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Is King Arthur Flour worth the price?

j
jessinEC Oct 11, 2011 08:30 PM

I enjoy baking a lot, but I'm definitely home-style -- bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, pies, but nothing super-fancy. No Dobosch tortes or macaroons or croissants. I'm usually pretty happy with my results -- but I know that what I make isn't spectacular, and that's fine (that's what bakeries are for). That said, my usual shop was out of the inexpensive unbleached AP flour I usually buy (Gold Medal) and I really needed flour -- so I went ahead and bought KAF organic flour. $9+ for 5 lbs!

Do you think I'll be able to detect a difference between my usual cheap flour and the good stuff? What should I look for?

Is there something I should make that will give me a sense of why folks rave about KAF?

  1. c
    chefathome Jan 5, 2013 12:00 PM

    We do not have KA flour here (Alberta). However, my relatives bring some of the GF KA flour to me from the U.S. I must pay up to $15 per POUND of flour as I must bake gluten free (celiac). Each recipe calls for at least three flours; one calls for seven. Each, of course, has different properties and characteristics that are needed in GF baking. My freezers contain at least 20 kinds of flour, ranging from inexpensive white rice flour (which I try not to use often) to sorghum to amaranth to coconut and almond. Thankfully where I purchase the flours there is a 20% day once a month. That is when I go and stock up. When you spend $200 on flours 20% really helps. :)

    Admittedly it is fun to bake with interesting flours. Very instructive, too!

    1. m
      MonMauler Dec 29, 2012 11:25 PM

      I make a decent amount of bread, flatbreads and pizza, and if I'm too lazy to get to the Italian market for 00 flour, KA bread flour works for me. Robin hood AP is my standard flour mostly because it works, is easily available and what my mom used.

      1. PattiCakes Dec 28, 2012 11:49 AM

        FWIW, I like KA flours. I bake a lot of bread using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day concept, and use a lot of whole grains. I can buy much of it in my home grocery store in PA - even the white whole wheat - but buy some of the specialty flours, like rye and pumpernickle directly from KA. I am also a fan of some of their other items, like the whole grain bread improver, which really DOES make my whole grain breads lighter, and the pizza dough improver, which really does make it easier to roll/pull out my crust. I find I can buy some of the 12 grain and 10 grain add-ins from Bob's Red Mill, which makes a great set of products, including vital wheat gluten. I am not hooked on the organic angle -- I just like the products because they are good and because I like the way the companies operate. As far as your plain ol' white unbleached non-cake flour, though, whatever is on sale in the market is fine.

        1. b
          breadbakinglady Dec 28, 2012 09:45 AM

          If you are an newbie bread baking amateur or are willing to accept a much lower standard in your bread, then 'double the price' King Arthur Flour is your brand.

          King Arthur DOES NOT EVEN MILL THEIR FLOUR. It is milled by Bay State Milling.
          King Arthur is simply marketeers, exploiting the age old misconception many people have that just because it costs more it must be better.
          King Arthur flour is produced on the same line as Bay State Milling flours -- the only difference is KAF COSTS TWICE AS MUCH.

          Want a flour that will beat the pants off King Arthur without breaking a sweat -- plain old all-purpose Robin Hood at Walmart for $2.18 for 5 pounds.

          If you want a flour that makes you fell all warm and fussy, if you want a flour you can look down your nose bragging to your friends -- KAF by all means.

          If you want a flour that PERFORMS then get a bag of Robin Hood.
          There are probably regional flours out there that perform equally well.

          Remember KAF is just a high priced marketing ploy (just like nearly every other mail order business situated in Vermont). Them old red nosed Yankees are expert in separating you from your money.

          1. Bette Dec 18, 2011 02:55 PM

            A couple of months ago, in order to get a leg up on my holiday baking/shopping, I purchased a less expensive flour and was extremely disappointed with it. It felt DEAD to me, like it had been processed so much that it had literally no life left to it. It also clumped badly and made biscuits as heavy as hockey pucks. I pawned those bags of flour off on family members and purchased my usual 25 lb bag of King Arthur AP at Costco. Will never make that mistake again, I will always use King Arthur flour.

