Bakers love Molini del Ponte: Sicilian specialty grains

Ancient grains are tastier, healthier, and more interesting to work with in general. Word of the bakers in the know! And they didn’t (only) tell us, they told one of the very specialized magazines of the world of flours: Bake Mag. They call it the specialty grain Reinassance and many of our friends are part of it. Can you guess the name of the grain variety they fell in love with? Tumminia, the Sicilian ancient grain traditionally used to make Pane Nero di Castelvetrano.

Craft bread baker Zachary Golper is another huge fan of the specialty grain movement, and loves to produce more interesting bread flavors. The 2019 James Beard Outstanding Baker finalist and owner of Brooklyn, New York, favorite Bien Cuit, scours the planet in search of interesting grains that produce unique and globally inspired flavors. “Right now, I’m getting durum flour from Sicily (Italy) from a third-generation miller,” says Golper. “It’s milled from an ancient variety of durum. It’s like a newfound love.”

Filippo Drago, the miller from Sicily, supplies the durum flour to the US market through specialty ingredients importer Gustiamo US, based in Bronx, New York. According to Gustiamo, Filippo Drago’s Castelvetrano flour is a blend of stone ground grains, made without any part of the grain kernel removed; all the grain’s bran, germ, and endosperm is skillfully milled into a beautiful homogeneous flour. The result is a flavorful flour that produces bread and baked goods with natural flavor hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

No wonder the passion for Tumminia flour is contagious. It even got all the way to Michigan. Remember that time we flew miller Filippo Drago and his trusted bakers to make Pane Nero with the Zingerman’s Bakehouse squad?

Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is another big fan of the flour, used to make its own Pane Nero. Drago is stone milling the organic durum wheat at his mill, Molini del Ponte. “What he makes is to standard flour as farmstead cheese is to Kraft singles. Its texture is coarse, the color is light, speckled yellow, and there’s a slight sweetness to it,” according to Zingerman’s. When used in baking, like the Pane Nero bread made by the bakers at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, it results in a dark brown loaf with a dense, compact crumb.

Read the full article on Bake: Leading bakers embrace new options of specialty grains and flours available.