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Read answers to frequently asked questions about Heckers and Ceresota flours. Do you have a question? Contact Us. 


Flour 101

What is the shelf life of unbleached flour?

Does flour go bad? Unbleached Flour has a storage life of approximately two years.  Although there is nothing to spoil in unbleached flour, we recommend using the flour no longer than six months after the "Best If Used By" date. 

What is the shelf life of whole wheat flour?

Whole wheat flour has a shelf life of approximately one year.  Whole wheat flour can become rancid after one year.  A simple taste test can be performed by stirring up the flour and taking a taste of the flour. 

What is the shelf life of self-rising flour?

Self-rising flour has a shelf life of approximately two years. Although there is nothing to spoil in self-rising flour, we recommend using the flour by its "best by" date because the self-rising flour contains baking powder and baking soda which may lose its potency.

What is the difference between unbleached flour and self-rising flour?

Self-rising flour already contains baking powder, baking soda and salt. Wondering how to convert unbleached flour to self-rising flour? Take one cup of unbleached flour and add 1 tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. baking soda. 

Can unbleached flour be converted to cake flour?

Yes.  Make one cup of cake flour by subtracting two tablespoons from one cup of unbleached flour.

What is the recommended method for storing flour – unbleached, self-rising and whole wheat?

If you do not use flour quickly or frequently, we recommend storing our flour in an airtight container or plastic bag and refrigerating or freezing the flour to preserve freshness.  If you are a frequent user – and we certainly hope you are - we still recommend this method of storage. Take out the desired amount and bring it to room temperature before baking.

What if there are bugs or insects in my flour?

Although the product is shrink-wrapped in plastic for transportation from the mill to the stores, an infestation can occur anywhere once it leaves the mill. If you find Heckers Ceresota flour is infested, please contact us (1-866-866-8627) with the bag code before discarding. We may request that you send us a small sample in a zip-lock bag. We take this problem seriously and want to know if there is a larger problem than a single bag being infested.

What if there are lumps/clumps in my flour?

Flour is hygroscopic and can come into contact with moisture during transit from the mill, in a warehouse or in storage. There may not be visible evidence on the outside of the bag, but it can form hardened particles, lumps or clumps of flour inside the bag. These particles are normally not harmful and can be sifted out. However, if you do not want to do this, please call 1-866-866-8627 for a refund.

Can I freeze unused flour?

Yes, the best way to store flour if you aren’t using it every day is to store it in an airtight container in the freezer or the refrigerator. When you're ready to use the flour, it's best to let flour come to room temperature before baking, especially if you’re targeting a specific dough temperature after mixing. 

Why is unbleached flour better?

People are concerned that we are super-refining the life out of our food.

Our flours use better wheats and are unbleached. The higher protein gives Heckers and Ceresota flours better baking characteristics in yeast breads, cookies, pie crusts, and cakes.

Heckers and Ceresota have more protein than other leading brands and that means more bounce in the oven and better texture.

What does "enriched flour" mean?

“Enrichment”: All flour is enriched to government standards as printed on the side panel of each flour bag.

What does "pre-sifted flour" and "sifted flour" mean?

“Pre-sifted” and “Sifted”: Terms seen on flour packages. All flour is sifted at least six to eight times during the actual milling; therefore, all flour is really “pre-sifted” prior to packaging. “Pre-sifted” is used as a selling point and has confused the industry and presumably, the consumer. All flour packs down during packaging and shipping, thus recipes should recommend that flour be sifted before measuring for your recipes.

Why does protein in flour matter?

“Protein”: Hard wheat flour, such as Heckers and Ceresota, contain more protein than soft wheat flour.

Protein is a measurable gluten content of flour. The gluten is a most important consideration in baking. It is developed by the manipulation or kneading after liquid has been added to the flour mixture. The gluten gives the dough the elasticity generated by the interaction with yeast that permits bread or cake to rise. In general, the lower the protein content, the less volume in yeast baked products.