            For anyone interested in storage for such a large amount of flour (keeps for a good year), you can buy at Lowe's or Home Depot, the large WHITE PLASTIC containers with lids - those are food safe. BUT ONLY THE WHITE ONES!!! They are sold in the paint aisle. DO NOT USE THE ORANGE OR CLEAR PLASTIC containers!! I cannot stress enough - only the white number 2 (that's the recycling number) HDPE containers. If you use the others, harmful chemicals will leach into your stored foods. If you have questions, call the number on the bottom of the containers and the companies will let you know what is food safe and what is not.

            Regarding price, there was such a small difference in price per pound between the cheap, awful flour and the excellent KAF flour that I had to kick myself for even thinking it was worth it.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Bette
              n
              nikkib99 Dec 20, 2011 09:23 AM

              How much does Costco sell the 25lb bag of KA flour?

              The containers I use to store my flour are the 22qt square cambro container. The cheapest place I found was Katom - http://www.katom.com

              1. re: nikkib99
                r
                Rella Dec 20, 2011 10:46 AM

                I've never seen Costco sell KA flour. But I see it at BJ's. It usually runs about .68 a pound.

                1. re: Rella
                  n
                  nikkib99 Dec 20, 2011 10:57 AM

                  Thanks. I think I'll stick to my source - around .44/lb - would be nice to get in 25lb bags though.

                  1. re: Rella
                    p
                    Point Dec 20, 2011 02:49 PM

                    Costco does sell KAF, at least in Nashua, NH.

                    1. re: Point
                      r
                      Rella Dec 20, 2011 03:25 PM

                      Wonder what the deal is that Costco only sells in certain places. I've shopped at some Costco's in

                      PA, VA, NJ, NY, MD, CT and no KAF.
                      Well, someday maybe. Thanks for your reply.

              2. w
                Witchysis31 Dec 18, 2011 01:13 PM

                i have used everything from generic flour to the expensive flours to cook with and i can tell you there is absolutely no difference in flavor or texture in baking... the only time u will get a noticeable flavor and texture difference is when you use "cake flour" instead of "all-purpose" flour and that is whats supposed to happen.

                1. r
                  rspoonbill Dec 17, 2011 12:11 PM

                  KAF has both organic and non-organic flours. The organic is much more expensive. To the poster who commented that all food is organic, the word usually refers to HOW the food is grown. Organic growers do not use the same fertilizers and pesticides that agro-businesses use. These chemicals foul our water supply, and use vast amounts of carbon resources. That said, I do not splurge on organic flour. But I always use KAF flours. They are a New England company, and I think that the flour will be fresher- this DOES make a difference in flavor ( I live in New England). I bake a lot of bread. My friends on the West Coast get their flour from Central Milling in California.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rspoonbill
                    r
                    Rella Dec 17, 2011 01:16 PM

                    As I bake less and less read now, I try to buy organic KingArthur flour for when I do bake bread. The reasons are several for me, but I certainly agree with: as you say, "chemicals foul our water supply" is reason aplenty.

                    KingArthur organic whole wheat, all-purpose, and bread flour provide all the different protein amounts I find necessary and they are available in my area, at a price of $2.49 per 2 lb. package.

                    Considering that many will pay this much for a packaged-mix, it's not that bad. But for those who are taking cost into consideration it is a lot. Where one person will pay more for an unbleached product, some care not at all whether it is unbleached or not.

                  2. a
                    amazinc Nov 22, 2011 07:00 AM

                    I'm right up there with tazia. Love this company. Their bakers hotline is a remarkable source for those "must have an answer now" problems that crop up when you bake as much as I. Their
                    recipe magaine (The Baking Sheet) offers many recipes that I've used with great delight. I have attended their baking demonstrations in San Antonio, TX and would like to be able to follow them around the U. S., as participants have soooooo much fun. A company as committed to its employees and customers as KA will ALWAYS get my baking dollars. Aside from that, I find the product to be superior to "national brands" as well as "store brands" particularily the white whole wheat flour. I've been experimenting with it in the "no knead bread" recipes, as well as using it, half and half in pie doughs. So far, the results have been very good. Baking is important ro mw, both because I love to share the goods with friends and I find it very relaxing
                    to put on some music, pull out the yeast/flour/etc. and let my mind float. MUCH less expensive than analysis!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: amazinc
                      n
                      nikkib99 Nov 22, 2011 07:11 AM

                      I totally agree regarding their baker's hotline. I just chatted with them yesterday about dutch-processed cocoa.

                      KA is my go-to place for recipes and premium ingredients. I like watching Susan Reid's videos on howtoheroes.

