Bob's Red Mill Baking Book


By John Ettinger

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This invaluable baker’s resource provides home bakers with delicious ways to use whole and other healthful grains and flours to suit their dietary, allergic, and basic baking needs. Including new and traditional recipes, and featuring a collection of recipes from prominent bakers and chefs, Bob’s Red Mill Baking Book allows bakers to take full advantage of the healthful benefits of whole grains. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods was founded in 1978 and has become a multimillion-dollar business with international distribution. Inspired by a commitment to whole grain nutrition, Bob and Charlee Moore started their business with a mission to support the health and well-being of people in their community. But the demand for healthy whole grains made their small northwest business grow nationwide. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods offers a diverse line of all natural and organic flours, cereals, meal and mixes for pancakes, bread, and soups. The company’s more than 300 products are available throughout the U.S. and Canada at all natural food and major grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill brand products may also be purchased by phone, mail order, or on the company’s website.


To my wife, Charlee Lucille Coote Moore, who plucked me from the food wilderness and patiently schooled me—meal after meal—in how to traverse the path of healthy eating with whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables. How she found and shopped in then-obscure natural food stores and made time for scratch baking and meal preparation to nurture our three boys and me remains a mystery. The fact that her ideas gave wings to a business making whole grain foods for every meal of the day—Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods—is certainly no mystery. It is a grand reality.
—Bob Moore
Few things in my life are better than cooking for a couple of young men I love, admire, and can never have too many hours with: my sons Andrew and Joseph.
Now eat boys, you look thin.
—John Ettinger

I teach bread baking at the largest culinary school in the world and every time I get a new class, we talk about the history of baking and milling. I tell them that Oliver Evans is often credited with inventing automated milling sometime around 1785, but he was just a link in a long lineage of anonymous millers who advanced the process from the early days of smashing wheat kernels with a stone, then on to grinding grain between stones, one of them moving while the other remained stationary. Later civilizations harnessed the energy of animals and humans to increase productivity until water and wind mills came along to move that big turning stone. Milling is a long and noble profession, I tell my students, just as is baking.
During the past twenty years or so, artisan bakers have gotten a lot of attention during what has been called an American bread revolution, while millers have received hardly any notice, except from the grateful bakers. What the majority of modern consumers do not realize is how interdependent bakers and millers are, a symbiotic team, the millers being the anonymous, behind-the-scenes players in an intricate drama that begins in the earth and ends in a loaf, a bun, a cake, cookie, muffin, scone, and on and on.
Millers and bakers are an inseparable team who cannot really survive, nor even exist, without the other. The miller is every bit as dedicated to the subtle nuances of transforming grain into flour as the baker is to transforming flour into dough. What Oliver Evans did when he automated his mill was to begin a process that made flour so affordable most people take it for granted and have little appreciation for what it takes for a kernel to grow, be harvested, threshed, tempered, ground, bolted, packaged, and delivered to one's kitchen—all for a few pennies per pound. Who among us truly appreciates how many kernels, precious seeds of life, it takes to make a cup of flour? If we did, we would probably guard every single seed as if our life, and the world, depended on it. And it does.
Of course, we also know that innovation did not begin nor end with Oliver Evans, and that milling advanced into the modern era with all sorts of new toys: huge roller mills and synchronized blowing and sifting systems; climate controlled storage silos; and automated packaging systems all designed to process tons of wheat into flour by the hour. Bakers, too, were presented with new options to increase their productivity via rotating ovens, huge, powerful mixers, conveyer ovens, and additives to speed fermentation and oxidize the dough in the oven to create maximum volume in minimum time. As our population grew and demand for inexpensive baked goods increased, bakers became even more dependent on their mills to supply them with large quantities of quality flour at a reasonable price. And thus were the masses fed.
Toward the end of the twentieth century, the glorious technology revolution spun off its own counter reformation, the artisan movement. We saw it in micro beers, in arts and crafts, in slow food movements, and without a doubt we saw it in bread and milling. There is an implicit assumption in the concept of artisanship that slow is better than fast, and that hand crafted is, in some qualitative manner, superior to mass produced. This is not always objectively provable but more of a subjective intuition, emerging from a basic human need called connectivity.
I cannot speak for everyone when I say this, but I get nervous when things seem to be happening too fast, a fear that I am going to lose touch with what is real and important. A nervous little voice wells up inside me, compels me to slow down, call a time out, or just simply connect with something that grounds me in the here and now. It is a natural impulse and, as such, yearns for natural images that connect me to long-valued traditions, deeply rooted memories, and honorable ways of life. I am drawn to song, dance, festivals, wholesome food, and bread made from freshly milled flour. I imagine the miller as an artisan, tending his turning stone, making sure it does not grind too quickly lest it heat up the kernels of grain and clog. I do not want to do away with technology and big mills and big bakeries that feed the masses, but I want to know that there still exist places that are of a human scale, that grind flour for me, that bake loaves for me, that through hand crafted processes and products I can sense and feel the effort of the earth, of nature, of creation, and of human hands that nourish and sustain me. I do want good products at reasonable prices, but I want even more. I want these products to be transparent, to reveal through themselves their very source, and in so doing, to connect me to it as well. By our very nature we cannot and will not abandon the old stone mill. It is an icon imbedded too deeply in our souls.
Peter Reinhart,
author of five books on bread baking,
including Brother Juniper's Bread Book and
The Bread Baker's Apprentice

