King Arthur vs. ConAgra flours

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by nadinec, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. nadinec

    nadinec

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    Has anyone used the ConAgra White Spray Pastry or King Midas Special flours? I recently switched to King Arthur, but with gas prices as they are my usual distributor raised their shipping charges and now it's going to cost me over $300 just for shipping, so I'm looking at ConAgra instead because I can get it locally. Does the CA White Spray equate to the KA Round Table Pastry flour? Same with the CA King Midas Special - is that the equivalent of KA's Special Spring Patent? 

    I'm so angry with this whole situation that my staff is starting to be afraid of me when I walk into the kitchen! Any info anyone can offer would be desperately appreciated!
     
  2. indygal

    indygal

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    I ordered this

    King Arthur Extra Fancy Durum Flour - 3 lb.

    item# 3480 $7.95

    just once to make the sicilian bread on Breadtopia website.  While it was a fantastic bread, we loved it, I just could not justify the cost.   So I didn't order it again.   I have a local Indian grocery and I tried to get some of that chipatti bread flour there, but had a real communication problem with the man there.  So left empty handed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  3. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Next time ask for Atta Flour that should work for you.
     
    indygal likes this.
  4. liza

    liza

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    Such a shame about the King Arthur! Always has been my favorite line and whenever possible, I insist on it.

    Most distributors will give you samples, so that may help at least decide if you like the milling. Of course the biggest issues is the gluten/protein and ash content and weights of the different products.

    the manufacturers should be able to send you some information regarding that.

    I've used King Midas in a pinch, worked ok.. ConAgra was also satisfactory, both required little or no modifications for pastry

    Out of all the bread flours, Sir Lancelot beat everything hands down and mixed with AP (different percentages) I got the artisan loaves, soft rolls or pizza doughs without having to keep and store a ton of products.
     
  5. plainv70

    plainv70

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    King Arthur contracts with the major flour mills to make product for them; as far as I know they do not operate their own mills. While their specifications may be different for some of the products, they are being made on the same equipment. These same mills regularly supply very large customers who demand high and consistent quality product; their track records speak for themselves.

    I've used King Arthur flours and many other companies's products. On a protein for protein, ash for ash, lb for lb basis, in other words comparing oranges to oranges and making minor hydration adjustments as necessary, I've found none of the differences to be significant or prohibitive. Pick a few products, learn them (like Liza says; the mfrs should give you the info you need compare) and run with them.

    Recently, I've noticed King Arthur has been running promotions in the upper midwest and pricing their bread and all purpose flours much more competitively at the retail level.  I'm guessing that they may have new marketing plan in place. Back east, their bread flours were (are?) reasonably priced in bulk at my local distributor. 

    King Arthur's customer service and education is unparalleled. They've trained a lot of small bakers and give attention to the serious home baker that you won't find from the likes of a Con-Agra. I like to give them business when I can, but if the freight is too much, there are alternatives--including a host of new local small mills.
     
  6. donut man

    donut man

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    White spray flour has been around a long time my grand farther used it in his bakery back in the 50's  I use it for all kinds of baking there is nothing out there like it  Don't thing it is just pastry flour it's softer i mix it with regular pastry flour 1/2 and 1/2  it makes all your pastry tender

    I would like to find it in 5 lb bags but i can only find it in 50 pound bags shipping cost is crazy

    Does any one any one who sells it in NH or MA
     
  7. plainv70

    plainv70

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    White spray is an unbleached 8.5% protein winter wheat pastry flour. It might be a little softer than other pastry flours which can run up to 9.5% or so protein. Only possible similar retail products I can think of are White Lily All Purpose (a very soft all-pupose flour) and Bob's Red Mill Pastry flour. Have you thought about going to a local baker and asking them if they'll sell you 5-10 lbs of pastry flour?

    King Arthur's commercial Round Table flour (7.8% protein) should be available in your neck of the woods. It is a little softer than White Spray, you could just mix it with more A/P, say 1/3 Round Table: 2/3 all purpose flour to start.

    Bay State Milling Wingold, General Mills Helmet or Golden Shield are also comparable commercial products to White Spray.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015