Friday, 26 November 2010

From mill to loaf

How is this for traceability and total freshness. We visited Tuxford Mill in Nottinghamshire on Monday and used the stone ground spelt flour to make some really tasty spelt sourdough loaves on Tuesday. Spelt bread was made in ancient times, so I quite like the fact mine unintentionally look a bit symbolic of medieval times.

There are only a few working windmills left in the country and they date back as far as the 17th and 18th century (this one is about 1811). Using wind power to operate them, the ideal milling wind condition to produce flour needs to be between 15-20mph.

The engineering inside the mill was fascinating, like going back in time. There are four levels, the meal floor, the stone floor, the bin floor and right at the top the dust floor with all the turning gear. The old fashioned method of stone ground uses the open wind sails to operate the turning mechanics of the steel and wood cogs and then gravity force to drop the flour down the shoot to ground level.

Tuxford Mill is privately owned and the guy only started milling 5 years ago having previously worked in IT - an interesting career path !

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