Le moulin de Rairé

Mrs barasadwrn and I were in France earlier this month and visited le moulin de Rairé in the Vendée. It’s the only mill in France to have never stopped milling since it was built. It was built in 1555 so that’s a lot of milling. And yet not much compared to today’s mills – the…

Llwyn Celyn

I spent last week volunteering with the Landmark Trust at Llwyn Celyn, a Grade I listed medieval hall house at the bottom end of the easternmost valley in the Brecon Beacons National Park. My visit was halfway through a 2-year, £4million renovation programme. Work was well underway to convert this beautiful building and farm complex…

Y Felin @ Mydroilyn

Last weekend was National Mills Weekend so I combined my regular trip to Lampeter to collect Felin Ganol flour with a visit to Y Felin in Mydroilyn, owned by Sue and Glen James. Tucked in directly behind the chapel, the earliest records for the mill date to 1740 and Sue told me that alterations were…

Loaves: baralys

It’s been three months since I started selling Marlais and Dulais loaves from the honesty box and I felt it was time to offer something new. Inspired by the whole-grain, heritage-grain ethos of Tartine Book No3 and coming across the work of Edward Dickin to revive an ancient grain, I started experimenting with naked barley….

Seed Journey @ Artes Mundi 7

Back before Christmas I went to the National Museum with fellow members of the Welsh Grain Forum to meet Amy Franceschini and some of her companions on the Seed Journey, a year-long sailing expedition from Oslo to the Middle East that had been shortlisted for Artes Mundi 7. They were in the throes of setting…

First steps on the stairway to oven

The biggest issue with baking in the kitchen is the oven. It’s a standard domestic electric oven, I’d guess about 25 years old. I used one of a similar size in Cardiff, although that was gas and I could use both the main oven and the top oven/grill – meaning I could bake six 600g…

Loaves: Marlais and Dulais

The Marlais and the Dulais are the two rivers nearest the house, and so I’m borrowing their names for my first loaves. Both use the same pain au levain dough, which means that I build a stiff levain at only 60% hydration around 12 hours before I want to mix the dough. At the same…

Honest bread, honesty box

A couple of years after my course with Andrew Whitley and my internship at E5, I’m getting around to selling my sourdough on a regular basis. I’ve still got the office job but have wangled Fridays off to bake so I can sell from an honesty box outside the house on Saturdays. Find out where…