What are the benefits of Hard White Winter Wheat?

Our Heckers & Ceresota Whole Wheat flour is milled from hard white winter wheat grown in Kansas. 

White whole wheat provides the nutritional benefits of whole wheat flour and great flavor and texture.

White wheat provides some distinct advantages to whole wheat flour versus hard red winter wheat. White wheat is much milder in taste and therefore is better suited for whole wheat milling.

Using 100% hard white wheat for our Heckers & Ceresota Whole Wheat Flour allows customers to use 100% of their flour needs with our whole wheat product. Or simply substitute 1 for 1 any recipe calling for all-purpose flour. Before the popularity of whole white wheat flour, most bakers had to mix 50% of their whole-wheat recipes with all-purpose flour to achieve a desirable taste and texture.

Traditional whole wheat flours were milled from hard red winter wheats, but they tended to be strong flavored. Usually, whole wheat users would only substitute 50% of their recipe’s flour needs with whole wheat flour because the taste would be too strong to use 100%.

Heckers and Ceresota Whole Wheat Flours allow the baker to get the added nutritional benefits of a whole wheat flour without the trade off of the strong whole wheat taste. 



Health/Nutrition Information

Is Heckers and Ceresota flour high-gluten?

High-gluten flour has a protein content greater than 13%. The protein in flour helps develop the gluten structure in the dough, which traps the gasses during fermentation and allows baked goods to rise and hold their shape.

Heckers and Ceresota AP flours are not a “high-gluten” flour. Heckers and Ceresota flour has a protein content in the upper 11% range. It is true that Heckers and Ceresota flours have higher protein than typical all-purpose flours.

However, protein content alone does not tell the whole story.  The quality of the protein is equally, if not more important. Heckers and Ceresota flours are milled from hard red winter wheat grown in and around Kansas. The wheat we use to mill our flour has a very high protein quality, which allows the flour to perform optimally across a wide range of applications, from breads to cookies. 

In short, Heckers flour is not a “high-gluten” flour. It is milled from very high-quality wheat, and it has a higher protein content than traditional all-purpose flours. 

Are Heckers Flour and Ceresotas Flours vegan? Are any of the ingredients used to enrich the flour derived from animal sources?

None of Heckers and Ceresota flour products are manufactured with animal products or byproducts, including the enrichment. 

What is the protein content of Heckers and Ceresota Flour?

Heckers & Ceresota Unbleached All Purpose Flour is milled to closely resemble a European style winter patent flour. The protein content is in the mid- to upper 11%.

More important than protein content is protein quality.  Heckers and Ceresota flour are milled from premium, hard red winter wheat grown in and around Kansas. This region is widely known for producing very high-quality wheat with optimum gluten forming properties. Regardless of the crop year or growing conditions, we pay more for the highest quality winter wheat to mill Heckers & Ceresota flour.

Is Heckers/Ceresota Flour Kosher Certified?

Yes! Heckers/Ceresota flour is kosher certified.

Are Heckers and Ceresota flours organic?

Currently, Heckers & Ceresota Flour All-Purpose and Whole Wheat products are not certified organic. We are investigating the investments into producing an organic product and we are excited about a future offering in the organic segment.

Is Heckers and Ceresota flour enriched?

Yes, Heckers & Ceresota All-Purpose Flour is enriched. Enriching all-purpose flour means simply adding back the nutritious qualities of the wheat grain that are lost during milling. 

In the wheat kernel, there are three parts: The bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Most minerals and vitamins in the wheat kernel are found the bran and germ. In the process of milling all purpose flour, the bran and germ are removed, leaving the white endosperm which is recognizable as flour. 

Whole-wheat flour uses all the components of the wheat kernel, and so no enrichment is needed. However, the germ contains some oils that can spoil, which reduces the shelf life of whole wheat products.

Is Heckers and Ceresota flour bromated?