A Letter from Bob Moore
Dear Folks,
You may be wondering, as you look at our recognizable Bob's Red Mill logo, whether or not there is, in fact, a real Bob. Well, of course I'm real. See, that's me at the top of the page! How could my wife Charlee and I have created the Red Mill in the first place if I weren't? If you're not convinced I'm real, come on down to the mill and I'll shake your hand and show you around.
Who ever heard of someone collecting grain milling machinery that was built 100 to 200 years ago, refurbishing it, setting it up in a modern sanitary environment, and then seriously going into the business of supplying natural foods to the world? Well, that's what I did! And it's been great fun, the most challenging and fulfilling thing I've ever accomplished, and it all started with my knack for tinkering.
My first love (besides my wife!) has been machinery. Even as a young lad, I loved to take things apart. From Mom's alarm clocks to Dad's cars, I "fixed" things. Charlee's passion was cooking good, wholesome food. From the moment we were married, she introduced me to health food stores where she bought the flours and cereals she used to prepare healthy meals for me, and soon, our three boys. Eventually, we put our two loves together, and in the early 70s, we created a stone-grinding flour mill and wholesale business that provides healthy, delicious foods to people around the world.
Of course, first I had to learn how to work our charming old stone mills. Through the formative years, I received a lot of help and inspiration by visiting more than fifty stone-grinding flour mills around North America and the British Isles. Some were derelict, some were museums, and several were still running. Early on, I discovered a wealth of information from old milling journals and books available at the Bancroft Library near San Francisco.
As an addendum to this story, we recently discovered a company in Denmark that has been manufacturing stone mills throughout the entire twentieth century. We not only have several of these fine machines running at Bob's Red Mill, but have sold a number of them to small bakeries around the United States. Will wonders never cease?
As you look through the recipes we've collected for you in this book, you will find use for many of the great-tasting grains we make and sell throughout the United States and Canada at many fine retail establishments. For years, our customers have brought their out-of-town relatives and guests to our picturesque and fully operating flour mill. They also send our products as gifts for special holidays and occasions. The recipients of these gifts have literally stuffed our letter files full of notes of praise and thanks for our unique, diverse, and nutritious products.
I hope you enjoy this collection of recipes from the family and friends of Bob's Red Mill, and truly enjoy whole grain goodness for every meal of the day. When you are in Portland, Oregon, come to the mill and see for yourself!
To Your Good Health,
Bob Moore

