We are coming up on a year in our new facility and a lot has changed. Now we are sourcing the majority of our whole grains from California farmers and milling fresh at the bakery. We have three Meadow's brand granite stone mill that help us mill close to a ton of flour per week.
Working with fresh milled flour provides a lot of challenges. We are constantly monitoring the mills to ensure the proper feed rate of the grain in and the proper granulation out. Our primary mill is a 16" stone mill that we refurbished. We received some incredible guidance from a father and son duo from Chico, CA. Roger and Larry Jansen, who make their own stone mills (link), came to Mountain View to teach a class on mill stone dressing. Over the course of a day Roger taught us the science, history, and maintenance of stone mills.
In order to mill flour that performs to our liking, we had to start from scratch by grinding the two stones down flat. Once flat, we then had to ensure they were perfectly square to each other on the drive shaft. If the stones are perfectly flush to one another we can guarantee the berries will be pulverized and we get fine flour. Lastly, we cut new grooves or 'furrows' on the faces to crack and start the grinding process. The furrows on the stones act like scissors to slice the berries, then the rough surfaces in between grinds it down.
We are proud of the bread we're making and enjoying the relationships with the farmers who grow our grain.
We could say a lot of things about how the MIDWIFE + the BAKER came to be but the short of it is that we are husband and wife, we happen to have two of the oldest professions, and we are psyched to be able to work with our hands everyday and stay connected to the simple and essential things in life - Mac as baker and Jaime as midwife.
Mac has been teaching the art of bread baking since 2011 at The San Francisco Baking Institute and is excited to share his passion and enthusiasm for whole grain sourdoughs with the wider community. "It's simple. I like taking the whole berry, grinding it, fermenting it, and turning it into a highly digestible, beautiful bread."
Jaime has her own busy practice as a Licensed Midwife in San Francisco. Her practice has a home at The Root in Noe Valley, which she shares with three of her peers. She is currently taking some time off attending births to care for our new little love, Harlowe June, and help grow our baking venture.