Monday, April 12, 2010

King Arthur Flour (white whole wheat flour)

I'm about to post some wheat bread recipes, and I realized my thoughts on the flour brand should maybe go in a separate post.  I had heard of King Arthur Flour before, as kind of an accepted "best flour" in the baking industry.  Lots of people swear by it.  (They have a great baking blog also.) It comes in all kinds, but I was most interested in their White Whole Wheat Flour because it's supposed to be a softer, lighter-rising flour that PERFORMS more like white flour in recipes.  (White whole wheat is an albino wheat---it tastes less "bitter" [although I don't think it's bitter] than traditional red whole wheat, but is nutritionally just the same.) 

I have really liked this flour, but I don't know that it's so much the King Arthur brand, as just the white wheat that's so great.  I'll test that when I have a wheat grinder and can grind my own white wheat flour. (I cannot find any other commerical white-wheat flours in the store, but they sell bags of white wheat grains at Macey's and Lehi Roller Mills, I think.)  I've used the KAF all-purpose and red wheat flours, and with those I don't notice a substantial difference from my usual brands.  In fact in a side-by-side test of the basic artisan bread, I preferred my Western Family white flour to the KAF white flour.  But I have yet to do a side-by-side test of how the KAF all-purpose flour performs in, say, cookies, compared to other brands of flour.  It may be that it is better---some people certainly think so. 

I do definitely prefer the KAF white whole wheat for my basic weekly wheat bread recipe, but as I said, the KAF brand may be less important than the fact that it's white-wheat.

One of the best things about the white whole wheat is the way it works in baked goods, even besides bread---like brownies or cookies.  In many recipes, you can do nearly a straight subsitution of white wheat for white all-purpose---certainly you could use half---without even noticing a difference.  This can really boost the nutrition of baked goods, as you can imagine, and for this reason I think I may add KAF white-wheat to my rotation of foods to buy (at least till I get a wheat grinder)---in spite of its high price tag. (Can usually get it for $3.89 or so, on sale at Smith's, for a 5-lb bag.)  Because of the cost, it won't be the only flour I use, but I like it a lot and will use it when I can.

2 comments:

  1. Marilyn, thanks so much for trying our flour - and for taking the time to write about it. I think the biggest difference you'd find would be long-term - our flour is milled to the tightest specs in the industry. Week to week, month to month, year to year, when you open a bag of King Arthur you'll know you're getting exactly what you got every other time you used it: quality, consistency, purity. The other big national brands can't match us for consistency, I guarantee that. Thanks again for giving us a try, and I hope you do sample the AP in cookies, etc. Enjoy! PJ Hamel, King Arthur baker/blogger, on behalf of my fellow 167 employee-owners

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  2. Well, my mother and I can both thank you for all you research. We are going to try this new recipe!!!! So, yeah, thanks!!! Beautiful pictures by the way.

    Hannah

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