I had such a fun time in the fall when I went with my friend Sue on a Niagara-on-the-Lake winery tour. The wineries we visited were not large operations: Ravine Winery an organic wine producer, Joseph’s Estate Wines, and then off to a very small winery called Maleta.
It was at Joseph’s that I found an outstanding product called “Grape Skin Flour” of the Royale Rouge variety. I have never heard of or used Grape Skin Flour. There is not a whole lot of information on the substance. The package boasts that it’s antioxidant rich, gluten free…and kosher certified. I purchased two 454 grams (1 lb) packages and couldn’t wait to experiment.
Being made from dried grape skins that have been pulverized, it is apparent that it has high levels of fibre and polyphenols such as antioxidants and resveratrol, which are said to help the body fight against illnesses such as cancer. Joseph Estate Winery also produces a line of grape seed oil extracted from the grape pomace. Through their second line of business: Vintage Flour Niagara Inc. The flour can be used in any recipe where wheat flour is used. Their web site suggests the powder “can be used in low concentrations as an added ingredient in any application where flour is normally used including breads, pastas and much more.”
Having sampled about 9 wines and not having eaten a whole lot, I came home famished and dying to try out the grape skin flour. I had made some butternut squash soup during the week…so I had that to accompany whatever I created. I decided a healthier version of a baking powder biscuit would be a cool thing to try with the grape skin flour.
When I opened up the brown bag of flour, the aroma of raisons met my olfactory senses…and everyone who knows me knows that I have an aversion to raisons. Uh oh… despite my concern, I kept adding… organic wheat flour…I had about 1/8 cup chickpea flour that I ground for another recipe left in my grinder…that went in too.
To say the biscuits turned out so much better than expected is an understatement. They were this beautiful pumpernickel colour; crispy outside…light and perfect delicate texture inside. The flavour was fresh ginger without any hint of raison. Here’s the recipe if you can get your hands on grape skin flour from Vintage Flour Niagara Inc. 1-905-468-1259.
Grape Skin Flour and Fresh Ginger Baking Powder Biscuits
Steaming hot biscuits with melting butter!!!
Makes about 12 biscuits
1 cup organic unbleached all purpose flour ¼ cup grape skin flour 1/8 cup chickpea flour 1 tablespoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces ¾ cup skim milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl
Add freshly grated ginger
Cut in unsalted butter with your fingers or pastry cutter
This is the package and how they market the grape skin flour.
Gently mix in the skim milk until incorporated
Put the mixture out onto a floured board or counter and knead until incorporated.
Pat out into about ½ inch thick round
Cut out 2 inch rounds
Place on a baking sheet and bake for less than 20 minutes
Cool for about 5 minutes