Bob's Red Mill: Who Are We?
Bob's Red Mill is dedicated to the manufacturing of natural whole grain foods in a traditional and timehonored way. Despite all the sophisticated technological knowledge and advancements of recent times, no modern machinery has yet been developed that grinds whole grains into flour quite as well as the flint-hard, quartz millstones quarried in France and used by discriminating millers for hundreds of years. At Bob's, our "well-dressed" (meaning sharpened) sets of millstones turn the highest quality grains into a finer consistency, better baking bread flour than any of the hammer mills, steel roller mills, steel buhr mills, or pulverizers ever made. These slow-turning millstones grind the bran, endosperm and germ (which contain nutritious wheat germ oil) into flour in a natural way. The result is a food that's more easily assimilated, healthier, and frankly, more delicious.
At Bob's Red Mill, huge, slow turning, 100-year-old millstones naturally grind together the bran, endosperm, and germ that contains the grain's nutritious oil without overheating it. This cool stone grinding process preserves valuable nutrients that are otherwise lost in conventional high-speed, high-heat milling when the oil in the kernel is exposed to excessive temperature. The heat causes the fat from the germ to oxidize and much of the vitamins to be destroyed. Real stone grinding mixes the germ, its precious oil, and finely ground bran throughout the flour without over-processing or heating it, making for a more easily digested and healthier food.
At Bob's, we mill all common grains (and many unique grains, as well) into the healthy flours and meals (36 different baking flours alone) appearing in the recipes throughout this book, but we also blend a large array of unique cereals, pancake and waffle mixes, bread mixes, and muffin and quick bread mixes. We are continually adding to this list, making our product line of natural, organic, and gluten-free whole grain foods the most varied and complete in the industry.
Our milling staff proudly showing off the source of Bob's Red Mill's uniqueness—stone ground whole grain products.


It was Bob's wife, Charlee, who had introduced the family to wholesome natural foods. Her desire to make healthy alternatives was the start of what would become Bob's Red Mill. At the time, the Moores were living on a five-acre farm in California with their three pre-teen sons, growing their food and canning for the winter. Bob was always interested in how things work, and because of Charlee's interest in whole grains, he wanted to know how the different milling processes were done. One day, Bob came across a book that would change his life: John Goffe's Mill, by George Woodbury, told the story of a young man and how he restored his family's old stone grinding flour mill in Bedford, New Hampshire. After reading it, Bob knew that milling would become his life's work.
Bob began a nationwide search for the French-quarried millstones legendary the world over, but only a few of them survived the industrial revolution. In the late 1800s, high-speed steel roller mills had ushered in a new era of mechanized manufacturing, the result of which was the creation of white flour devoid of wheat's important bran and germ. That fast-paced, high-volume process ended the need for the slow-turning stone mills that had, for centuries, supplied the world with whole grain flours. But Bob persisted, and managed to locate a set of 100-year-old millstones from an old water-powered flourmill in North Carolina. Soon after, Bob's first mill commenced grinding in Northern California. Many of Bob's most popular mixes today, like his 10-Grain Pancake Mix and Date Nut Bran Muffin Mix, were created at that time.
Charlee doing what she does best—looking pretty and selling whole grains.
The above picture was taken early on when there were only eleven of us. What a wonderful thrill it has been building a successful, wholesome business from almost nothing to our present 140 employees working in a 165,000 sq.ft.facility.
After building the Northern California mill into a thriving business, Bob and Charlee sold the mill to their sons and moved to Portland, Oregon, to retire and study at a seminary. But soon after the move, the couple stumbled upon a derelict flour mill near historic Oregon City and Bob decided to come out of retirement. The couple purchased the mill and opened up their business. Their mission: grinding whole grains into flours, meals, and cereals, as well as blending whole grain mixes for sale in the greater Portland, Oregon area.
The story of Bob's Red Mill is one of continuous growth and perseverance. In 1988, the Oregon City mill was destroyed by fire. When asked by firefighters what he most wanted to save, Bob replied, "Save the mill stones." The rescue mission was successful and Bob and Charlee were able to rebuild their mill at a lakeside location in Milwaukie, Oregon using the refurbished millstones saved from the fire. Now utilizing three modern facilities totaling 165,000 square feet on six acres, with 135 employees working around the clock, Bob's Red Mill has become a multimillion-dollar business both milling and marketing whole grain natural foods throughout the USA and Canada. But despite the company's fast and tremendous growth, the product's uniqueness and quality remain the same: wholesome goodness and authentic and highly traditional milling techniques make Bob's Red Mill grains, flours, mixes and cereals simply the best.


