Mill yesterday bake today
April saw bakers converge on Small World Bakery in Langhorne Creek to discuss paddock-to-plate baking.
The workshop, called Mill Yesterday Bake Today, was part of South Australia’s Tasting Australia, a celebration of the state’s produce. Chris Duffy and Emily Salkeld of Small World Bakery in Langhorne Creek organised and hosted the two-day workshop, which discussed everything from grain and flour evaluation and milling quality flour to mill maintenance, building relationships with farmers and baking breads and laminated pastry with freshly milled flour.
Participants were introduced to local and regional freshly stone-milled flour.
Blair Marvin from Elmore Mountain Bread flew to Australia for the event from her wood-fired micro-bakery in Vermont in the United States. At the workshop, she demonstrated the baking of three 100 per cent wholegrain breads with fresh milled maize, red wheat (adagio) and white wheat (provided by Wholegrain Milling).
Michael James of Tivoli Road Bakery in Melbourne also led demonstrations in croissant lamination with different percentages of the fresh milled wholegrain flours.
Blair said, “The workshop broke through several farming and baking conventions including the need to age flour, the need to use predominantly white roller milled flour to produce palatable breads, and the requirement to blend grain batches from any region in the milling process to ensure flour quality and consistency.
“There were also very important discussions around gaining access to and supporting individual farmers who would grow specific grain varieties and supply to regional/community stone milling operations,” she added.
Blair has been baking wood-fired, naturally leavened bread with regional and organic roller milled flour for 15 years and said that six years ago, a friend introduced her to fresh stone-milled flour.
“This small act of sharing turned our world as bakers upside down. That day, we realised that we needed to be milling our own flour in order to gain a deeper understanding of our primary ingredient.”
Blair, with her husband and business partner Andrew Heyn, built their own flour mill, now known as New American Stone Mills.
“The desire to build a deeper connection and understanding with the grains we are consuming is sweeping our nation and we have been seeing a similar ethos developing in Australia,” said Blair.
“We were excited to share our experience and knowledge of milling and baking with many incredible farmers, millers and bakers of Australia.
“We now have two stone mills in place in Australia: one 40” mill at Small World Bakery and another at Woodstock Flour in Berrigan, New South Wales”, who you might remember from our April/May issue.