Frequently Asked Questions about products and the online service available from the Kells online shop
What flour is best to use in a breadmaking machine ?
To make a white bread we recommend Marriages Golden Crust flour. If you want to make a yeasted brown bread in a breadmaker we recommend 20% Native Plain wholemeal flour or Annameal and 80% Marriages Golden Crust. For a really good white yeasted loaf why not try Kells Krusty White Bread mix. All you need to add is water and yeast. Use in place of flour and add the dried yeast that the breadmaker recipe advises.
What is the best flour for making yeasted bread?
To make white bread we recommend Marriages Golden Crust flour. If you want to make brown bread we recommend up to 20% Native Plain wholemeal flour or Annameal and 80% Marriages Golden Crust. For a really good white yeasted loaf why not try Kells Krusty White Bread mix. All you need to add is water and yeast. If you are using dried yeast we suggest using half the weight of dried yeast in place of fresh yeast.
What is the difference between Marriage Uppermost Flour and Marriages Golden Crust Flour?
Both are really great flours and in many uses, they can be interchangeable! However, Marriages Golden Crust is better suited for yeast bread with short or no ‘bulk fermentation’ when you let the dough stand to ferment for less than 4 hours before weighing and shaping the dough into loaf tins. This is mainly because of the choice of wheats and partly because it contains a tiny amount of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) that helps the dough jump more in the oven to give better volume.
Marriages Uppermost are made from a different blend of wheat and do not have the added ascorbic acid and are better suited to yeasted bread with long fermentation of four hours or more before weighing and shaping into loaf tins, and, of course, for sour dough recipes. If used in a short time yeasted bread recipe, it will make a slightly softer dough and may not give the same jump in the oven.
KELLS DOES NOT SELL ANY FLOURS THAT ARE BLEACHED
What wholemeal flour can be used for yeasted bread ?
For a 100% wholemeal yeasted loaf we recommend Marriages Organic Strong Wholemeal Flour, which is ideal for yeasted wholemeal breads regardless of the mixing process. It has good quality gluten forming proteins that make a robust and tolerant dough. It is made from a blend of UK, Canadian and Asian wheats and is organic. Alternatively, to make a good yeasted brown bread any of the wholemeal flours we sell can be blended with a strong white flour from 10% to 50% wholemeal in the total flour blend, we recommend Marriages Golden Crust as the white flour.
WHAT FLOURS ARE MOST SUITABLE FOR MAKING SOURDOUGH BREAD?
Sourdough bread can be made from a wide range of flours. Here are a few suggestions…
For a typical sourdough bread, we would recommend starting with Marriages Uppermost as the main white flour, with perhaps an optional 10% Native Purple Wheat Plur, Native Wholemeal Plur, or Native Wholemeal Rye Plur. If you do not have Marriages Uppermost available, then Marriages Golden Crust is a good alternative.
Our French flours are good for making sourdough bread too, however, they behave slightly differently to Marriages flours and make doughs that are a little more extensible or ‘stretchy’ than the Marriages flours as a result of the selection of wheat. That ‘stretchiness’ can allow for better spring or jump in the oven but can require a little more skill or experience to get the very best results. For sourdough, we would recommend French Flour T55 Tradition ideally or if you do not have that available try French Flour T65 (Baguette du Mitron). We would still suggest a small proportion of wholemeal flour as in the case of the Marriages flour with French Flour T55 Tradition but it is optional.
For the more experienced baker, you might like to experiment with the Organic T65 MS Bio flour which is an organic French flour to make organic bread. No need to add a wholemeal flour to this especially if you want to make 100% organic bread unless you want the flavour and texture that our stoneground wholemeal flours bring!
PIZZA AND PASTA …WHAT FLOURS ARE RECOMMENDED?
For pizza, we would recommend Marriages Italian Style Pizza Flour. It is a low extraction rate or patent grade flour which means it is very white with low ash content, like Italian 00 grade flours. Protein is around 12.6%. If you do not have the Marriages Italian Style Pizza Flour, you could use our French T55 Tradition flour or Marriages Golden Crust Flour. While both are strong flours, the French flour makes a more extensible dough that may suit pizza-making better, and the milling process used is closer to Italian flour milling processes. Marriages Golden Crust is a stronger flour than the French T55 Tradition.
For pasta, we have made great pasta from our Native Spelt flours, but they are in short supply at the present. Marriages Italian Style Pizza Flour or French T55 Tradition will make good homemade pasta, as well as Marriages Golden Crust or French T65, Organic T65, and Marriages Uppermost.
SODA BREAD, WHAT IS THE BEST MIX TO USE?
Kells has a range of blends available to help make soda bread quickly, simply and consistently.
Soda bread can be made in a tin or baked on a tray on the ‘oven sole’ (without a tin).
Soda bread baked in a tin is the simpler one as you mix the dough and put it straight into a lightly greased tin and pat it down. You can sprinkle flakes, flour, or topping on to the top of the dough and then slash or cut the dough along the center for the length of the tin to help the rise on baking. For this style of bread we recommend the Brown Soda Mix- add water only or Millers Munch (to which you add buttermilk).
