Eating With Adventure In Mind

Posted on Tue, 03/12/2019 - 10:32am

mockmill collage

“Make what you eat today different than what you ate yesterday. Because, why not?!” Of all the benefits of home milling that our guest speaker Paul Lebeau, Managing Director of Wolfgang Mock’s Mockmills, posed to us, this one really resonated. So much so, that I knocked on the table, a German custom when someone makes a good point that Paul encouraged us to take part in during his talk. Eating, baking, and cooking with a sense of adventure sounded inspiring to me. Aside from all the information coming at us about health and environmental considerations, food should be fun and it should taste really good.

The History of American Women and Bread Baking

Posted on Wed, 02/27/2019 - 10:23am

Dr. Trumpler with students

We had the pleasure of being introduced to Dr. Maria Trumpler at the 2018 Grain Gathering at the Washington State University's Bread Lab, where she was one of the keynote speakers and a workshop presenter. Dr. Trumpler, a Senior Lecturer at Yale in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, presented a talk titled “Why women stopped baking bread at home and why it matters.” It was a historical look at the evolution of women nourishing their families through baking and presented theories of why changes in agriculture, technology, and personal taste could have contributed over time to what you see today.

7 reasons to fall for freshly milled flour

Posted on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 2:27pm

small tabletop mill with grains and flour

Our standard all-purpose wheat flour here at Zingerman’s Bakehouse is amazing stuff. It’s organic, traceable (not only can our supplier tell us what American farms the wheat comes from, we’ve even visited one of them) and fresh (fresher than what you find most stores or commercial bakeries because we get a weekly delivery straight from the mill and bake with it soon after). At the same time, we also want to feature freshly milled whole grain flours, much of which is ground right here on our very own stone mill. Read on for the top 7 reasons why.

A Regional Grain Shed Being Transformed

Posted on Fri, 02/01/2019 - 12:34pm

close up of rye sprouts in a field


From craft beer to local wine to fruits and vegetables at the farmers market, much of Michigan’s local food economy is going strong. However, grains remain an underdeveloped aspect of the movement here. Grains that more closely and richly reflect the land and the society on it are a key, but often overlooked, part of robust local foodsheds. The area between you and where your grains grow is probably vast and in many cases untraceable due to the grains being mixed and combined during the cleaning, storage, and milling processes. Participating in the rebuilding of this rich topography is a foundational piece of our grain work at the Bakehouse.

Molly's Rye—Big Flavor In a Small World

Posted on Tue, 01/15/2019 - 1:52pm

rye stalk from Breslin Farms

Across the local food discourse, from the ecological and sociological literature to foodie memoirs, 100 miles is often used as the boundary that divides local food from everything else. Here at the Bakehouse, we are some 300 miles from where Molly grew our rye berries. This rye might not meet the somewhat polarizing textbook definition of “local,” but we believe other metrics measure local, too. For us, the most compelling aspect of “local food” is the ability to know more about the way something is grown and the farmers that grow it and to be in real relationship with those important and too often undervalued people. This component of localness knows no exact geographical boundaries and can be engendered in surprising ways.

A Beloved Bread, Updated to Be Even Better

Posted on Wed, 01/09/2019 - 12:08pm

vollk 2.0 with butter

We have already been making a great (if we do say so ourselves) Vollkornbrot (Vollk 1.0) that our guests have come to love and appreciate over the years. But part of the Zingerman’s ethos is “constant improvement,” and we knew we could apply that to this bread and tweak it to be even better. With flavor, texture, and digestibility in mind, this new version uses freshly milled, organic, whole grain rye flour as well as freshly cracked organic rye chops from Breslin Farms in Illinois.

Stone Milling Idioms (We Say Them All the Time!)

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2019 - 10:32am

cartoon version of a pile of breads


While traditional stone milling is far removed from American daily life, as we know it, we still get to enjoy sayings around the water- or wind-powered craft, that were coined during a period when such milling was central to our lives and communities. Today we may know what these idioms are communicating but few of us understand the actual reference from which they came. Read on to learn more about common mill sayings and proverbs, like "the daily grind" and "run of the mill." 

The Grass-Fed, Mediterranean-Style Yogurt We're Hooked On

Posted on Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:46am

Hiday yogurt container

Here at the Bakehouse, we pride ourselves on sourcing local ingredients from Michigan farmers who care about sustainable practices. Dan Hiday, the owner and principal farmer of the Hiday Family Farm, fits this bill to a T and we’ve been carrying pints of his organic, grass-fed yogurt in the Bakeshop for close to a year now.

Washtenaw County's Early Milling History

Posted on Tue, 12/11/2018 - 10:15am

mill stone

Stone milling fresh flour from grains grown locally has a rich and storied history throughout southeastern Michigan and especially here in Ann Arbor and greater Washtenaw County. This history goes as far back as the early 19th century, during the earliest days of settlement of what was then the Michigan “frontier;” a time when water-powered stone grist mills were at the heart of every town and agricultural community that settled along the Huron, Clinton, and Raisin Rivers and their tributaries throughout Washtenaw County.

Early American Mill Design & Their Role in Local Communities

Posted on Thu, 12/06/2018 - 1:05pm

Field of grain

We find that we do better work when we’re actively learning. Our new stone mill is a great opportunity to study our local stone-milling heritage, farming, the world of whole grains, the age-old traditions of baking with freshly milled flours, other forms of milling...the list is long. Today we’re diving into early 19th-century American Mill design and the role of mills in local communities.