Although we’re mainly interested in organic flour here, there’s no doubt that flour in general has been a staple in the kitchen for a long time. To this day, it remains one of the most prolific sources for food since it serves as the basic component for every kind of bread-based product imaginable. It’s in everything! In fact, it’s important to take a step back and see the big picture because flour can come in many different shapes and forms.
A lot of this has to do with its composition. One of the basic types of flour include bleached flours, which typically have all their germ and bran content removed. In this respect, they are refined flours getting their name from the fact that they are artificially aged through the use of a bleaching agent.
Another common name that most everyone is familiar with is all purpose flour, which is designated as such for the simple fact that it lacks a leavening agent. It can come as both bleached and unbleached but it is normally a fine blend of high gluten hard wheat and low gluten soft wheat.
Furthermore, enriched flour, as its name implies, is simply replenished with some of the nutrients that are usually lost during initial preparation. These nutrients include B vitamins as well as calcium. Also, bread flour is more susceptible to rising, causing it to fluff up thanks in part to the yeast fermentation process.
Finally, you have your organic flour. So, let’s answer the question everyone is asking…
What is Organic Flour?
What makes organic flour actually “organic” has to do with how it is produced. It is organic flour because it must be certified to meet the standards of organic produce by meeting the stipulations of third party organizations that have a certain set of standards. Thus, organic flour, like all processed organic foods, must be free of artificial food additives as well as being grown without synthetic pesticides.
They must also be processed with fewer artificial means commonly utilized in the industry such as chemical ripening and genetically modified ingredients.
So, already some of the benefits of organic flour are apparent since it is guaranteed to use less artificial means and it is regulated fairly stringently. Still, there are some roadblocks that might make you hesitant to use organic flour on a regular basis. Maybe you think “organic” is a simple marketing phrase to make people think what they are getting is healthy or there’s perhaps the more legitimate objections about availability and price.
True, organic flour can sometimes be more difficult to find and oftentimes more expensive, but there are numerous benefits for its use both commercially and domestically.
Why Cook with Organic Flour?
Some people will say that cooking with organic flour is personal preference. It’s for people who are more environmentally conscious or care about what they are putting into their body. Others will tell you that baked goods made with organic flour taste better. That’s really up to the individual to decide.
However, there are some things to consider about using organic flour in baking. A study by Organic Center found that organic wheat that was grown in pesticide free environments developed more robustly, allowing them to draw in more minerals from the soil. This caused them them to be healthier and more nutritious for consumers.
Another reason cited in The Huffington Post involves so-called “Frankenwheat” which is simply the hybrid, crossbred wheat that makes up most of what we consume on a daily basis.
Why we could care? It is made up of much larger gluten proteins as well as a great deal of starch that can have adverse effects on the body, in addition to being extremely fattening.
In the end, if it really matters to you, organic flour is a natural alternative that has the potential to make you and your body a lot happier. If that’s something you want, then definitely give organic flour a try.