painless shopping

In-Stock Flour, From Unlikely Sources

Photo: Walter SandersGetty Images/The LIFE Picture Collection via

If you’re a human with an Instagram account, chances are you know someone who has made (or, at least, has attempted to make) sourdough bread. Should those photos of golden boules — or cookies or cakes or pies or galettes — inspire you to bake more while stuck at home, you might run into a common problem no matter your skill set: finding flour to bake with. Like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and baby wipes, the once-ubiquitous pantry staple has become increasingly hard to come by, both in stores and online (companies like King Arthur Flour are openly advertising their difficulties keeping it in stock).

But if you’re patient and flexible — two attributes that will also get you far in baking — and have the space to accommodate more flour than you might need right away, you can still find it online. Below, we’ve rounded up some places where you can still buy flour online — just note that some of the available bags are huge (50 pounds, to be precise). But if you don’t have room to keep one, you could consider splitting the purchase with a friend or neighbor. We’ve noted shipping fees throughout where we were able to find them, but know that anything is subject to change given rising demand.

If you don’t want to buy a ton of flour, Kalustyan’s, a specialty Indian grocery store in Manhattan, has options at different quantities, including smaller one-pound bags of bleached and unbleached all-purpose flour. While it does have variety, it might not be the fastest service: The website notes that, due to increased demand, the store is experiencing “huge delays” processing shipments. Still, Kalustyan’s is continuing to take orders that are shipped via USPS. Shipping fees start at $15.

Bakers Authority, for now, also has flour stocked in more manageable sizes, like this five-pound bag of Aunt Jemima self-rising flour that you can use to bake biscuits, quick breads, and pancakes (but is not recommended for yeast-raised breads and sourdoughs). The company also seems to have a decent supply of 50-pound bags of all-purpose flour from brands like Heckers and King Arthur Flour, and offers one-day shipping via FedEx starting at $15.

If you’re a member at BJ’s (which allows new customers to sign up for memberships here), you can get a 10-pound bag of whole-wheat flour from King Arthur for $8. There’s a limit of one per member, according to the company, and shipping starts at $6.

You can also get a 10-pound bag of whole-wheat flour from My Spice Sage with no membership required. The retailer additionally sells a 50-pound bag of whole-wheat flour for $116, and every order ships free, according to the company.

WebstaurantStore also sells a variety of flour types from different brands, but only bulk bags of all-purpose flour, like this one, are currently available. Ground shipping starts at $18.

Nuts.com also carries a range of flours, including King Arthur’s organic all-purpose white flour — which we have seen go in and out of stock multiple times over the course of one day — and this white whole-wheat flour from Ultragrain, which seems to be in more steady supply. According to its product description, the Ultragrain flour “has the clean taste and smooth texture of white flour while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains,” which, to us, kind of sounds like the best of both worlds? It’s available in one-pound, five-pound, and 25-pound bags, and shipping starts at $7.

The Grain Mill Co-op is a bulk-food co-op of sorts out of Wake Forest, North Carolina, that is open to the general public. Right now, it has a bunch of bags of all-purpose flour — from brands including King Arthur, Ardent Mills, and Bob’s Red Mill — in stock. Ground shipping starts at $38, which, we know, is more expensive than the flour itself. But you know what they say about desperate times.

One way to minimize the space a gargantuan bag of flour takes up is to buy that same amount broken up into smaller bags — like this case of 18 two-pound bags of all-purpose Gold Medal flour from Round Eye Supply. (The smaller packaging would allow you to easily share your flour bounty, should you be so inclined.) Should you prefer a gargantuan bag, Round Eye has those, too, like a 50-pounder from Pillsbury. Round Eye sends everything via FedEx and charges a shipping fee for every order that starts at $27.

The Hillsville, Virginia–based Red Hill General Store also appears to have a bunch of bulk flour available online. Shipping starts at $31.

As does Food Service Direct, a food-service-industry supplier. This 25-pound bag is half the size of the largest ones on this list, making it a more manageable bulk option. Shipping starts at $18.