Co-op Blog

New & Notable: Cairnspring Mills – Fresh Flours from Local Grains

Attention Bakers and Bread Makers!

Cairnspring Mills Bulk Flours. I am truly pumped to have this uber-local food producer available at the Co-op. If you are a baker or bread maker, you really need to try these identity preserved flours and see the difference they make in your baking. Superb quality and very fresh, all are locally grown grains milled by Cairnspring Mill in Burlington, WA. (To learn more about the mill, their farmers and partners, please visit their website at

Organic Edison Bread & All-Purpose Flour: Ground from Organic Hard White Wheat grown in the Bow/Edison area. This is a type 85 flour, meaning it is ground from the whole grain with little extraction so it is higher in protein, germ, and bran than standard all-purpose flours. This results in more flavor and better nutrition in your baked goods. Soft yellow in color, it has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and makes exceptional breads and pastries. Protein 12%.

Organic Pacific NW Expresso Bread Flour: Ground from Organic Hard Red Wheat grown in the Skagit Valley and Eastern Washington. Like the Organic Edison, this is a type 85 flour, meaning it is ground from the whole grain with little extraction, so it is high in protein, germ, and bran. This flour has a soft brown color and a robust flavor well suited to rustic style loaves and sourdough bread. Why is it called “expresso”? That’s the wheat varietal. Protein 13-14%.

Valley Cream Pastry Flour: Ground from Cara Club Wheat grown right here in the Skagit Valley. This is a type 65 flour, which means some of the germ and bran are extracted to create a flour that is more refined. It is very finely ground for a soft, silky white flour that is perfect for waffles, scones, cookies, pastries and laminated doughs (think croissants and bear claws!) For a stronger gluten structure, blend with the Organic Edison. Protein 8%.

Book: America’s Test Kitchen Bread Illustrated. I’ve said before how much I love the cookbooks published by Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen. This award-winning title is by far the best bread book I’ve ever worked with. The first section of the book introduces you to the basics: tools, pantry items, mixing, kneading, rising, and some not-to-complicated science-y stuff. The recipes are arranged to help you master each technique in phases: quick breads, sandwich breads, pizza dough, and artisan loaves. You will also learn how to grow and maintain your own sourdough starter. After you master the techniques, you’ll use this book as a reference for years and years. Lots of beautiful photos and over 100 recipes.

by Jenny Sandbo

By: Jenny

JennyJenny is the Co-op's Category Manager, helping guide our selection of products to meet the evolving needs of our membership and community of food lovers. Jenny and her family maintain a small farm and love to spend time riding bikes, hiking, and of course, preparing and savoring delicious meals!