At one time, all flour was ground on large, slow-turning millstones using a process that dates back to the days of ancient Rome. References to the importance of stone mills are even in the Old Testament, where we find: "No one shall take a hand mill or upper millstone in pledge, for he will be taking a life in pledge" (Deuteronomy 24:6). Just think: every time you eat a bowl of Bob's Red Mill whole grain cereal or a slice of whole grain bread, you're eating just like the Romans did centuries ago.
A stone mill grinds slowly. When this slower method is coupled with the highest quality wheat, it requires a modest premium price to produce, but the result is worth every penny. Stone mills gradually became obsolete thanks to mechanized steel-roller mills that could grind flour faster and cheaper. Today, there are products claiming to be stone ground whole wheat, and some of these products are offered at a price close to that of high-tech, mass-produced roller milled flour. Some milling companies label their flour as stone ground when they only flush their wheat rapidly through a stone mill and finish the grind on steel rolls. Others mill only a small percentage by stone and then blend it with roller milled flour. Only the flour produced on 100% millstones can rightfully and accurately be called "100% stone ground."
Mill stones. They have occupied my life for well over thirty years. I love their slow, quiet determination to turn out wholesome whole grain flours year upon year for decades without need of replacement. This shot was taken in our mill room. We operate eight milling machines, similar to the one behind me, 24 hours a day.
At Bob's Red Mill, huge, slow turning, millstones naturally grind together the bran, endosperm, and germ that contains the grain's nutritious oil without overheating it, thereby causing the fat in the germ to oxidize and become rancid, destroying some of its nutritious value. This cool stone grinding process preserves valuable nutrients that are otherwise lost in conventional high-speed, high-heat milling. Real stone grinding mixes the germ, its precious oil, and finely ground bran throughout the flour without overprocessing it, making for a more easily digested and healthier food.
For years, Bob has traveled the country searching for abandoned mills and successfully turning up stone mills of this age-old craft.

The Famous Quarries of Le Fert-sous-Jouarre

Imagine your car breaking down and the only repair person who knew how to fix it lived more than 100 years ago. If it weren't for yellowed milling journals and turn-of-the-twentieth-century repair manuals, Bob's Red Mill would be in the same predicament. Now transport yourself to Le Fert-sous-Jouarre, France, 40 miles east of Paris. This town was famous for its quartz quarries that produced buhrs (chunks of stone) perfect for millstone production. The porosity and hardness of this stone make it perfect for millstones. Buhrs, or chunks of stone, were delivered to the rough finishing yard for trimming. The stone was shaped, fitted, glued and banded by artisans. The igneous deposits there produced stone for millstones for the world's flour mills from at least the 1400s. The quarry still supplies stone for the Skijold Mills in Denmark. Because of the superiority of these mill stones, Bob's Red Mill uses many French Buhr Millstones that were hand cut and assembled in Le Fert-sous-Jouarre in the 1870s.

