a different standard, it's that EVERY company has a different standard. There's no standard, in fact.

                3. re: happybellynh

                  The extra protein in cookies gives you chewier cookies. If you want cakier cookes, then less protein is good. In chocolate chip cookies, my favorite is using a mix of bread flour and cake flour.

                4. Although a bit more expensive (at least in my area), KA tastes better and performs more consistently than QM in my experience. I'm guessing the QA is a tad more rigorous. Given that baking seems much more reliant on measures, I'll always use KA. For all other savory uses, I'll also use KA since it's in the pantry.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: alwayscooking

                    This is Allison at King Arthur Flour and I thought a little clarification might help. The real value in King Arthur Flour - besides that it's always unbleached and all-natural - is that its protein content is very consistent. The protein content of King Arthur Flour is allowed to vary only by 0.2%, so every time you use it, it will perform the same way. Other national brands' protein contents can range up to 2% - meaning a bag of their all-purpose flour one day might be more like pastry flour in protein content, while a couple weeks later the protein content might be more like a bread flour. For consistent results in baking, KAF is your best bet. Thanks for this great discussion!

                    1. re: AllisonFurbish

                      Thanks for posting, Allison, that's great to know. I've always preferred KA and now I know why I had the gut reaction I had! :D

                      1. re: AllisonFurbish

                        Allison,

                        Trader Joe's no longer sells KA flour, but there's a rumor circulating (posted in at least one Chowhound thread) that the house brand they sell for about the same price is made by KA. True or False?

                        1. re: Zeldog

                          False. KA has stated emphatically that their contract with Trader Joe's was not renewed, and they do not supply the current flour product.

                          http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2...

                          1. re: smtucker

                            They even had a little hand-printed sign in TJ's today by that flour saying there was no affiliation.

                          2. re: Zeldog

                            I guess I could have done some basic research first. The answer is False. Oh well, I usually keep some cheap flour around for making roux or deep frying.

                            http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2...

                          3. re: AllisonFurbish

                            How wonderful that you identify yourself and then provide reliable information from the source.

                            I have often advised people here to contact KA because I don't think anyone has better info, a better product, better recipes or nearly the commitment to offer generous personal support to bakers.

                            Kudos for your candor and expertise! And thanks, always!

                            1. re: rainey

                              They are just wonderful in customer relations, in my opinion. And their promos! I became a dedicated KA user merely out of gratitude for the FREE show they put on years ago, in my city: a three hour bread demo, with a really wonderfully informative and funny man giving the class. KA was generous with the freebies ( we all came home with several packages of their expensive artisan bread starter. I won a dough whip and my husband won a cookbook. )

                              My daughter simply fell in love with the large, very nice KA apron the instructor was wearing (their emblem in full coloron heavy cotton canvas)and so I wrote to the company asking if they had them for sale. The woman who responded said, no, sorry, not for sale but "we are sending you a complementary apron for your daughter. Tell her we hope she enjoys learning to bake and we appreciate creating new KA fans across the country!"

                              Now, that's how to build a loyal customer base!

                              (Oh, and their flour is great, too. ;-)

                              1. re: Beckyleach

                                My little one went with me to one of their demo's last year and won a very nice pastry blender, much nicer than mine. She is quite proud of it and I have to ask special permission from her to borrow it.

                                I really wish KA did their school programs in our part of the country.

                                1. re: rockycat

                                  Looks like a great pastry blender, but check out the KA markup--

                                  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                  vs. a baking supply house--

                                  http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id...

                                  And this one looks like it's even better at the same price--

                                  http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id...

                        2. I'm another one who keeps both in the house. Cheap flour for most uses, KA white and whole wheat for bread baking.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rockycat

                            Same. Whole Foods store brand for everyday, KA for bread. Their whole wheat is the closest I've ever gotten to freshly-milled as far as the resulting bread's texture and flavor. It really is much better than other brands of WW flour. I find I can make a 100% WW bread using KA and end up with a delicious, light bread, whereas with other brands the bread ends up with a sandpapery texture (not hearty but rough) and much less flavor.

                            I don't necessarily see a big difference in non-yeast-bread applications. But my yeast bread does seem to benefit from the higher-quality KA.