Heckers and Ceresota flours are unbleached and unbromated. Bromated flours contain potassium bromate, a food additive, that helps food rise. We have never bleached or bromated our flours and we don’t plan to. We believe in producing a quality product without any unnecessary additives. Our flour whitens naturally, and therefore has a rich creamy color to it. Bleaching can damage some of the starch components in flour and can reduce the baking qualities. 

“Unbleached Forever!” is our motto. 



Heckers and Ceresota Company Information

Ceresota's flour bag looks almost identical to the Hecker's. Are they the same product?

Heckers and Ceresota flours are identical products inside the bag. The brand names have rich histories in their respective markets, and we therefore maintain the different brand names. Heckers and Ceresota are known as “sister brands”.

Rest assured if you can only find one of them at your local store, you are getting the same flour regardless of the brand name. Just look for the “little boy” logo.

Do you have any items with your "little boy" logo for sale?

We have tea towels and canvas tote bags printed with our logo available for sale.  These items are printed on a mail order form on the back of our 5-lb retail grocery flour bags.  Please fill out the form and follow the mailing directions.  If you do not have a mail order form, Please call 1-866-866-8627 or e-mail.

Why is Heckers/Ceresota more expensive?

We use only the highest quality hard red winter wheat for producing our flours. Regardless of the crop year or growing conditions, we pay more for the highest quality winter wheat to mill Heckers & Ceresota flour.

We are a fourth-generation family business and we take great pride in the quality and integrity of our products.  

Can I order Heckers/Ceresota flours on your website?

Thank you for your interest in our flours! Currently, we do not offer our products through our website. If you live in Chicago or on the East Coast of the United States, our flours may be available through one of our retailers. Elsewhere, please purchase online for fastest delivery.

Where is Heckers/Ceresota sold?

Heckers Flour is sold in upstate New Jersey, New York and the New England states. Ceresota is sold in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, lower New Jersey, greater Philadelphia, and Wisconsin. Purchase it from one of these retailers.  Elsewhere, please purchase online for fastest delivery.

Where is the wheat grown for Heckers and Ceresota flours?

Heckers and Ceresota flours are all milled in the United States from wheat grown in the United States. More specifically, our all-purpose flour is milled from 100% hard red winter wheat, which is grown in Kansas.

Heckers and Ceresota Whole Wheat Flour is milled from hard white winter wheat also grown in around Kansas. Hard white winter wheat has a much milder taste profile than hard red winter wheat and is therefore better suited for whole wheat milling.

Using 100% hard white wheat for our Heckers & Ceresota Whole Wheat Flour allows customers to use 100% of their flour needs with our whole wheat product. Or simply substitute 1 for 1 any recipe calling for all-purpose flour. 

Traditional whole wheat flours were milled from hard red winter wheats, but they tended to be strong flavored. Usually, whole wheat users would only substitute 50% of their recipe’s flour needs with whole wheat flour because the taste would be too strong to use 100%. Heckers and Ceresota Whole Wheat Flours allow the baker to get the added nutritional benefits of a whole wheat flour without the trade off of the strong whole wheat taste. 

What is the difference between Heckers and Ceresota and other flours?

Heckers and Ceresota flours' protein content is generally higher, and it is not chemically bleached. Other flours use bleaching agents or compounds of one type or another to hasten the natural whitening process. Bleaching takes away the natural creamy color and changes the starch components of the flour.


Where is the expiration date on Heckers/Ceresota Flour?

The "Best If Used By" date is stamped on the top flap of all bags.  The numbers which follow the date are the time of day and work shift which packed the bag.

Can I get a refund if the flour is damaged?

Heckers & Ceresota flour are guaranteed 100% for your satisfaction. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with our product, we will offer a full refund for your trouble. We are a fourth-generation family business and we take great pride in the quality and integrity of our products. Please call 1-866-866-8627 for a refund.


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