                    2. n
                      nikkib99 Nov 22, 2011 06:39 AM

                      I think it's worth it and would stick with them. I use their AP flour, bread four, and hi-gluten flour.
                      If you have friends who bake as well and maybe have a distribution center close to your area, you can buy 50lb bags from them. I bought the bags for about $21 each. Not a bad deal at all.

                      I store them in cambro containers - a 50lb bag fits in 2 22qt square containers and lasts a very long time. No bugs, no spoilage.

                      It sounds crazy to have all that flour, but you can't beat the quality and price.

                      BTW, I do not live in a house. I live in a condo so if I can find a home for all that flour, you house-dwellers don't have much to complain about :).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: nikkib99
                        r
                        Rella Nov 22, 2011 07:08 AM

                        I like to keep big bags of flour in large containers, too. One little tip for anyone reading this: Throw some bay leaves in the bottom of your container. It is said to keep away bugs.

                        Since I don't have bugs in my flour containers, I can't say if this has kept them away or not :-)) But I do this with all my grains that I store in containers.

                        1. re: Rella
                          n
                          nikkib99 Nov 22, 2011 07:17 AM

                          Would the impart the scent?

                          When I bought mine, I emptied the flour in the large cambro containers. I also have a smaller container that I use on a regular basis that way I'm not dealing with the big container of flour.

                          No bugs yet - knock on wood.

                          1. re: nikkib99
                            r
                            Rella Nov 22, 2011 07:25 AM

                            No scent from even at least a dozen bayleaves in a large container.

                            I try to leave the flour in its orginally wrapped container before I drop it into a plastic container. If this is not possible, I will take some of the flour out to make it fit.

                            However, I do use the smaller container to transfer for regular use.

                            1. re: Rella
                              n
                              nikkib99 Nov 22, 2011 07:48 AM

                              Thanks for the useful tip.

                      2. r
                        Rella Oct 21, 2011 05:28 PM

                        I always buy KA flour when I can get it for under a certain price. I stock up and will buy as much as 40#. I store four my own way and keep dates current, and have not so far had a rancid flour, except with another grain supplier.

                        When I run out, I will buy another brand which I will not mention, because it is not mentioned here, but only a few pounds while I'm actively searching for more KA. I also used to buy WheatMontana, which I like, but it is not available at a reasonable price where I live in Virginia, and only one place that I know of within reasonable distance.

                        Although
                        KA is my choice of flour. I will not pay $9, or $8, or $7, or $6, nor $5 for $5 lbs.

                        One think I find disappointing is that BJ's does not carry KA bread flour, which is the flour I prefer. I do no baking with added sugar to flour. I only bake bread and pizza dough (which is bread, is it not:-))??

                        I have bought their organic flour and will continue to buy it when I can find it at a decent price; i.e., not more than $1.25 per pound.

                        Would love to see Lancelot KA just once in a grocery store, but have never. I would love to try it, but shipping charges freak me out.

                        KA whole white wheat/whole wheat white tastes pretty awful to me. But I have made KA 100% whole wheat bread, no sugar, no fat - just flour, yeast, salt and water, and it can be wonderful, not even bitter, but it's rare that I do that; I think it has to do with the flour being recently, very recently ground.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Rella
                          Karl S Oct 21, 2011 05:35 PM

                          I stopped using North American whole wheat, and now use Odlum's coarse or extra coarse whole meal flour from Ireland (there's a convenience store in Brighton, MA that sells it in 2 kilo bags for a reasonable sum). I much prefer it to American/Canadian whole wheat.

                          1. re: Rella
                            pdxgastro Oct 21, 2011 07:12 PM

                            How do you know you're using Irish wheat? Do you have any idea how much US wheat is exported?

                            The joke is buying imported Italian pasta that is made with 100% US durum wheat.

                            1. re: pdxgastro
                              Karl S Oct 22, 2011 02:38 AM

                              Well, what I was referring to is the style of milling. Irish whole meal flour is softer wheat, and unevenly milled (the closest cognate in American usage would be graham flour). It's just a much superior product in my estimation.

                            2. re: Rella
                              kscooley Oct 21, 2011 07:52 PM

                              The nice thing about KA UBAP flour is the high protein content. It's as high as some other brand's "bread" flours. I use it to bake our bread & pizza dough. Rarely do I actually buy the KA bread flour, as I find the UBAP to work wonderfully. (Of course, using their bread flour is phenomenal for pizza dough, but I can't justify the cost.)

