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 myfavorite flour is not some sort of hippie wholegrain. It is a simple, soft,unbleached basic white flour. Of course, as you get to know me, you will learnthat I 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 canhammer 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 useextra yeast or baking powder or vinegar/baking soda when I need to, but itsgreat to have my sourdough waiting to help out.
I also make a mean pancake with flour. When I lived in mycabin, pancakes were almost a daily food. I never used a recipe and played withratios there too. Sometimes I had eggs, sometimes not. Sometimes I hadsourdough or other leavening and sometimes it was flour, water and a greasypan, with a side of black coffee. Anyway you look at it, flour certainly savesme 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 recommendgetting a handle on your flour totals. Use a 5 gallon food safe bucket and fillthat baby up with flour! A 25 pound bag fits nicely.
Then you have to learn to use your flour, but that’s anotherblog post.