Grab the King Arthur off the shelf, get on with your life. That’s how buying flour usually goes for me. I have intense brand loyalty to the tiny flour king. But then I got a copy of Friends & Family co-owner Roxana Jullapat’s fantastic upcoming cookbook (the season’s most exciting release), Mother Grains, and suddenly I needed some spelt flour, STAT.
In the February issue of Bon Appétit, we went deep with Roxana on why baking with whole grain flours is more exciting than boring ol’ all-purpose (you’ll always need that on hand, too, because a lot of these other grain flours lack its gluten levels). Whole grains are also better for you—so much fiber—and many are better for the environment too. Why aren’t they right next to the all-purpose flour in the baking aisle, though? I had to track down spelt, rye, buckwheat, and rice flours at a great bulk foods store where I live in Ann Arbor called By the Pound. My farmers market carries local cornmeal! I’m spoiled, and lucky. Depending on where you are, you might have a harder time finding more obscure flours, especially einkorn flour, a type of flavorful wheat that makes nutty, near-savory shortbread that I made over and over this past holiday—recipe here.
Good thing the internet exists!
These are Roxana’s favorite mills with online stores. When in doubt, Bob’s Red Mill makes a solid handful (sorry, not einkorn) and they’re reliably fresh and consistent. Roxana-approved. (And not sponsored!)
“I have not used better flour in the entire country,” Roxana says. “It’s the mill I recommend the most for their Sonora wheat and spelt as well as their hard white and hard red flours.” Use the tender, tasty Sonoran wheat for pie crust, cakes, and any pastry really. Use the spelt to make these blueberry muffins and the hard white and hard red flours for breads. And good news: They have einkorn! If you pick up some rye flour and a banneton, you can make Roxana’s no-knead beer bread too.
Try ALL of the cornmeals. For baking, go with the fine grind for baked goods with delicate, fine crumbs—makes sense, right?—like cakes, cookies, and this ricotta pound cake. (Note: Different cornmeal colors bring different flavors. Try blue! Roxana prefers white in the pound cake recipe: “For me, white cornmeal seems so rare. It’s cool. It has a more subtle flavor, but it’s not lacking anything.” Yellow has a more corn-forward flavor; I like that.) Coarse cornmeal is your cornbread friend: It creates that little bit of crunch and squeak. But don’t stop there. Anson Mills’s “toasted oat flour is my go-to,” Roxana adds. It has an “intense nuttiness,” a sweet cereal-like flavor, and is great in pancakes, these gluten-free apple muffins, and the banana bread in Mother Grains (just preorder it already!). While you’re shopping, you might as well pick up some buckwheat flour to make this chocolate soufflé-like cake, and this Japanese buckwheat to make soba when the mood strikes (Japanese Home Cooking is the cookbook you’ll need for that). Chewy farro? Purple “long lost” beans? Add to cart.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GREAT SOURCE