There is a difference in flours, just as there is a difference in types of milk, yogurt, apples, cheese, spices, and all ingredients. All too often, consumers think flours are the same or too similar to notice a difference but the reality is quite different. An all-purpose flour generally works well in most recipes but there are two factors about flour that are important to remember: (1) high-quality, unbleached and less processed flours taste better in recipes; and (2) flours vary greatly in protein content so the flour chosen should be based on the recipe: a low protein flour for pastry, a medium protein flour for cakes, cookies, pancakes, and most baked goods, and a high protein flour for breadsthat need to rise.
The only way to really know the difference in flours is to taste the difference which is readily apparent in products made from Daisy Flours. Bake a loaf of bread using regular bread flour and then bake another loaf with Daisy spelt or bread flour. Allow to cool, then slice and taste the difference. Daisy Flours are certified 100% organic, kosher and not bleached, bromated, or enriched.
The flours are slowly milled on century old roller mills at lower operating temperatures allowing the flours to retain nutrients and starches that are lost to the higher temperatures in modern processing equipment. While the rollers gently coax the flour from the wheat berry, it is sifted into smaller particles resulting in an unusually fine flour. Most importantly, the flour makes delicious cakes, cookies, breads, pastries, and best of all..pie crusts – a flaky butter rich pie crust that just dissolves in your mouth.
Nearly a dozen years ago, McGreary Organics and McGreary Grain, Inc. purchased the Annville Mill (an operating wheat mill since 1740) in Annville, Pennsylvania and resurrected the Daisy Flour brand, a flour blend that was originally produced by five local families (they owned Lancaster Milling which was a flour mill that ran until 1982) in Lancaster (which is 30 miles south of Annville). The purchase of the mill and the decision to start milling organic grains again was made to support local organic farmers, to preserve the historic mill while it continues to serve the useful purpose for which it was built nearly 275 years ago, and to make organic flours.
McGreary makes nine flours:
Heritage Reserve Series Clarks Cream All Purpose Flour: Clarks Cream was the last of a series of wheat varieties developed by Kansas farmer, Earl Clark from a landrace (selected from a farmer’s field as opposed to made in a laboratory) wheat that was imported from Russia (there is no native wheat in North America).
A hard white wheat is combined with a red hard wheat from the Midwest. With 9-10% protein, this flour performs well as a bread flour that makes a dense, European style bread with a significant crust. Clarks Cream is a flour suitable for a multitude of foods including pancakes, biscuits, and low-rise products. Available in 2 pound ($5.25), 25 pound ($35.50) and 50 pound bags ($50.50). Contains 100% organic wheat.
Bread Flour: A high gluten flour milled from organic hard wheat with 11-12.5% protein. Comes in 2 pound ($5.30 ), 25 pound ($35.75) and 50 pound bags ($50.75).
Pastry Flour: A low protein flour (7.5-8.5%) made from soft winter red wheat best suited for pastry in 2 pound ($4.75), 25 pound ($27), and 50 pound bags ($38.65). The company’s signature flour that makes an amazing pie crust.
Spelt Flour: A low gluten flour made from soft grain better tolerated by those sensitive (not allergic) to gluten. Best used as an all-purpose flour in recipes that don’t call for a high-rise in the product (i.e. pancakes, crackers, pie crust) that comes in 2 pound ($6.30), 25 pound ($50.45), and 50 pound bags ($72). However, I used this flour in the bread maker and the loaf came out light, airy and delicious. Note: Spelt flour is more expensive because spelt is more difficult to dehull.
Whole Grain Spelt Flour: The entire spelt kernel including the germ and the bran is in this all-purpose flour with an 8-13.5% protein content. Comes in 2 pound ($6.30), 25 pound ($50.45), and 50 pound bags ($72).
Whole Wheat Bread Flour: A whole grain flour made with a high protein hard wheat best used in breads. Comes in 2 pound ($5.30), 25 pound ($35.75), and 50 pound bags ($50.75).
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: A whole grain flour with a lower protein content (8.5-9.5%) suitable for making pastry products. Comes in 2 pound ($4.75), 25 pound ($27), and 50 pound bags ($38.65).
Daisy Flours are primarily sold in Pennsylvania and parts of New York (both states in which they obtain most of their grain from) although the flour can be purchased on-line at the company website, listed below.
McGreary Organics 941 Wheatland (really) Avenue, #401 Lancaster, PA 17603 717-394-6843 or 800-624-3279 www.daisyflour.com