As I mentioned in the Awesome Bread post, for the past several years I’ve been using Robin Hood Best For Bread flour. I’ve used regular all purpose (Robin Hood and local grocery store brand). In both cases it makes a denser less flavourful bread (honestly it tastes a lot like cheap bagged sliced bread). Since Robin Hood has stopped selling the good bread flour in anything but the smallest and most expensive bags, I’ve been on the lookout for a new bread flour. This has required going beyond the supermarket aisles.
I think we’ve found a winner in Grain Process Enterprises Ltd’s Unbleached Strong White Flour. We picked up a 10kg bag at a local Arab grocery for $17 (half the price per pound what we’ve been paying for Robin Hood). I’ve baked a dozen loaves so far, and while it does not rise as much as the Robin Hood loaves, it rises enough and has a very pleasant texture. I continue to use the Awesome Bread recipe, and find it works well. The big thing is to not have a totally bland recipe (need 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, or basil, or molasses, or all three!).
From the same grocery store we picked up a 10kg bag of strong whole wheat flour for $13. Much like the unbleached strong flour it doesn’t rise as much as the Robin Hood, but that can be fixed by adding a bit more sugar.
Since we’ve started buying big bags of flour, our regular rubbermaid containers aren’t big enough to hold all the flour. So we stopped by the local winemaker and bought some used 5 gallon pails. They were used for fermenting red wine, so every time we open the flour containers it smells like red wine, but they haven’t conveyed any of that flavour to the flour (yet)