Sourdough loaf with Sussex Magister Wheat

I tried a different variety of wheat in my sourdough loaf yesterday and it made a surprising difference to the crumb and lightness of the loaf. I usually buy wheat grain from the local windmill at Heage but the milling had to stop due to wet rot in the main beam thingy so I lost my grain supply. The good news is that after much fundraising the windmill now has it's sails back on and is back in action. In the meantime I bought wheat grain from Imbhams when I ordered spelt grain and maize so have a different variety to bake from. I'm not sure where Heage windmill source their grain from but it is definitely not the Sussex Magister wheat that I used yesterday. This has a much darker reddish colour and the dough was more springy and stretchy, whereas the Heage grain made a more rustic loaf with a greater depth of flavour. That is not to say that my new grain has no flavour, it is just lighter and more subtle (and just as delicious).

If only a photo could convey the heavenly smell and taste of a sourdough loaf

If only a photo could convey the heavenly smell and taste of a sourdough loaf

Whilst researching Heage Windmill for this post I saw that there was a classic motor bike event today so we picked an interlude between the showers and went for a look. It was a small but friendly show with much shiny chrome and classic bikes coming and going and roaring up and down the lane.  It was marvellous to see the windmill sails whipping round in the wind and of course it was quite essential to buy a bag of flour :)

Heage Windmill Walk

heage windmill

We are not far from Heage windmill, the only 6 sailed stone windmill in England. It was restored to working order in 2002 and has been my source of wheat grain and stone ground white flour for the past 18 months. It is in crisis at the moment due to a wet rot problem in the main beam holding the sails and tail, and is trying to raise £50,000 towards the £90,000 estimated bill. Click the link if you want to help the restoration of this historic mill. 

Last Wednesday It was very much like the song "I can see the sunshine after the rain", because after an overnight swamping, the sun came out in the late afternoon and it was just too beautiful to ignore. We decided on a short walk from Heage windmill, going down the valley and then following part of the route of the Cromford Canal. I was particularly intrigued by a section of the map marked 'Starvehimvalley Bridge' and so had to go and visit it before making our way back up to the windmill. It was a short walk but it was so nice to be outside in the sun.

Heage windmill walk