Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Flour Mill Searches for Ancient Wheat

Do you know that the flour we use today is different from the flour our ancestors used in the mid-Atlantic states used?

The reason is that in times past—from colonial days until the mid-20th century—local flour mills ground locally grown wheat, and that wheat was “soft,” not “hard,” wheat. Hard wheat doesn’t grow best in this climate but has a higher gluten content so baked goods using it rise higher. For bread, think “hard” wheat. For pancakes, think “soft” wheat.

Enough of wheat/flour/baking history. If you have the slightest interest in such fascinating information, you should take five minutes to read “History grows in amber waves: To save an old mill, its owners hope to re-create what once was ground there,” by Debbie Koenig, in today’s Food Section of the Washington Post.

In short, the story tells of how the owner of Annville Flouring Mill in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, has spent seven years tracking down and experimenting historic wheat varieties that were commonly grown in the mid-Atlantic and ground into flour in the 1740s, when the mill was established. The search is zeroing in, perhaps getting close, but ….

To read this fascinating story, CLICK HERE.

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