Monday, April 20, 2009
No Trouble at t' Mill
A few years ago, we bought a bread machine.
Not that there was anything wrong with the bread we could buy.
Quite the opposite in fact, even the local supermarket bread is really first class, with a lot of choice in interesting crusty brown seedy stuff as well as various baguettes, and there are several good bakers on our normal shopping routes too.
But there is nothing within 5 km & nothing open on Sunday or holidays or late at night, of course.
And we have a lot of holidays.
So it's handy to have the machine for emergencies, and just for playing with.
Of course we could (& do) keep emergency loaves in the freezer, but that's no fun.
Surprisingly, not only is the bread machine easy to use, but it works quite well & has produced hardly any door-stops, though I still can't get rid of a lingering yeasty taste.
Nor the irritating hole in the bottom, of course, where the loaf is cooked around the beater.
Having bought the machine, we then needed flour, preferably interesting flour with bits in.
This is not an area I had looked at much, but we soon found that our usual shops had a good selection.
Interestingly, they have not only the nationally known brands, but also flour from local mills.
That's how we discovered that there is a real live working flour mill just a couple of villages away.
We should have know about it already, because we often use the good Tarte-Flambee Restaurant next door, which is called "Le Moulin", but we assumed it was commemorating an ex-mill, not an alive-&-kicking one.
The illustrations here are from an open day, when the public could wander round all the antique wooden machinery driven by flat leather belts, just like something out of Charles Dickens (though it only dates from the 1920s).
They may look Dickensian, but they have a good website, understandably not in English, with all their 29 different varieties of flour, both bio & regular, and some interesting recipes, and even possible delivery.
A very satisfactory find & a good piece of local "industry" to support.
Parting thot: "Old bread is not hard. No bread, that is hard." – Swiss/German proverb?