March 1, 2010

Bread is no trouble

The entrepreneurial life is turning out well for Matt and Anne Scott whose organic flour-milling business is fast becoming the toast of British breadmakers. The couple who have two young children, swapped safe staff jobs for uncertainty and dreams in the shape of a 500-acre plot in rural Wales with an 18th century watermill.

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Bacheldre

You may have spotted Bacheldre Mill’s name and distinctive black bags on Wallace and Gromit’s latest TV whodunit, A Matter of Loaf and Death. The flour is the handiwork of Matt and Anne Scott, former Royal Mail employees, who swapped mailsacks for flour sacks in 2002.

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The Miller’s Tale

Untitled-4Is it the people or is it the products that make the small producers sector so appealing? Arguably, it’s a combination of the two. It’s why Graham Cassie suggests Bacheldre Watermill as the ideal subject for an article.

It’s also why when I let Robbie James who will shortly become Buyer, local and regional know where I’m going her first response is: “Lucky you!” She’s dead right: lucky me, indeed.

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The Great Bake Competition

bakeThe 12 lucky winners of our Great Bake competition enjoyed a fabulous baking session with Wallace & Gromit at The Cookery School at Bordeaux Quay.

As part of the competition we were asking what products we should introduce into our Baking Kits, Gingerbread Gromits came out a clear winner!

 

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Beginners Guide to Kneading Dough

kneading-smallKneading bread dough can be one of the most enjoyable steps of bread baking. Follow these basic instructions to learn how to use your hands when kneading dough.  You can be as rough as you like when kneading.

1. Wash your hands, and wipe and dry the work surface before starting. Wear an apron to protect your clothes.

2. Scatter a little flour on the work surface and lightly flour hands

3. Start with the ball of dough and use only the heels of your hands to push down and away from you on the dough.

4. Then pull the dough back towards you and fold the dough in half.

5. Turn the dough a quarter turn or 90 degrees and knead with your hand heels again.

6. Continue to knead, fold and turn the dough for the required length of time or until the dough is smooth, silky, and elastic

7. To test if the dough is ready, press a floured finger into the side of the dough. If it bounces back, it’s ready to be rested.

Did You Know?

Yeast is a living organism that needs food (honey or sugar) for it to rise.

If the liquid is too hot you can kill the yeast, to test the temperature of the liquid dip you finger into the water and if it feels ok for a couple of seconds it alright to use.

Kneading is simply repeating folding and compressing of a dough.

Much of the elastic property of dough is due to a protein in wheat called gluten

Kneading is especially important when preparing yeast breads because it helps to distribute the activated yeast and it enables the protein in the flour to develop into gluten, which promotes the properties of stretching and expansion in the dough. This results in the light and springy crumb apparent in many yeast breads. Dough that is not adequately kneaded results in bread that is too heavy and dense.

Two other things happen during the kneading process – tiny air pockets are created in the dough, and water is absorbed by the flour.

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Enteprising duo are true breadwinners

mattStories of stressed-out city couples relocating to the countryside are now a familiar tale, but one county pair have taken their new life in the country a step further and gained national recognition in an industry that was, until seven years ago, entirely new territory.

Matt and Anne Scott left their jobs at Royal Mail in Portsmouth when they spotted a working mill for sale in the sleepy town of Churchstoke, just across the Shropshire border in Powys.

“We both wanted a career change and were keen to get into the tourism business, plus we’d spotted a gap in the market for organic flour, so Bacheldre Watermill was perfect.” says Matt.

Having learnt to stone-mill from scratch, Matt wisely set his sights on the conquering the trend-setting London market and before long, Bacheldre was supplying organic flour to the cutting-edge food halls of luxury department stores like Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.

As other retailers followed suit, Bacheldre began supplying shops and supermarkets across England and Ireland, including local stores like Harry Tuffins.

“We didn’t just want to be a local mill for local people,” says Matt. “Our ethos is about sourcing the best grain we can find, some of which comes from as far afield as Kazakhstan.”

