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Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:33 PM

Does the brand of flour make a difference?

I just came back from the grocery store with a bag of "No Name" flour that was $5 cheaper than the major brand name that my wife always purchases. I could see her wince when I came through the door (I sort of anticipated it). I'm not convinced brand name makes a big difference. They are, after all, the same types of flour, just a different packaging.

Am I wrong, DU?

46 replies, 2689 views

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Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
Reply Does the brand of flour make a difference? (Original post)
True Dough Jan 2019 OP
hlthe2b Jan 2019 #1
N_E_1 for Tennis Jan 2019 #2
jpak Jan 2019 #3
yellowdogintexas Jan 2019 #7
Kali Jan 2019 #4
PoliticAverse Jan 2019 #5
Optical.Catalyst Jan 2019 #6
yellowdogintexas Jan 2019 #9
mysteryowl Jan 2019 #8
Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2019 #10
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #24
Dr Hobbitstein Jan 2019 #34
Major Nikon Jan 2019 #41
TwistedTinkerbelle Jan 2019 #40
Harker Jan 2019 #11
Big Blue Marble Jan 2019 #12
Jane Austin Jan 2019 #13
True Dough Jan 2019 #19
True Dough Jan 2019 #18
Big Blue Marble Jan 2019 #22
True Dough Jan 2019 #23
trixie2 Jan 2019 #29
True Dough Jan 2019 #30
LuvLoogie Jan 2019 #38
mulsh Jan 2019 #14
lilactime Jan 2019 #15
True Dough Jan 2019 #16
Lars39 Jan 2019 #17
True Dough Jan 2019 #20
Lars39 Jan 2019 #21
LakeSuperiorView Jan 2019 #35
True Dough Jan 2019 #36
Xolodno Jan 2019 #25
True Dough Jan 2019 #26
Xolodno Jan 2019 #37
True Dough Jan 2019 #39
Laffy Kat Jan 2019 #27
dawg day Jan 2019 #28
CentralMass Jan 2019 #31
True Dough Jan 2019 #32
handmade34 Jan 2019 #33
True Dough Feb 2019 #42
Major Nikon Feb 2019 #45
True Dough Feb 2019 #46
JustABozoOnThisBus Feb 2019 #43
True Dough Feb 2019 #44

Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:34 PM

1. the type of flour does, depending on the purpose intended. I doubt the "brand" does

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:36 PM

2. Oh yea there's a difference...

I cook but my wife bakes. We hang out with mostly Baker people all flours are not the same. This has been drilled in.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:36 PM

3. Yes, some flours are different

There was article in the local paper how it was impossible to make good biscuits here in Maine because we only have "hard wheat flour".

Down South, they have brands of "soft wheat" flour that makes perfect biscuits every time.

On edit - link http://mainetoday.com/eat-drink/recipes/best-biscuits-secret-ingredient-soft-wheat-flour/

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Response to jpak (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:50 PM

7. absolutely! Soft wheat flour is best for biscuits and soft fluffy dinner rolls

and probably pie crust and cakes.

I do not make biscuits often, but I have made the whipped cream biscuits. My recipe is simpler with only whipping cream and self rising flour. SO good and you can partially bake them then freeze them . the recipe is called Angel Biscuits, I believe

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:36 PM

4. yes, it can

quality differs, not sure why but it does

I am sure it also depends on the type of use - dredging something to fry? doubt there would be a noticeble difference, baking something sensitive or delicate? hell yes it can change the texture and flavor and even how it rises.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:41 PM

5. Assuming you are buying the same general type (i.e. unbleached white) the primary difference...

beween 2 brands of flour will be protein levels and consistency. Wheat crops vary based on climate/growing conditions.
Also there are different varieties of wheat (hard red, hard white, soft red, soft white).
A good brand will work to ensure that their flour is consistent in protein (gluten) levels between batches.

Gluten levels are more important for some baked goods than others.

Can you tell us what type/brand you usually use and what the "no name" flour is?

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:49 PM

6. "King Biscuit" is better than "Martha White"

Pillsbury is nothing but industrialized wheat power that is bleached to the point of no redeeming qualities.

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Response to Optical.Catalyst (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:53 PM

9. I prefer unbleached flour.

If I need cake flour I add cornstarch to it and sift it

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 04:52 PM

8. I only buy organic

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 05:33 PM

10. Yes. Huge difference.

 

Different brands use different wheat strains, process differently, different protein (gluten) content.

https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/3870/how-much-difference-is-there-between-brands-of-flour

I do a LOT of bread baking. Iíve tried every flour available to me. Generic vs Pilsbury vs King Arthur vs Gold Medal, et al. KA wins every time, IMHO.