                          2. Whether or not KA flour is worth the extra cost is something you have to decide for yourself.
                            For me, baking is one of my favorite hobbies--especially yeast breads--and I take great pride in my end product, so I want to use good quality ingredients that produce the best possible results. I have much better results with KA flours and if the price increased two-fold, I'd still buy KA. I can count on it's quality and consistency.
                            I've recently used their Queen Guinevere Cake Flour and it produced the best cake crumb I've ever made.
                            My pantry contains KA flours exclusively. It's for lack of space and convenience that I don't keep a "cheaper" brand on hand for thickening or dredging applications.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: choco_lab38

                              i agree. i've got many different flours in the kitchen, but only one all-purpose white--KA. boy, it seems like you'd have to do an awful lot of dredging and rouxing to notice the savings of using cheaper flour for those applications. heck, the cost of the extra canister would eat up a year's savings.

                            2. In my experience the KA flours are better than the more common supermarket brands. I definitely get more air in my sourdoughs with KA Bread Flour and do even better the European-Style Artisan Bread Flour, which is pretty expensive, but worth it in my opinion.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                I haven't tried The Euro style Artisan flour yet but I really like the French-Style and the Sir Lancelot high gluten flour. I use a LOT of their bread and AP flour as well.
                                Definately worth the price.

                              2. I've been baking for many years, and have used everything from no-name store brand to King Arthur flour.

                                I am a KA fan....and to be honest, I don't know exactly why.

                                I use KA flour for everything from buttermilk pancakes to bread, biscuits, cookies, pie crusts, and cakes. I coat fried chicken in it and cutlets for chicken parm. It does an overall great job on everything. KA makes bread flour, whole wheat flour and organic flour too.

                                Maybe it is the extra protein, maybe it is just in my mind. I find KA to be a top notch quality product.

                                Also, KA publishes consistently good recipes, such as the KA Elegant White Cake which I referenced in another thread. Never been disappointed in them either.

                                I am lucky. In Conn, you can buy KA flour in just about any supermarket, and it often goes on sale.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                  I want to clarify my above statement. Since we were talking about King Arthur flour, I wanted to say that as a general all purpose flour I use it for everything, which I do.

                                  When it comes to cakes, I use KA when I am making a buttermilk chocolate cake and things like that.... However, when I am making a lighter cake, I use cake flour (Swan's Down or SoftasSilk.

                                  For bread, I sometimes use KA bread flour, sometimes all purpose....

                                  1. KA for all baking needs...any decent AP flour for thickening purposes.

                                    1. Yes, KA flour is worth it. Aside from better and consistent end results I get out of my breads with it, I also like the company itself (it's employee-owned and operated). They seem like really nice folks, from what I read on their blog and baking sheets.

                                      1. Another great reason for usings King Arthur Flour is the lack of addatives. They don't bleach or bromate their flour. I was recently told that one of the reason for so many people having gluten intolerance problems maybe conected to the use of bleach in our flours.

                                        The reason for the slightly higher protein levels in their flours is that when the compay began (1890!) they were selling to Northern Bakers who maked mostly bread.

                                        The back of their Baker's Companion Cookbook has alot good information in it. I recently took it out of my library.

                                        http://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Flo...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                          I love the bakers companion. Everything I've made has been great. It got me started on bread, and really explains things well. It's the kind of book where you learn enough to not follow the recipes.

                                        2. Does anyone know how the new Trader Joe's flours compare in protein content to King Arthur? TJ's is clearly trying to copy KA with the packaging, so I'm wondering if the protein contents are comparable.

                                          1. Frankly, I have found that paying the extra expense for specialty flours is a waste of money. I often bake sourdough bread (boule, batard) using inexpensive, often bleached, all purpose flour. The results are admirable with a great crumb, excellent tooth, perfect crust, great flavor. I buy the AP flour where it's on sale. I do sometimes use a bread flour (Pillsbury or Gold Medal are the most common choice) but only if I can find it on sale and I am going to prepare enough bread to make it worth the additional cost. AP flour serves nearly every purpose I have for flour in my kitchen. My avatar is one of my recent Ciabatta breads.

                                            Here's a link to one of my most recent products:
                                            http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn...

                                            Here's a comparison of flour made by another baker:
                                            http://www.finecooking.com/articles/c...

                                            See if this information helps.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: todao

                                              todao - your bread looks amazing - care to share a recipe? :)

                                              1. re: todao

                                                Todao is right. The leaning toward high protein flour is confusing a lot of home bakers.

