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FAQ (OLD)

GENERAL

 

I saw something in your store but can’t find it online. What gives? 

We pride ourselves on being a brick and mortar shop first and as such don’t always have enough of a particular item to sell it online. Other times a manufacturer won’t allow us to sell something online. Feel free to give us a call and ask if there was something you can’t find on the site that you think we carry.

Do you offer classes/events?

We have events and advertise them on the website and through our mailing list. We used to have on-site classes and plan on starting those back up at some point but we’ve been holding off because of this darn pandemic!

Do you host private events? 

Contact us about this one directly. We do this sometimes on a case by case basis.

Would you donate to my event/cause?

We wish we could donate to everyone that asks, but unfortunately that just isn't realistic. We do make donations to events and causes that we've chosen ourselves, and always feel free to ask!

Why are you so awesome?

Thanks. We were born this way.

Are you hiring?

We are always looking for good people to join our team! We are always looking for great people to join our team. Send us a line at info@elmendorfbaking.com

 

THE CAFE

 

Do you have indoor seating/WIFI?

Yes, we have a few tables inside to enjoy your cafe treats. We do have WIFI but we don’t think of ourselves as a place to spend the entire day studying so it’s limited to an hour. We also ask that if you do use your laptop that you share your table if it's busy. And hey, maybe you'll make a new friend!

Why don’t you have more gluten-free options???

It’s the darn grain mill! We’ve got so much flour floating around the shop that it’s not really possible for us to offer celiac-friendly options. Sorry!

Can you make this vegan?

We’re often able to adjust sandwiches to make them vegan if asked. We also carry a full line of alternative milk options for our drinks.

 

GRAIN AND FLOUR

 

Do you really mill flour right there!?

Yup. Pretty cool right? We’ve got a stone mill in the back of our shop.

Do you offer a bulk grain discount?

We do! We offer discounts on un-milled grain (berries) depending on quantity. Give us a call at 617-945-0045 or email us at info@elmendorfbaking.com and we’ll spell out the details.

I need a large order!

We can usually accommodate larger orders with a bit of advanced notice. Give us a call and we’ll let you know how long it will take. We recommend double checking if you’re looking for more than 5# of a particular flour.

Do you offer wholesale?

We do! Give us a call at 617-945-0045 or email us at info@elmendorfbaking.com and we’ll get you a list. Given our size and the small batch nature of our business it may not always be possible to add new accounts. But that’s kind of what makes our flour great.

How fresh is my flour?

Really fresh! We mill for our online orders once a week and ship them out as fast as possible. At the shop we mill in small batches to make sure we’re keeping things as fresh as we can.

Can you mill a custom specification?

We do this at the shop for small orders but we can’t do it for online orders at this point. Sorry!

Do you sift?

Not really. We do sift some of our flour lightly when we think the bran is getting in the way of functionality. This is the case for our spelt and pastry flours where the soft grain means the bran breaks off in extra large pieces. We think this gets in the way of delicate pastries and therefore sift it lightly to take out the largest pieces of bran. It’s still very high-extraction flour (90-95%). Generally we prefer the flavor of whole flours so that’s what we specialize in.

How should I store my grain/flour?

We recommend storing your grain/flour in the freezer if possible. It will last for quite a long time this way. The freezer will also deter flour-loving bugs. It will, however, keep at room temperature for up to 3 months or longer depending on the climate. The flour does taste best the sooner you use it though!

Can I replace my normal white flour with your fresh-milled flour?

Yes and no. White flours are very sifted, representing just a portion of the original grain. Whole flours like ours include all that flavorful bran and germ that white flours have taken away. Because of all that delicious bran and germ a baked good made with whole flour may be denser than something made with white flour. For that reason it sometimes makes more sense to replace just a portion of the white flour depending on the recipe. For example, if you have a recipe for a lofty sourdough using white flour, replace 10%-50% of that white flour with our flour for flavor without losing the open crumb!

At the shop we make plenty of baked goods using 100% of our flour with great success. We find that muffins, scones, certain breads and denser cakes like carrot cakes tend to take well to our flour. We wouldn’t go 100% with lighter preparations like angel food cakes or croissants. 

If your recipe calls for whole wheat flour, you can replace it 1:1 with our flour!

Why don’t you offer an AP flour?

While we appreciate the concept of AP flours we think it’s a bit inaccurate to call any flour “all purpose". The truth is all these flours are different and best suited for specific uses. Some are better for bread and others for pastries. We just think there’s no flour that’s perfect for everything. 

The stuff at the supermarket is very sifted and kind of works okay for a lot of things, which is beneficial for consistency, although you sacrifice flavor. We’re hoping you’ll find that you can make all your bakes a bit better with a specific flour suited for your needs.

Okay, so how do I adjust my recipes for fresh-milled flour?

This is a complicated question! It really depends on which flour and which recipe. Sometimes the flour is extra thirsty and needs more water, other times it needs less! What an annoying answer, right? We’d recommend seeking out books that take deep dives into this question as you get used to your new flour. We’d be happy to recommend some if you give us a call. 

Our basic go-to answer on this question is to ease this flour into your baking. If you’re replacing your normal whole wheat with one of our whole wheats, just go for it! Or if you're using a pastry flour to make something simple (for example, muffins), there's no reason to not replace your flour 1:1! Make it the same way you always do and adjust the next time based on how the dough felt or performed. We generally find that fresh-milled flour likes about 10% added moisture.

If you’re using our flour instead of white flour try replacing only a portion the first time. Say, 20-25%. That will help you get used to the flour while still maintaining some of what you're used to. The next time go higher! 

Most importantly, have fun. This flour is far more vibrant and flavorful than the common stuff, but it’s also more variable. That's what makes it fun. Adjust to the flour, don’t expect it to adjust to you!

 

BAKING EQUIPMENT & TOOLS

 

How do I clean this?

That depends on the product. We recommend going directly to the manufacturer's website for individual cleaning instructions. Preferably before you throw something in the dishwasher!

What’s the best way to stop my bread from sticking to this banneton! 

We love rice flour. It has a higher burning point than wheat flours and also reduces sticking. Go liberally, you can always brush or blow it off later.

Do I need a liner for my rattan banneton?

Nope! Most people like the lines you get from these types of bannetons. That said, you can use a liner if you prefer. We like the linen ones or flour sack dish towels.