Does anyone know why King Arthur Flour is often recommended specifically for baking recipes? What's different about it?
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Cooks Illustrated did a piece comparing nine flours and recommended King Arthur and Gold Medal. King Arthur has been around for a looong time. I use it because I usually prefer unbleached flour. Course it could be that King Arthur's Fudge Brownie recipe is positively sinful.
I can vouch for King Arthur Flour. It is the most consistent, giving delicious results, no matter what I am making. (Different kinds of wheat go into various brands of flour. Each kind of flour has a different protein content, so chemically, each gives a slightly different result in baking. believe KAF is hard red winter wheat.)
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King Arthur is the premier manufacturer of flour in this country. Although soon to be employee owned Red Mill is pretty good too. With King Arthur I use their "bread flour" for well, bread but I really like their high gluten flour for pizza dough. I've also found their products less inclined to insect infestation. The weavils don't crawl into your flour the eggs are already there and hatch in the bag. So go with the lesser of two weavils.
King Arthur Flour has printed at least two HUGE cookbooks. Maybe you're seeing recipes that originated in those books. (Which are both great, BTW.)
I have found that King Arthur Flour is a more consistent performer than others. I also have found when I order it from them directly it is much fresher that what I purchase of any variety off the shelf.
I feel, note that is a feeling not a knowing, that the King Arthur maintains stricter standards on protien in their various flours than other manufacturers. I feel that becuse the products made with King Arthur flours appear more consistent than other brands.
King Arthur has higher standards than most other flour brands. Their product is superior because they use superior milling methods and better wheat plants. If you do want to use King Arthur, Trader Joe's brand flour are pretty good too.
I use KAF for everything. For me, it produces a consistently good end product all the time, be it a cake, cookie, scone, pizza, pancakes, etc.
I love KAF and buy a lot of products from their catalog, not just flour. The flour is high quality and consistent. I also like the variety available- I use their bread flour, whole wheat, white whole wheat, 00, and All Purpose. I buy Red Mill spelt flour and graham flour for other recipes. I also like some of their premium ingredients- like the flavorings (the Fiore di Sicilia is wonderful). I also buy my yeast from the KAF catalog.