How much do you know about flour?

Even if you are not an avid baker, you probably have a bag of flour in your cupboard. Until the pandemic turned us all into sourdough fanatics and supermarket shelves were swept bare, few people gave a second thought to this ubiquitous pantry staple. While we understand that flour is the product of milling wheat, how much do we really know about where it originates or how it is processed? When you read Dayna Evans’ deep dive into the subject, you will realize how little most consumers know about flour, one of the most common ingredients we use day to day.

Evans takes us on a journey that spans continents in her quest to better understand the milling process and notes how the growing ‘buy local’ effort has mostly bypassed flour. She touches on the (relatively brief) history of commercial flour milling, which wrenched the product away from small, locally-owned processors that mainly used the ancient stone grinding technique and into large conglomerates that utilize steel roller mills. Not only does this represent a shift to a different technology, it has huge impacts on how flour is presented to consumers.

Evans also explores how local boutique grain mills have gained renewed attention and how the cost of flour from these small scale operations can be an impediment to people who might want to incorporate more whole grain products into their baking. As someone who grew up walking through wheat fields and riding in a dusty combine as the grain was harvested, I highly recommend this article, which is not only informative but also a great read.

Post a comment

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!