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 10:24 PM

24. I prefer KA also for bread

But I don't use it to feed a sourdough culture as it's far more expensive.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 12:16 AM

34. I use KA all purpose for that...

 

KA all purpose is about the same price as Pilsbury where I live. Their whole wheat and bread flours are a bit spendier, though.

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 11:00 AM

41. KA all the same price around here

Sometimes it goes on sale for 1/2 off and still more expensive than store brand.

Back when I was feeding a sourdough culture daily I would use mostly the cheap stuff with a bit of Bob's Red Mill rye.

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 06:19 AM

40. KA hands down.

I didn't give it a go until I got the book The Art of Pie, the author suggested it would make a difference and it has. I use both the all purpose and the self-rising. Everything I bake now has a better texture. The only exception has been flour tortillas, I still use tortilla flour for making tortillas.....although living in Texas and near an HEB grocery store, I can buy tortillas fresh and hot to go nearly 24/7!

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 05:45 PM

11. Since you're asking...

It's likely for the best to shell out for the exact product desired, whatever it is.

Furthermore, setting up a blind taste test to prove the identical nature of two or more brands of anything does little but give rise to resentment... a lesson I learned the hard way over thirty years ago.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 06:19 PM

12. Why in the world would you override your wife's request?

If she is the cook, she has the right to choose the ingredients for cooking.
You show her love and respect when you honor her wishes.

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Response to Big Blue Marble (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 06:37 PM

13. Bravo for this response.

I have had personal experience with men who put a few pennies above their wife's interests or a little luxury.

They take the fun out of everything from Christmas to vacations.

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Response to Jane Austin (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 07:26 PM

19. See my response below, Jane.

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Response to Big Blue Marble (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 07:25 PM

18. And this is where assumptions are made

I'm the ogre husband who takes the "fun" out of everything for my wife.

1) We both bake

2) She is moving from full-time work to part-time work to help care for her ailing mom, which means a reduction in income (but personal fulfillment of knowing she's doing something important for someone she loves). I encouraged her to do this and fully support her in it (also by helping out at her mom's place as well). But the lesser income means we're going to have to cut a few corners, like selling the second vehicle, reducing the cable package, shave some money off of groceries, etc. We're not in dire straits, but we'll need to be more careful with our income. So if flour is $5 cheaper per bag and it's still adequate, then that will be a bonus. If the generic flour is terrible, we'll find other places to save a few dollars.



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Response to True Dough (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 09:13 PM

22. Then you would not be taking control,

but make purchasing decisions together for the sake of harmony.
No surprises, agree prior to shopping that you would select a cheaper
flour and see what you both think, no unilateral decisions for the sake
of harmony.

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Response to Big Blue Marble (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 10:06 PM

23. We weren't shopping together

I didn't know the prices until I got to the store and I didn't have my cellphone with me.

"No unilateral decisions for the sake of harmony."

You'd think that would be a two-way street, huh? That second vehicle that I mentioned that we're going to sell, she bought it six years ago without consulting me, when our income level was much higher. It was a surprise.

And I still love her. So I think she'll get over a bag of flour.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 11:55 PM

29. Couldn't you have texted her and asked her?

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Response to trixie2 (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 11:59 PM

30. As noted in my first line in the post above

I didn't have my cellphone with me.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 03:29 AM

38. (Dude!)

WTH? Meet me in the garage for a few beers. I got a couple nice steaks goin' on the Weber.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 06:45 PM

14. Some people have incredible brand loyalty. I do with flours. I buy stuff produced by a local mill,

Guisto's Vita-Grain. I love their flours, polenta and corn meals. I've used other brands but don't like the results.

I bought Guisto's for years before I realized one of my dad's closest friends shares the last name. Yep, it's his family, another reason for my brand loyalty.

Also my dad got a lot of milage from ribbing me about my "great attention to detail."

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 07:00 PM

15. Do you think DU's opinion is more important than your wife's?

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Response to lilactime (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 07:19 PM

16. Ultimately my wife's opinion will prevail if the generic flour is inferior

but we'll give it a try first. I bake a few things myself, and I have my own opinions. Not sure how your relationship works but I do speak my mind from time to time. Married 20 years.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 07:23 PM

17. Ask *her* why she prefers the name brand.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 07:28 PM

20. I did

Turns out she "just always bought it." She hasn't tried the generic brand, nor have I. We soon will and we'll be able to judge for ourselves. I asked for some perspective from the collective to see what others' experiences have been.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 07:30 PM

21. If she's making biscuits it needs to be White Lily.

Has to be soft flour.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 12:22 AM

35. Could be cutting the end of the ham off and baking it separately...

 

Holiday time and Mom is teaching daughter how to do things. Daughter asks, but why do you have to cut the end of the ham off? Moms says that it come out better that way, but ask Grandma, who says "It's always better that way." After a bit, she get's up from the table and goes and asks Great Grandma, who has long retired from directing the kitchen traffic. Great Grandma say "Honey, I never had a roasting pan big enough for a whole ham."

