The market is hot for specialty grains and flours. For one, Bay State Milling Company has partnered with renowned chef, master baker and educator Ciril Hitz to put its HealthSense High Fiber Wheat Flour through the paces of artisan baking. HealthSense flour is an innovative wheat flour that delivers more than 10 times the amount of dietary fiber found in traditional wheat flour, through naturally occurring resistant starch found in the wheat endosperm. This type of fiber is different than bran; it functions and tastes like white flour, and the resistant starch fiber helps keep blood sugar levels steady and your gut microbiome healthy. Learn more in this video.

Bay State Milling recently announced the relocation of its Woodland, California, specialty grain milling facility. The move to a new site in Woodland provides for a significant increase in space over the operation’s former building. The additional area allows ample room for enhanced capabilities in support of customer needs and new product introductions. At its core, the move enables the growth of the company’s Partner Sourced Ingredients program with a significant increase in storage including dedicated areas for gluten-free and organic plant-based ingredients. “We continue to build upon a national network for specialty milling and blending to serve the growing consumer demand for unique and innovative plant-based ingredients,” says David Sachs, vice president and general manager of Mini-Milling and Blending.

Others are working hard to invest in education. Central Milling recently launched its new Artisan Baking Center in Petaluma, California, a first-class boulangerie. The farmer, baker, miller partnership is integral to success at Central Milling, based in Logan, Utah, which has been in continuous operation since 1867. “Central Milling is quite successful because we live by the farmer, miller, baker model rigorously,” Central Milling’s Nicky Giusto says. “We believe that one cannot exist without the other. In short, we listen to the baker’s wants and needs.”

Ardent Mills features The Annex by Ardent Mills, a team of experts dedicated to bringing a broad portfolio of plant and specialty grain innovations to the industry, including ancient and heirloom grains, pulses, barley and organic products available in unique formats such as crisps and Individually Quick Frozen grains, perfectly cooked and ready for culinary inspiration. With farmer relationships, custom growing and identity-preserved programs, The Annex is dedicated to bringing tomorrow’s specialty grains and plant-based ingredients, today.

In the Pacific Northwest, Cairnspring Mills is banking on high demand for specialty flours that are 100% traceable and made from identity-preserved wheats. Opened in 2017, Cairnspring Mills in Burlington, Washington, specializes in European-style specialty bread flours that contain more wheat bran and germ for deeper flavor, says Kevin Morse, chief executive officer.

The multiple-year project involved a trip to Scandinavia where the partners worked with a milling company to develop a roller mill/stone mill hybrid. Cairnspring Mills has a capacity of 5-6 million pounds of flour per year, focusing on serving smaller bakeries that use between 500 pounds and 1,000 pounds of flour per week. San Francisco’s acclaimed Tartine Bakery is their largest customer, Morse says.

Their milling process involves multiple steps: tempering the wheat, a roller break, then to the stone mill, and finally a sift at the end prior to the finished flour. “We choose a combination of roller and stone milling because of the way the stone incorporates the wheat germ into the flow and incorporates those flavors into the finished product,” Morse says. “By using a roller mill, it essentially doubles our capacity to 1,200 kilograms per hour.” Looking ahead, Morse said the partners in the business aspire to build more mills once they work through the inevitable cycles of building a profitable business model. “Our idea of getting bigger is making bigger mills,” he said. “We want to find new places with local communities where there is a need.”