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What makes White Lily flour so unique?
Your cookies will remain wonderfully soft and fluffy because of the higher rise that our flour’s lower protein content produces in baked goods. Because White Lily Flour has a finer texture than other types, it gives cakes a tall, soft, and moist crumb structure.
Which states sell White Lily flour?
White Lily started milling soft red winter wheat in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1883. Historically, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee produced the most of the grain, but today Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are the states that produce the most (via The New York Times). ThePlainDealer in Cleveland disputes the assertion, stating that the South does not cultivate wheat and has not done so for many years.
Compared to King Arthur’s 11.7 percent and Gold Medal’s 10.5 percent, White Lily All-Purpose offers 9% protein, which is significant because protein affects how chewy a bread can be. A light, flaky biscuit requires much less flour than a loaf of bread, which requires flour with up to 13% protein. Even while cake flour has between 7 and 9 percent protein and pastry flour has 9 percent, these other flours aren’t milled in the same way as White Flour, as Eater points out.
What flour comes close to White Lily in quality?
One straightforward ingredient, passed down from grandmother to mother to kid, has been the key to weightless biscuits for generations of Southern bakers: White Lily all-purpose flour.
It is used in both high-end Southern eateries and biscuit joints, including Watershed in Atlanta and Blackberry Farm outside of Knoxville. It’s what makes state fair baking competitions’ top prize winners. Transplanted Southerners who enjoy food share where to locate it on Web sites for foodies, and some of them have been known to draw attention when they return from trips home when airport security personnel notice a strange white dust on their bags.
Since it has been milled in downtown Knoxville since 1883, White Lily is uniquely Southern. Its white bags, which are especially tall because the flour weighs less per cup than other brands’ does, are almost exclusively sold in Southern supermarkets, though specialty shops like Williams-Sonoma and Dean & DeLuca have carried it at a premium price.
However, the mill will close its doors at the end of June, leaving behind its gleaming wood floors, turquoise and scarlet grinders, and jiggling armoire-sized sifters. White Lily is already being produced at two sites in the Midwest by The J. M. Smucker Company, which acquired the trademark a year ago and has sent off waves of worry that Southern biscuits will never be the same.
The new White Lily, according to business spokeswoman Maribeth Badertscher, was developed after extensive product testing, and she assured customers that they “won’t recognize the difference. However, in a blind test for The New York Times, two bakers were able to distinguish between the old and the new with ease.
White Lily should remain in Knoxville, according to Fred W. Sauceman, author of the book series “The Place Setting: Timeless Tastes of the Mountain South, From Bright Hope to Frog Level.”
He compared it to the use of the word “terroir” when discussing wine. “To have been created in the same location for 125 years signifies something, and it’s outrageous not to appreciate that.
People had such strong feelings about this flour, he added, that in the South, it was only offered for Sunday dinner. The Sunday flour was its name. The title of a now-out-of-print White Lily cookbook, “Sunday Best Baking: Over a Century of Secrets from the White Lily Kitchen,” capitalized on the idea.
LaDonna Hilton said she has tried various flours but has simply thrown the results away. Her baking has earned more than 200 ribbons at the Appalachian Fair in Gray, Tennessee. She remarked, “You wouldn’t think you’d be able to distinguish the difference in the taste, but you can.
The selling point for Cathy Riddle, another Appalachian Fair champion, is constant good results. She uses White Lily for anything from green tomato bread to “sad dumplings” (the kind with a chewy middle).
All you have to do, according to Shirley O. Corriher, an Atlanta-based author of “CookWise, about the science of cooking, and a soon-to-be-released companion volume called “BakeWise,” is take a tiny bit in one hand and some all-purpose flour in the other hand, and just look at it.
There is a remarkable distinction. It is significantly whiter, silkier, and finer. You’ll receive a cake with a finer texture.
The soft red winter wheat used to make White Lily flour is a low-protein, low-gluten kind that, according to the package, is the adversary of light, high-rising, delicate baking.
The majority of other all-purpose flour is derived from a mixture of regionally distinct wheat cultivars and typically has a substantially greater protein level. R. Carl Hoseney, a former professor of grain science at Kansas State University and current cereal consultant, said: “It’s a little bit good for everything, but not that good for anything.
