Reliable Flour, Reliable Recipes, Reliable Baking

With all our talk of baking powder on this blog, I feel I’ve neglected an equally important ingredient: flour! They go together quite well, each with their baking-related tasks. So, it seems time to put flour in the spotlight…at least this week.

The Reliable Flour Company, based in Boston, Massachusetts, began distributing pamphlet recipe books as early as 1899 and until at least 1920, possibly a bit later. The first in our collection is from 1904 (above), but we also have one from 1907 (Reliable Recipes: Number Two) and another from 1911 (Biscuit and Cakes, The “Reliable” Method). I’m not sure which came first, the name or the marketing idea, but kudos to whoever decided on “Reliable” as the company name. Other pamphlet titles include Some Puddings and Would You Like to Make Good Cake? 

The nice thing about baking is that is never goes out of style. Technology may change, recipes may alter, but there are always going to be good reasons for a chocolate cake, a pie crust, or a doughnut. It’s part of what makes flour such a staple. So, with fall in the air (at least in Blacksburg), it might just be time to pull some from the cupboard and see what autumnal baked goodies you can make (apple dumplings, for example?). Until next week, happy baking!


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