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Response to LakeSuperiorView (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 12:27 AM

36. Love it!

That's a gem! Thanks.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 11:35 PM

25. When it comes to generics vs. name brand the answer is......

...it depends.

You may see three different brands and the generic. The generic is one of those different brands. Sometimes a brand name will offer up their product as generic, but the store has to provide their own packaging. And since the store doesn't have the marketing costs as a name brand...can offer it cheaper. Usually, for this deal, the Brand Name being offered up as generic gets more shelf space and the "prime" viewing level.

Which Brand Name the generic is, well, sometimes printed clearly in terms of "compare to Brand ABC". This often happens when the company knows they can't compete with other competitors enough...but they still want the sales and smaller profit, and hope Brand Loyalists don't notice...or don't want the shoddy store packaging.

In case of flour, gonna bet they don't show the "compare to Brand ABC". So you could very well be buying the exact same brand name...or maybe not. And if it just so happens to be the same brand, no guarantee it will be the same once the contract is up as another company may move in for the generics.

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Response to Xolodno (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 11:39 PM

26. Insightful

thanks for sharing.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 12:40 AM

37. Sure...forgot one thing...

Most of the time, you will get the same quality as the name brand. With that said, there are occasions where things may differ a bit.

For example, you can go to Wal-Mart and Mt. Thunder and Mt. Dew, the syrup to make them probably came from the same factory. But if you have an acute taste, you might notice a difference. Pepsi for their bottling operations no doubt have a water quality level....Wal-Mart may be a bit less strict. But this is a rarity, Corn Pops in a box by Kellogs is no different than those in the plastic bag with twice the amount for the same price.

Also the sell by date in generics will no doubt be longer than the brand name. Brand Names set their own arbitrary dates, for "freshness". Generics don't worry about that so much...but honestly, most will never know the difference.

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Response to Xolodno (Reply #37)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 06:07 AM

39. Again, very valuable contribution to this thread

Much appreciated, Xolodno

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 11:41 PM

27. I think it does.

My sister, who is a much better cook than I, insists that King Arthur is the best baking flour. I always defer to her about these things.

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2019, 11:53 PM

28. There are different types of flour (bread, all-purpose, etc)

Also, many great bakers swear by a more expensive flour, like Bob's Red Mill, for cakes.

Seriously, this is a woman who wants to bake something for you. Are you really going to argue with her?

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 12:04 AM

31. Tough crowd.

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Response to CentralMass (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 12:06 AM

32. Some of them, yes

Some Dr. Phil wannabes. Unsolicited advice.

Oh well, what can you do?

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2019, 12:13 AM

33. you are wrong

although everyone here has already let you know that...


I am a baker and very particular... I have 6 kinds of wheat flour in my kitchen and a few nut and gluten free...


if you want to save money and like to bake and don't want to over complicate things... buy all-purpose unbleached and you can make do with that... brand does matter.... but do what makes your wife happy

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 12:59 PM

42. UPDATE!

Just made a loaf of bread in the bread machine with the discount brand of flour and let me assure y'all, it is every bit as good as the bread we made with the more expensive brand.

I kid you not. It rose nicely and the taste is magnificent. Better yet, my wife was pleasantly surprised with the result.

I realize there were a lot of varied opinions in this thread, but put me firmly in the camp that says brand name is NOT the be all and end all when it comes to flour!

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Response to True Dough (Reply #42)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 04:32 PM

45. I'm assuming you are doing enriched bread

...because thatís what most people do with a bread machine. Itís not going to matter as much with enriched bread, because you are adding other ingredients that affect the gluten structure. It makes more of a difference when you are making yeast breads from just the basic 4 ingredients.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #45)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 05:00 PM

46. It's enriched, yes

And rich on the palate going down!

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Response to True Dough (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 01:21 PM

43. Whether or not the brand makes a difference, you are wrong.

If someone's going to bake for you, buy EXACTLY what she asks you to buy. You wanna annoy the baker?

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #43)

Fri Feb 8, 2019, 01:40 PM

44. See the post above

I made the bread in the bread machine. Nothing too complicated, but I do banana breads and cinnamon loaves by hand, as well as some cookies.

Baking is a shared responsibility (and joy/frustration) in this household.

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