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 and flour we have fallen a little silent on posting here, but now we have a lot to say. 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 our own 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. It seems inevitable with the current resurgence in home and artisan bakers that European style high extraction flour would find it’s place in the U.S. We have always been so adamant in providing the very best heritage grains to our customers. 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. The Unifine Mill produces a premium, flavorful, meticulously crafted line of flours that we know will boost your baking in more ways than one. We are impressed by the nutritional analysis of Unifine flour (see chart below).

Analysis of Unifine High Extraction Flour in comparison to White Enriched Flour

Introducing NEW Unifine Premium Heritage Flours

With our new Unifine mill, we are now producing 4 new premium organic flours that we hope you will love as much as we do!

Unifine Heritage Turkey Red: a hard red winter wheat

1. Unifine Heritage High Extraction Flour:  A highly nutritious high-extraction flour that can be used as a replacement for white flour in most recipes. Use for breads, pasta, rolls, pancakes, muffins, and cookies.
2. Unifine Organic Heritage Whole Wheat Flour: A super-fine, highly nutritious 100% whole grain 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. Use for breads, rolls, pancakes, muffins, and cookies; and in any recipe calling for whole wheat flour.

These will bake loftier breads and many other types baked goods, and remember that many people find heritage wheat more digestible. 

Bread Made with our NEW Turkey Red Unifine High Extraction Flour. Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Shapiro of “Stir The Pots: Talk about whats cooking in chefs, kitchens and food.”

Unifine Heritage White Sonora: a soft white winter wheat

3. Unifine Organic Heritage High Extraction Pastry Flour: A high-extraction whole grain pastry flour using 85% of the grain with 15% of the largest bran particles removed. Use for muffins, cookies, pancakes, brownies, tortillas, biscuits, pies, and in most recipes calling for pastry flour as a more nutritious replacement.

4. Unifine Organic Heritage Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: 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. Use for muffins, cookies, pancakes, brownies, tortillas, biscuits, pies, and in most recipes calling for pastry flour as a more nutritious replacement.

These both are showing us to be incredible pastry flours unlike any we have used before, and we are super excited to share them with you!

Our 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.