                                                All purpose flour makes very good bread.

                                                Of course, good quality ingredients make good products, but with bread, technique is so very important. The secret to better bread making for most American home bakers is in learning technique rather than relying on one brand of flour over another or even bread flour vs. all purpose flour.

                                                1. re: Let.them.eat.bread

                                                  But for pizza dough you need a high gluten flour. I've tried identical recipes using AP vs Bread flour, and the Bread flour was noticeably better. Me, I read this thread trying to find out what the difference in gluten content was between Gold Medal and King Arthur.. Unfortunately no one answered that question.

                                                  1. re: podgida

                                                    Protein / Gluten content

                                                    -Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, 10.5%

                                                    -King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 11.7%

                                                    Bread flour is usually 12% to 13%

                                                    If you want to increase gluten content of your flour, add 1 Tbsp of Vital Wheat Gluten powder per 1 cup of flour used.

                                                    If you want to decrease the gluten content of your flour, remove 2 Tbsp of flour per cup and add back 2 Tbsp of cornstarch.

                                                    You can also decrease the gluten content of your flour by mixing 1/2 cup of all purpose (or bread flour) with 1/2 cup of cake flour.

                                              2. FWIW - KA's website has a free-entry $1000 sweepstakes currently going on. Also, when I signed up for their e-newsletters, they offered $5 off an order of $40 or more.

                                                1. Here's a photo of tonight's pain au levain made with the Euro-style Artisan Flour.

                                                   
                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                    That's beautiful. I've never seen Euro-style artisan flour. I assume it's higher in protein than bread flour? Nice background placement of the flour, btw.

                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                      Thanks. I've only been able to get it by ordering online. It took me a while to get over the idea of paying to ship flour, but the shopping cart on the KA website has a handy shipping calculator to figure out how to get the most out of the shipping cost. The Artisan Flour actually has 11.7% protein (same as KA Unbleached All-Purpose Flour) as opposed to KA Bread Flour, which is 12.7%, but it's part white whole wheat flour and has some ascorbic acid for a little extra spring. Here's the description--

                                                      http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                                      Now a question would be--could I make this blend from less expensive KA flours and a little ascorbic acid? I suspect so. Next time I'll order some White Whole Wheat and see if I can get similar results by combining with Unbleached AP and adding some ascorbic acid to the recipe.

                                                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                        I see that you are in NYC - in the Boston area KA White Whole Wheat is sold in most supermarkets, as is their whole wheat pastry and regular bread flours, plus the standard unbleached AP, of course.

                                                        1. re: greygarious

                                                          In NYC more markets are carrying KA, but mainly just AP, WW, and Bread Flour. Occasionally I see one or two of the others.

                                                        2. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                          Artisian is their Organic equivalent of the All- Purpose.

                                                          One important thing about King Arthurs Protein levels is that variance percentage is much lower than other flour companies, so though the protein level quoted may be slightly higher, if you factor in the varience difference it can become moot.

                                                          1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                                            The European-Style Artisan flour is not organic.

                                                            This is the Organic equivalent of the All Purpose flour--

                                                            http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                                            1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                              I'm not sure what flour you are referring to as " The European Style Artisan".
                                                              King Arthurs commerically labeled Artisian Bread Flour is the equivelent of All Purpose (notice how the description on the link says use for European style breads), just at the Sir Gallad is AP, and King Arthur says so in their Baking Cook book.
                                                              The use of different names and even categories for commerial verses packaging is a bit confusing, but due to their tight rein on protein variences they really do work out okay.

                                                              1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                                                                This is what they call "European Style Artisan Flour"--

                                                                http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                                                Do they have a "Sir Galahad" flour? They have a "Sir Lancelot" flour, which is a very high-protein bread flour, great for bagels--

                                                                http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                                    2. When I started baking I used Gold Medal or the store brand AP flour. When I learned of King Arthur, I tried it, and found it to be significantly better for making bread, which is most of my baking. If I'm ever forced to buy another brand if I can't find KA, I'm not as happy with my bread. I really like KA, and even though it's more expensive, considering the effort in making bread, the extra cost is totally worth it.

                                                      A little aside...try making bread with rich homemade chicken stock sometime. Just use in place of the water. It's amazing. I just took some out of the oven right now. And this time I added some cayenne to the dough. Just a pinch to a 2 loaf recipe. It was a good move!

