matthews cotswold flour

33

FOOD

He says, "There's flour, and there

is flour. There is cheaper white

offerings in a supermarkets mainly

aimed at home-bakers, then there is

an increasing choice of quality and

specialist flours now appearing in the

same supermarkets and in specialist

outlets, like farm shops. They are

almost entirely different products."

If you are serious about making

bread or baking in general, then you

should also be serious about its main

ingredient. Looking out of the mill

at the sunlit valley in the Northern

Cotswolds, Matthews says, "This was

sheep country; the name Cotswold

relates to that. In the late 1700s

it became a place to grow cereals

that were just right for low protein

wheat flour which was required by

the biscuit-making industry back

then. When my family built this mill

in 1912 it was part of the big change

in milling across the UK. There

were thousands of mills before that,

today there are only about 20 milling

companies. After the railway came

through in the late 1850s we were

connected with the rest of the world.

It changed everything. Suddenly we

were selling to places like Dublin

and London."

The natural protein in grain is the

strength which transfers into flour.

If you make bread you want dough

to rise; the protein strength allows

for that. For biscuits, you don't want

anything to rise, so you don't need

high protein. Local wheat, back then,

would have 8-9% protein, whereas a

bread flour will be 11 -12.5% protein.

We started making a name for our

specialist wheat."

Time for tradition

The traditional way to mill grain is

with stones, but in the early 20th

century the industry moved to

milling with steel rollers, as they use

less energy and have a larger surface

area so they are faster (although that

can make the process hotter, which

is not always good at keeping protein

in grain. ). Stoneground is slower and

cooler, needing more input from

He says, "There's flour, and there

is flour. There is cheaper white

offerings in a supermarkets mainly

aimed at home-bakers, then there is

an increasing choice of quality and

specialist flours now appearing in the

same supermarkets and in specialist

outlets, like farm shops. They are

almost entirely different products."

If you are serious about making

bread or baking in general, then you

should also be serious about its main

ingredient. Looking out of the mill

at the sunlit valley in the Northern

Cotswolds, Matthews says, "This was

sheep country; the name Cotswold

relates to that. In the late 1700s

it became a place to grow cereals

that were just right for low protein

wheat flour which was required by

the biscuit-making industry back

then. When my family built this mill

in 1912 it was part of the big change

in milling across the UK. There

were thousands of mills before that,

today there are only about 20 milling

companies. After the railway came

through in the late 1850s we were

connected with the rest of the world.

It changed everything. Suddenly we

were selling to places like Dublin

and London.

The natural protein in grain is the

strength which transfers into flour.

If you make bread you want dough

to rise; the protein strength allows

for that. For biscuits, you don't want

anything to rise, so you don't need

high protein. Local wheat, back then,

would have 8-9% protein, whereas a

bread flour will be 11 -12.5% protein.

We started making a name for our

specialist wheat."

www.fwpmatthews.co.uk

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