- Joe MacBu Oct 10, 2011 08:59 PM
I'm a former NYC hound who just moved to Austin. I do a lot of baking and need help finding bakery and restaurant suppliers around here. Basically, places to get 50lb sacks of flour, pans, etc.
Also, where are the places making great bread?
Thanks for any tips.
I don't know if this will help, but...
There are two Ace Mart locations in Austin that carry restaurant supplies (Lamar and Rundberg, S. Congress and Oltorf). Mission Restaurant Supply on N Lamar carries a similar inventory. I use All in One Bake Shop on 183 (near Ohlen) for cake decorating and pastry supplies, and I am sure they can help you find other places for more specific items.
Regarding large sacks of flour, I know you can find those at Costco, but have never seen the large quantities at other grocery stores in the area. Restaurant Depot also carries both 50 lb sacks as well as kitchen supplies, if you have a business license and a membership. All the major restaurant food suppliers in town (Sysco, Ben E Keith, etc) also deliver those to your business, if you are looking to bake commercially.
Places making great bread... There have been lots conversations on this board about Texas French Bread. I have worked for other restaurants that have used Walton's Fancy and Staple for baked goods also.
Walton's Fancy and Staple
609 W 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701
There are two good bread bakers: Barrie Baking Company, run by Barrie Cullinan; and Village Baking Company out of Dallas. Barrie's breads are available at Antonelli's Cheese and she also sells at Boggy Creek Farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Her ciabatta is very good; her croissants are extraordinary. The croissants are available at La Boite, Patika, Royal Blue and perhaps a few other places around town.
Village Baking Company comes to the Barton Creek Farmer's Market every Saturday. Their baker trained at Acme Bakery in San Francisco and makes superb sourdough that it is the equal of the best from Acme. My friends also like his multigrain boule, but I haven't tried it yet. His croissants and rolls are pretty good, but not in the same class with Barrie's. [Note: their stand lacks a sign so you just have to keep hunting for them.]
On the sweet side, La Patisserie makes very good croissants and macarons. And farther afield, Baguette et Chocolate has superb croissants and pastries, but they are all the way out in Bee Caves. Get there early as they sell out very quickly. They have a small selection at the Sunset Valley Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.
The breads at Whole Foods and Central Market are acceptable in a pinch but are otherwise undistinguished.
4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745
Antonelli's Cheese Shop
4220 Duval Street, Austin, TX
1700 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Restaurant Depot is a good place. You'll need a business (tax-exempt) license to get a card but that's pretty easy to do.
Thanks for all the recommendations!
So far, I've only made it to Costco. While they have 25lb and 50lb bags of flour, they're unfortunately bleached and possibly bromated (ConAgra stuff). I'm specifically looking for unbleached/unbromated/artisan-grade flour. Fortunately, Costco does carry Central Milling's Organic AP Flour which goes at $11 for 20lb - not cheap, but it is good stuff.
What type of flour do the other places carry? I'm looking for quality along the lines of King Arthur, Central Milling, Giusto's, etc.
Also, are there local farms that sell baking-grade whole grains? Wheat, rye, spelt, etc.
The Central Milling organic flour from Costco, and whatever Whole Foods might have (they can get you stuff in bulk but you only save 10%) are pretty much the only options in Austin. I've looked hard.
There had been a shortage of organic wheat the last year. The new crop was recently harvested, so now is a good time to buy in bulk. But fresh flour behaves oddly, and you might want to age new crop flour for a month or so before using it.
Now I get organic whole grains from Azure Standard online. They're like a buying club which makes monthly deliveries to a place near the Airport. They have a few organic flours in bulk. Shipping is 8.5% of the order with a minimum order of $50.
I'm about to actually order my organic flour directly from Giusto's in San Francisco. The quality is the best I've tried and it ain't cheap. But it makes the best tasting artisan breads I've ever made. Unfortunately, shipping is on a pallet with a freight carrier, and costs the same whether I get one ten 50lb bag or 50 bags. Send me an email if you want to go in on this.
Also, Restaurant Depot carries 50lb bags of non-organic King Arthur Flour. They usually have Sir Galahad (same as their retail "All-Purpose" in red bags) and Special (same as the retail "Bread" in blue bags). About $17/50lb.
You need to set up a business account to gain access, though I've heard they'll sometimes let you in if you show a business card.