Excellent bread and baked goods start with great flour. While this seems undeniably true, for decades now flour has been just flour—that white stuff that is used mainly for structure or to carry other ingredients.
This hasn’t always been the case. Wheat, probably the oldest farmed plant, is also one of the most genetically diverse food crops. For millennia wheat evolved to local conditions and tastes as it traveled the globe with people.
All of this changed in modern times. Farmers stopped saving seed and started turning to seed companies that produced proprietary high yield hybrid seeds. These hybrid seeds work well in today’s cost-driven food industry, but seed breeders have ignored flavor and nutrition. After all, the parts of the wheat that contribute most to flavor and nutrition—the bran and the germ—are removed in modern industrial flour mills.
Fortunately, many old wheat varietal seeds still exist. These old varietal seeds are the heirloom tomatoes of the grain world. A few intrepid farmers in the Northwest have sought out these hard-to-find varietal seeds and they’re bringing them back to their fields. Now they deserve to be in our kitchens and on our tables. At Damsel & Hopper Bakeshop, we source these high quality, varietal grains and have them custom-milled for us.
We don’t mill conventionally. We stone mill our flour like people have been doing for over 2000 years. Stone milling allows us to leave some or all of the bran and germ in the flour depending on what we’re making. Everything we bake contains bran and germ—the flavorful and nutritious part of the wheat kernel that conventional milling removes.
With wheat this good, we think it should be brought to the foreground. We reinterpret favorite recipes to highlight the special qualities of our unique flours. We tinker with modern standards, but we think you’ll like the results.