Vintage flour proves recipe for success

People with gluten intolerance are driving demand for an old-fashioned flour from a Northumberland mill.

As a result of worldwide supplies of spelt flour nearly running out last year, an artisan bread company is now sourcing its spelt from Heatherslaw Corn Mill to make sure it has a consistent supply of the UK-grown grain.

The collaboration with the Great Northumberland Bread Company (GNBC) is good news for Heatherslaw which this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of the current mill being restored. There has been a mill at Heatherslaw for more than 700 years.

The increase in demand for spelt bread has been ‘considerable’, according to Matthew Rawlings, owner of the GNBC.

He said: “As bread bakers we have seen a considerable increase in the number of requests for bread made using spelt flour and though having made it for some years now, we are making bigger volumes all the time.”

The GNBC worked with Heatherslaw Mill to source UK-grown spelt from the 2014 harvest and it is now milling around 100kg of spelt flour per month for the firm.

“This collaboration with the mill has proven to be a great decision,” said Mr Rawlings.

“The quality is outstanding with the flour performing better than flour from national millers, largely down to the way it is milled we think, and gives us yet more local input into the breads we make which is appreciated by our customers.”

Heatherslaw Mill flours and oat products are available via mail order and the Heatherslaw Recipe Book contains a recipe for making spelt bread. Sales of Heatherslaw’s stoneground flour, oatmeal, oatflakes and muesli are also all doing well.