                              1. re: kscooley
                                d
                                dtremit Oct 21, 2011 08:27 PM

                                Ah, see -- that's the exact reason that AP flour is the only one I don't prefer KA for. Most of my AP goes into sweet baked goods, and the higher protein isn't as desirable there. I typically have bread flour on hand for bread.

                                I'm surprised to see you say that the bread flour is more expensive, though -- both KA flours are almost always the same price here (MA). Or are you buying the AP in larger bags that the bread isn't available in?

                                1. re: dtremit
                                  kscooley Oct 22, 2011 05:07 AM

                                  Oh yes, I can see why you wouldn't want KA AP for the lighter fluffier sweets. :-)

                                  I buy 10lb bags of the KA UBAP at BJ's - most cost effective since it's only $6. Love that!

                            3. i
                              Isolda Oct 21, 2011 10:45 AM

                              KAF is all I use. I've never paid $9 for it, though, so maybe it costs more where you live (I'm in Massachusetts). If I had to pay that, I'd probably try to find something else because I go through a lot of flour.

                              I will say that when I visit my parents in the Seattle area, I use their Gold Medal flour (they always want me to do the desserts) and I don't think the finished products are as good. Part of this may be that I'm used to working with KA, but I detect an odd taste to their flour. It also smells very different to me. My husband and kids don't even notice this, so it may just be me.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Isolda
                                r
                                Rella Oct 21, 2011 05:37 PM

                                In the 80's when I lived in Seattle area, I used to buy from a flour mill a Mondako which was quite good at the time, all the rave. I think that mill has been taken over, though and I don't know what is offered there. I loved that flour! Mondako was mixed with another flour they milled, which made the best pizza dough I've ever tasted. Not to be duplicated ever since.

                              2. p
                                Point Oct 21, 2011 06:22 AM

                                I haven't touched bleached flour since I found out how it's bleached. Living in Massachusetts, getting KAF since about 10 years ago in supermarkets is easy enough. Costco's price for it is very good, but I can't use the quantity fast enough.

                                I find their regular whole wheat flour bitter and sharp, and use their white whole wheat instead. This has a definite flavor you might not want in delicate sauces (for which I use arrowroot anyway). My husband's found the white whole wheat to be unsuitable for tart shells because it "fractures" the pastry, but the AP is fine. The bread flour works well for poolish-based breads that I want large air holes in.

                                I'm not a cake baker or eater, so I'm not sure that the cake or self-rising flours are worth the expense.

                                1. mels Oct 21, 2011 05:40 AM

                                  I am a bread maker and the brand of flour I use does matter. I use KA bread flour and white whole wheat, as I deem them superior to other brands for what I do, plus they are the most widely available flour around me (I am in CT, KA is from VT, so it makes sense). I only buy their AP flour because I too buy it at BJ's at $6.50 for a 10 pound bag. In regular stores around here 5 lbs is $4.99, so it's a steal.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mels
                                    i
                                    Isolda Oct 21, 2011 10:47 AM

                                    Market Basket in Ashland, MA sometimes has 5 lb bags for as low as $2.50 on sale. The first time I saw this, I was so shocked I thought it was counterfeit, but nope, it was the real deal.

                                    1. re: Isolda
                                      Karl S Oct 21, 2011 12:13 PM

                                      Their old sale price was 1.99, so it's quite credible, though I think 3 is the more common sale price now..

                                  2. EWSflash Oct 20, 2011 08:03 PM

                                    A friend took my KAF catalog home and ordered from ti, she reported back that it DOES make a difference. She's an awesome, traditional cook, and she knows her stuff. She lives in Scottsdale, BTW, not in some rancid midwestern backwater. She's a believer, and I trust her to be one too. Onlyt thing is, I don't bake much at all.

                                    1. m
                                      MonMauler Oct 20, 2011 01:16 PM

                                      My regular grocery store does not have the best selection in the world, so I am limited as to what type of flour I buy. Usually, I have two on hand: King Arthur Bread Flour and Robin Hood AP.

                                      I buy Robin Hood AP because it's what my mom uses, and when I first started cooking she told me that's the one she usually used. I always have King Arthur Bread Flour on hand because I bake a decent amount, and it is the closest I can find at my regular grocer to the fancy-pants "00" flours I have to go a little out of the way for.

