On the way to visit our new idyllic grandchild in New Hampshire, we visited this idyllic grain mill in Sudbury, MA, near Boston. Rich, the miller and historical custodian, answered our questions and gave us a quick tour.

We left with a couple small bags of flour, whole wheat and “white” flour. Their white flour isn’t like what you buy in the store. They simply sift the whole flour through a bolting cloth to remove the larger bran flakes, leaving the nutritional germ and the finer bran. The flour appears to be about half way between whole wheat and white flour and the bread made from it has a wholesome nutty flavor that you’d expect to get from whole wheat but is light and open like what you’d expect from white flour. A great combo that’s not difficult to duplicate at home with a home mill and sifter.

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A working mill.. for tourists

These granite mill stones show several types of patterns, called the dress, that were cut into the stones to improve their grinding and cooling efficiency. With the top stone turning at 120 revolutions per minute, a set of millstones can grind 500 pounds of grain per hour, necessitating after 2 weeks a re-sharpening, called re-dressing, of the lands and furrows of the stones. This task takes about 14 working hours per stone. Tradition and preference determined the dress of the stone while the life of the millstone, which varied from 10 years to a century, was determined by composition and use.

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Old Milling Stones

 

Inside the mill with Rich. Millstones in the foreground.

Sourdough bread made with the Mill's flour.

 

3 thoughts on “Longfellow’s Wayside Grist Mill

  1. Tammy

    What beautiful pictures! There is just something magical about an ole’ grist mill & it looks like you found a true beauty. There is nothing like fresh flours from these old mills. They give a depth to baked goods that one will never find in a store.

    I grew up just a few miles from the Burfordsville mill in Burfordsville, Missouri. I fished & swam in Black River that runs under the old wooden covered bridge & powers the mill. I will carry those memories and a deep love for bridges & mills forever.
    Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Dave M.

    Looks like a fantastic place. I always loved traveling out east. Reminds me of time spent as a kid when we went to Vermont. Dad took us to an old mill there that had a big area in the mill where they served stone ground pancakes. Really great stuff with real maple syrup!

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