If you bake your own bread or (cakes) you’ll (usually) need flour, which is made by grinding up wheat, beans or nuts (most windmills today are cylindrical buildings, with the sails long-gone). In 1834, one Sunderland man was tragically killed when the sails flung him off the building, as he tried to repair a weatherboard in a terrible storm.
Rather than buy white cakey flour, consider switching to artisan flours, locally milled to preserve nutrition and taste better too! Or try alternative flours like spelt (an ancient cousin of wheat), oat and teff.
Keep fresh dough away from pets, as it can expand in the stomach (salt, nuts, seeds, onion, garlic, dried fruits are unsafe – read more on food safety for people & pets. Never give stale/crusty/mouldy/salty bread to garden birds or wildfowl (nor buttered leftovers as fat smears on feathers, affecting waterproofing and insulation).
Wildfarmed works with 50 local farmers to sell flours made with regenerative farming (rotating crops to increase nitrogen and absorb carbon, so no pesticides are needed, great for wildlife). The range includes wholemeal, countryside (like a light wholemeal) and flours for bread, pizza and flatbread.
The Prior’s Flour (Cambridgeshire) offers organic stonegrain flours created by a master miller, ground on horizontal French burr stones to preserve natural vitamin content. This mill is over 160 years old, and stands on a site where mills have worked since the times of Domesday.
Matthews Cotswold Flour offers organic stoneground wholegrain flours, using techniques handed down by generations since the 1800s.
Shipton Mill is a renowned organic mill, which is run on renewable energy and offers a fine line of artisan flours. The land is carefully kept natural, to offer homes for native wildlife including otters, kingfishers, damselfies and wild brown trout.
Doves Farm is the main brand to look for in stores, with an extensive range of organic flours and baking essentials (baking soda, yeast). It again uses crop rotations to avoid pesticides to protect the soil and water systems and therefore provide homes for bees, birds and butterflies. The site lists simple bread recipes.
Find sourdough flour mills by region. Many are open to the public so you can enjoy a pot of tea, while you’re waiting for your flour to be milled! Read why NHS gets it wrong on bread recommendations, and try its botanical blend based on unique ingredients like spelt, naked oats, dried edible flowers and nettles!