Thursday, August 1, 2013

King Arthur Wheat Flours

Since I'm reaching the point of having more types of flour on hand than I do fingers on a hand, it might be useful to compare them by protein (gluten) level and price-per-pound. King Arthur brand is what I like because I can get a decent variety locally and because their website has helped my baking education.

14.2% Protein Sir Lancelot ($2.50/lb.)

Good for bagels and such. It may not seem much of an improvement over whole wheat flours, but those really should be blended with something like Bread Flour.

14.0% Protein Whole Wheat ($1.19/lb.)

I snuck this into some espresso chocolate chip cookies last week (was out of All Purpose), but usually it's for making healthy, richer-flavored bread.

14.0% Protein White Whole Wheat ($1.19/lb.)

Good for sneaking whole wheat into things that aren't supposed to be dark-colored already.

12.7% Protein Bread Flour ($0.99/lb.)

There isn't much reason to use All Purpose for bread when this exists at the same price. I've also used this to make homemade phyllo dough.

11.7% Protein All-Purpose Flour ($0.99/lb.)

It's that thing in (nearly) every baking recipe! Since Bread Flour is the same price, I tend to reserve All-Purpose for lower-gluten recipes like cookies. 

11.5% Protein French-Style ($3.32/lb.)

What? I don't understand why anyone buys this.

10.3% Protein Perfect Pastry ($2.83/lb.)

Why would anyone use this over Cake Flour? I suppose it does occupy a midway point between that and All Purpose on the gluten scale. Maybe it boosts sales to label something for cakes and something else for pastries.

9.4% Protein Cake Flour ($2.47/lb.)

For cake, obviously, but also anything else more delicate. If this didn't cost so much more, I might be able to drop All-Purpose entirely.

9.0% Protein — Whole Wheat Pastry Flour ($2.83/lb.)

Now this is what I should be using to add whole wheat to cookies.

7.0% Protein Queen Guinevere ($2.50/lb.)

Like the Cake Flour blend, but more so. Or less so. 

Flour Storage Life Hack

Large, empty, food-grade containers are expensive. Large, food-grade containers filled with cheese balls are not.

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