Thursday, March 18, 2010

Flour Power

Now that I'm baking for market, I go through a lot of flour and other ingredients. I've taken to shopping at the bulk food stores most of the time, hauling home bags ranging in size from 5 pounds to 25.

And I go through it quickly, too. The last time I went out to the big bulk store in Amish country -- at the beginning of February -- I bought 60 lbs. of unbleached flour (used mainly in my artisan breads but as a softening flour in whole grain loaves, too). I finished the last of that last week and restocked from a different store.

But I also decided to go back to getting the organic unbleached flour with wheat germ from the local natural foods store. Yes, it's a little more expensive, but it doesn't come from a big corporate agribusiness, and it's organic.

The last time I went in to buy the flour, I asked about buying in bulk and was able to place an order for a 50-lb. bag, to be picked up around March 17. So after working at the farm yesterday, I stopped by the store and picked up my order.

This photo was taken this morning, when I got started with the day's baking. Thirty loaves later, the level of flour in the bag has gone done considerably. I think this might be the wave of the future for me -- major bulk buying!

Today's loaves included two batches of artisan boules with locally produced chèvre -- one batch with dried thyme and the other with fresh rosemary; ten loaves of maple oatmeal bread; eight loaves of spelt-based pain aux noix; and a new kind of bread:

Pumpernickel artisan loaves! Aren't they beautiful? The one at top left proved to be too small for market, so I believe I'll just have to keep that and enjoy it myself.

And for next week, I'll have to mill more spelt and possibly wheat -- the home-ground stuff is low yet again! (Boy, that doesn't last long.)

In the meantime, I guess I'll sit back, enjoy life, and take time to smell the flours...

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