Monday, January 11, 2010

Central Milling Company

Any artisanal or commercial baker in northern California worth his or her name is now using flour from Central Milling. When I visit a bakery my first question is always, what flour do you use? The answer is invariably, Central Milling.

The company’s mills are in Utah and most of the flour is organic except for Red Rose and Gilt Edge. The history of the company goes like this: The Giusto family owned Guisto’s flour company which was located south San Francisco until they eventually sold it. Unhappy with the product the new owners were turning out, Keith Giusto decided to start up his own company in Petaluma and produce a top-notch product.

On a visit to the company warehouse I was impressed by the wide variety of flours they produce. Each flour has a very specific purpose and Central Milling works closely with bakers to create blends for their needs. Their most recent products are THE One Organic Baguette Mix and Organic Cracked 6 Grain Mix.

The flour arrives from Utah each week and is sent out that week. Freshness is all! Nicky Guisto, Keith’s nephew, showed me photographs of their wheat fields. From the way the wheat is planted, in a circular formation, to the water powered mills that process the grain, no effort is spared in producing the finest quality flours.

I bought three flours to start with. The Beehive Organic Unbleached Malted All Purpose, High Mountain Organic High Gluten Wheat Flour, and Organic Whole Wheat Medium Flour. Each of these was suggested by Nicky as appropriate for the kind of bread I am trying to make. Since I have also been experimenting with pizza dough I asked Keith to recommend a flour. He told me to try the Artisan Country Organic Type 70.

Since my visit to Central Milling I have been baking quite a bit. My next blog will report the results.

Central Milling


Blogger blowback said...

If you think that one week old flour is fresh then you might not have heard of Muehlenbaekerai in Germany. They are bakers who mill their own flour fresh each day. One of the manufacturers of mills for these bakers is Osttiroler Getreidemühlen (East Tyrolean Grain Mills).

January 11, 2010 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Lora Z said...

Very cool,happy to know about and I want one of the machines. There is no question that milling your wheat as needed is certainly the freshest way to go. I think for our country the idea is still in its infancy, but when Julia Child came back to live in the States after her time abroad she couldn't find a shallot in a grocery store, so who knows, maybe milling your own wheat is the next trend.

January 11, 2010 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Giusto said...

You don't want flour that is too fresh ... unless you're talking about whole wheat. The sweet spot for unbleached flour is 10-14 days old. That amount of time give the flour a chance to oxidize naturally.

April 5, 2010 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Joseph Heagany said...

I would be interested in your opinions of the fine flours produced by Honeyville Farms, also a company with Utah roots and a California presence. I bake bread and have used Honeyville flour a lot (the specs on their packages have good info on falling rates, etc.) I have also used Lehi Roller Mills (a local Utah mill in Lehi, UT).

Here's the Honeyville info which includes WWII internment camp information!. Their story:

August 24, 2011 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

Can you tell me if their Organic Artisan Bakers Craft Plus Malted
Blend of hard red wheat, malted, 11.5% is good for baking cookies/ non bread baking too?

November 15, 2013 at 3:52 PM  

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