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: scuzzo

                                                        That's a wonderful idea, scuzzo. Thanks for posting the suggestion. I can see that it would be something my family would really like, especially during the winter.

                                                        Another KA fan here. I only have KA in the house and I usually keep the AP, the organic and the whole wheat on hand. I actually like KA's taste best. Maybe it's in my imagination, but I do feel like I can taste a difference, especially when I use it for dredging or to thicken sauces, etc. The cost difference does make me pause at times, but usually I'm able to stock up when it's on special so over the course of a year I don't think I pay too much extra for it. I've also felt on a couple of occasions when I purchased GM that it tasted stale... ?

                                                        My supermarket also sells Heckscher's (sp?), and I have been meaning to ask here if anyone uses or knows anything about it. It seems to be priced in between GM and KA.

                                                        1. re: Normandie

                                                          Yes, it's not just texture, I think it tastes better.

                                                          1. re: scuzzo

                                                            Oh, good. TY, scuzzo. I'm relieved to know I'm not nuts. (Or at least if I am, I'm not nuts by myself.)

                                                            ;-p

                                                          2. re: Normandie

                                                            I sometimes bought Hecker's when I lived in the Northeast, and I think it's a good brand. I would rank it above GM, but below KA.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              Thanks, Caitlin. That's good to know. As I explained, I rarely have reason to buy another brand besides KA, given the availability and the frequent sales prices for it here, but every now and then one gets caught unaware. Glad to know that's an alternative in a pinch.

                                                          3. re: scuzzo

                                                            Scuzzo, thanks for the chicken broth idea.

                                                            If you really want to go nuts, next time add a pound of ground chicken into your liquids and knead it into your dough. You can use the cheap mechanically separated chicken in the frozen one-pound chubs. They work best.

                                                            Don't add any fats or oils.

                                                            Be generous with the salt in the recipe.

                                                          4. As a Ct Yankee through and through, King Arthur is the flour I was raised with and continues to be my flour of choice.
                                                            I have use Gold Medal, TJ's, and the store brands from Sam's and BJ's and I prefer King Arthur every time. I do by cake flour - and usually whatever brand I can find, for use in cakes and some cookies. I have also been known to mix cake and AP flours to approximate pastry flour for use in pie dough and pastry crusts.

                                                            Just for your info

                                                            Flour types listed from highest to lowest protein content as listed in "Professional Baking" by Wayne Gisslen, 5th edition.

                                                            High Gluten 14% protein
                                                            Bread Flour 11 - 13.5 %
                                                            All Purpose11-11.5%
                                                            Pastry flour 9%
                                                            Cake Flour 8%

                                                            1. Another thing to consider about KA -- and this is NOT inconsequential in my opinion -- is that it is an employee owned and operated company.

                                                              It's time for Americans to support American workers' viability!

                                                              1. King Arthur is a good flour, but it certainly does not justify the huge difference between KA and other good flour brands.

                                                                Another good brand that is usually very reasonably priced is Dakota Maid. You can get it at Sam's Club for under $7.00 for a 25 bag (Dec 2009).

                                                                Last year, of course, all the starches had wild price increases as a couple large and powerful commodity brokers successfully manipulated the media into causing a buying panic for most grains. You might have noticed that they were most successful in panicking the Asian markets into a major rice buying frenzy. Not only did rice prices soar, some stores limited the amount customers could purchase. The good news is that if you didn't panic and fill you wash room with sacks of flour last year, the following (and predictable) price crash this year is a boon to us bakers.

                                                                Anyway, to answer your question, Carbear99, If King Arthure is priced more than about 15% more than other flours, pass on it and go to any of the other bread flours. Make sure it is Durham or winter wheat flour. The secret to good bread is really in how you work the dough and managed the glutens; mainly time and amount of physical manipulation (kneading or beating).

                                                                1. Like most things in life, You get what you pay for. Check this out.

                                                                  http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2010/...

                                                                  Its King Arthur flour for me whenever possible.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: saraugie

                                                                    The "superior results" you've had using commercial brands of flour are surely due to the flours having been bromated. Adding potassium bromate to flour strengthens the gluten development, making it more elastic, which leads to the higher rising you are noticing in your breads. Basically, it allows bakers to mix the dough in a shorter period of time while retaining the gluten development of a longer mix. Shorter mix/development times = more bread per shift = more profit. It's as simple as that. Most big commercial bread bakeries are more concerned with profit than quality. In this country, that philosophy extends far beyond loaves of bread.

