Flour...Bread, Whole Wheat, Graham, Rye and Pumpernickel Flours


I am a regular yeast bread baker, making all our bread, buns and rolls, so I usually keep bread flour, Graham or whole wheat flour and rye flour on hand.  I store my flour in buckets with gamma screw-on lids or in tightly sealed commercial plastic containers, in a cool, dark place. 
The amount of protein found in bread flour is higher, in order to produce more gluten and achieve the desired rise in bread. Because of this higher protein level, bread flour is able to absorb more liquid, allowing it to hold its shape and rise upward instead of outward.  The high amount of gluten in bread flour also creates a more elastic dough, which produces a lighter and chewier bread, as opposed to a bread that is more dense and crumbly. 
I usually buy All Trumps commercial bakery brand from Gold Medal that I get at The Dutchman's in Cantril.  
I actually keep twice as much bread flour as all-purpose flour on hand because I am a regular bread baker.  I usually use around 50# of bread flour throughout the year baking bread for two of us, however, I buy it in smaller quantities throughout the year so I turn it over, usually keeping one to two 5 gallon buckets on hand, they hold 25-30# of flour each.

Clockwise,top left: Rye flour, Graham flour, Bottom:  both  
Rye flour typically comes in light, medium, and dark varieties—these refer to the relative amount of and germ each contains—as well as 100 percent whole-grain rye flour, also called “pumpernickel”. While light, medium, and dark rye flours are sifted to remove some of the nutrient-rich bran and germ, pumpernickel flour is unsifted and should be made from the entire rye kernel. Pumpernickel is the rye I usually buy.  Because whole grain flours don’t keep as well, because of the fat content, I don’t usually keep more than 5# of rye flour on hand.
Graham flour is a type of coarse-ground whole wheat flour named after Sylvester Graham. It is similar to conventional whole wheat flour in that both are made from the whole grain, but graham flour is ground more coarsely and is not sifted during milling.  I usually buy graham flour instead of whole wheat flour, the coarse texture makes a more interesting bread.  I do store 15-20# of graham flour, as I bake whole wheat breads most of the time, they are my husband's favorite.
Most of my flour is purchased at The Dutchman’s in Cantril, Iowa, or the Stringtown Grocery north of Kalona, Iowa, where it turns over fast because they serve a lot of bread bakers.  
I am more interested in how fast flour is turned over in a store than I am in any particular brand, as there aren’t as many bread bakers buying flour as there were in our mother’s era.

5 comments:

  1. I love to bake and need to try it more.

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  2. I love Rye bread for sandwiches, etc. but no one around here sells rye flour. WalMart used to have it on their shelves but they haven't carried it now for a few years. Been to every grocery store in our surrounding area and no has it stocked.
    Yes, I probably could order rye flour on line but I just do not shop on line.
    Rye bread, along with wheat bread is our favorite.

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    1. I understand...if I didn't have two Mennonite stores within driving distance, where I shop for other things too, I wouldn't buy rye flour either; as no local store carries it!

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  3. Pumpernickel and rye breads are my favorite. I love your comments about Dutchman's and Stringtown Grocery. I will be visiting my daughter and her family in Keokuk from Colorado in May. I had Dutchman's on my list of must sees, will add Stringtown. Any others I should add to my must visit while I am in Keokuk? I'm from Colorado.

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    1. The Dutchman's in Cantril is the best place to go...better, really, than Stringtown is as there is more variety. Hope you enjoy your trip...it's a nice time of year here.

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