after some research for top of the line vanilla and other ingredients I decided to order from king arthur flour. Does anyone else use them for their cake baking? I am wondering if it makes a difference to use their flour for scratch baking. They also have a variety of extracts, emulsions,and other flavorings that are great for cakes. I figure I can bulk order from them. what do you think?
I always use King Arthur flour. Though that's probably more out of loyalty for having visited their factory in Vermont on vacation one year than for any noticeable difference in quality. Cook's Illustrated / America's Test Kitchen (who I consider to be the real bible of cooking/baking) recommended King Arthur as its top pick when rating flours. Their second pick ( and only other highly recommended choice) was Pillsbury Unbleached Enriched All-Purpose Flour, which my market doesn't carry.
I haven't used any of the other ingredients King Arthur sells. I get my extracts from Baldwin Extracts.
I can't comment on using their flour for cake but I bake a lot of bread and always just got what was on sale as far as bread flour. King Arthur was on sale the last time I went and the difference was insane! I'll never use another bread flour again. My bread dough finally had the consistency that I thought it was supposed to have but could never attain.
If that's any indicator... I'd say that they really do have a quality product.
I also use their white wheat flour when I want whole wheat but want a consistency more like white flour. I use that in cookies, breads, pizza dough, etc.
King Arthur flour is one of my favorite baking subjects!!!! I reccommend it to everyone I know. I tried it for the first time in my Christmas cookies about 9 years ago, and I really noticed a difference in the finished cookies (seriously, I was shocked. I didn't think something like flour would make such a difference in the flavor). I won't use any other brand now. I have never visited the website, so I didn't know they made anything but flour, but I will check it out for sure! Thanks for the heads up 4littlewops!
I use their flour and only use their flour. Baked goods seem to be lighter with a better texture.
I'm wondering about their cocoa and other ingredients also.
I use their unbleached ap flour and they carry Nielson-Massey extracts, which I think are great. I've also used their Fiori Di Sicilia for pannettone and thought it was good, but I haven't tried any of their other flavorings or emulsions. I don't use their flour exclusively. I also use the pillsbury unbleached - it just depends which of the two happens to be on sale when I buy it. I personally wouldn't pay shipping on flour. If your grocery store doesn't carry it, maybe they would order it for you if talked with the store manager. Our Kroger is great at ordering specific brands if customers request them. Good luck!
I always use KA's flour, too. I think it's wonderful and easy to work with and light and did I say wonderful?!?!
In fact, a few months ago, I just needed a little bit of flour for a gingerbread project for some kids, so I just bought a small package of whatever another brand. The difference was unbelievable - I'll never buy anything not KA again!
They sell the regular AP flour in my local grocery store, but I have ordered pizza flour and cake flour from them on-line. I've also gotten some extracts and espresso powder, and chocolate and it's all been great!
Do you use KA flour for cakes, cookies or both? I have seen it, but never I tried it. If I have a recipe that calls for cake flour, I use Swans and Whitelilly for everything else. I am very interested in this thread as I did not realize it made that much of a difference. Thanks.
I use it for cakes, cookies, bread, everything. I can't say enough good things about it!
edited cause I can't spell (d'oh!)
Ditto - I use it for everything. Pizza, breads, cookies, cakes, muffins, pies... whatever I make that calls for flour, I make it with KA flour.
On a side note I am going to KA flour in Norwich, VT in May for a two day wedding cake class. I will stay at a B&B that is within walking distance. The class is Tiers of Joy: Wedding Cakes with Elisabeth Berthasavage. I don't know who she is (blush) but the class sounds so fun.
I will take lots of photos and post them on my blog and if you are interested take a peek. Thanks! Amy
Like Artscallion, I highly regard the taste tests done by Cook's Illustrated. I liked the way they did the test on the flour as they broke it down into testing for different baking options - cakes, cookies, crusts, etc. If anyone wishes to see the Cook's Illustated flour test results, here is the link:
At this stage, I am focusing on cookies (hats off to you who do cakes! I am in awe of what is done on this site!), but I did find this tidbit regarding flour in use for cookies on the site as well:
The cookies are softer and more tender when made with unbleached flour that has a protein content of about 10.5 percent. Pillsbury or Gold Medal works best; King Arthur flour has a higher protein content (around 11.7 percent) and will result in slightly drier, cakier cookies.
All that aside, I do see that others really like the KA for cookies! I just thought I would pass that extra info on. It all depends on what you are looking for texture-wise, etc.
I have used their all purpose and cake flour . I love it. My local grocer carries the all purpose but I have to order the cake flour. I ordered their Princess Emulsion and it was good too.
I had a question about subsituting flour in a recipe this week so I emailed them. They responded very quickly with great suggestions.
LOVE KA Flour, they have a great website, and fantastic recipes.
I used KA unbleached unbromated white flour for many, many years. I stopped buying it about a year ago because the price has just gone sky high. I do miss it as it is an excellent flour, but I just can't justify the cost anymore. My local supermarket carries their own brand of unbleached unbromated white flour, and it's pretty darn good, and the price is even better! If KA ever comes down to normal human prices again, I'll buy it again because I really liked it.