                                                                    However, potassium bromate is classified as a "possibly carcinogenic to humans" carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and its use has been banned in food products in Canada and the UK, China, Brazil, and many other countries. In the US, the FDA has urged bakers to voluntarily stop using bromated flour, but it has not been banned. Having said that, there are bakeries that use non-bromated flour more and more these days. It would be interesting to walk through a wholesale supplier and note the ratio of bromated vs non-bromated sacks of flour.

                                                                    If you wanted to improve your results using non-bromated flours, there are other dough conditioners available besides potassium bromate.

                                                                    On a side note, yes, King Arthur costs a bit more. But they aren't the thieves you make them out to be. Obviously they cannot compete price-wise with the big conglomerates who can price their product cheaper because their volume is hundreds of times greater than KA. The fact they are an American, employee-owned company is alone enough for me to justify spending a bit more on their product. The more money you put into the big players pockets, the fewer little independent players we will have left, which will mean fewer choices and options. Personally, I'm all for the little guy, more choices, and more options.

                                                                  2. I'm a little late to this party, but, since it was bumped recently, I'm going to share my experience with KA.

                                                                    I've been trying to make NY style pizza for about 25 years. Around 10 years ago, because KABF was the only bread flour I could find, I decided to see what kind of pizza I could make with it. I spent the better part of 2 years working with a dough that:

                                                                    1. Smelled horrible (open your bag of flour and smell it!)
                                                                    2. Tasted horrible (that chemical smell you just smelled ends up in the bread!)
                                                                    3. Was close to impossible to open/form skins without tearing
                                                                    4. Was heinously sticky, even at lower hydrations
                                                                    5. Created incredibly dense, tough, hockey puck like crusts.

                                                                    I totally bought into the hype, hook line and sinker. "It has to be something I'm doing wrong- it can't be the flour." I would tell myself over and over again. Finally, I just bought some flour from a local bakery. The heavens parted and angels broke into song I never, in a million years, dreamed flour could be so wonderful. And I cursed KA for putting me through years of pizza making hell.

                                                                    KA is evil. Pure and simple. I don't care what their stance is on the environment, how big/small of a company they are or who owns them. It should be against the law to sell such an incredibly inferior product at such a premium price while hoodwinking the public with a vast marketing machine. Line the whole company up (and the teat suckling authors that endorse them) and feed them their crap product until they scream for mercy. Ready aim fire.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: scott123

                                                                      Wow, that's a pretty amazing critique of KABF. Especially in light of the fact that Jeff Varasano, who has famously documented his own NY style pizza quest online in excruciating detail (and I mean that in a good way), likes KABF:

                                                                      http://www.varasanos.com/PizzaRecipe.htm

                                                                      If you wanna call him a "teat suckling author", you can go to the restaurant he opened after having perfected the NY style pie he spent so much time working on and tell him to his face. It's "Varasano's" in Atlanta. Lemme know how it goes.

                                                                      1. re: Pentool

                                                                        I have very clearly told Jeff my feelings about KABF. That was back in 2006- about the same time that recipe was last revised. Since then, Jeff's pizza knowledge has grown- by many magnitudes. I would appreciate it if he came clean as to KABFs obvious shortcomings, but, as long as he isn't using KABF in his restaurant (nobody with half a brain would be stupid enough to use KA commercially), I can forgive him his earlier transgression.

                                                                        Now, Reinhart... great guy and brilliant author, but, as far as KA goes... he's got some 'splaining to do.

                                                                        1. re: scott123

                                                                          Ever try Eagle Mills "Ultra-grain" unbleached? It gets very little hype but, it is a good blend of Whole Wheat and unbleached, (non bromated) white. This results in a les starchy flour, but has the benefits of the whole grain, without the dense crumb of Whole wheat.

                                                                      2. re: scott123

                                                                        Here are some pictures of bread I've made with KA flour. Notice the windowpane - even with dough made with 2/3 whole wheat/spelt. I've used most of the brands on the market, and found KA to be consistent as well as flavourful and delicious - especially when utilisting autolyse and slow fermentation, which both bring out the true character of a flour.

