The Best - So Far

RePost: Last night I used a type "00" Italian (very finely milled, from KingArthurFlour.com) flour in my baguette recipe and it wasn't as good. I will be trying it a few more times before returning to Montana Sapphire as well as using it for a couple pizzas, but the early results favor Montana Sapphire. The original post follows.

Faithful readers of the weber_cam know I am absolutely obsessed about flour. I buy a bag and immediately put it through a "use" test. A use test is a euphemism. It means you don't know enough about the specifications of the material to adequately know if it will work in your application - so you use it and see if it's ok. Too many cookbooks blindly preach more is better when it comes to protein content in flour. Ultimately, it depends on your application. Flour's complicated and there are many more significant specs (ash, ascorbic acid additive, bromate or not, etc., ) that are crucial to the final product. Also, it's good to find a flour that will be constant over time. That's why I prefer large manufacturer flours. Small mills have greater variability.

Montana Sapphire unbleached white flour is my current favorite. It's all-purpose with a protein content of 10% w/w and it performs extremely well in my use test. My test recipe is a straight dough baguette:
water, 200g
flour, 300 g
rapid rise yeast, 2.25 t
salt, 5 grams
butter (currently olive oil), 4 grams

3 rises, baked at 425 for 30 minutes. It's been a stellar performer. And, it's available at Giant-Eagle in 5, 10 and 25 lb bags.