I promised I would get you the Bob’s Red Mill tour!! Jessica, my intern from May, had the privileged of visiting the mill this past summer. Read on to learn about it and try out her favorite recipe! – Julie
Bob’s Red Mill
by Jessica Beardsley, MS, RDN
My family and I recently visited Bob’s Red Mill near Portland, Oregon. Prior to this experience, my only exposure to Bob’s Red Mill was buying their flax meal and seeing their fancy flour at the health food store. After the tour I was inspired to cook and experiment with their rich variety of grains and flours. In addition, I learned that they are an excellent company with passionate employees and high standards for quality in every grain that you can imagine.
Facts about the mill:
- The working mill is separate from the bakery and store, which is one mile down the road.
- Bob Moore opened the mill in the 1960’s and has gradually acquired stone mills from all over the world.
- About five years ago Bob generously gave his employees ownership of the company, and continues to work there even today.
- The employees’ passion and attention to quality is evident in all the interactions we had during our visit.
The variety of grains that the Mill offers includes:
- wheat flours
- pastry flour
- rye flour
- graham flour.
Their gluten-free selection was just as extensive:
- almond flour
- arrowroot starch
- black bean flour
- brown rice flour
- fava bean flour
- garbanzo bean flour
- masa harina
- corn flour
- oat flour
- pea flour
- hazelnut flour
- millet flour
- potato flour
- sorghum flour
Ever wonder where to buy texturized vegetable protein (TVP) or xanthum gum? Yep, Bob has that too!
Making The Products:
Our tour guide showed the children how the threshing of wheat removes the chaff leaving the edible wheat kernel. Just a light breeze cleared the chaff away and the children took the berries and put them into a small tabletop mill. Each child turned the hand crank, which milled the wheat berries into flour. The entire process was a great reminder of how simple and minimally processed our flour can be.
After we returned home I used Bob’s whole-wheat pastry flour to make peach cobbler for our family. Their whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft white wheat. It is low-protein soft spring wheat, compared to regular whole-wheat flour that is milled from hard red wheat. The lower protein content is more desirable for pastries, cakes, cookies, and muffins. So the flour was ideal for my peach cobbler (see recipe below).
The natural fats in your flour will go oxidize and go rancid at room temperature. To extend the shelf-life, store your whole wheat flour in the refrigerator or freezer in a plastic bag or airtight container.
Peach Cobbler with Bob’s Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1½ cups sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup milk or soy milk
- 4 cups fresh peach slices (about 6 peaches, I peeled mine)
- Ground cinnamon
- Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
- Combine flour, ¾ cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).
- Bring remaining ¾ cup sugar and peach slices to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve cobbler warm with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.