Each year we celebrate the usual March holidays – National Pi Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Women’s History Month, but, most importantly, we honor National Flour Month. As a bakery, flour is one of our basic ingredients, whether it’s whole grain, whole wheat, or all-purpose.
Since the beginning of civilization, flour has been the staple of cuisines around the world. When our ancestors discovered they could crush grass seeds into a powder, they dined on flat, hard cakes cooked over a fire. It is the Egyptians in 3,000 BC that figured out how to harvest and use yeast, creating soft loaves by fermenting the dough with heat from the sun.
Luckily, we do not have to grind the grains ourselves. News of this innovation traveled, Romans created watermills, and with the Industrial Age came the technology to mill the flour in large quantity. We have a handful of wonderfully dedicated millers that we rely on for our flours. One of them is Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill in Burlington, about one hour north of Seattle. Fairhaven began in 1974 as a cooperative, and since 2007, has been family-owned by Kevin and Matsuko Christenson. Leslie had the opportunity to visit the mill a while back and was taken by the Christenson’s sincere pledge to buy only locally grown, organic grains that are milled weekly in small batches so they retain as much nutrients as possible.
Amidst the earthy aromas of the fresh, weighty whole grain flour, the Christensons shared their passion for the farmers with whom they have continued to support over the years. It is that commitment to their craft that is most appreciated by the Macrina family. We use Fairhaven’s Rye Flour for many of the artisan breads we produce, including Vollkorn, Pane Francese, and Greek Olive Bread. The recipes for these breads are included in our cookbooks, Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook and More From Macrina. We hope you will pick up Fairhaven Organic Flour for your bread-making needs and test out some of our recipes in honor of National Flour Month. Happy baking!