Stoneground for Home Baking

By Deirdre McDonald on July 4, 2018 in Blogposts, Uncategorized
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Why I don’t use anything but Eureka Mills flour for home baking

I have a friend in Pringle Bay who keeps bees and owns a lovely shop. Every weekend, she bakes the most delicious askoek, fresh from her pizza oven. The first time I tried her askoek, four years ago, I ate them warm and without any butter or toppings and wondered how something made only from flour, water, salt and yeast could taste so good – and keep me going for the better part of an afternoon. It’s all in the quality of the flour she bakes with – Eureka Mills stone ground and unbleached bread flour. If quality flour could make bread taste that good, it would also vastly transform the quality and taste of cakes too: my area of passion and expertise. I asked my friend to get me two large bags of cake flour with her next order and have since not used anything but Eureka Mills flour for my home baking. And I bake a lot, especially since I’ve started sharing my recipes online on my blog, The Power of Cake.

Mass produced flour contains fewer nutrients than stone ground flour

So why is stone ground and unbleached flour so much better than the more readily available, mass produced flour? Surely flour is just flour? Not really. Commercially produced flour is made from wheat that often comes from genetically modified crops: bad news for our overall health. Our native South African flour is then mixed with lower grade imported grain. What’s more, bulk flour production uses steel-rolling to mill the flour. This subjects the flour to high temperatures which destroys valuable nutrients and vitamins present in the wheat germ. The use of bleach to make the flour appear whiter is another drawback of opting for cheaper flours.

Eureka Mills flour has nothing added and nothing taken away, either

The three-stone grinding process – the method Eureka Mills uses to mill their wheat – generates less heat than steel-rolling, subjecting the wheat to much lower temperatures. As a result precious vitamins, nutrients, natural oils, fibre, wheat germ and enzymes in the wheat are retained, meaning these goodies are transferred to the delicious baked goods created.  Furthermore these components can also act to extend the shelf life of certain items such as sourdough breads. Eureka Mills neither extracts from nor adds anything to the grain during milling, so you’re getting pure, unadulterated wheat.

Ethical farming really does make for superior flavour and texture in baked goods

Eureka Mills’ awesome quality flour is also thanks to the responsible ways in which their wheat is farmed. This may sound great, but if health benefits don’t also translate to superior taste and texture, then it’s all for nothing. The fact that one of Cape Town’s leading bakeries – The Woodstock Bakery – uses Eureka Mills is a testament to the fact that Eureka products really do yield tastier products. And while my bread baking leaves a lot to be desired, my cakes and desserts just wouldn’t be the same if I used a cheaper flour. When was the last time you enjoyed a scone without any butter, jam or cheese, just because it tasted so good on its own? In my case, it was this week while eating my rye scones.

Off the wheat wagon? Try rye flour instead

If you’re worried about the gluten content of wheat flour, rye flour is a great alternative. It still contains gluten, though much lower levels, which means you can still use it in breads or cakes without having to re-engineer the recipe to make up for the lack of structure-giving gluten. The resulting bakes will be slightly different in texture and flavour, but Eureka Mills’ rye flour is so tasty, you won’t mind. At the moment I use rye flour as often as I do wheat flour and am loving experimenting with a blend of the two in my recipes. And with Eureka Mills available at most good supermarkets, there’s no reason not to make the switch to stoneground flour today.

Blog Contribution Courtesy of Caroline Knight – The Power of Cake

 

 

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Deirdre McDonaldView all posts by Deirdre McDonald