In fact, soft wheat is the key to understanding why yeast breads, which require the strength of high-protein flour, are not as well known in the South as cakes, biscuits, and pie crusts. Historically, the only wheat that was commonly available in the South was soft red winter wheat, which was predominantly farmed in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee in the pre-national food delivery networks era. Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are currently some of the top producers.
It could also be the reason why many Northerners’ attempts to recreate Southern cuisine fail. A recipe intended for White Lily won’t turn out well when made with other flours because low-protein flour absorbs less moisture. The closest alternatives are cake flour or another low-protein flour like Martha White.
In the pie competition at the Kentucky State Fair, Carolyn Durst, 62, who won the grand prize, said, “I demonstrate pie crust to my friends, and I tell them, No. 1, you’ve got to have White Lily flour.
The new White Lily, according to Ms. Badertscher, is likewise exclusively prepared from soft red winter wheat. However, there are other other factors, such as how the flour is ground. White Lily is purportedly ground finer and sifted more frequently than any other flour on the market, according to the Knoxville facility. It costs extra to do all that effort. This month, five-pound bags of White Lily cost $2.99 at an Atlanta grocery store, more than Gold Medal, which went for $2.79, or the store brand, which cost $1.82, but much less than specialist and organic products.
Then there is the issue of which grain component is utilized. The germ and endosperm, a white material, are enclosed in a bran layer that lies beneath the husk of a wheat kernel. Being a patent flour, White Lily exclusively uses the heart of the endosperm, which is the purest component. Some supporters worry that selectivity may be impaired because wheat prices are more than double what they were in the spring.
How pure and white can you make it, was the query at the turn of the century. stated Fran Churchill, a former manager of operations at the White Lily facility. “Millers have moved closer and closer to the bran for economic reasons,” she claimed. “At the moment, everyone in the industry is making the most flour they can out of one kernel.
White Lily is bleached using chlorine, unlike the majority of all-purpose flours, which weakens the proteins as well as making the flour whiter. The starch particles are changed by chlorine, which makes batters more viscous and less likely to tumble. It relaxes the tight ratio requirements for starch, liquid, fat, and sugar in baking, allowing for bigger proportions of sugar and, consequently, sweeter cakes.
Compared to other all-purpose flours, White Lily is more like cake flour thanks to the chlorine. But there is yet another minute difference, according to Ms. Corriher. Although White Lily can be used to make cakes, it is less bleached than cake flour, giving it a better, less acidic flavor, according to Ms. Corriher. Soft wheat is also used to make pastry flour, but it is not chlorinated.
Theoretically, according to milling specialists, it should be possible to recreate White Lily. “If the source of the wheat is the same, Mr. Hoseney said, the mill itself won’t be that hard to copy. Ms. Corriher, on the other hand, was less confident that a method that had undergone rigorous quality control in Knoxville and more than a century of milling could be easily duplicated.
Ms. Corriher’s worries were confirmed by a blind test conducted by two bakers who received bags of the old and new goods bearing just the letters A and B.
Before she started baking, Zoellyn Smith, who worked in quality control and research and development at the Knoxville plant, correctly identified the new product. While Sample B, the old product, produced a silky, as opposed to stiff, dough and a “light and airy cake, Sample A, the new product, had a “grayish tint and generated a “solid and chewy cake.
She said, “When I only glanced at the flour, I thought Sample B was milled in Knoxville.
There was no question after the bakes were completed.
But it didn’t take an expert in plant sciences and food technology to make the correct assumption. The inexperienced baker Ms. Hilton remarked, “There wasn’t much of a difference, but I could tell the difference. Even her family was aware of which batch included Midwest-milled flour. The texture wasn’t nearly as smooth, and the cookies were little more dense.
When Ms. Badertscher was informed of the findings, she remarked, “White Lily flour is still created using the same high-quality ingredients and procedures as when it was produced in Tennessee.
Comparison, however, is mostly irrelevant to many people in the South. When an 85-year-old Knoxville resident was spotted at a grocery shop with a bag of White Lily flour in her cart, she inquired as to whether it was superior to other flours.
