COVID19 Q&AS for further information.
Wheat growing in the field is naturally exposed to a wide variety of potential germs, and as such we recommend to always cook items made with raw flour before eating them. We would advise against eating raw dough or batter and would not recommend giving play dough made with raw flour to children.
The majority of the wheat we use is sourced from local farmers in Essex. We also source UK wheat from farmers in Suffolk, Kent, Sussex and Hertfordshire.
We import higher protein wheat from outside the UK, such as Canadian Western Red Spring wheat from Canada.
Our organic wheat is sourced from throughout the world to achieve a similar quality and performance to our conventional range.
Stoneground wholemeal flour is made in the traditional way – using our hundred year old horizontal French Burr stones – rather than the roller milling process.
Strong flour is produced from hard wheat varieties, which have higher protein contents than plain and self raising flour. Strong flours can be white, wholemeal or malted. The high protein (gluten) content of strong flour ensures dough rises well and that it keeps its shape once it has been baked.
We recommend using our Very Strong 100% Canadian White flour for pizza and pasta making due to its high protein content.
None of Marriage’s flour is bleached – it is illegal to bleach flour in the UK.
Plain flour is for general baking and cooking. It can be white, brown or wholemeal. It is an all-purpose flour so can be used for pastry, batters, pancakes, biscuits and thickening sauces.
Self Raising flour can be white, brown or wholemeal flour, and has baking powder added. Self Raising flour is used for baking where a cake needs to rise – for example in recipes for scones, muffins and cakes.
We add some ingredients to our flour out of legal necessity or to provide benefit to bakers using our flour. Below are a list of things we add and the purpose they serve.
· Calcium, Iron, Thiamin, Nicain – known as the statutory additives from the Bread and Flour Regulations (1998), these are required by law to be added to white and brown flours (but not wholemeal flours). This is to bring these flours up to the same nutritional composition as wholemeal flour.
· Sodium Bicarbonate, E500 (Raising Agent) - added to self-raising flours to provide lift for cakes, scones and muffins.
· Calcium Phosphate, E341(i) (Raising Agent) - added to self-raising flours to provide lift for cakes, scones and muffins. Used with Sodium Bicarbonate (E500) to balance its acidity.
· Alpha-Amylase (Flour Treatment Agent) – added to bread flours as a processing aid for bakers and home-bakers, it boosts the level of natural alpha-amylase in the dough, which in turn boosts gas production and gives a well risen loaf. Alpha-amylase is the main enzyme that acts on starch in the flour to convert it to sugar which is the yeast’s food. Alpha-amylase is added to all our bread flours except Chelmer White.
· Ascorbic Acid (Flour Treatment Agent) – vitamin C, added to some of our 16kg sack flours to help bakers develop the gluten in the dough within shorter bakery processes. Home bakers may also see bread machine recipes asking you to add a vitamin C tablet for the same reason.
· Gluten – gluten is naturally present within wheat flour. Whilst we use quality Class 1 and 2 bread wheats even for our Plain and Self Raising flours, to even out finished flour protein levels and allow for natural quality variance within the wheat supply from season to season, if required we add a small amount of vital wheat gluten, or organic vital wheat gluten to some bread flours.
· The last organic wheat harvest has had low proteins, therefore we are adding additional gluten.
Labelling of Flour and Flour Ingredients
In 2014 the Food Information Regulations were implemented. This meant that some previously undeclared ingredients were now required to be declared on consumer packs, such as the flour statutory additives.
The protein content refers to the amount of gluten that can be formed using the flour. Gluten provides structure and aids the texture of your bread or cake. Gluten helps create structure and determine texture in your final baked good. Higher protein flours are normally recommended for bread making and cake making flours have lower protein contents.
The Red Tractor logo is an assurance that our products have met the Red Production assurance standards and are of a UK origin.
Marriage’s mill two Organic Light Brown cake flours (Plain and Self Raising). These used to be called our ‘81%’ flours as they contain about 81% of the original wheat grain; we mill white flour, and then add some of the fine bran and wheat germ from the same wheat back in. This means that these flours retain the flavour of wholemeal but are as easy to use as white flour - without the leaden texture you can sometimes get when baking using wholemeal cake flours.
Our white flours have a best before by period of 9 months and our wholemeal flours have a 6 month best before by date.
No, it is not necessary although some recipes recommend doing so in case flour has settled whilst being stored and transported, or to remove any impurities.