Baking up a storm

grains and hummus

This one’s for the bakers! Whether you’re an experienced master of the oven or a newcomer to the wild and creative world of baking, you’ll find great ingredients at Schmucker’s Fresh From the Farm.


It all starts with whole grains. More and more people are discovering the health benefits of ancient grains, organic heritage flours and alternatives to gluten, but these components are often hard to find in regular grocery stores. At Fresh From the Farm, you’ll not only find them in dazzling variety, you’ll also discover that they’re milled right in our own back yard!


We stock a range of grain products from K2 Milling, an artisanal miller in Beeton, Ont., and from Oak Manor, an organic flour mill near Tavistock, Ont. Here’s just a sampling:


If you love multigrain bread but don’t want to have to buy a bunch of flours to make it, try K2’s Multigrain Organic Artisanal Flour, a combination of wheat, rye, corn and barley that lends a nutty flavour and multigrain nutrition to cookies, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, waffles and crackers.


Baking a cake? Try Gold Finch Cake ’n’ Pastry Flour, a sifted flour blend that’s light in taste and texture, also great for pastries, cookies, pies and simple flatbreads.


Got a bread machine? K2 has a great blend for you, too: Frederik Unbleached Bread Machine Flour. It’s organic, like all the grains listed here.


Some bakers swear by heritage wheat varieties for delicious bread that replicates the healthy, gut-friendly product of days gone by, like Red Fife. K2’s organic Red Fife flour is brownish white with a slight red tinge.


Red Tail whole-wheat flour makes a great substitute for white flour, producing a strong dough that works well in breads, sourdoughs, and other leavened baked goods.


Maybe what you’re after is a pizza crust that tastes like it came straight from Napoli. Try the Pizza Light Artisanal Organic Flour, a blend of hard spring wheat and soft white winter wheat that produces a light, crispy thin crust. Yum!


Spelt flour (organic, of course) is a great high-fibre wheat alternative, which is easier to digest though it does contain some gluten. It’s nutty and slightly sweet, and can be substituted for wheat flour in both yeast breads and quick breads.


Another alternative is Oak Manor’s oat flour, which is excellent for those on gluten-free diets; it’s slightly sweet and great added to baked goods or used as a thickener for soups and gravies. Gluten-free bakers will also find corn grits, corn flour and corn meal, and brown rice flour.


We also stock light and dark rye flours, various all-purpose flours and unbleached wheat flours in large-quantity bags up to 20kg. And you can bring your flour containers from home and we’ll fill them for you and reduce the packaging that ends up in landfills.


Add to that the touch of sweetness every baker craves! We offer a variety of fair-trade and organic cane sugars, Camino organic fair-trade chocolate (semi-sweet chips, bittersweet, unsweetened, cocoa powder), blue agave syrup, coconut nectar, organic molasses and more.


And while you’re at it, pick up some of the pantry basics: Red Mill baking soda and baking powder, yeast flakes, gelatine powder, tapioca or corn starch, and organic vanilla extract or vanilla beans, for that rich, authentic flavour.


If just thinking about all that scratch baking has you worn out, you’ll even find some baking mixes at Fresh From the Farm! Try our pancake mixes (quinoa, ancient grains, or buttermilk protein); muffin mix (ancient grains) or cookie mix (oatmeal or ancient grains). Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?


Stop by Fresh From the Farm for lots more ideas on our grocery shelves, and enjoy the spring baking season!