It’s an ethos that’s paid off – they have won Best Organic Product in the True Taste awards for two years running, as well as numerous awards from the Soil Association.

The couple have now set their sites on the bigger supermarket brands and are currently supplying flour to 200 Waitrose stores across the country.

“Although there’s a recession, Waitrose say there’s been a 12 per cent increase in sales of their artisan flours, including ours, and it’s the same with our other distributors. We’re flat out!”

But Matt and Anne are well prepared for their new phase of expansion and have taken on three full-time staff as well as refitting the mill to blend its characterful architecture with state-of-the-art technology and an automated packing line.

It’s a good job, because Bacheldre is about to get even busier.

After spotting a gap in the market for home baking kits which use quality organic ingredients, the Scott’s decided to launch their own line and have been working with Aardman, makers of the iconic Wallace and Gromit animations, to produce organic baking kits under the Wallace and Gromit brand.

Their collaboration included the hugely successful Wallace and Gromit film, ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’, which aired last Christmas Day to record viewing figures.

“The baking kits are available in Harry Tuffins and they’re going national with Waitrose in October, and hopefully with Sainsburys in November, so we’re really excited.”

One of the reasons Matt and Anne have been so successful is that they’re constantly looking for different angles to promote their product s.

“We believe a company has to continually reinvent itself to make sure its products don’t become stale, so we’re always checking what other millers are doing to stay ahead of the game.”

“It’s hard work, but we enjoy what we do because we can see there’s a lot of potential.”


Original Story Here – The Shropshire Star | Twitter Talk – August 2009

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Organic Food Festival 2009

Bacheldre Mill are proud to be exhibiting at this years Organic Food Festival 12th-13th September 2009.

ABOUT THE ORGANIC FOOD FESTIVAL

tagThe purpose of the Organic Food Festival is to bring together and expand our organic community. We want to introduce more people to the pioneers growing delicious organic food, items for home and garden, beautiful fibres and sumptuous beauty products in a way that is truly sustainable.

The Organic Food Festival 2009 is a highlight of the Soil Association’s Organic Fortnight.

Eat

Eat your way through the street food market and sample hundreds of new treats throughout the food pavilions. And to quench your thirst, stop by the Organic Bar or stock up on the organic wines, ales and ciders available for you to take home. Stop by the Bordeaux Quay Cooking Demonstrations, where the support of Triodos Bank has made it possible for Britain’s renowned chefs to come and demonstrate just how simple and affordable organic cooking can be.

Grow

Visit the Organic Gardening Pavilion and learn all about growing your own organic garden. Riverford Organic brings together tips and tricks, seeds and tools, and experts to get your garden growing. And don’t miss the allotment networks who will get you started with your own plot of land.

Live

Discover a range of products for you and your home that are good for the planet. Whether decorating your home or keeping it clean, this area of the market offers the organic solution to your every home need. Take organic beyond the kitchen and into your wardrobe with sumptuous clothes and naturally pure skincare and cosmetics. This part of the Market is going to have you feeling great.

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Bacheldre Watermill Baking Kits

boxesThese Kits have been developed so the whole family can enjoy baking from scratch with the convenience of having just the right amount of ingredients supplied to make a fresh batch every time

Gromit’s Smashing Pizza

We have developed these organic pizza kits with cracking stoneground flour, organic yeast and Gromit’s favourite pizza sauce with tomatoes & herbs.

Creating a pizza at home is an incredibly easy task and cracking good fun and you will create a pizza that is so much better than anything you can buy as it will have your favourite toppings.

Wallace’s Cracking Cookies

One of Top Buns latest recipes and a favourite of Gromit’s, Spelt and Oats Cookies, they are delicious!!

Spelt is an ancient relative of modern wheat with a delicious and distinctive nutty, wheaty flavour. Spelt has excellent properties, including a fragile gluten that allow it to be easily digested.  Oats are a delicious source of wholegrain and are nature’s way to lower cholesterol.