                                      King Arthur Bread Flour really is the best flour I can get at my grocer for making a number of bread products, most importantly pizza dough.

                                      I've tried most of the other one's they have there. It's mostly the standard stuff: Robin Hood, Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Generic, etc. But I haven't found anything as good for breads (esp. pizza dough) as the KAF.

                                      1. s
                                        sueatmo Oct 12, 2011 07:41 AM

                                        I like to use unbleached white flour when baking--when I bake. (I don't do as much as I used to.) I've bought the KA unbleached white whole wheat flour and it is a good product, esp. for those of us who need to eat more fiber to compensate for carbs.

                                        For a small baking project, I found a small bag of KA unbleached flour. I bought it, opened it, and found weevils! Oops! I had to go back to the store to buy a full-sized bag of unbleached flour, and I bought my old brand--Hodgson Mills. No weevils, but the flour went into the freezer after I used it.

                                        If you want unbleched flour, you might have to buy KA. It depends on what your market carries. If I had had time, I would have taken the contaminated flour back, and gotten a refund to count toward the full-sized bag I ended up buying. But I was pressed for time and I took the easiest route. I would buy KA again--after all I don't know if the contamination came from their plant or the store's storage. But I will check any flour I buy from now on for weevils.

                                        On the organic label: the Organic label used on food labels does have a specific meaning. Of course all foods are made up of organic compounds, but that is not what the label signifies. It signifies a specific sort of agricultural practice and (I think) processing which most of us understand. I imagine someone here will fill us in on the specifics. Or refer us to the pertinent gov't. website.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sueatmo
                                          tazia Oct 13, 2011 10:18 AM

                                          There are actually a number of different organic certifying agencies, which have different standards for what organic certification entails. Different types of products have different requirements (crops vs. livestock, for example). Things that affect certification depending on the agency include things like use of GMOs, chemical fertilizers/pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, etc.

                                          From what I undersand, the USDA is one of the more lax certifications agencies. For example, products can be labelled Organic if they only have 95% organic components, but can still have 5% that doesn't qualify (because of use of chemical pesticides or what have you). There's also a 100% Organic label that the USDA uses that is what it sounds like, but a lot of people don't realize that Organic products are sometimes only 95% organic.

                                          King Arthur is certified by QAI (Quality Assurance Intl) and the USDA.
                                          http://www.qai-inc.com/
                                          http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/u...

                                        2. tazia Oct 12, 2011 07:05 AM

                                          I'm a big fan of their flour, which is one thing, but I'm also a bigger fan of the company. It's employee-owned and consistently wins awards as a great place to work. I like supporting businesses that are known for treating their employees well, even if it means paying a premium price.
                                          I also care less about organic, so I just buy their unbleached standard AP flour. I also do like that it's unbleached. It runs about $5 at Whole Foods. More expensive than Gold Medal etc, but not so much that it makes me cringe (though I can see cringing at $9 for organic).

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: tazia
                                            c
                                            ChiliDude Oct 12, 2011 07:16 AM

                                            I also cringe when I see the word 'organic.' All food is organic because organic is defined as a compound containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. I repeat 'All food is organic!' I hate the term when it is misused. However, my wife overrules me and shops at WFM.

                                            1. re: ChiliDude
                                              JReichert Nov 9, 2011 12:54 PM

                                              Technically . . . . yes.

                                              But if we're going to get into semantics, then we should be addressing every processed food as it really is - "extruded", "dyed", "genetically modified", etc. - and often they aren't labeled accordingly. Organic simply means the greatest amount of care, and the least amount of processing, is used.

                                              Now the term 'Natural' - I could fully see a hissy fit over that, as it is a completely useless 'trendy' term that has no actual guidelines.

                                              1. re: ChiliDude
                                                m
                                                mightywombat Dec 18, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                Actually, that is only one meaning of "organic." Words can have multiple meanings, and their meanings can change over time. No one who uses "organic" to refer to food raised without synthetic pesticides or antibiotics is "misusing" the term.

                                                But far be it from me to get between a misguided language pedant and his snit!

                                                1. re: mightywombat
                                                  c
                                                  ChiliDude Jan 5, 2013 11:47 AM

                                                  I love it...ya got me there. What's really funny is that my knowledge of chemistry could be written on the head of a pin.

