ENTERPRISE — Similar to the 11 herbs and spices in Kentucky Fried Chicken, Joe Minick won’t reveal the seasoning in the flour being sold by the Hoffman Grist Mill.
Two different varieties of seasoned flour are being sold at the new General Store at the mill on the banks of the Smoky Hill River. The two seasoning flours are also available at West’s Country Mart.
Minick described the seasoned flour as similar to that which ADA Milling in Salina once made available.
He said the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad which reconstructed the mill that founded the city of Enterprise has been working on the seasoning for coatings for almost a year.
The two varieties are wheat flour and spices and wheat flour, spices and cayenne.
“It’s breading for your fish, your steaks or for gravies. It has all your seasoning in it just like Kentucky Fried Chicken has its 11 herbs and spices for the coating for their chicken. This is seasoned flour that you coat stuff with.”
The seasoned flour can be purchased along with a lot of other products in the new General Store which will be open Saturday when Enterprise celebrates Kountry Klatter. The Hoffman Grist Mill and General Store are open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and other days when the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad makes the trip from Abilene to Enterprise.
Those trips were cut short this year because of flooding and the damage the water caused to the tracks. The train is now making full runs on weekends through October.
Whole wheat flour, sifted bread flour, cornmeal, grits, polenta yellow corn, Farina cooked cereal (similar to Crèam of Wheat) and seasoned flour are milled from Heritage Turkey Red Wheat on stone grinders.
Or customers can also grind their own.
Minick said the ground wheat doesn’t remove the 26 minerals and vitamins like most flour found at a store and uses 100 percent of the wheat berry.
The mill had been selling its products in an alleyway.
“Why don’t you add some local jellies and stuff? Why don’t you put a stove in and bake stuff with the flour?” Minick said customers were asking. “It just kind of grew.”
The General Store has a licensed kitchen so products can be baked. Pancakes, bread and pizza from the wheat can be cooked.
The General Store offers other goods such as pickles, barn quilts, T-shirts and candy.
The Hoffman Mill, at 105 N. Factory Street and located on the banks of the Smoky Hill River, was re-established in 2016 adjacent to the railroad.
The mill makes flour like the Enterprise ancestors did when the original Hoffman Mill was operating near the site back in the 1800s.
Minick said a local farmer grows the original Red Turkey Wheat brought to Kansas by Mennonite immigrants in 1870.
Bolted (sifted) flour is similar to those found in the late 1800s that has some of the bran removed and is not as fine as general purpose flour.
A mill was built by Christian Hoffman in 1868, four years before the town of Enterprise was started, according to the Kansas Historical Society. Its dimensions were 40 x 60 feet, three stories high with a basement. It had three runs of buhrs (stones) and its capacity was 100 barrels of flour per day.
Hoffman named the new town Enterprise.
According to the Kansas Historical Society, Kansas was the destination of choice for many German-Russians.
These immigrants did not come empty-handed. Family lore states that Mennonite families loaded kitchen crocks and traveling trunks with Turkey Red Wheat seed before leaving Russia. Arriving in Kansas in 1874, they planted their first crop in the rich farmlands around Goessel.
Minick said eventually the mill closed and the dam that directed the water to run the mill was taken out.
Contact Tim Horan at firstname.lastname@example.org.