If you want to make the soda bread in a cob form without a tin, we recommend the Nore Soda Mix. When you make this you add buttermilk to make a dough. The dough is then weighed out into the bread weights you want and moulded or rounded with dusting flour to help. Mould to a ball and then place on a greased or floured baking tray and slightly flatten. Decorate with flour as an option. Then cut with the traditional cross and bake
In all cases, you can add some extra interest by adding some seeds during the mixing (say 10% to 20% of the weight of mix) but here is a tip…sunflower seed can go blue-green in some soda breads as the oil in the sunflower seed reacts with the baking soda. It is perfectly safe, but can be a surprise!
WHAT IS THE BEST FLOUR TO USE IN SODA BREAD?
A traditional soda bread is normally a blend of a wholemeal flour and a white flour with baking soda, salt and buttermilk. Some recipes are 50/50 wholemeal and white and that is a good starting point, however some have larger proportions of wholemeal and less white flour. Some people do not use salt, and some people add vegetable oil and sugar, it is down to the baker. The flours we recommend for the wholemeal are Native Plain Wholemeal Plur (fine bran) or Annameal (coarser brand chunks) or Retail Extra Coarse (largest coarsest chunks of bran). For a white flour, ANY of the white flours we sell would suit, remembering that self raising already has some baking powder in it. Specifically we would recommend, Native Olands, or Native Plain Plur or French Flour T55 Tradition or French Flour T65 Baguette Du Mitron.
For a 100% wholemeal soda bread, this is a denser bread, but we would recommend using Marriages Organic Strong Wholemeal and Annameal together as a flour blend to make a full wholemeal soda bread.
WHAT FLOURS ARE STRONG BREADMAKING FLOURS?
A ‘strong’ flour normally refers to a flour with a protein content of a minimum of 10.5% to 11% and is largely good quality gluten forming the protein. It is normally used on fermented breads (yeast or sourdough)where dough is made. The gluten helps trap the gas and water vapour in the dough to allow the dough to rise during proving and baking. A strong flour can also be used in laminated pastry, soda bread and, as long as the process used minimises toughening, cake and scones.
For white yeasted breads and fermented treats like danish pastry, puff pastry, yeasted treats like hot cross buns, fruit buns, barm bracks, crusty rolls, soft rolls, etc we would recommend Marriages Golden Crust flour as a good reliable all purpose strong breadmaking flour.
For sour dough we would recommend Marriages Uppermost Flour or Native Olands Flour
For baguettes, pain parisenne , French breads, pastries etc we also recommend our French range of flours. French Flour T55 tradition or French Flour T65 Baguette Du Mitron. French flours are milled slightly differently to Irish and UK flours and give greater extensibility or stretch in the dough, that can help give better quality French breads and French style bakery products.
For yeasted wholemeal breads we would recommend Marriages Organic Strong Wholemeal Flour.
WHAT FLOURS ARE CULINARY OR ‘SOFT’ FLOURS?
A culinary or ‘soft’ flour normally refers to a white flour with a protein content of a maximum of 10% and is largely weak gluten forming protein properties. Sometimes this flour can be referred to as ‘All Purpose’ flour. These flours are generally used in recipes where the bakery product uses baking powder, baking soda or simple whipping of eggs or egg white with sugar on their own or with or a fat like butter or margarine to leaven or ‘aerate’ the baked item. It is not normally used for yeasted or fermented goods.
It is routinely used in cake, scone and biscuit making and includes shortcrust pastry and shortbreads. These are bakery goods where the tough elastic gluten of strong breadmaking flour is not needed and seen as a disadvantage, often causing shrinkage and mis-shapes in pastry and toughness of eat and poor volume in cake. Culinary flours are commonly used as the white flour in Irish soda bread mixed with a wholemeal flour.
Irish grown wheat is best suited for this type of flour. We recommend two flours from our range :
Native Plain Plur and a self raising version called Native Self Raising Plur.
Self raising contains an amount of baking powder that allow making some bakery goods without having to add any baking powder.
Native White Spelt Plur can also double as a culinary flour, though it can contain higher levels of protein.
Do Kells sell organic flours?
Yes we do. Kells has two officially certified organic flours available to order. Our white flour is Organic T65 MS BIO which is a French Flour suitable for yeasted and sour dough breads, as well as soda breads, and can be used in cake. Our wholemeal flour is Marriages Organic Strong Wholemeal Flour, which is also a stoneground flour, suitable for yeasted and sour dough breads as well as soda breads.
What shelf life are there on flours from Kells Online Store?
At Kells we work to get customers the longest possible product best before shelf life. All our flours are free from chemical preservatives, and grain used is a natural product straight from the grain store on the farm. On the day of milling conventional white flours will get 9 months best before shelf life, organic white flours and all wholemeal flours will get 6 months best before shelf life. Some of this shelf life will be used up in transportation to Kells where the flours come from France or the UK and some may be lost in storage awaiting customer orders. This means that the actual best before shelf life on the bag of flour you get will be shorter, however, we work to ensure that at very minimum customers will have 2 months best before shelf life in the case of organic and wholemeal flours and 3 months in the case of conventional white flours( 1/3rd of the original best before shelf life). In most cases the flour delivered will have a much greater best before shelf life than this.
