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King Arthur flour

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I am tempted to try King Arthur flour. Can one REALLY tell the difference from mass market flours?

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  1. My opinion? yes. But here on chowhound everyone has opinions....

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616426

    1. Try it. It's not a big investment.

      1. King Arthur bread flour generally has a higher percentage of protein than other commercial brands and that contributes to a higher gluten improved bread dough. I don't use it because I don't believe there's enough benefit to justify the extra cost. I simply check nutritional labels on the sacks of flour and buy the less expensive brands that have a minimum of 12% protein.

        1. i didn't think i'd know t he difference... but it makes WONDERFUL biscuits and pastry.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kajikit

            I prefer Gold Medal Unbleached for my cakes. KA unbleached is very good for cookies and pie crust.

            1. re: Kajikit

              I much prefer it over Pilsbury and other brands. I don't think it is hype. I think it is good quality. Even if it is a few cents more. I am not going to lose any sleep over spending a few cents more on what I can consider far superior flour. Flour to me is a pretty essential ingredient when it comes to baking...but hey.

            2. Depends on what you're using it for. They have a wider variety of types, such as white whole wheat.
              But don't you dare touch my White Lily!!! There is nothing that equals it for cakes, cookies, tender baked goods, and especially biscuits!!

              5 Replies
              1. re: MakingSense

                Except that White Lily is not being made the same way anymore (apparently, their Knoxville milling operation was closed in 2008, and the new milling operation is not producing flour identically to the closed mill), as a number of threads at Chowhound lament....

                1. re: Karl S

                  It is true that when Smucker's purchased White Lily, they didn't buy the old mill. They transferred operations to another of their own facilities. There was widespread wailing including from Shirley Corriher.
                  We all hate change but sometimes we have to deal with it.
                  White Lily is still the best of them for tender baked goods. Low protein flour, easily available at groceries (depending on where you live,) at a competitive price. King Arthur is substantially more expensive and doesn't hold a candle to White Lily.

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    Oh, I wasn't comparing KA to WL; they are different flours for different uses and there's room for both in American kitchens (WL for biscuit and other recipes that benefit from low protein; KA for breads that benefit from high protein structure). I was merely noting that WL is not quite the same product it was of lore, and that many appear to have switched allegiance to other low protein millers in the South as a result.

                    1. re: Karl S

                      Have you personally noticed a difference in White Lily?

                      1. re: MakingSense

                        No - I haven't had access to it in a few years; I've noticed that a number of people who are regular users reported they have noticed a difference.

              2. My MIL thought so. She used to make upwards of 60+ loaves a week of sourdough bread and said she could tell a difference in the lightness of the bread when she used King Arthur Bread flour.

                1. If I were buying AP flour, I don't think it matters. If memory serves, when CI tested flours they thought both Gold Medal and KA were good for AP. But I sub KA White Whole Wheat for AP in virtually everything, and thus far the other big name brands don't sell it.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious

                    Hodgins Mill sells white whole wheat flour and I think Bob's Red Mill does too.

                    1. re: LadyCook61

                      I know that - and Trader Joe's has it - but none of those, including KA, have the market share that General Mills and Pillsbury have. If the big guys sold it, it might be less expensive.

                      On another note, I read recently that these "healthier" flours aren't that much better, from a glycemic index standpoint, than refined white flour. It has to do with how finely the grain is milled - the finer the grind (and the whole wheat flours ARE finely ground) the higher the glycemic index. And here I was thinking I was making a far better choice by using the WWW from KA.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        I've read that theory but not seen what the magnitude of the comparative difference is and the scientific studies concerning that theory in typical consumption patterns (where people are not typically just eating a naked piece of white bread or whole grain bread on its own, but usually with fats or proteins that naturally tend to slow digestion thereof).

                    2. re: greygarious

                      Trader Joe's has white whole wheat under their own label now. I can't compare it to KA, as I haven't used both.

                    3. Try looking at this and see what you think ?

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

                      For me the answer is YES