Flour by the sack

A couple of friends who recently turned 40 organised a weekend camping in the Cotswolds last weekend. It turned out that the campsite wasn’t very far from Shipton Mill, which is located near the town of Tetbury. Having arrived and set up camp on Friday, I drove over on the Saturday morning to pick up some flour and some chopped rye grains for a forthcoming pumpernickel loaf.

Shipton Mill

The mill is at the bottom of a steep track that takes you down into a wooded valley with a stream running through it. Like so much of the Cotswolds, it’s pretty almost to the point of being kitsch. Most of the milling is done elswhere, with the headquarters only able to process quite small amounts. Nonetheless, they stock the full range of the mill’s excellent flours, and I picked up my rye, a 16kg bag of baker’s white, made from all-British wheat, and a small bag of ciabatta flour, ground to a slightly coarser texture than normal bread flour in order to facilitate the open texture characteristic of that bread.

Shipton Mill river, deck and house

Flour is obviously cheaper in bulk but, unless you live near a mill that supplies the public, it’s difficult to get hold of. A number of mills, including Shipton, will deliver flour by the sack. Doves Farm and Marriages also supply a good selection of sack flour, and there are quite a few others. You need to factor in the cost of delivery, of course, although some mills deliver free of charge if the order totals more than a certain value. If you bake a lot, you can save money and be assured of a reliable supply of your favourite flour at the same time.