A like arké.
When we talk about food and the processing needed to produce it, stone-ground flour is a real arké (from the old Greek ἀρχή: principle, origin). The technique of the stone mills is, in fact, one of the oldest methods in the transformation of wheat into flour. And today in the production of high quality flour. This is why I chose a stone-ground flour for the recipe of the soft peach cake.
White flour vs. wholemeal.
In Italy, after the end of the Second World War, people only heard the name of wholemeal flour, twisted their noses.
During, and immediately after the war, in the bread made with that flour there was everything, even pieces of wood of a couple of centimeters.
This is how the fortune of white flour begins at the disadvantage of the others that in a few years disappear from the homes of most Italians. It was a phenomenon destined to favour above all industrial flours. The whiteness of that flour symbolized the end of restrictions and poverty.
And bread, one central food of Italian food culture, becomes white.
No more wholemeal flours that remind us of what everyone wants to forget.
Food companies understand the potential of the fine and valuable flour, suitable for any preparation and increase production and marketing. With the large organized distribution, begins also the massive sale of bakery products of industrial type.
This is the final push that determines the definitive crisis of mills and traditional flour processing methods.
At what cost.
The damage was multiple.
We lost most of the ancient Italian mills. Their closure has changed the economy of entire territorial systems, especially in the mountains, contributing to the depopulation of many areas.
The massive production of 00 flour, which in Italy is the flour used to make bakery products such as bread and cakes, is white and very light, has encouraged unscrupulous people to introduce ingredients such as chalk powder, which contribute to the whitening effect. I don’t know what kind of flour you use, I often try sifting through the flour of the moment.
That’s how I stopped buying some.
The equation wholemeal flour equals good and white flour equals bad, it doesn’t work.
In fact, it may hide some pitfalls.
It’s the type of grinding, i.e. the process of obtaining the flour, that makes the difference.
Wholemeal flours should also be bought carefully: there are refined flours on the market to which bran has only been added later. In this way it isn’t a wholemeal flour.
My advice? Read carefully the composition on the package. And always look for a wholemeal wheat flour.
It’s true that white flour is the lowest in nutritional values compared to wholemeal and type 1 and type 2 flour, but if it is seriously produced it does not harm your health at all.
The goodness of a flour depends on the seriousness of the producer. If you know the mill and trust the miller, buy white flour too. There are still those who grind with love.
To prepare this dessert I used a type 1 stone-ground whole grain.
Peach cake is perfect for breakfast, merenda or to to invite your friends for tea.
Buona cucina, Monica
I love cooking and tasting always new recipes using in season fruits. And if you love fresh fruit like me, look at all my fruit recipes on the blog.
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Easy Peach Cake Recipe
for many slices
round mould diameter 30 cm
stone-ground flour, organic, type 1, 300 g
3 normal eggs
white yoghurt, 300 g
6 large spoons of brown sugar
6 g of baking powder
2 yellow peaches
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
In another mix egg yolks and sugar with a whisk, add yogurt and mix well before adding dry ingredients and stir.
Then, whisk egg whites and incorporate gently into the mixture stirring from top to bottom.
Butter or cover a baking pan with baking paper, pour the dough, add the peeled and chopped fruit, bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 35 minutes (try the wooden stick in the middle of the cake: if it comes out dry, it’s ready).