As you might have noticed, in some of the comments I mention that we only use Canadian flour. After receiving numerous questions to why Canadian flour, I decided to share some revealing insights, which will demonstrate that not all flour is made the same and perhaps solve your baking challenges.
The main reason we directly purchase flour from Canada's Costco, is simply because it's a great excuse to escape to a city I love so much, I share about it in a blog, Vancouver, BC - Why I'm loving it. We buy enough flour for all the relatives and friends, and in the end, they are happy with the treat we bring them, because in U.S. it's double the price. Sometimes, when we try to haul 20 bags of flour across the border, we get some dirty looks, but we are used to it. :)
Just remember to check with U.S. Department of Agriculture, before hauling flour from Canada. Last time we talked to the border patrol, they mentioned that there's a ban for flour imported from India.
Canadian flour is higher in protein, about 12-14%, while the All Purpose Flour in U.S. is only 9-12%; and it makes a great difference. When baking yeast breads and pastries, you are better off with the higher protein flour. Breads or pastries will turn out dense, rise better, have a nice chewiness to it lasting a few days.
When I've tried baking with U.S. flour at my in-laws', the bread didn't turn out nearly as nice, even simple No Knead Bread that I have prepared hundreds of times, went wrong.
I came across this quote:
"French bakers would give their eye teeth to have [Canadian] flour at their disposal." by Marcy Goldman, Canadian Baker/Author
So if you don't have a Canadian border close by, spend that extra dollar in your home country, if you do come across Canadian flour. In U.S. it's often sold at Cash & Carry or various European markets. As for the rest, who don't have access to Canadian flour, I would, for now, try sticking to bread flour for bread recipes.