She made a shrug. “I don’t know whether there are other nice flours out there because this has been my favorite for a very long time.
What distinguishes ordinary flour from White Lily flour?
Soft winter wheat, which contains less protein and gluten, is used to make soft wheat flour. It is the recommended kind of flour for quick breads, biscuits, and cakes. White Lily Flour is manufactured exclusively from soft wheat; hard wheat is never included.
What type of flour are used by chefs who bake?
Thank you for visiting Baking and Pastry Arts School Tips! We cover a variety of baking-related topics in these articles to help you eliminate some of the guesswork in the kitchen.
Baking, which involves transforming flour into tasty food, is both an art and a science and includes everything from bread to cookies to cakes. Depending on the type of baked dish, you might require a different sort of flour to make your mouthwatering creations. Flour helps give baked goods structure. Select the appropriate flour for your activity, and you’ll be well on your way to successful baking; select the incorrect flour, and you might be setting yourself up for failure. Knowing the various (and varied) varieties of flour and how to use them is the challenging part. We’ve put together this list of some of the most popular flours and their baking uses to assist you in telling the difference. Look them up!
- All-Purpose Flour – As the name suggests, this flour works well for almost anything! It is a blend of hard and soft wheat with a protein content of 10-12%. In a yeasted bread, this indicates that the flour is strong enough to maintain its structure, while in a layer cake, it means that the flour is light enough to make crumbs. All-purpose flour ought to be your go-to ingredient whether you’re baking delicate cupcakes or yeasted cinnamon rolls. All-purpose flour is what is meant when “flour” is called for in a recipe. It is the most adaptable of all the flours, albeit not always good for all uses.
- Bread Flour – Specially created for yeasted baking, bread flour (things like breads and pizza dough). Just under 13% of it is protein, which helps baked breads rise and produce more gluten. It is a highly robust flour that results in chewy crust. Advice: Unbleached all-purpose flour typically works well as a substitute for bread flour.
- Cake flour: When used in recipes, cake flour produces the lightest cakes with the flakiest texture. It has 6-8% protein and is manufactured from soft wheat that has been coarsely ground. Because there is no gluten present, cakes rise and turn out extremely fluffy. Cakes (of course), biscuits, muffins, and scones are just a few examples of the tender baked foods with high sugar content that cake flour is best suited for.
- Pastry Flour – Pastry flour has a low gluten level and is also made from soft wheat. Pie dough, biscuits, brownies, tarts, and numerous cookies can all benefit from pastry flour, which has protein levels between cake flour and all-purpose flour (8–9%) and achieves the right balance between flakiness and tenderness.
- Whole Wheat Flour: This flour is serious business. The entire hard red wheat kernel is ground to create it. It produces a more savory, dense baked item that is deeper in color, rich in wheat taste, and nutty. In recipes, whole-wheat flour is sometimes combined with all-purpose flour to minimize the strong wheat flavor and increase rise. It contains a higher fiber, nutritive, and fat content as well as a higher protein content (about 14%). Try using it in recipes for rustic, hearty breads. Advice: To prevent spoiling, store this flour in the refrigerator.
- A biscuit maker’s dream, self-rising flour has long been a Southern staple. Salt and baking powder have been added to this softer, 8.5% lower-protein flour. The most tender biscuits, muffins, pancakes, and various cakes can be made with it. Self-rising flour should be used within six months of purchase and should be stored tightly wrapped in its original box. After that time, the baking powder in the flour starts to lose its effectiveness.
- Oat Flour – Instead of wheat, oats are processed to make oat flour. This flour can be used in a wide range of recipes, but it does come with a warning: because it doesn’t contain gluten, it behaves differently from the other flours on this list. Oat flour must be combined with other flours in order for baked items to rise and hold together when used alone. The most popular uses for it are to make pancakes, cookies, and biscuits. Those who are allergic to gluten can alternatively use oat flour as a suitable replacement (just make sure the oat flour you are using was made from gluten-free oats and it was made in an environment free from gluten).
We made an effort to compile the most popular types of flour, albeit this is not a complete list of all the varieties available. We believe it will give you a better knowledge of the different flours and how they are used. Use your newly acquired knowledge to bake to your heart’s content right away. Have fun baking!