The Whole Grain Pioneer
Bob’s Red Mill Founder and President | Milwaukie, Oregon
The holy grail of flours and the nation’s leading manufacturer of organic, whole-grain, natural foods, Bob’s Red Mill continues to revolutionize home baking. Over the past four decades, founder Bob Moore and his team have carved a niche for stone-milled flours in the grocery industry, making high-quality whole-grain goods available to the masses at a reasonable price. See how it happened:
Bob’s Red Mill History:
1972- Bob establishes his first mill, Moore’s Flour Mill, in Redding, California. They sell stone-ground flours and cereals locally. After five years, Bob sells the business to his sons.
1978- Bob moves to Oregon City, Oregon, where he discovers an old commercial mill. Bob fixes up the turn-of-the-century mill, paints it red, and hires a few employees to help out. He calls it Bob’s Red Mill.
1982- Beginning with the Fred Meyer stores, Bob’s Red Mill products are carried by large grocery chains and distributors nationwide, making freshly milled grains widely available to consumers for the first time.
1985- The company releases its initial line of gluten-free products and is one of the first in the health food industry to do so.
1991- Bob’s Red Mill’s state-of-the-art milling, packaging, and distribution facility, now in Milwaukie, Oregon, is the first mill to build a separate gluten-free facility and offer specialty grains and cereals in retail-size packaging.
2000- The company distributes its first international products to Canada and South Korea, bringing whole grains to the world.
2003- They expand to open a Whole Grain Store and Visitors Center, restaurant and bakery, and cooking classroom a mile down the road from the Milwaukie headquarters to teach visitors how to use whole grains.
2005- U.S. Dietary Guidelines includes a recommendation for people to eat at least three servings of whole-grain foods daily. Everyone from Oprah Winfrey to the Today Show highlights Bob’s Red Mill products.
2008- Bob’s Red Mill expands to include more than 100 gluten-free products, including Almond Flour and Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, one of the first of its kind.
2010- On his 81st birthday, Bob surprises his 200 employees by creating an Employee Stock Ownership Program, making everyone an employee-owner
2018- Bob’s Red Mill celebrates its 40th anniversary.The mill sees more than 7,500 visitors for public tours yearly and offers more than 400 products sold in over 80 countries.
The Intrepid Baker
Erin Jeanne McDowell
Cookbook Author and Food Editor | North Bergen, New Jersey
Consider Erin McDowell the baking version of a fairy godmother. Only, instead of transforming mice and pumpkins into a horse and carriage, the cookbook author revamps humble banana bread into a triple-decker caramel-coated layer cake. With her cookbook, The Fearless Baker (Houghton Mifflin, 2017), Erin helps anxious bakers face their fears and enables them to mix their own creativity into their batters. “People think that baking is too science-heavy to really play with, but if you go into it with the right tools and information, a home baker can make any recipe suit their whim or fancy,” Erin says. Get a glimpse of Erin’s genius with her three ways to supercharge your plain Jane sheet cake.
Play with Shape: Cut the sheet cake in half and make a quick two-layer cake or use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out small pieces of cake to stack into mini layer cakes.
Add Freeze-Dried Fruit: Freeze-dried berries and fruits bring intense flavor and a burst of color to cake without affecting the texture. Stir right into the batter or frosting to bring in that fruitiness.
Make It a Poke Cake: Take a cue from tres leches cake or the retro Jell-O cakes of old. Prick holes all over your cake, and pour over a thick liquid (think something with the viscosity of syrup) to introduce a creamy texture and a new flavor. Try honey, sweetened condensed milk, or dulce de leche.
The Cookie Queen
Cookbook Author | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sarah Kieffer’s Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies are internet-famous. They went viral last fall thanks to a New York Times article that had bakers everywhere trying her method: lifting and dropping the pan as the cookies bake. This action creates oversize cookies with crispy edges and gooey centers.
THE BIG BANG:
When I was 15, I banged my first pan out of frustration because my cookie dough wasn’t spreading. It created the perfect cookie with pretty little ripples on top. I’ve been banging pans ever since.
HOW TO DO IT:
Ten minutes into baking, lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 inches, and gently let it drop down against the oven rack so the edges of the cookies set and the insides fall. Repeat several more times every few minutes. When your cookies are ready, the edges will be golden brown and the lighter centers not fully cooked.
WHY YOU SHOULD:
It’s incredibly easy and therapeutic. If you’re having a frustrating day, there is something satisfying about just letting a pan drop. Find the recipe on my website, and see for yourself.