Of all the things in my pantry, I think flour is myfavorite pantry item. Why? Flour is used for so many fabulous things and it isthe basis for most of my scratch cooking. I can make sweet, savory, hearty,fried, crispy and smooth/creamy-all with flour.
My favorite type is unbleached white. Yes, I admit that my favorite flour is not some sort of hippie wholegrain. It is a simple, soft, learnthatunbleached basic white flour. Of course, as you get to know me, learn thatI never leave well enough alone. I also like to play with whole wheat flour andother types, tyring to get the perfect ratio of white flour to whole grain (which is notorious for makingbricks instead of bread). One of my flours that I use quite a bit is a Bobs Red Mill,10 grain flour. If you don’t mix that high test with white, you can hammer a nail with the resulting bread.
Flour means comfort. It is perfect for those rainydays when a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup tastes perfect. It’s also a pickme up when the family has to get up early to work on the harvest and I canpresent them with homemade donuts or cinnamon rolls when they first come up tothe kitchen.
Flour is my old friend when we are out of food. As long as Ihave flour, I can make sourdough and then bread. With sourdough, I can make allsorts of baked goods without needing yeast or other leavening. Of course, I use extra yeast or baking powder or vinegar/baking soda when I need to, but its great to have my sourdough waiting to help out.
I also make a mean pancake with flour. When I lived in my cabin, pancakes were almost a daily food. I never used a recipe and played with ratios there too. Sometimes I had eggs, sometimes not. Sometimes I had sourdough or other leavening and sometimes it was flour, water and a greasy pan, with a side of black coffee. Anyway, you look at it, flour certainly saves me many times over.
I make it a point to buy a bag of flour, any size, ANY timeI go shopping. I have purchased 1 pound bags from the pharmacy and often buy 25pound bags at the warehouse store. If you are starting a pantry, I recommend getting a handle on your flour totals. Use a 5 gallon food safe bucket and fill that baby up with flour! A 25 pound bag fits nicely.
Then you have to learn to use your flour, but that’s another blog post.