Category Archives: Breads

March is National Flour Month at The Old Mill

Springtime in the mountains brings the blossoming of flowers, and it also draws our attention to a “flour” of a different sort – the one we use in the kitchen every day. March is National Flour Month, a time to explore new ways to bake with flour.

At The Old Mill General Store, you can step back to the 1800s with some old flours and explore some relatively new ones on our shelves. For example, we’ve been milling Corn Flour as long as we have been stone-grinding grits. Corn flour is the fine powdery flour that is sifted off in the process of making grits. It is perfect for folding into cornbreads, muffins, pancakes, and cookies. And it makes some of the best homemade corn dogs!

Whole Wheat Flour, also ground right in our historic mill, is the most delicious and fresh whole wheat flour you will ever taste. Wheat berries are crushed and ground into a flour perfect for muffins, like Morning Glory Muffins, as well as pancakes, cheese straws, and loaf breads. Use our whole wheat flour anytime you want a better and more nutritious substitute for white flour.

Another interesting whole wheat flour sold at the General Store is a White Whole Wheat Bread FlourThat’s right – it’s white. But it tastes and bakes like whole wheat. This special flour milled from Montana hard wheat berries is a bread flour just right for baking into loaves, dinner rolls, even pizza crust.

Also from America’s West is our medium Rye Flourwhich bakes much like whole wheat flour and can be used in any baking recipe calling for whole wheat. It adds a nuttiness to recipes, and it is delicious in sweets, from cakes to chocolate chip cookies. America’s frontier cooks used to substitute rye flour when wheat wasn’t available.

Cold weather climates bring us our Buckwheat Flour, which is not a flour at all but ground from the seeds of the buckwheat plant, a cousin to rhubarb. We’ve been selling buckwheat flour and buckwheat pancake mixes to happy customers for many years, but with the rise in interest in gluten-free baking, more people are getting interested in buckwheat. Try ours, and your pancakes will have never tasted so good. You can also use buckwheat in banana bread and muffins, substituting buckwheat for half of the white flour.

Without a doubt, the Southern flour that has the deepest history in our region is Self-Rising FlourIt’s a staple in kitchens throughout the South, where in the early 1900s it became the flour that made the best, most reliable, biscuits. The secret is a soft winter wheat flour that is lower in gluten (protein) than other flours, and the baking powder and salt are mixed right into the flour. There’s no measuring of leavening, and that’s a time-saver we can appreciate today. Try it in your biscuits, cornbread, pancakes, and cakes.

Here is a recipe for a perfect morning muffin called the Morning Glory Muffin. We make it with our freshly-milled Whole Wheat Flour, and it’s just the way to salute National Flour Month.

Morning Glory Muffins 

Makes 12 muffins

Prep: 10 to 15 minutes

Bake: 18 to 23 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raisins, softened in hot water

2 cups Old Mill Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups grated peeled carrots

1 apple, peeled and grated

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

3 large eggs

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Set aside a muffin pan with 12 wells. Soak the raisins in hot water to cover and set aside.
  2. Place the flour, brown sugar, soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the carrots, apple, coconut, and pecans. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, oil, orange juice, and vanilla. Stir the ingredients together until just mixed.
  3. Spray the muffin pan with vegetable oil spray or line with paper liners. Scoop batter into the pan, filling each well nearly to the top. The batter will fill 12 to 14 wells. Place the pan in the oven, and bake until the muffins brown and are just firm on top, 18 to 23 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Old Mill Biscuits

2 cups OLD MILL BISCUIT MIX

1 cup Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine Old Mill Biscuit Mix and buttermilk (we use full-fat buttermilk) in a large bowl;  mix with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.  Your dough will be very wet and sticky, so turn out onto a liberally floured surface;  fold in edges to center and repeat 3 times.  Pat out or roll out to 1 1/2-inch thickness;  cut out with biscuit cutter.  Reroll scraps and cut out remaining biscuits.  Be careful to not overwork the dough or your biscuits will be tough. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Self-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits

 

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2 1/4 cups OLD MILL SELF-RISING FLOUR

1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 1/4 cups full-fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place Old Mill Self-Rising Flour in a large bowl.  Sprinkle butter pieces over flour; using your fingertips, snap butter and shortening into dry ingredients pieces are no larger than small peas and mixture is crumbly. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in center and pour in buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together;  it will be sticky.

Turn dough onto a floured surface.  Dust top of dough with flour and gently fold dough over itself until a soft dough forms, about 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out biscuits by pushing straight down;  do not twist cutter. Place biscuits on baking sheet, sides just touching. Gently gather scraps, press out 1-inch-thick, and cut out biscuits.  (These scrap biscuits will not be quite as light as the first ones.)

Bake until biscuits are fluffy and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  Brush tops with melted butter, if desired. Makes 12 biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits

_MG_15812 cups OLD MILL PLAIN UNBLEACHED FLOUR

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon chilled shortening or butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine Old Mill Plain Unbleached Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, snap butter and shortening into dry ingredients pieces are no larger than small peas and mixture is crumbly. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in center and pour in buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together;  it will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto a floured surface.  Dust top of dough with flour and gently fold dough over itself until a soft dough forms, about 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out biscuits by pushing straight down;  do not twist cutter. Place biscuits on baking sheet, sides just touching. Gently gather scraps, press out 1-inch-thick, and cut out biscuits.  (These scrap biscuits will not be quite as light as the first ones.)

Bake until biscuits are fluffy and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  Brush tops with melted butter, if desired. Makes 12 biscuits.