Organic Baking Powder has been also been provided to complete the rest of the kit, it also does not contain phosphate.

Gromit’s Golden Bread Kit

There is nothing better than freshly baked bread especially when you’ve made it yourself!  Make a delicious loaf or tasty rolls for pack lunches or picnics.   Using the best ingredients of stoneground flour, organic yeast and sugar creates a natural loaf ever time.

There are kneading instructions inside to help you create a cracking good loaf.

Wallace’s Double Chocolate Muffin Kit

Wallace’s favourite double choc muffins are a smashing and indulgent treat.

Muffins are a deliciously moist cake which are quick and easy to make and will vanish even quicker.  Wallace has made sure that the muffins have a generous helping of choc chips.  These muffins are filling and satisfying and will stave off any hunger pangs for a good while!

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Wallace and Gromit Stoneground Flours.

wallaceGromitBacheldre Watermill is proud to announce its partnership with Aardman Animations and Pyrex, for the launch of Wallace and Gromit’s new adventure film ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’.  Bacheldre Watermill is offering fans the chance to copy the pair’s latest baking bonanza by launching a range of limited edition Wallace and Gromit stoneground organic flour.

The film, which is to be premiered on Christmas Day at 8.30pm, will see the pair transform their invention-stacked home into a fully functioning mill and bakery, Top Bun, but not without all the action and adventure we’ve all come to expect from the duo.

Bacheldre Watermill is a small family run mill, which has won numerous awards for their flour and is used is in some of the best kitchens around the country. Using Artisan skills and only the highest quality grains they have been able to grow the business year on year, and now are looking forward to the future working with such great brands as Wallace and Gromit and Pyrex.

So, if you fancy inventing some recipes of your own, why not try Bacheldre Watermill’s organic range to give you some inspiration?  The award-winning flour millers, who specialises in bread-making and home baking flours, have rolled out 7 beautifully packaged Wallace & Gromit flours to celebrate the duo’s new baking credentials, plus each promotional pack includes a 50p off Pyrex products and 2 recipes donated by leading food writers, chefs and bakers.

Bacheldre Watermill will be launching a range of new products this Easter to get more people in the kitchen baking cracking good food!!

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Oak Smoked Stoneground Flour

packsOrganic flour producer Bacheldre Watermill is spearheading innovation in the flour market with the launch of its new Oak Smoked Stoneground Strong Malted Blend  flour.  Combining their artisan skills, Bacheldre Watermill has collaborated with “The Organic Smokehouse”, to create a premium traditionally stoneground flour, made unique by the smoking process.

Bacheldre’s new Flour is made with their existing award winning Organic Stoneground Strong Malted Blend Flour[1] and given a distinctive twist. The malted wheat flakes from the mill are cold smoked over locally sourced oak chippings for 18 hours in the smokehouse. These are then gently mixed with the Organic Stoneground Malted Blend Flour to Bacheldre’s secret recipe.

Matt Scott, co-owner and founder of Bacheldre Watermill, comments, “The oak chippings infuse the specially malted wheat flakes with a delicious smokiness, the flavours work  really well. The slow cold smoking process infuses a sweet wood-smoked aroma and taste that is reminiscent of bread being baked in a wood fired oven. The bread baked is delicious and is great just with butter, it also makes an excellent smoky pizza base”

The flour is then packaged very stylishly in a black bag with a warming picture of baking bread in a wood fired oven, with recipes on the back for making bread by hand or by machine. The packaging is all home compostable and fully sustainable. ‘It  certainly stands out as something special in the flour category, and it is!!’ Says Matt Scott

Bacheldre Watermill, situated in Wales, produces a range of organic, traditionally ground flours using carefully sourced wheat and traditional grinding stones to retain all the natural flavours, and goodness of the wheatgerm. Their flour range includes traditional stoneground wholemeal, organic stoneground spelt, organic stoneground rye flour and organic stoneground malted blend flour.

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