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Unbleached Bread Flour in Vancouver?

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My SO tends to go overboard when he starts new food projects so I thought he had gone to a typical unnecessary extreme when I found out he had secretly ordered several kgs of flour from King Arthur mills in the US to start his first bread making attempts...that is until today..

We did a search for unbleached bread flour at Whole Foods, Save-on-Foods, the Grainery at GI, Safeway and Stong's and could not find any anywhere. Can you buy unbleached bread flour in Vancouver? Where do serious bread makers shop in this city?

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  1. Try Costco.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      I used to buy it @ The Grainary @ GIM.

      1. re: Sam Salmon

        Drive Organics, Donald's Market and a few other places have 5 lb bags, IIRC.

    2. If you are talking about unbleached white flour for baking (and it doesn't have to be organic) you can find it at IGA or Safeway. Both Rogers and Robin Hood make their all purpose flours in an unbleached version and all purpose is what you want for artisan style breads.

      8 Replies
      1. re: eatrustic

        You can get big bags of Rogers unbleached flour at Costco.

        I'm surprised WF, SoF et al don't have unbleached, actually.

        1. re: fmed

          Sorry fmed but the Rogers flour at Costco is bleached, sad to say. Super cheap though.

          1. re: eatrustic

            I could have sworn....I stand corrected.

            1. re: fmed

              I was at Costco this morning on a grocery run, so I did manage to confirm without a doubt that they indeed carry Rogers Unbleached Flour (...called "Silver Star"). This is the flour I have in my bin now, IIRC (I tossed the bag away months ago, but I'm certain that this is the stuff).

              The protein content is listed at 4g (out of 30g) which puts it in the range of a high-gluten (bread) flour at 13.3%. For comparison: King Arthur's "Unbleached Bread Flour" is listed on their website as being 12.7% protein - less than the Silver Star. I bake bread once a week or so with this Rogers flour. (I've attached pics of bread I have made with this flour.)

              Sharonanne mentioned the differences between Canadian and US wheat flours in her post below. Canadian flour is generally "stronger" (higher in protein) than American flour. I have read this fact at other websites as well. If you need higher gluten content, you can always add gluten powder. I purchased my gluten powder at Drive Organics, but you can get it elsewhere, fyi.

               
               
               
               
              1. re: fmed

                I found some somewhat relevant URLs:
                http://www.theartisan.net/ProteinComp...
                http://www.practicallyedible.com/edib...

                1. re: fmed

                  My bag of Robin Hood all-purpose unbleached flour lists 4 g of protein per 30 g which is the same as their bread flour.

                  My mother always liked Robin Hood though I never asked her why. She was a professional cook.

                  1. re: fmed

                    Ha! Looks like it's me that stands corrected fmed. I have a bag of the Rogers all purpose that I bought at Costco a week or so ago in front of me and it is bleached, thus my being so certain.

                    Silver Star is unbleached but I didn't notice that they had it when I was there. Since it has higher protein and additives to help the bread rise I don't normally pay attention to it.

                    I believe that's the flour that Ah Beetz uses for his pizzas.

                    1. re: eatrustic

                      Terry did mention that he gets his flour from Costco. I should note that he is now mixing it up with a bit of Caputo 00. I haven't tried his new crust with this flour combination.

          2. I am specifically looking for bread flour. Most stores carry unbleached all purpose flours but the unbleached bread flour we are looking for has a higher gluten content and produces a different textured product.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lunchslut

              I'll be on the lookout, lunchslut.

              1. re: lunchslut

                You might want to do some research on the protein content of flour. US flour has a variable amount of protein whereas Canada legislates the minimum amount of protein in flour. I never use bread flour because Canadian all-purpose flour has enough protein.

                I don't know the protein content of King Arthur and I do hear good things from other bakers about it but you might want to take a look at it from the protein point of view.

                1. re: sharonanne

                  I'm with you sharonane, as we do have quite the high protein content up here.

              2. Have you tried Famous Food on Kingsway or Galloway's in Richmond? They both carry a variety of baking supplies that normal supermarkets may not stock. I can't confirm whether either place carry it as I was not on the lookout for it the last time I was there. But it might be worth a shot if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.

                3 Replies
                1. re: miss.foodie

                  Famous Foods might carry it. I have some unbleached all purpose from there that is "Famous Foods" branded. Might have bread flour....

                  1. re: peter.v

                    I was at the Dan-D-Pak Market bulk food store at the corner of Broadway and Stephens on Friday and notice they had bread flour in bulk -- did not check re unbleached but deffo worth a call. If you go in be sure to ask specifically because their bulk container area is a bit haphazard with flour in several different spots in the "back room", and I believe they also have bagged flour in the front area.

                    1. re: peter.v

                      Some more data: Famous Foods Unbleached AP flour is listed at 13g/100g (13%). They have an Organic Unbleached that didn't have the nutritional info box imprinted on the bag.

                      They have a nice selection of flours made from other grains there too.

                       
                       
                  2. Fol Epi in Victoria is selling flour by the kilo - might be worth picking some up if you happen to be in Victoria. It's red fife wheat, I believe, and ground at the bakery. IIRC, there is also another bakery on the island selling flour from wheat grown locally. Both these are specifically bread flours, and would be unbleached.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: intemperategourmande

                      I need to drop in at Fol Epi next time I'm there. Is the other bakery you mention called Wildfire?

                      1. re: fmed

                        I don't know if Wildfire sells the flour they use. The other bakery I mentioned was discussed in an issue of eat magazine a while back, and I can't recall the name.

                    2. Thank you Chowhounds for the great information about the higher protein content of Canadian flours! I think I may be able to keep my SO at bay for a bit as he tries some unbleached Canadian all-purpose flours. During the "Prove it!" part of our discussion he also found out that Rogers uses hard spring wheat for their flour (apparently that is good). The only remaining advantage King Arthur is that they manage to be dead consistent in the level of protein vs the wider range specified in other brands. The proof will be in the boule!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: lunchslut

                        If he is making boules then the AP is the right flour. Almost all of the current artisan style bread books call for the lower protein that AP flour has in order to get that porous texture that is so desirable.
                        It took me a while to understand that when the recipe called for bread flour what they meant was not pastry flour (as opposed to the higher gluten flours).

                        1. re: lunchslut

                          Rogers website (rogersfoods) lists "Rogers No Additive All Purpose Flour" as unbleached. Protein 12.2 to 13.6 hard spring wheat. "Rogers Bread Flour", protein 13.5 is also unbleached. It does not say so on the front of the packages, but the ingedient list reads enriched unbleached flour. both are widely available, try Save-On foods.
                          Rogers has always focussed on natural, no additive grain/cereal products. You can call them in Surrey or up in Armstrong. 7445-132nd Street, Surrey. (604) 590-4900

                           
                          1. re: noodletime

                            Great info there noodletime.