Hello Bread Friends,
It’s been the blink of an eye, but we’ve been milling and baking in NE Minneapolis for 12 months now. Like any homeowner knows, maintenance is key for keeping everything humming, and the same is true for our mill.
Our mill is massive. Ok, so not as big as the large commercial mills that lined Saint Anthony in the days of yore (which is, in case you are wondering, right between olden times and now). But our hometown baby is 48 inches and weighs over a ton, and compared to other independent mills, a bit on the brutish side. We have to call in experts to handle the sheer power and RPMs. Cue Andrew Heyn, who is a celebrity—think Clooney--in the world of artisan milling and baking. Andrew’s home base is Elmore Mountain Bread in Wolcott, Vermont. The bakery is an effort by Andrew and his wife, Blair, where truly, staggeringly beautiful loaves of bread take 16 hours to make from start to finish. In his spare time, Andrew had the big idea to build a mill. His tinkering became something more and he began designing and installing mills across America, and he is the brains behind ours at BFF&B.
We were delighted to have Andrew back after our year of milling to tighten things up and, importantly, to redress the mill stone. The surface of it is grooved, and sort of like treads in tires, different thicknesses and patterns create different desired effects. He advised that shallowing the feathering and furrows would improve performance, and sort of like a gang of vandals tagging our turf, each of the bakers took a turn with the drill, notching the stone’s surface in a jagged design like a hyper-focused tattoo artist. This process took several hours.
And why does it matter?
Our flour is now extracting at a higher rate(more germ and endosperm and less middlings) The absorption rate has lowered somewhat but we are seeing a more consistent flour and an increase in volume of our breads.
Eat more bread.
Owner, Miller & Baker
p.s. – a bear really did break into Andrew’s mill room, crazily enough both last year when he visited and last week, too. We hope that no bears break into our bakery—especially since we’ll be rolling out giant sweet rolls into local co-ops soon.