Before, the closest I could come to Bay Area flour is flour that is milled locally at Guisto's in South San Francisco. The wheat berries that they grind do not necessarily come from California, though, but since it was the best option available, that's what I used. But not anymore!
This food mill that attaches to my mixer is on my wish list now.
For those of you interested in the breadalong, it is still going to happen! In preparation, here are the items that you'll need on your bready journey:
- A glass jar or plastic container and a loose fitting lid (gas has to escape) that will be your starter's home. If you do not plan on making bread every 2-3 days, then this container will also live in your refrigerator. Your starter will double in volume when it is fed, so use a container that can hold at least 6 cups.
- A spatula or spoon long enough to mix the contents of your container
- A dry erase pen (optional) for marking your container
- 5-lb bag of bread flour. Bread flour has more gluten than your average flour, a plus for bread as its name implies, but you can also use all purpose flour. King Arthur unbleached, white flour is a great product that is not too hard on the wallet.
- A teeny, tiny bit of yeast for kick starting your starter. Just a pinch will do.
- Water. I use unfiltered tap water since it tastes good and that is what we drink around here, but if your water tastes chlorinated or you regularly drink bottled or filtered water, use that for your starter and bread.
- Some means of measuring your wet and dry ingredients. My favorite method is a baking scale. I use the scale exclusively for measuring out my wet and dry bread ingredients because I know how much the required amounts of water weigh - I'm all about making less dishes to wash!
- A draft-free place in your abode that is not in direct sunlight and that ranges between 65-80 deg. F.
- A baking stone (optional)
- A spray bottle or a pressurized sprayer that is only used for water (optional)
- A stand mixer, like a KitchenAid or a Bosch (optional)
- Salt, but not the kind with iodine
Do you have everything you need for the breadalong? Then, mosey on over to Part 2 and Part 3!