The Bread Lab: Why Your Flour Should Be Lively

Freshly ground whole grain flour is alive – and lively – according to Dr. Steven Jones, WSU Wheat Breeder and founder of The Bread Lab. Age, processing, and chemicals will “kill” your flour, and will give you flour that is “nothing of interest other than to carry other flavors.”
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Dishing on Pollan's Cooked

I am a novice baker trying my darnedest to learn how to make good bread. I would rather have bought a book by Michael Pollan called Baked. In his book, Cooked Michael talks about his time with guru bakers, farmers, and millers. He reminds us that to make good bread you only need a few basics: flour, water, salt, yeast, time, and heat. Here’s our take on local and regional grain and flour, and baking bread.
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Citizen Scientist

Christensen not only harvests by hand, he must winnow the chaff by hand as well.

Dave Christensen has spent 40 years rescuing this corn from extinction and breeding it to find or create the hardiest, most nutritious varieties. Someday, he hopes, it could feed millions. He grows multicolored heirloom corn on 12 different plots scattered across Montana. Mainly dried and ground, the kernels are highly nutritious and chock-full of antioxidants.
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Essential Baking - Seattle’s Biggest Small Bakery

When he was a child, George DePasquale’s quintessential (and large!) Italian-American family gathered every weekend to make food for the coming week – for the whole family. Fresh pasta hung drying over the backs of the sofa and chairs and lay curled on the beds, pots of sauces simmered on the stove, and piles of fresh fish were cleaned and frozen. And Mama always baked bread for the family. It was the homemade bread and exposure to the bakery down the street that made those years so important to George. He literally grew up with “flour in his hair;” baking bread all his life.
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Oganic Whole Grains From Organic Farms in Northeastern Montana

Those who farm in northeastern Montana – the northern Great Plains – face very cold winters, very hot summers, and very little rain (11-14 inches annually). Some farmers are finding that organic growing methods are providing a better market, reasonable prices, and more net profit than conventional methods.
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Organic Dryland Farming: Eastern Washington and Northwestern Montana

For those who are trying to farm in the Palouse region of eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana, there is only one name for it – Dryland Farming. Annual rainfall levels of 8 to 16 inches mean that farmers have to be good – very good – at moisture management.
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One Small Company's Local Food Economy

When most people are asked about the “Local Food Economy,” they talk about local farmers, food hubs and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). It’s not often that they think of a small manufacturer. Jack Jenkins, manufacturer and marketer of Country Living Grain Mills, is a unique member of one of Washington’s local food economies.
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On the Road: Historic Grist Mill, Thorp WA

On our way to the Washington Tilth Producers Conference in Yakima, a sign on the freeway beckoned us to explore. Just minutes away, we were in standing in the middle of history. There are a few remaining historic mills in the state. You’ll find the Thorp Grist Mill, just off Interstate 90; about 10 miles northeast of Ellensburg.
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Bakin' with Jack Jenkins, Country Living Grain Mills

Jack Jenkins, owner and founder of Country Living Grain Mills, makes whole grain sour dough pitas for lunch. The wood-fired brick oven gets up to 750 degrees and these little bread pockets puff up in no time!
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Stalking the Wild Yeast with Jack Jenkins (Audio)

We’re speaking with Jack Jenkins, Country Living Grain Mills, who manufacturers and markets grain mills that are hand-powered, bike-powered, horse-powered, wind-powered, water-powered, and even machine-powered! And he sells them around the world. Jack tells us how to tame wild yeast so we can use it to make bread. Listen to how he does it.
Read more: Stalking the Wild Yeast with Jack Jenkins (Audio)