Frequently Asked Questions

What is soft wheat flour?

Soft winter wheat is a variety of wheat that has a low protein content and low gluten content. It is the type of flour recommended for cakes, biscuits, and quick breads. White Lily flour is lower in protein content because the soft wheat is pure-- not blended with hard wheat. Hard wheat has a much higher protein content and gluten content.

Can I substitute White Lily® flour for recipes using other all-purpose flours?

White Lily® can be substituted for other all-purpose flours. However, White Lily Flour is lighter, so more flour must be added. For every cup of flour in a recipe, use 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of White Lily Flour. The weight of White Lily Flour will be the same as the weight of other all-purpose flours. Since bags are packaged by weight, you will get the same number of portions from White Lily Flour as other flours.

How can I use Plain Flour in recipes recommending Self-Rising Flour?

Simply add 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup of flour.

How can I use Self-Rising Flour in recipes recommending Plain Flour?

This is more difficult since the baking powder is already added in self-rising flour. If a recipe calls for plain and you have self-rising, check the amounts of leavening in the recipe. If the recipe has less than 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, then it is not possible to substitute self-rising flour in the recipe.

What type of flour is best for the bread machine?

White Lily® Bread Flour is ideal to use in any bread machine. Bread flour is made with hard wheat flour which has a high protein and high gluten content. Yeast breads require high gluten to form air pockets to make bread rise high and light.

What is bromate?

Several years ago, potassium bromate was used in bread flour as a dough conditioner, which made the dough easier to knead. Because of health risks associated with the substance, we do not add potassium bromate. Instead, White Lily Bread Flour uses Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) as a dough conditioner.

How long can I store flour and cornmeal?

To ensure that you are always buying the freshest possible product, we stamp all our bags with a code date on the side of the bag. White Lily products are considered fresh until the date on the bag. For fresher flour and cornmeal, refrigerate or freeze in an airtight container. Allow flour and cornmeal to come to room temperature before use.

What does "bolted" mean on flour packages?

Bolted means that it is sifted through a fine sieve or screen.

What's the difference between white and yellow corn meal?

The only difference between white and yellow corn meal is the color of corn used when it was ground. White corn meal is ground white corn, and yellow corn meal starts with yellow corn. They are interchangeable in recipes. Historically, white corn meal is preferred in the South and yellow is preferred in Texas and the rest of the U.S.

What's the difference between batter and breading for fish?

Batters are liquid mixtures of flour, eggs and milk or water. Breadings are dry ingredients used to coat fish such as cracker crumbs, bread crumbs, flour or corn meal. Usually the fish is dipped into an egg mixture and then into the dry mixture. Batters tend to result in a thicker, breadier coating after the fish is fried. Corn meal breading is the favorite way to prepare Southern favorites like catfish and crappie.

Which varieties of apples are best for baking?

The best apples for baking are the ones that hold their shape and don't turn to mush when heated. An easy rule of thumb is to think green. Two of the most widely available cooking apples have green skin: Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. Ideal for all kinds of baking, Granny Smith apples have a crisp tart flavor and Golden Delicious have a more floral taste. Rome Beauty, available in the fall, is a red variety that is also good for baking.

How can I keep over-ripe bananas for baking if I can't get to it right away?

Over-ripe bananas are great for baking because they have lots of sweet flavor and a soft texture. You can easily keep them on hand in the freezer. Simply take the bananas out of their skins and seal them in a plastic bag and place in the freezer. They'll keep for months. Then, whenever you want to make your favorite banana bread all you have to do is defrost as many as you need, mash them, and proceed with your recipe.

Dried fruits are difficult for me to chop. Is there any easy way?

Cutting dried fruits with a knife is difficult because the fruits are so sticky. We find that kitchen shears come in handy for this task. It's easier to snip the fruit into uniform pieces because the scissors' motion keeps the fruit from sticking. Periodically dip the scissors' blades in water while snipping the fruit. Bits of dried fruits add lots of flavor to baked goods like muffins and quick breads.

How do I season an iron skillet to keep food from sticking?

An iron skillet will never wear out, but you need to treat it right by "seasoning" it which prevents rust and keeps food from sticking. To season iron cookware, rub it (inside and out) with vegetable oil or shortening. Place it in a 350 degree F. oven for one hour. Remove from the oven and wipe off the excess oil with a paper towel. To maintain the finish, clean cast iron using only hot water and a good stiff brush (never harsh detergents) and never wash it in the dishwasher. You may need to re-season it periodically. A well-seasoned skillet is a must for making crisp cornbread recipes.

Why do my cookies and biscuits brown too much on the bottom?

Sometimes cookies and biscuits will over-brown on the bottom because the oven temperature is too high. It's a good idea to check your oven calibration with an oven thermometer to verify the temperature. Over-browning also occurs when dark baking pans, which absorb heat, are used. It's best to bake cookies, quick breads and biscuits on shiny pans to prevent burning on the bottom.

What does "cut in" mean in a recipe?

"Cut in" means to distribute small chunks of a solid fat (butter or shortening) into flour before adding the liquid (usually milk or water). You do this using a pastry blender or two knives in a crisscross cutting motion. This technique is used when baking biscuits or pastry so they are tender and flaky. When the dough is baked, the fat melts in pockets which produces the flaky layers. You can recreate the flaky biscuits available at fast food restaurants by leaving the fat in larger pea-size chunks.

When a recipe says to caramelize onions, what do I do?

Caramelize onions by cooking them until they are deep golden brown in color and have a sweet, nutty flavor. You need to cook the sugar that is present in the onion until it turns brown, or "caramelizes." The object isn't to burn them, but to brown them slowly. To do this, cook the onions in butter or oil over low heat for at least 15 minutes. The sweet onions will add new depth and style to many recipes, even traditional southern cornbread.

I have an old recipe that calls for "sweet milk." What is that?

Sweet milk is simply fresh milk, not buttermilk. It's an old-fashioned Southern term commonly used to distinguish between the two in the days before refrigeration, when people churned their own butter and always had buttermilk on hand. Sometimes, it's preferable to bake using "sweet" milk when there are other strongly flavored ingredients, such as sharp Cheddar cheese.

Do you have the recipe for....?

Many requests are received each year for recipes using White Lily products. Some of the most requested recipes are included in our recipes section.