September 23, 2023


The joy of baking your own bread: These days, we are long into the age of commercial breadbaking and far-removed from the sight of a field of waving wheat (Timothy Jacobson, September 22, 2023, Spectator)

I have observed in supermarkets today a connection between the flour offerings and social class. In posher grocery stores in fancy zip codes, the sorts of places that offer twenty kinds of salt and have large stocks of organics, the flour offerings will be diverse and include plenty of non-wheat alternatives. In the wheat-flour department, by far the favored brand will be King Arthur, from an employee-owned firm in socialist Vermont. All the nice people and serious bakers I know swear by it, and it is fine flour without a doubt. Here I speculate, though not wildly: that using it, or saying you use it, delivers in addition to good bread and tasty cakes that frisson of moral superiority long associated with driving a Volvo that had been thoughtfully assem- bled by happy, unregimented Swedish workers.

It's America, we're all wealthy: KING ARTHUR FLOUR RISES (KATE TUCKER, JUNE 20, 2020, Business Download)

Founded in Boston in 1790, King Arthur has adopted a different approach to its milling practices  than its competitors, selecting prime wheat, refusing to bleach, or add bromates, tightly controlling the precise protein content of its flours. This premium approach carries a 25 percent price increase over competitors, but since the 19th century, King Arthur has outsold its competitors four to one, and by 2019 its sales hit $150 million. King Arthur's bread flour is now the number one seller in America, with only General Mills' Gold Medal outselling them in all-purpose flour alone. 

Posted by at September 23, 2023 12:00 AM