You should be reassured that all flours we sell have a ‘best before’ date and NOT a ‘Use By’ date. This means that the flour is at its very best before the date given. If the flour has been stored correctly in a cool dry place, the flour will be perfectly safe to bake with if the best before date has just passed. A simple check of the flour before you use it for ‘off’ aromas or any contamination will tell you if the flour is good to use.
What can I do to extend the shelf life of a large bag of flour I have bought?
As a rule, flour should be stored in a cool dry place for maximum best before shelf life. However, all flours can be stored in a freezer to extend the best before shelf life, as long as they are placed in a sealed container or suitable bag and remain frozen until the time you need to use the flour. Ideally, the container or bag should be waterproof in case of condensation when removing from the freezer and to protect from any condensation or ice in your freezer. A paper bag on its own may not be a suitable container. On removing from the freezer allow the flour to warm up to ambient temperature for a few hours before using. In this way you can add at least 3 months extra best before life to the flour you have bought.
Sponge Cake or Cake…what is the difference?
We offer both sponge cake and cake blends or premixes in our online shop. All are delicious as well as being quick and easy to make.
A sponge (or sponge cake) is a cake made with flour, egg and sugar as the main ingredients and is a light cake that is often decorated with fresh cream and summer fruits. We offer a plain and chocolate sponge cake blends or mixes through our online store. These suit sponge cakes and swiss roll.
A cake is normally made with flour, egg, sugar and a fat (butter, margarine, vegetable oil) as the main ingredients and is a more moist and heavier cake than a sponge cake. In Kells we call some of our cake mixes ‘creme cake’ and some just ‘cake’, all will make cakes from cup cakes to large celebration cakes and loads in between!
WHERE DO YOU DELIVER TO?
Kells, through our distribution partners, offer delivery to all addresses in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Deliveries to the British Channel Islands are possible but will incur an additional local charge payable by the customer on delivery.
HOW LONG DOES DELIVERY TAKE?
Kells, through our distribution partners, aim to get your order to you as quickly as possible. Delivery within Ireland (including Northern Ireland) can take up to 5 working weekdays (that is excluding weekends and public holidays) , but 90% of our orders are delivered with in 2-3 days. Delivery within the rest of UK can take 1 working weekday longer. Deliveries to the British Channel Islands can take 3 working weekdays longer than deliveries to the UK.
WHAT ARE THE DELIVERY CHARGES?
Delivery charges are currently €5 for every 25kg or part of 25kg ordered. So for a 16kg bag of flour for example, the charge is €5. For a 25.5kg order for a 25kg bag of flour and a 500g pack of yeast for example, the delivery charge is €10 etc etc. For customers paying in British Pounds the delivery charge is the GBP equivalent. Deliveries to the British Channel Islands will incur an additional local charge payable by the customer directly to the courier service on or before delivery.
ORDERING DIFFICULTY CONNECTED TO ‘SHIPPING’?
A very small number of customers occasionally experience difficulties when filling in their address details resulting in a ‘no shipping option’ message.
If you encounter such a fault we would suggest you clear you cache to wipe any record your device may be retaining that is clashing with the order system to cause the error.
If the error persists or you need help on how to clear your cache, please contact us on email@example.com
IF I PLACE AN ORDER CAN I CHANGE IT OR CANCEL IT AFTER I HAVE PAID FOR THE ORDER ?
At Kells, we want to get customers orders processed and delivered as quickly as possible. Depending on the time the order is placed it can be processed and dispatched within hours. Our on line customer service will do its best to catch an order before it is dispatched, but it will not be possible if the order has been dispatched. It will not be possible to change an order that has been placed at any stage, but if caught before dispatch, we can, of course, cancel it and refund your purchase price and you can order again. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. This is normally staffed 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.
Once dispatched, unfortunately, we are unable to cancel an order. You can of course, separately arrange return of the goods to the return address on the package. On receipt of the goods in good condition, we can refund the purchase price of the goods (excluding delivery charge), but please contact Kells first to let us know you are doing this so we expect your parcel. Please email email@example.com as soon as possible.
Can I come and pick up my order anywhere ?
I am afraid not. Both our sites in Bennettsbridge and our distribution partner’s packing and dispatching centre are closed to the general public. This is mainly for health and safety reasons as these are busy working mills or warehouses and have no facilities to deal with customers coming on site. Our former ‘homebake shop’ at our Danesfort Road site remains closed due to restrictions until the end of 2020. This will be reviewed in December 2020. We would ask you to respect this for your own safety as well as that of our staff and the staff of our distribution partner.
What if I need to order larger pack sizes or other products than I cannot see in the on line shop ?
At Kells we are keen to meet all customer type requirements if possible. If you have or work for a food business and wish to order larger pack sizes, or products you may see in our broader catalogue that are not available through our online shop, you can contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org and explore the possibility of opening an account with us.