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May 21, 2009 08:06 AM

Bread flour in bulk - north bay

I've been doing a lot of bread baking lately and the five pound bags from the grocery store just don't seem particularly cost effective. Does anyone know a good source for larger bags (50 lbs?) of flour - preferrably for bread baking?

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  1. Costco carries a 2 pack, 10lb/bag, of the same flour I saw being delivered to Acme in a larger bag. Costco also has largerbags but I don't know the brand. I used the flour to make rosemary raisin bread and it was a hit at work.

    1. Its not North Bay, but Rainbow stocks bread flour, and I've found they are willing to their bulk goods in whatever lots they receive them in. So I imagine you could get large sacks of their bread flour. Plus they have a large variety of other flours that might complement the bread flour for some more interesting breads. (My daughter complains that all my breads some out the same when I stick to their bread flour, so I'm starting to ad lib and experiment more.)

      Might be worth a call and a special trip.

      Another idea would be to contact your favorite bread bakery and ask who their suppliers are.

      1. You might give the Giustos who own Full Circle baking in Penngrove (east of Petaluma) a call to see if you can buy flour from them. From the best mill.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I found Full Circle AP (Giustos) in at the Richmond Costco not too long ago. I'm not sure if it's still there, but it was sold as 2 10-lb bags.

          After I bought it, I spoke to one of the Giustos, who recommended it for a variety of purposes, including bread. It wouldn't be as ideal for artisan-style bread, but he said that that type of flour could be ordered through them directly. He also cautioned me against comparing gluten content between brands, as King Arthur and others would have you do.

          I've been using it with good results for softer types of bread, and every other kind of baking except when cake flour is required. Good luck!

          1. re: TerriL

            Sorry -- not gluten content: PROTEIN content.

            1. re: TerriL

              Was the flour labeled Full Circle or Giusto's?

          2. My wife used to buy 50lb sacks from Artisan Bakers in Sonoma. They were perfectly happy to do so. I'd suggest you contact one of your favorite bakers in the area and simply ask if they'd be willing to do so

            1. No Full Circle flour at Richmond Costco today. Instead they had organic AP flour from Central Milling (Ogden, Utah). $14 for two 10-lb bags. They also had 50-lb bags of Con-Agra AP and bread flours.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Zeldog

                Novato costco only had the Con Agra flours. I'll check around at the local bakeries and report back.

                1. re: Zeldog

                  My apologies, it *was* Central Milling that I bought at Richmond Costco. I had just bought some Full Circle bread when I posted, and transposed the name. I don't remember the details, but Central Milling is affiliated in some way with the Giusto family.

                  This is excellent flour, and I highly recommend trying it if you have the opportunity. I'm headed back to Richmond to buy 20 more pounds.

                  1. re: TerriL

                    Sorry I was too lazy to go downstairs and read the label for my first post above. Yes, that is the brand I saw being unloaded at Acme Bakery. FWIW it has a logo with 6/8 of a circle and contains organic wheat flour and organic malted barley flour and is unbleached.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        That's the stuff. I made some bagels with the Central Milling AP flour. Excellent slightly nutty taste (from the malted barley?). About the same chewiness factor as Gold Medal or Pillsbury AP, which is not enough for bagels, so next time I'll add some high gluten flour. It's not cheaper than supermarket flour, but I don't bake mass quantities, so I expect I'll keep some on hand.

                  2. re: Zeldog

                    Full Circle in Penngrove sells bags of flour at a very good price. Wild Flour in Freestone and Della Fattoria in Petaluma do not sell their flour. The folks at Della suggested that I contact whole foods (petaluma) and said that their flour was Giustos, so I did and indeed Whole Foods will sell 25 or 50 pound bags by request and the flour is Giustos.