Baker's Corner All-Purpose Flour, "Flour is raw. Please cook fully before enjoying." October 2020.
observations

Did You Know That Flour Is Raw?

I recently found out I’m allergic to yeast, both brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast. Not gluten, not wheat, which is great, but pretty much everything made of wheat is likely to have yeast in it. That means lots of careful label reading.

Did you know saltine crackers and numerous “flat” breads have yeast in them? Why? They’re flat. Yeast fluffs up baked goods. There doesn’t seem to be a need to add yeast to these non-fluffy foods. Indeed, Ritz crackers don’t contain yeast, using baking soda as a leavening agent, proving that yeast isn’t necessary in crackers.

Now that I’ve gotten the all-clear on wheat and gluten, of course I want bread. Because I can’t find any store-bought bread without yeast, I’ve turned to my kitchen to make my own.

I vaguely remember hearing about soda bread, which I thought was yeast-free. A little internet research brought me a number of soda bread recipes, but I turned to [gasp!] a traditional cookbook, called “How to Bake” by Nick Malgieri, within our home library and found a recipe for Irish soda bread at the very beginning of the book, along with a number of other quick bread, non-yeast recipes. (Zucchini, pumpkin, and banana bread, here I come!)

"How to Bake" by Nick Malgieri.
“How to Bake” by Nick Malgieri.

With just a few ingredients, flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and milk (dairy-free for me), I could whip up a loaf of soda bread in very little time.

As I was scooping flour to make the recipe, a notice on the bag caught my attention.

“Flour is raw. Please cook fully before enjoying.”

Baker's Corner All-Purpose Flour, "Flour is raw. Please cook fully before enjoying." October 2020.
Baker’s Corner All-Purpose Flour, “Flour is raw. Please cook fully before enjoying.” October 2020.

We had another brand of flour in our pantry and it has the same sort of label, so this wasn’t brand specific.

There’s a story here, isn’t there? Probably involving a lawsuit over someone eating raw flour. Likely they didn’t consume just a bit but a significant amount, enough to make them sick.

Seriously, who thinks to eat raw flour? The mouth-feel alone ought to make people want to spit it out. Unless maybe an infant or toddler got into a bag of flour. But infants and toddlers don’t typically know how to read, so this label would be lost on them.

This is a label that needs to enter the annals of “Stating the Obvious,” although props for making it a polite label with the use of the word “please.”

As per flour bag and recipe instructions, I fully cooked my Irish soda bread. Here’s how it looked when it came out of the oven. It is dense and delicious. Much better than eating raw flour.

Loaf of Irish soda bread made from recipe in "How to Bake" by Nick Malgieri. October 2020.
Loaf of Irish soda bread made from recipe in “How to Bake” by Nick Malgieri. October 2020.

2 thoughts on “Did You Know That Flour Is Raw?”

  1. Weird warning, but as I thought about, it occurred to me that people do eat uncooked flour when they taste their cookie dough (which also contains raw eggs). Maybe some people like the taste of uncooked bread dough too?

    1. Hi, Kathy – Yes! Remember licking the beaters with cake batter as a kid? That was before the warnings about eating raw eggs. And now there are raw flour warnings. It’s likely that a lot of people are willing to taste raw dough no matter what the recipe. Human beings are just too curious. 🙂

      Mary

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