Darrold milling with the NEW Unifine mill. Photo Courtesy of photos by @vicsjcampbell courtesy of @heritagegrainproject
Life has been barreling forward to new horizons in the world of heritage grain. In an effort to continue to produce the very best grains we have been laboring hard to build out our new mill location in North Branch, MN. We are excited to fill everyone in on so many developments that continue to propel the heritage grain movement along.
It’s not Just the Grain it’s the Grind
We have installed a Unifine high-velocity impact mill! A technology that for many will feel new, but is actually an old flour-processing technique. You can read the whole history here, but to give you a brief summary: Englishman John Wright first developed the Unifine mill in England during the late 1930s, only to have it bombed during World War II. He took the idea to the United States, eventually meeting with Washington State College engineers where he told a compelling story and shared a vision of a milling system he believed would revolutionize the world’s flour milling industry. Washington State developed a prototype mill in 1947 that worked flawlessly. By May 1950 after a publication in the Washington State Scientific Bulletin, it gained international attention and fascination with the mill’s ability to pulverize the grain so efficiently in a single pass, and generate such a super fine flour that baked light, lofty, loaves of bread with good bounce. However, the publicity brought stiff resistance from the flour milling industry that was based around centralized production of white flour. Interest in the mill subsided until a local farmer, Mr. Leonard Fulton, stepped in and personally funded the fabrication of three mills. Fulton had high hopes of re-localizing the flour milling industry and expanding the consumption of the more nutritive whole grain flour. Without an aggressive marketing program, the mill and its highly nutritious super-fine flour never reached the masses. From 1961 to 1988 it only produced at 20% of its full 1,000,000 lb/year capacity being sold primarily in the pacific NW. The interest in whole grain and high extraction flour simply wasn’t there at the time. The world of baking had moved speedily into the desire for quick, white, commercial bread made from inefficient centralized roller mill systems. The mill technology has now been reborn through Leonard Fulton’s grand nephew, and there are currently five operating in the US, including our new mill in Minnesota. We have been overwhelmed by the response from individuals throughout the years who have found heritage wheat to be more digestible and to hear they are able to eat bread again! Moving forward into this next phase of Sunrise Flour Mill we have found “t’s not just the grain, its the grind! The super-fine grind of the Unifine Mill will allow many people who may have struggled with whole wheat baking to find success.
Introducing NEW Unifine Premium Heritage Flours
We are beginning our journey into Unifine Mill starting with two of our most beloved grains, White Sonora and Turkey Red heritage wheat.
A super-fine, highly nutritious 100% whole grain pastry flour. Unlike traditional whole wheat flour, this super fine grind creates loftier baked goods with greater volume than would be expected from a whole wheat flour. For people looking to expand their flour horizons, pastry flour is a great place to start! Lower protein content in White Sonora grain makes for more tender pastries and baked goods than all purpose flour. Mixing Whole Wheat Flour at about 30% in bread recipes adds a flavor boost to your breads. Use for muffins, cookies, pancakes, brownies, tortillas, biscuits, pies, and in most recipes calling for pastry flour as a more nutritious replacement. Marty’s favorite use of White Sonora Whole Wheat is in her banana bread recipe,
A super-fine, highly nutritious 100% whole grain flour. Turkey Red is the flour we use primarily in our sourdough and bread baking, though in can be used in many other places as well. It adds depth and flavor to artisan breads, and makes for very happy and active sourdough starters. If you have been baking with our Turkey Red White, or Sifted Flour we invite you to try adding whole wheat to your mix. Unlike traditional whole wheat flour, this super-fine grind creates loftier baked goods with greater volume than would be expected from a whole wheat flour. Use for breads, rolls, pancakes, muffins, and cookies; and in any recipe calling for whole wheat flour.
Marty’s latest banana bread bake using 100% whole grain Unifine White Sonora Pastry Flour. Just LOOK at that loft!
All new flours are available for purchase in our Online Store. For those in Minnesota you can find us every Saturday this summer at the Mill City Farmers Market, or by visiting us during our mill open hours every Tuesday from 9:00 am to Noon. Coming Soon, Unifine High Extraction Flour, extraction simply means removing a portion of the larger bran particles to give a lighter bake.