what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Archive for the tag “mill green”

National real bread maker week and disappointment in Waitrose

Just a little plug for the Campaign for Real Bread’s National Bread Maker Week.

“Real Bread Maker Week is Britain’s biggest annual, national celebration of Real Bread and its makers.

Its aim is to encourage people to get baking Real Bread or buying it from independent bakeries to support their local communities.

This year, as well as raising awareness for Real Bread, we knead your help raising cash.

The Real Bread Campaign has great new plans to help people who, for one reason or another, have a tougher time than most of us enjoy the social, therapeutic and employment opportunities Real Bread making offers, but we need the dough to do it!

Can we count on your support?”

If you’ve never made bread why not try – you’ll be surprised how easy it can be. I’ve suggested lots of recipes on various pages of the blog, or search for Dan Lepard’s recipes as a very easy way into making bread at home.

Still not convinced? Then why not try your local independent café or bakers or farmers market and see what they make and check out the difference between factory-made bread and bread made locally.

If you’ve never bought flour from a local miller, then why not search one out. To coincide with the week there’s a number of water and wind powered mills open. Check out this list and see if you can find one to visit this weekend. We had a fab visit to Mill Green in Hertfordshire recently, we learned a lot and got some great flour. If you can’t get out there’s some deals on mail-order flour on the campaign website.

Disappointment in Waitrose? They have opened a spangly new supermarket near us and it doesn’t have an in-store bakers. They’ve just got ovens to give factory prepared loaves a suntan. A real opportunity missed by Waitrose.

Me? I’ve been baking sourdough again – got a lovely sweet starter going right now and I bake it with white and wholemeal flour. The warmer weather still means it takes about 10 hours to do its stuff, but it’s been great, but doesn’t seem to hang about long enough to get a photo taken. And I’ve been doing a bit of biking too for my LondonSurrey 100 mile event, so haven’t had a lot of time at weekends to do much baking. But least I use the calories I’m scoffing the rest of the week.

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Mill Green, Hatfield, flour

On Tuesday this week I took my son to Mill Green water-mill in Hatfield. There isn’t a whole lot to see there apart from the mill itself, and some small displays of Hatfield history. The miller was great, and talked a lot about how the flour is made and how the mill itself works. There’s a couple of hands-on milling exhibits for small people to use up some energy on. And to my slight surprise my son was actually rather impressed by the whole thing, the size of the mill, the water power, how hard it was to grind flour by hand. He spent quite a long time grinding about a big tablespoon of flour from some wheat grains they had there. So I think he learned something. Being a bit of a smarty pants he commented on some other children who came later who didn’t read the direction the stones had to go in and were therefore doing it wrong.

We bought some flour and today I baked a couple of wholemeal loaves with it. I wish this was smellyvision because they actually smell like roasted wheat. So if you’re down that way, do drop in, they are open Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays and Sundays, which is twice as much as nearby Redbournbury,  as featured by Paul Hollywood, which opens only at the weekends. The more cunning of you could get both flours and do a compare and contrast. We had to go Tuesday as it was the only chance this week, but I’ll definitely try to hit both one weekend soon.

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Coffee and ricotta marbled cake in the oven which I realise I haven’t made for nearly a year. Can’t wait to try both the bread and the cake!

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