Real Breadmaker Week and National Mills Weekend

 

Check out a video of breadmaking and milling on the Eden Valley Messenger website :

 

Little Salkeld Watermill taking part in Real Breadmaker Week; and one of seven Cumbrian Watermills celebrating National Mills Weekend on 8th & 9th May.  
 
Every year the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) organises National Mills Weekend.
 
This year SPAB have teamed up with The Traditional Cornmillers Guild (TCMG), an organisation that represents 32 commercial wind and water mills across the UK) and the Real Bread Campaign to celebrate bread making. It coincides with National Real Bread Maker Week (May 1 – 9th). It is estimated that there are around 10 million bread machines sitting at the back of Britain’s kitchen cupboards, so this is the perfect opportunity to dig them out, dust them off and bake some real bread – using locally produced flour from an independent mill.
 
Little Salkeld Watermill, in the Eden Valley 7 miles northeast of Penrith, is the only TCMG member mill in the northwest region. The mill will be open for tours on Saturday and Sunday (12 noon, 2pm, 3.30pm) and there will be a series of workshops and demonstrations as part of a national programme of events. Baker and Miller Henk Glimmerveen will be running free Breadmachine Demonstrations showing how to get the best from The Watermill’s wide range of award-winning organic and biodynamic stoneground flours. He’ll be working with Unbleached White Flour at 11am on Saturday 8th May and 12 noon Sunday 9th May; and with 100% Wholewheat Flour at 2pm on Saturday 8th May and 3pm Sunday 9th May.
 
There’s no charge, but each session is limited to ten people, so advance booking is essential. The machine baking cycle takes a couple of hours, so there’s time for a coffee, lunch, a tour of the mill, or a walk to Long Meg Stone Circle.
 
Of course you can’t beat the sheer pleasure, quality, taste, creativity and versatility of hand-made bread. Ana Jones, who, with her husband Nick, owns the Watermill, runs a series of very popular day long Breadmaking Courses throughout the year, including one on Saturday 8th May (£75, booking essential). Ana will also be running free hand breadmaking demonstrations on Sunday 9th May at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm.
 
Nick Jones is also Chairman  of the Traditional Cornmillers Guild  and says: “The country’s traditional mills, and especially those which are members of the Traditional Cornmillers Guild, are much more than specialist food producers and an important part of Britain’s rural heritage. Very often they play an important part in the local community, providing employment, generating sustainable power, preserving old rural crafts and skills and attracting visitors to the area. National Mills Weekend celebrates the importance of these fascinating working buildings.”     
   
James Waterfield, Chairman of the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, adds: “This has grown year on year and is now a firm fixture in the nation’s calendar. The popularity of National Mills Weekend shows how important these wonderful buildings are, both in terms of our national heritage and our landscape. And, with increasing interest in natural food production and sustainable power sources it’s hardly surprising that people want to find out more.”
 
Up to 97% of the loaves bought today are likely to have been produced in remote and highly automated industrial plant factories with ingredients from unspecified sources and a cocktail of additives. Chris Young of The Real Bread Campaign says: “Plugging in your bread machine allows you to seize control of your daily bread, freeing you from reliance on factory loaves. Baking real bread in a machine with flour from an independent mill is a great way of supporting Britain’s real food producers and knowing what your family is eating.”
 
The following Cumbrian mills (all Watermills, as you might expect), are taking part in National Mills Weekend.
 
Websites :
 

 

Every year the Mills Section of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings organises National Mills Weekend. This year it’s 8th and 9th May, and coincides with The Real Bread Campaign’s ‘National Real Bread Maker Week’ (May 1 – 9th). It is estimated that there are around 10 million bread machines sitting at the back of Britain’s kitchen cupboards, so this is the perfect opportunity to dig them out, dust them off and bake some real bread – using locally produced flour from an independent mill.

 

….of course you can’t beat the sheer pleasure, quality, taste, creativity and versatility of hand-made bread, as you’ll find out if you come on Ana’s Breadmaking Course on Saturday 8th May (£75 for the day), or watch her making bread on Sunday 9th May.

 

 A breadmaker is the next best thing, and whether made by hand or machine you decide what does and doesn’t go in. Henk will be showing you how to get the best from The Watermill’s organic and biodynamic stoneground flours using a breadmachine. The mill produces twelve different flours, most of which work with a machine, but, to get the best results, you may need to tweak your recipe a little. As well as demonstrating, he will bring along a number of loaves “that he made earlier” (as the TV celebrity chefs say) so that you can see, smell and taste them all.

 There’s no charge, but we can only fit in 10 people for each demonstration session, so please book in advance by phone or email. The machine baking cycle takes a couple of hours, so you will have time for a coffee, a tour of the mill, or a walk to Long Meg Stone Circle if you’re feeling energetic and it’s a nice sunny day !