I spent 3 days, (not the whole day) searching for the best Bread flour i can get my hands on and had a hard time doing so. To this day, i still have nightmares (oa ko no?)about leaving the still full 6 kilograms of Hard Wheat flour, top of the line Emperor Purefood's (free advert)in Fairview. Hmmm, let me see, i was wondering, what could i have left out instead? The bleached All purpose flour for Mama's Siopao, or the 3rd class flour for the Monay?(which my family has not tasted yet). The powdered milk? Nah. What i get from the internet is not branded. Mama's Malunggay pills? Nope. **incidentally, i will make a whole piece on this Malunggay phenomenon next.
Bingo! The bread flour loses to all my mother's bilins, but i will make it sure that i will bring some next time. Promise. So the other day, i decided to go for Calbest HIgh Gluten Bread flour from Honeyville. Believe me, i visited about 100 sites just to even it out, and the most glaring truth is out there. Pathetic. I could have gotten my bread easily if Costco is around here somewhere, or Restaurant Depot (which brings me to question why my sister decided to buy a house here instead of New Jersey). My friend Perla gets here kitchen supplies, and of course Bread flour from Restaurant Depot, we could have been neighbors as well, (free ride ha ha).
So after logging on and off at these sites, i ended up with two. Honeyville and Weisenberger. Now here's the deal. Honeyville sells their bulk bread flour in 50 lb packages $50.99. At Weisenberger's, you can pick a lesser pack of 25 lbs (.48 cents/lbs), or single retail bags of 5 lbs each priced at $3.50 each. From the outset, you can see how cheap Weisenberger's flour is, but here's the rub. The shipping costs double the price of the flour itself. If you calculate the price difference between the two, Calbest will cost only $1.12/lb because shipping is a flat rate of only$4.49, and Weisenberger will cost $1.20/lb because of the huge shipping charges.
Okay, what killed the deal for Weisenberger is not only the shipping charge but also the fact that they do not accept Paypal. I would have wanted to be able to pick or try their bread flour, then two 5 lb bags of the High Gluten (because i know that the bread flour here is not enough to handle my Ensaimadas and Cinnamon Rolls). Anyway, Calbest it is, so hopefully i will be able to test this flour, at 13.7% protein, this better give the results i wanted.
If you want to visit their sites, go to www.weisenberger.com and www.honeyvillegrain.com What i find funny is this, it took me two days to do the type and search thing which ended with me browsing in my old notebook where i found the weisenberger's and honeyvilles notes. Hello? I saw my old list of sites, the prices of the yeasts and many others.
One last memo to myself. Bread flours here do not get weevils that easily. These are the tiny, black aliens that inhabit your flour when the temperature goes up ( as in the case of my bag of flour in Manila). The flour i brought home from Canada (the bulk barn) last December 2010 is still looking fresh, although dwindling in weight (tinitipid ko nga eh)does not appear to be old after more than a year now.
Why do i do this? Forget about learning how to bake perfect breads (emphasis on perfect), if the quality of the bread flour you use sucks. Hang up that apron. Not gonna work. You won't get that Pandesal on top. Not with a low quality bread flour.