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Old 03-04-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Tiny flecks in flour?

I just opened a fresh bag of Oak Manor hard unbleached flour, which I purchased at Whole Foods about a week ago. I noticed some very tiny brown / gold flakes, extremely small and fine, mixed evenly into the flour. They are visible in the finished dough.

I have used the brand for years, but I can't say I remember ever noticing these specks, although given how small they are, it's possible that they were there all along. My King Arthur high gluten and 365 all purpose flour (both organic too), which I happen to have on hand also, do not have these flakes.

I'm a little concerned that they don't belong there. Are they weevil eggs? Or are they just some kind of wheat by-product that's supposed to be there? Anyone know if that's normal?

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Old 03-04-2009, 08:47 PM   #2
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I don't know for sure, but I would think if the flour is unbleached it would not be unheard of for there to be flecks in it. Hopefully someone will have a better answer than that for you soon.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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I hope you're right. But my King Arthur High Gluten and my 365 AP are also unbleached and I don't see these flecks in them.

I have only encountered weevils once before. I haven't seen anything that looks like a weevil and certainly nothing moving, but if these are eggs, then of course they wouldn't be moving. I'd basically need a microscope to identify them.

Given how evenly and universally they are distributed in the flour, I'm hopeful that they are not weevils.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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I found this excerpt on the internet:

Organic stoneground unbleached "white" flour is available (at least in the UK - don't know where PaddyL might be).
For example The Watermill (and scroll down a bit)

The 'organic' relates to the grain-growing, (and lack of chemical treatment) rather than the (stone) milling.
What's needed is to sift, sieve or 'bolt' the flour to take out the bran after stone milling, to make it "white" rather than "brown".
The flour should still be quite creamy (not least from the wheatgerm, and maybe even very slightly speckled from tiny specks of bran) . You wouldn't want it too "white".
I hope that this is what I am seeing...
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:48 AM   #5
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"Organic" doesn't mean anything in this context - how the wheat is milled does (ground and sifted). It sounds like what you are seeing are bits of the bran. I have those in my stone ground unbleached white and bread flours all the time.

Weevil eggs are too small to see - hatched weevils would be crawling around.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:12 AM   #6
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Thanks. I think that's my conclusion as well. I sent an e-mail to Oak Manor, so I'm sure they'll confirm one way or another. I'm retarding the pate fermante until friday night and baking the finished bread on Saturday, so I'm sure I'll have the answer before anyone eats it :)
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