here are a few shots of the test kitchen / restaurant.
These turned out smooth tasting and sweet, but also with a good flavor profile…..used a sponge…. 1/3 of the final dough mass and shortened the proofing times both bulk and balled
A couple of years ago I decided to start some natural yeast in the Historic Pears Mill located in down town Buchanan Michigan. http://www.cityofbuchanan.com/article/228/more-information/arts-and-attractions/pears-mill …….below is the description as shown on the city of Buchanan website:
Buchanan, Michigan, first settled in 1833 and later named for future president James Buchanan, was originally settled on McCoy Creek because of a gradual 60-foot drop in water level leading to the St. Joseph River. To take advantage of this constant source of water power mills sprang up all along the banks of McCoy creek. Of the 13 known water-powered mills built along Buchanan’s McCoy Creek during the 19th Century, only one remains – Pears Mill (pronounced “Peers”), a flour mill constructed in 1857 in a very simple Italianate/Greek Revival style.
By 1983 the original structure, which was still in use as a farmers co-op, had been enclosed and altered by many additions and was completely sheathed in corrugated steel. That year the business ceased operations at that site and the building was slated for demolition. But within the eyesore remained the beauty of the original mill with its huge hand-hewn post and beam construction, 12 over 12 windows and the massive native fieldstone basement. The Buchanan Preservation Society, a non-profit organization founded in 1980, mounted a successful campaign to save the building.
Pears Mill has undergone faithful restoration and is administered and operated by the all-volunteer Buchanan Preservation Society. Occasional demonstrations of historic trades such as weaving, blacksmithing and basket weaving; rotating exhibits of Buchanan’s history, stone-ground flour and meal available to take home, and a mill gift counter all guarantee something to capture your interest.
Admission is free (although donations are appreciate). The Mill is open Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend and occasionally on Sunday for special events. Group tours are available outside of these hours by prior arrangement. The Mill generally operates on Saturdays during Mill hours.
Pears Mill is located in downtown Buchanan south of Front Street between Oak and Days. There is plenty of free parking available so stop by and visit a one-of-a-kind flour and grist mill.
There are many theories on wild / natural yeast capturing that I will not go into details about, but one of the draws for me was the historical connection of this Beautifully preserved Mill that was built about 100 years before my time and the flour (lots of it) that yeast thrives on.
The front of the mill as it looks today.
I chose the original millstone as the “staging ground” for the “yeast heist”
As you can see by the bubbles, we were handsomely rewarded…..the little critters came flying through in colors! (bubbles)
This place is packed with cool vintage machinery to boot.
Well its been about 2 years now since we started capturing the critters. With lots of washing and feeding our “Pears Mill Friends” are bursting at the seams. (this little batch went from 1.25 quarts to about five over night……my oh my….I think they got away from me) The flavor and texture of the bread is getting better all the time.
Some of the finished product……Oh yes!
Just saw a great review at:
The up-skirt is one of the nicest I have seen in a long time.
Soon you can build your own affordable, high performance, wood fired oven using our kit and instructions. All you need is 42 fire bricks and 4 cement blocks, and in less than an hour you will be up and running. (curing the round bottom hearth not included)