Flour Power

Flour Power – F-L-O-U-R, learn about whole wheat flour and alternatives to “Enriched White Flour”.

by Chad Steiner

Enriched white flour is not our most nutritious flour option. In 2006 the owner of a small flour mill in North Carolina just down the road from our home educated me. I had no idea. Enriched white flour is made by stripping most the fiber out of the wheat which can then be feed to animals. Then the minimum nutrition requirements dictate the nutrient (the enriched part) be added back. If you have enriched white flour at home, look at the label – it will show all the nutrients added back, niacin, etc.. Ok, I kind of jumped right in. What I’d like to share more about in this article is a bit of my story working with wheat over the years, some great wheat and flour producers you can shop at and some references for making bread + a pasta recipe from an amazing local chef. Jeana and I are super passionate about upgrading the nutrition in our food. Moving to locally grown heritage wheat flours does require a learning curve – they’re not all made the same. The flavor and nutrient content are worth it!

Jeana and I are first generation farmers. My career has been in agriculture around the globe. My first time working with wheat was for the Spring Wheat Breeding program at WSU as an undergrad under Dr. Kim Kidwell, then in Graduate School for the Winter Wheat program under Dr. Steve Jones (who now runs the WSU Bread Lab). My work spanned making crosses in the greenhouse to sitting on the side of a plot combine harvesting research plots around the state. Then in other parts of my professional career I was in discussion about the commercialization of hybrid wheat (let it be known that there is no GMO wheat. A hybrid is not a GMO). In the pharmacy world, Jeana experienced more and more patients coming in with gut health issues. Then on the personal side – when our middle son was born he had lots of stomach trouble. We identified gluten as part of the issue – which then put us on a journey. We started with gluten free flour and struggled with the recipe’s being so different – especially pizza crust. And wondered about ingredients like Xanthum gum. We thought, there has to be a better way. We’ve been delighted to discover these new flours. Our middle son has no issues with them and on this journey we’ve also discovered things like 4 ingredient bread…. Which means what? Next time you can, look at a loaf of bread at the store – 25+ ingredients.

How about we keep the rest simple. I want this to be a reference document. Our health depends on it.

  1. Why use whole wheat? Why organic (regenerative if possible)? Why local (if possible)? Why heritage (if possible)? But wait, what is whole wheat?? I’m going to do better than trying to explain it, because I think its confusing. Here’s the answer: GET TO KNOW YOUR FARMER or FLOUR MAKER. The farmer or flour maker can answer these questions.
    1. But here’s a couple simple reasons –
      1. Because the nutrient content is significantly better for us.
      1. The flavor is amazing.
  • Where can you get whole wheat flour? There are others besides these, but these are our go to.
    • Chimacum Valley Grainery (formerly Finn River). Located on the Olympic Peninsula.
      • Keith has wheat growing and baking in his blood. My old professor Dr. Jones introduced me to them. I was trying to find a source of heritage whole wheat fresh ground flour. This has been it for us. They are doing great things and have an amazing product. Their flour works in all our recipes – just make sure you have the right one for the job.
    • Bluebird Grain Farms
      • We recently stopped by and were able to visit with one of the owners Brooke. We thought it would be best to find a source of flour closer to home. They are doing amazing things. They’ve been in business for 20 years. Organic, heritage… all the amazing things. We plan to start offering their flour in the tasting room.

Caption: Bluebird Grain Farms loaf this week from the Hard White Flour.

  • How can you use it? We don’t have time to make fresh bread and pasta all the time… so we’ve started in its place buying all our bread from Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery. We’ve heard great things about Lago Pasta as well. Imagine if we all supported these folks regularly…. It would help our community thrive.
    • Things we’ve made with the flours above:
      • Breads
      • Pancakes
      • Pasta
      • Pizza
      • Cookies

Caption: right out of Chef Austin’s recipe book.

We’ve really enjoyed bringing real flour back into our meals. So much more flavor and nutrition. A loaf of freshly baked bread doesn’t last long. Our hope is to have Bluebird Grain Farms flour in the tasting room in the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can of course buy direct from them. They’ve got special on shipping going. As always, thank you for following along.



  1. So glad to see you acknowledging Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery. They do it right! Bluebird grain and other real ingredients equal great products.

    1. Yeah, totally love what they’re doing and feel fortunate to have a non 25 ingredient bread option.

  2. Love, love the info… thank you so much. I am starting to put bread back in my diet with rye and sourdough so this was very informative. Again, thank you.

  3. Chad, you and Jeana bring so much to our community in the way of your knowledge and expertise! Teaching families a better way of living through organic farming and nutrition to taking care of our health, bodies and minds! You both are a wealth of knowledge! My friends and I love coming to your beautiful farm . Always such a pleasure. Thank you for sharing your experiences and all your knowledge. A real gift to us all.

  4. I forgot to mention the “Bread” I love bread! Looking forward to trying this wonderful flour. Appreciate the information on great healthy flour!

  5. Chad, this article has inspired me! When we get back from Australia, we’re going to start making our own bread. I know a couple of other retirees in our community doing it as well

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