                                                                        I've never noticed the dough being overly sticky, even when working with a 65% hydration dough, and pretty much everything I've made has turned out to have a great structure - not too light, not too heavy. It just took some practice to figure out the process...but it was worth the effort.

                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                      3. I am a retired professional baker/restauranteiur incuding pizza cakes cookies pies and bread especially. My father is a chemical engneer inducted into theChemical engineer hall of fame around the wrold for his teaching new and better methods from the SouthEast to the East Coast up Northeast all the way to Alaska and the wealthiest regions of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He refuesed to beleieve my claims of of King Arthur's superiority in all my baking and the fact that I didnt know why but it was always right in my face and supported by the accolades from all my custoimers in my Baking world.I My father finally made testings of all the bst known flours and ran private tests for different answers that would give the explanations for the performances of different flours and their resons behind their successes or failures or so so performances. He was so su[prised atthe "Continual, consistent, number line ups for King Arthur Flours. The only one who even came close to such consistency was Bobs Red Mill products, which I also used from time to time along side my KAF. In an area that only used GMlls Generic flours from wherever they came from (!) MOSTLY MASSIVE CONGLOMERATES LIKE CARGILL WHO DID NOT! NOT! EVEN SUPPORT THE FARMERS AMERICAN WHEAT CROPS he found KAF to be, WITHOUT QUESTION the highest quality flour he had tested out of dozens. EVEN the so called artisian flours from out of Europe! He toldl me as a matter of fact that KAF was American owned operated and emlployee owned and operated buying America and keeping America in America for Americans! he said he said he wished that all American companies wewrer as fastidious about their relations with farmers and producers of products as he saw KAF doing, and that if ALL the companies did our whole darn economy would be in GREAT shape compared speaking as to the shadiness that goes on today with American com
                                                                        panies selling their won futures down the river for the sake of thre short termed returns on thr almighty DOLLAR! I wish I had the numbers to give you here buyt I juts got so angry at all the TOTALLY FABRICATED stories posted here about evil KAF that I just had to sign up here and tell it "like it is". ANY of you who have any questions about KAF should take a short vacation to KAF and speak with them adn watch what goes on and go into towns arond Vermont and ask the people what trhey think of the company. TRhey are known the world over as honest and forthrigth in their dealings and always try to deal with AMERICA fiorst UNLIKE WALMART wsho is killing us as we speak!. Bobs RED Mill is another such honorable company and believes in their employess and the support of the American lives and families. Dont post poison stories about people whom yo have not bothered to actually check out and their products that yo have run down because COST a few dollars more??? Some of thre proce gouging is the GROCERY CARRIER people and anyone who has been in restaurant sales should well know that. KAF only suggeststhe prices and the stores do the gouging or make it fairly priced. I had res
                                                                        auranteurs change ove to KAF after they begged me for "my secret baking ingredient". lol. Simple. HIGH quality flour by growers who care and take care of it all the way to delivery to your store. AFTER THAT-- IT IS NOT KAF but your GROCER specialty food store who is doing the thievery. But yo know what? Isnt this a FREE country and a capitalistic society that says go for it? Restauranteurism is the hardest diog eat dog busniess in the world! IF you MAKE it you deserve a pat on the BACK! ITS cut throat and the public is your hardest critic! I would work at KAF in a heart beat if i were younger- I was so impressed. Pls forgive numerous typos and spelling mistakes as
                                                                        computer is OLD ANTIQUE! :) THank yo for listening to facts and we all need to be more vigilant and pay attention to people who knock American companies for spitefuil reasons or simply because they HEARD it thru ther grapevine! LIES about a GOOD people who own a GRWEAT little company that made it BECAUSE THEY WORKED THEIR BUTTS OFF! AND for what??? So they have to put up with the lies being told by people who dont even bother to GO and find out for THEMSELVES what the compnay is about??? SHAME! These people are prob the same people who were gossipers in High School too. GROW up and do your HOMEWORK! Now if youd like a lil known fact about a company who is out to destroy american ways take a little deep look into the facts of investment backings of the monies by the owners of Ben and Jerry's...

                                                                        1. I buy 50 lbs, All Trumps high gluten flour from a freind that owns a pizza joint for 15 dollars and store it in a large contaner i bought from a resturant supply . It works for almost everything i make.