                                              2. re: tazia
                                                woodleyparkhound Oct 12, 2011 07:24 AM

                                                I agree with tazia. I used to live in Vermont and would drive an hour or so a few times a year to shop at their store. It's a great company, with happy, engaged employees. I love their products and like supporting them.

                                                1. re: tazia
                                                  c
                                                  chrispa Oct 12, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                  Those are my thoughts too. I used to live on the other side of the river from KAF and loved the company. The store was fantastic, the employees happy and they seemed so genuinely committed to customer satisfaction. That is worth the higher price for me.

                                                2. c
                                                  ChiliDude Oct 12, 2011 06:51 AM

                                                  I buy the 10 pound bag at BJs at under 70 cents a pound...I don't remember the exact price. It is great for bread baking and pizza. I do remember that it is less expensive at BJs per pound than supermarkets are selling other brands. I would not mail order it because of the shipping cost making it expensive.

                                                  BTW, I only bake bread and pizza. I don't do cakes and other pastry.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: ChiliDude
                                                    c
                                                    ChiliDude Oct 20, 2011 12:36 PM

                                                    I was at BJs on Monday and looked at the King Arthur 10 pound bag of flour price. 'Twas 62 cents per pound.

                                                    1. re: ChiliDude
                                                      n
                                                      NotJuliaChild Oct 20, 2011 09:14 PM

                                                      Target and Walmart have KA flour for 70 cents a pound, all the time. No sale price or membership card needed.

                                                      1. re: NotJuliaChild
                                                        l
                                                        lunafish Dec 18, 2011 12:24 PM

                                                        Our local stores sell it too, and even the organic flour is not much (if any) more money that store brands and other national brands... maybe I've seen it on sale, or something. I don't bake enough to go through that much flour, so if I am making something in particular, I don't mind spending a little extra, but I really haven't noticed much of a price difference in any case.

                                                        I usually like to have unbleached flour on hand for uses other than baking - gravies, sauces, binders for breading, etc...

                                                      2. re: ChiliDude
                                                        kscooley Oct 21, 2011 08:33 AM

                                                        Something like $5.97 for the 10lb bag. I always buy my KA UBAP flour there, as well as the 2-brick of Fleischmann's yeast for a hair over $3.

                                                        And for those of us who already have a BJ's membership for reasons beyond just flour, it's a lovely thing. Between the four, yeast, coffee, I more than make up my membership cost in savings. A LOT more. :-)

                                                        ETA - I bake our bread, so go through a lot of flour. 5 in the house, so bread goes fast!

                                                        1. re: kscooley
                                                          c
                                                          ChiliDude Dec 31, 2012 01:26 PM

                                                          I have to laugh because I also buy Fleischmann's at BJs, and I share it with my son-in-law who is a great pizza baker. The yeast lasts me for years because we have an empty nest, and I store it in a glass jar in the fridge once I open the vacuum packed package. I've used yeast that had an expiration date six years beyond when I bake bread. It works!

                                                      3. re: ChiliDude
                                                        r
                                                        Rella Oct 22, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                        Just wondering if anyone uses KA AP 'exclusively' for making the NYTimes "no knead" bread. I usually use the bread flour. It certainly would be cheaper to make it with AP if bought at BJ's.

                                                        Unfortunately I don't keep a card at BJ's, although I used to. There is just enough for me to purchase there compared to Costco that makes another 50+ miles cost-effective. We got a 3-month free membership offer and about the only thing I bought there was flour - although I certainly should've bought more. But my bread flour of choice is KA Bread Flour, not KA all-purpose flour, so I just couldn't justify the low cost.

                                                      4. blue room Oct 12, 2011 05:50 AM

                                                        My experience is limited, but I've used their "00" flour -- it was bought for a pizza crust recipe. I was *very* happy with the results, and will buy it again.

                                                        The few times I've used King Arthur AP I detected no difference, but then I wasn't looking. I was sorely disappointed with a KA date-nut bread mix a few years ago -- way too rustic for me.

                                                        I would like to try the *white* whole wheat flour-- I've heard good things. They answer questions readily at their website, and their catalogs are lovely to look at -- I suppose part of the price pays for these extras.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: blue room
                                                          ChristinaMason Oct 12, 2011 08:00 AM

                                                          The white whole wheat flour is awesome. I use it all the time in bread recipes and get very good results---it's nowhere near as "toothy" as regular whole wheat flour.

