Ask Evan: What is patent flour?

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Every Tuesday I answer a question from a Good Food listener. You can email me a question, leave one on Facebook or add one in the comments section here. This week’s question comes all the way from Barbara in Duchess County, New York:

Evan, I listen to you every week on the good food podcast. What can you tell me about patent flour? I had a Irish soda bread that had it listed in the ingredients and the bread was wonderful. Is it really any different than regular? And have you ever worked with it yourself?

Patent flour was so named back in the day to differentiate it from flours that were adulterated with non-grain and inferior grain powders.  It was “patented” by the miller.  You don’t need to worry about such things today with such a variety of high quality flours available to us.