                                                                          1. IMHO - Absolutely! When I first got into bread making, I picked up a book called "Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine." If you can find a copy, buy it. Better yet, buy two, because you'll wear out the first one. Based on the authors' recommendations, I tried King Arthur and haven't looked back. Want to see me "go postal?" Watch my reaction if my wife brings Gold Medal into the house. I'll use Gold Medal Better For Bread in a general emergency (defined as needing something when I visit a military commissary because I haven't had time to make it to a grocer), but other than that, it's only KA in my house. I also special order the ryes, artisan, pizza, and European flours, and I've just added the pasta flours as well, because I now intend to start making my own varieties of pasta. KA is simply the best - in customer service, in quality, and, for that matter, in recipes. When I make Bavarian sugar cake and take it to a party, and I'm not making this up, it has never lasted beyond ten minutes. Its consistency, quality, and flavor make it the only flour I want in my house. The white whole wheat is especially welcome, as it gives the health benefits of whole wheat while being lighter and not as dense. But, for the record, the regular whole wheat flour is terrific, too. By all means, check out their various ryes on line and order them. Because of the quality of their products, people are now placing orders for various breads from me. I believe that's a combination of the recipes from the book, "Local Breads," and the quality of all of KA's flours.

                                                                            1. This is a very interesting thread. I've learned that brominated flours are a big advantage in making bread light with a soft crust. I've learned that some people question the health consequences of bromination. I've learned that King Arthur is a small company with admirable values. I've learned that King Arthur flour is supposed to have a consistent protein content for consistent baking results.

                                                                              Other than consistency, and manufacturing process (bromination, bleaching) what are other aspects of flour quality? What affects or determines taste? I read somewhere that non-brominated flour needs to be aged after milling for best flavor? Does the type and growing conditions of the wheat affect flavor? Is there something else I can learn about flour in this thread?

                                                                              I bought the King Arthur white whole wheat when it was sold at Trader Joes and did not like the taste of the bread I made with it. Maybe I needed to use a different recipe. I have been surprised that I have often prefered the tast and texture of bread made with cheaper, bleached AP than bread made with higher cost unbleached AP or bread flour.

                                                                              Thanks to everyone who has posted..

                                                                              1. For all purpose flour, King Arthur has more protein / gluten than Gold Medal. Here's a list of popular all-purpose flour with protein / gluten content:

                                                                                All Purpose Flour - with Protein / Gluten percent

                                                                                -Martha White Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 9%
                                                                                -White Lily Bleached All-Purpose Flour, 8 to 9%
                                                                                -Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, 10.5%
                                                                                -Hodgson Mill All Purpose Unbleached White Flour 10%
                                                                                -Hudson Cream Flour Short Patent Flour 10%
                                                                                -Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, 10 to 11.5%
                                                                                -Pioneer All-Purpose Flour, 10%
                                                                                -White Wings All-Purpose Flour, 10%
                                                                                -Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour 11.7%
                                                                                -Heckers and Ceresota All-Purpose Flour, 11.5 to 11.9 %
                                                                                -King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 11.7%
                                                                                -Five Roses All Purpose Flour, 13.0%
                                                                                -Robin Hood Original All Purpose Flour 13%
                                                                                -Rogers All-Purpose Flour, 13.0%
                                                                                -Wheat Montana Natural White All-Purpose Flour 13%

                                                                                For Comparison

                                                                                Bread Flour - with Protein / Gluten percent

                                                                                -White Lily Unbleached Bread Flour, 11.7%
                                                                                -Gold Medal Better For Bread, 12%
                                                                                -King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, 12.7%
                                                                                -Pillsbury Best Bread Flour, 12.9%
                                                                                -Hodgson Mill Best For Bread Flour 13%
                                                                                -Hudson Cream Bread Flour 13%
                                                                                -Robin Hood Best For Bread Homestyle White Flour 13%

                                                                                Northern flour is made with from hard winter wheat that has more gluten content. Southern flour is made from soft summer wheat that has lower gluten content. Mills blend the two for the desired gluten content.

                                                                                Quick breads and baked goods risen with baking powder are better when made with lower gluten content.

                                                                                Yeast risen goods are better when made with flour with higher gluten content.

                                                                                Bleaching flour weakens the gluten and whitens the flour.

                                                                                Canadian brands of flour tend to be made with northern wheat and have high gluten content.