                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                            w
                                                            wyogal Oct 12, 2011 08:05 AM

                                                            I agree! Wheat Montana has a Prairie Gold that is similar.

                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                              m
                                                              Matahari22 Oct 20, 2011 05:37 PM

                                                              The only time I buy KA flour is for the white whole flour. I buy unbleached Gold Medal for the regular all purpose. I live in a tiny town and the only white whole wheat I could find was the King Arthur. I really like it, I detest regular whole wheat products. It's like saw dust to me.

                                                            2. re: blue room
                                                              a
                                                              AsperGirl Dec 17, 2011 02:02 PM

                                                              I use the KA white whole wheat flour all the time, and barely use white flour anymore (I don't do a lot of baking).  There is a texture and flavor difference, but that only makes a difference in some applications.  It's not that great for galettes -- buckwheat and white flour crêpes -- because with the buckwheat, the whole wheat seems to combine in a crepe that is too dense and stiff.  In the case of buckwheat-wheat flour combinations, I found that using refined wheat flour was better.

                                                              White whole wheat makes a nice pasta, much lighter and smoother than store bought whole wheat pasta, so I can make a 100% whole wheat pasta ravioli that is actually good and not cardboard.

                                                            3. w
                                                              wyogal Oct 12, 2011 05:22 AM

                                                              I find a difference in flours,I use Wheat Montana. I like KA, and Gold Medal as well. But there really is a difference between those and the store brands/generic. I consider Gold Medal to be much better, and more expensive than the "supermarket" brands. Gold Medal is on sale more often than KA, but is still more expensive than the store brand.
                                                              But, eventhough I like KA, I would rather have a flour that is "local."

                                                              1. Karl S Oct 12, 2011 04:51 AM

                                                                Well, it used to seem that KA was the only widespread unbleached AP flour; that's what got it traction, IMO. They also have been clear on the protein contents of their different flours, which also helped with people who needed that information. And, for people who wanted very high protein flour for making bread, they were the gold standard. If you don't have any specific needs in this regard that are not being met by the cheaper brands, no problem for you.

                                                                1. k
                                                                  Kelli2006 Oct 12, 2011 03:39 AM

                                                                  I wont buy anything but King Arthur's bread flour and their Round Table pastry flour. However I don't think that their AP is significantly better than Gold Medal(my preferred AP) or Pillsbury, and I would never pay the price for organic flour.

                                                                  1. a
                                                                    AnotherMother Oct 12, 2011 01:22 AM

                                                                    Hmm, my perspective might be a bit different...
                                                                    When I lived in the States i used to buy KAF whenever possible, as it was the closest to the kind of flour I was used to using in Australia.
                                                                    So I would say there is a detectable difference, but that it may be a plus or a minus depending on your expectations.
                                                                    I found it was a little lighter in the end product, and had the 'right' taste for my palate.
                                                                    Also it had no added salt - some flours from the supermarket seemed to have added salt, which - as a foreigner - I found beyond weird.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: AnotherMother
                                                                      s
                                                                      sandylc Dec 20, 2011 05:44 PM

                                                                      I have NEVER heard of adding salt to flour in the United States - unless, of course, you are talking about self-rising flour - a totally different product.

                                                                    2. l
                                                                      LabLady Oct 11, 2011 09:44 PM

                                                                      Only if you need some kind of special flour that isn't otherwise available. I've used their 'artisan bread flour' before and it does make really good bread, but I've only bothered to buy the 'regular' KAF flour once because I didn't think it made a difference.

                                                                      1. ipsedixit Oct 11, 2011 09:19 PM

                                                                        Is King Arthur Flour worth the price?
                                                                        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                                                                        No.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                          iL Divo Nov 22, 2011 07:21 AM

                                                                          +1

                                                                          if I ever detected a difference that was a super positive one, I'd use the better [in my opinion] flour.
                                                                          other than the old or original White Lily, I'd not pay a ton more for a different brand unless that's all they had and I needed flour 'now'.

                                                                        2. todao Oct 11, 2011 08:39 PM

                                                                          IMO, there's no reason to pay the premium price for KAF. It is a very good product and it certainly does provide a foundation for good quality baked goods but, from my experience, there isn't much (if any) difference in my baked goods using KAF or other good quality super market brands of flour.

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