Bob's Red Mill Grain Primer
At Bob's Red Mill, we live, breathe, and (naturally) eat whole grains. We've made it our job and our passion to provide you with the finest grain products available anywhere, and to show you how to use and prepare them in the most delicious manner possible. When we talk about grains that are processed the old-fashioned way, we do so knowing that they comprise one of the greatest components of a healthy diet rich in vitamins, fiber, and protein, making them a perfect food.
But what, exactly, are grains? Simply, they are the seeds and fruits of cereal grasses, and the most nutritionally valuable of all foods. Cultivated for more than 10,000 years, grains comprise the most widely consumed food group the world over.
Hold a tiny grain in your hand and you'll be looking at a humble yet complex food consisting of many parts:
HULL—A grain's tough protective coating that is inedible and removed from most grains prior to grinding.
BRAN—Envelops and protects the kernel and germ during the reproductive process. The bran layer holds the moisture needed by the germ to sprout. Bran is rich in B vitamins and minerals and is one of the best and most available sources of dietary fiber. Unfortunately, it is totally milled away to make white flour.
GERM—Found at the base of the kernel. The germ contains the life force that sprouts with a new plant when the kernel of grain is sown. Germ is high in Vitamins E and B1, unsaturated fats, and protein. Bob's Red Mill is a major provider of pure wheat germ, which can be added to almost all cooking and baking as an excellent nutrition booster. You can even sprinkle it on ice cream, it tastes great!
Grain Anatomy
ENDOSPERM—The largest part of the grain kernel, consisting mostly of starch and protein. In the life cycle of wheat, the germ draws moisture from the bran layer to begin the sprouting process and draws its nutrition from the endosperm until the root grows sufficiently to bring nutrients from the soil and begin forming the mature plant. A wonderful little world all its own! Alas, this creamy white portion of the kernel is all that is left in white flour. Both the bran and the germ are milled away and replaced with a few chemical vitamins and minerals—a very sorry trade-off.
This description is similar in function to most all cereal grains from Amaranth to Wheat.
The Grind
Grains can be ground to several different consistencies, specifically for different purposes. At Bob's Red Mill, we create our products in the following grinds:
FLOUR—Grain that is slowly stone ground on buhr stones at very cool temperatures. Absolutely nothing is removed. All the bran and germ is reduced to a very fine flour consistency.
GRAHAM FLOUR—A slightly coarser whole wheat flour. Small quantities can be substituted in bread recipes for a coarser, crunchier effect.
MEAL—Grain that has been stone ground with the stones separated slightly to allow a coarser product. FARINA—Grains carefully milled into tiny granules, free from flour.
CRACK—Grains stone ground into larger pieces, free from flour.
STEEL CUT—A whole kernel of grain (oats, barley, wheat, etc.) cut into about three pieces by passing it through two rotating steel rolls configured to cut rather than grind the grain.
ROLLED OR FLAKED—Grain that has been infused with steam and rolled flat between two smooth rolls. The moisture from the steam keeps the grain from fracturing while it is being rolled and imparts a deep and delightful toasted flavor to the rolled grain.
GRISTMILLER—An artisan trained in the stone-milling tradition who is capable of setting, adjusting and operating a sharpened set of millstones to produce flour, meal, farina, and cracks.
MILLWRIGHT—The person who dresses or sharpens the stones and sees to the maintenance of these venerable machines. It takes many years to learn this trade to do it right. This skill is passed on to others by hands-on demonstration and guidance. We have several well-trained millwrights on our staff, including Bob himself. FRENCH BUHR STONES—The world's finest flint-hard quartz millstones, quarried in the region of La Fert-sous-Jouarre, France, since the early 1400s.
DRESSING THE STONES—The process, also called "sharpening," whereby mill picks or pneumatic chisels are used to periodically redefine the furrows and roughen the surface of a set of millstones.
Studies show, and the USDA recommends, that while we need about 48 grams of fiber a day for optimal health, most Americans only consume a small percentage of this recommendation on a daily basis. The answer to this problem is to fill your diet with the whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that will increase your intake of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber (found in wheat bran, and many fruits and vegetables) greatly benefits the digestive tract by helping to push along waste. Soluble fiber (fiber that dissolves in water) helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into the blood stream. Soluble fiber is found in oats and oat bran, dried beans and peas, barley, flaxseed, and nuts.
A study published in February 2003 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1 shows that men who eat just one serving of whole-grain cereal a day are as much as 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease, diabetes, or cancer than those who do not. The research, which began in 1982, involved information collected for twenty years from more than 85,000 doctors. The results were clear:
• The more whole grain cereal the men ate, the lower their risk of heart disease.
• The men who ate whole grain had a 28 percent lower risk of death due to heart disease, and a 23 percent lower risk of heart attack.
• The health benefits remained even taking into account other health factors, such as high alcohol intake, smoking, etc.
The Mayo Clinic recognizes the value of including whole grains into our diets. They note that consumers should look for whole grain products, and make sure the whole grain appears as the first ingredient listed. Here are some of the Clinic's recommendations for getting whole grains into every meal:


On Sale
Nov 7, 2006
Page Count
240 pages
Running Press

John Ettinger

About the Author

John Ettinger is the author of four cookbooks and a former food columnist for the Portland Oregonian. He’s teamed up with Bob’s Red Mill to write and create the more than 400 recipes in the Bob’s Red Mill Baking Book.

Learn more about this author