Who Sells White Lily Self Rising Flour?

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What self-rising flour compares to White Lily’s?

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 change, 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 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.

Is White Lily flour the same as Martha White flour?

Even Garrison Keillor can become enthused at the mere mention of them, conjuring up images of grandma slaving away in the kitchen with a bag of White Lily always at the ready. The Martha White theme tune being played by Flatt and Scruggs at the Opry for the nth time

(According to Keillor, that song is “the Aristotle Considering the Bust of Homer of bluegrass jingles.” He states that his first Opry visit was so magical that, in honor of Martha White, he created Powder-milk Biscuits as a fictitious sponsor of his radio program “Prairie Home Companion.”)

and bring up the possibility of one taking over the other? lowered jaws vehement defenses a list of the many reasons why one is superior to the other.

Just how these Tennessee-based businesses, whose enmity stretches back to 1899, could put down their wooden spoons and collaborate beyond comprehension. Loyal users are reluctant to do so because of concern that one or both may be compromised.

“I become fervent about this. As a cuisine staple, it’s comparable to losing grits; it cannot be replaced, according to Nathalie Dupree, the founder of Rich’s School of Cooking in Atlanta. If you don’t have White Lily, you just can’t make a respectable caramel cake or white coconut cake. It would be a loss to everyone who possesses their grandmother’s caramel cake recipe.

The controversy began when the sale of White Lily and Dixie Portland Flour Mills Inc. by Tyson Foods to Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. raised antitrust concerns with the Federal Trade Commission.

In response to the FTC’s decision that Archer Daniels could not retain all of its flour holdings, the Decatur, Illinois-based company decided to put White Lily up for auction.

The 151-year-old family-founded White Lily was facing new ownership for the third time in 18 months. Only three months or so prior, Tyson had acquired White Lily as a byproduct of its acquisition of Holly Farms.

Ian Wilson, a former vice chairman of Coca-Cola who is currently bringing food companies together under the Windmill Corp. banner in San Francisco, was the successful bidder for White Lily. He had bought Martha White from E-II Holdings last October, making him the fourth person to own the property since the Williams family sold it to Beatrice in 1975.

The FTC, which is investigating the situation and isn’t expected to make a decision for a while, will now decide whether or not to approve the Martha White-Lily agreement.

Given the dominance of the two flours in the Southeast market, it would appear that the merger would increase rather than decrease FTC concerns. However, industry insiders stated that they believe the FTC’s main worry is grinding capacity.

Packaged “flour” has the ability to travel the entire nation, and in certain circumstances, it actually does. According to Mark Savo of Milling and Baking News, it makes more sense to view it as a national market.

The typical consumer was unaware of this, and most likely didn’t care, that the owners of their favorite flour firms were constantly changing. But this time, the prospective modifications went right to the kitchen instead of just the corporate headquarters.

Naturally, the side of the White Lily is where the concern is centered. Numerous Southern chefs, cookbook authors, and gray-haired grandmothers would rather relocate to New York City than give up on White Lily, the key to making biscuits that are mile high and melt in your mouth.

They claim that while Martha White is an adequate substitute for White Lily, it is still superior to all-purpose flour.

Technically, there is a distinction. Martha White is a mixture of hard wheat and soft wheat, making it slightly coarser and a bit more cream-colored than White Lily. White Lily is made exclusively of soft red wheat, which has less gluten than Martha White.

On her walk into a Knoxville Food City supermarket, Mrs. C.E. Jenkins states, “Can’t bake biscuits without (White Lily).”

However, the 77-year-old purses her lips and stomps her cane in response to the rumored merger. That would be really horrible. Don’t allow them to do that.

Meanwhile, Martha White executives in Nashville praise the merger as a magnificent union of two Tennessee businesses into one that is “large enough to take on the big boys,” such as Gold Medal and Pillsbury.

In regards to eliminating White Lily, just comment on how absurd that sounds. Why would you spend a lot of money—or comparatively much money—to purchase a brand only to discard it? Bobby Dale, who was “clever enough to marry the owner’s daughter” and has been president for almost all of that time, believes that if we purchase White Lily then discard it, we are crazy.

Sen. James Sasser, a Democrat who covers the entire state, has nonetheless submitted a letter to the FTC expressing his concern about the merger. Victor Ashe, the mayor of Knoxville, did the same, lamenting the probable loss of jobs with a little more reasonable prejudice.

The kind Dale replied right away, assuring her that only management will be laid off from White Lily, not its employees.

This proposed takeover has as many different perspectives on the conclusion as it does players, just like anything that is not over until it’s over.

Wilson, the man with the money, counters, saying: “It’s not really Martha White buying their brand. Two incredibly potent Tennessee brands are coming to Windmill. Nobody is more equal than anyone else.

What would Martha White’s theme song’s longtime singer and bluegrass icon Lester Flatt have to say about all of this? Would he sway in the afterlife? Or brag? The unknown. However, most people believe he would have to agree that the outcry is true to the Martha White adage, “Goodness gracious! Pea-pickin’ excellent, that is!