Bread Pain Pane Brood Brot Aran

Bread Pain Pane Brood Brot Aran
Baking @Granton:hub

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

My trip round flour mills ...
Sorry but all the images from this post are lost thanks to a google tripwire - I'll get them back eventually.

My tour round flour mills in late July should have been to four but there were some unexpected problems at Gilchesters in Northumberland so it became three, Little Salkeld in Cumbria, Shipton Mill in Gloucestershire and Bacheldre in Montgomery. 

"Just a minute, I'll move the goat."  was the greeting I got when I was trying to park at Little Salkeld. I headed in for coffee and bread, four different kinds made on the premises from their own flour, heaven! My first taste of Little Salkeld water mill near Penrith. It is delightful to visit even if you haven't the slightest interest in flour especially if you turn up on a glorious day like I did.

There are two old grinding stones leaning against the mill wall. The Roman stone below is part of a display of grinding stones at Chesters on Hadrian's Wall. Although they are separated by nearly 2000 years not much has changed. 

Another  now/then comparison - right, modern stones at Little Salkeld used for hand grinding, left the Roman equivalent found on Hadrian's wall. 
Note that the handle on the modern stones has broken off but the Roman handle is still intact. When I explained to the miller how the roman handle was attached he said "Oh, right. I'll give that a go."

Most of the wheat used at Bacheldre is British, supplemented if I remember rightly with wheat from Kazakhstan to reach the desired protein level. This is the flour which was for while in Wallace and Grommet packaging. The mill is small but the output is enough for Matt Scott (opposite left) to sell via Amazon, offering superb wholemeal bread flour and interesting stuff like smoked malt flour.
This ancient & modern approach could be the way forward for mills nearer home - small site, few staff but high volumes of quality flour.
Matt described a Lamas day harvest where the farmer had cut the first wheat, brought it to the mill where it was ground, then baked, all in the same day, and eaten too I expect.

Shipton Mill has two mills, one old water mill which  I didn't visit where they produce stoneground flours, and a modern factory where there was nothing to see. However a baking class given by Clive Mellum who has been baking bread for around 50 years (he started young) was really the highlight of the trip. I was much too busy to take pictures.

A thoroughly enjoyable trip, lots of bread eaten and lots of new ideas to try out. Now next year …..

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