Tuesday, January 6, 2009
A Note about Flour
For a couple of years now I have been using unbleached, unbromated flour - both all-purpose and bread flours. Many recipes recommended it, and in my baking classes, that is what we used. It just sounded better to use something that didn't have anything in common with laundering socks and underwear. Well, I ran across another reason while reading a new book, Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating by Ari Weinzweig. Apparently, bromate is added to some flours in order to save time between the milling process of the flour and when it can be shipped out. Bromate speeds up the maturation process of the flour, so it can be shipped out of the factory with a day of milling, rather than the typical two or three weeks. So by adding bromate, producers save both time and money. But at what cost? Apparently, bromate has been found to be a potentially cancer-causing agent. And even worse, most countries in the Western World have banned bromate except the United States.