The Best Flour

Bread and Flour

I was making up a grocery list and contemplating going out in today’s new batch of snow, when I realized that today was a good bread-making day. I learned how to make bread partly through my mother–whose oatmeal bread is a wonder I have yet to re-create. My real experience in the endeavor came when my then-husband and I moved to Mission, South Dakota several years ago. Faced with a choice of Old Home butter-top and a 50lb. bag of Dakota Maid bread flour, I bought the bag and started getting serious about bread-making.

We lived in a ramshackle shack with a propane heater right in the middle of the living room, so that made the task of getting a loaf to rise in that drafty cottage a little less daunting. I simply set the bowl of dough in a pan of hot water we kept on top of the heater. I was even able to master the three-day salt-rising loaf–a delicacy I have not been able to pull off since moving back to the land of central heating.

Being from Vermont, my preference has always been for King Arthur flour–heretofore the gold standard of flour in my baking book. Dakota Maid is simply not as good–though I would often use it as a local (and usually much less expensive) alternative. That is, until I discovered Wheat Montana. It is possible that King Arthur is preferable if you’re baking in Vermont, but Wheat Montana flour is simply the best I have ever used.

They’re not certified organic, but if you read the package (which asks of their product, “better than organic?”), you’ll see that they do test for chemical residue. Being a local grower who uses organic methods (plus sustainable ones) but without being certified, I can nod a hearty assent to the possibility of “better than organic.”

I use Wheat Montana’s All Purpose unbleached white and Prairie Gold whole wheat flours in bread making, and I also occasionally use their seven-grain cereal in bread, cookies, and as a hot cereal. All three of these products are of very high quality and fantastic flavor.


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