Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Mill-It-Yourself At Muddy Fork Bakery

Baker Eric Schedler mills five different grains in-house. On the show, we watch the process and then we bake a pie with a kamut pie dough.

  • eric schedler milling spelt

    Image 1 of 2

    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    Eric Schedler of Muddy Fork Bakery bought this mill when his local source of fresh flour dried up.

  • spelt flour

    Image 2 of 2

    Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

    Spelt flour, finely ground

Today on Earth Eats, we continue our April celebration of baked goods.

I visited Eric Schedler of Muddy Fork Bakery a couple months ago when I heard that he was milling his own flour.

The mill is not a big machine. It blends in with the other equipment in the bakery. Thursday is his milling day so that he can mix the starters and then bake on Fridays. He calculates exactly how much spelt flour he’ll need so that he doesn’t have any extra — one 50-pound sack of grain should do it.

New Skill Set

Eric realized he would have to start milling in-house when his local source of flour dried up:

We had been using fresh-milled flour from a farmer in Seymour, and that’s sort of what we got started with. And when she lost her grain in the middle of the season, then we started ordering commercial sacks of wheat and rye. It just doesn’t have the flavor that a fresh product has. It also has a bitterness to it.

He bought the mill about a year and a half ago, and he immediately started experimenting with milling new grains — ancient grains like spelt and kamut, along with the more traditional hard red wheat, white wheat and rye.

“We are making new varieties that we’ve developed in the past year that take advantage of the different grains,” he says.

Take the kamut, for instance. It has a yellow tint to it, and it’s three-times bigger than a regular hard wheat berry. Through trial and error, Eric learned he has to mill it twice to get the flour fine enough.

“It’s very interesting to work with,” he says. “It took a long time to figure out how to get a nice dough out of it.”

Kamut Apple Pie

Eric mixed up some pie doughs with the kamut flour and he brought the dough over to his friend Malcolm Dalglish’s house. Malcolm is a musician and composer and he also makes a wicked apple pie.

Even though Malcolm is a home baker, he is teaching Eric–the professional baker–how to make this pizza pan apple pie.

“They cook rather fast,” says Malcolm, “So what I do is a kind of go by smell, because what happens is the apples reach a point where they… let out this incredible apple aroma.”

Bang On The Dough All Day

We also speak with Freda Love Smith, a musician and author. She chronicles her life in music – and her love of food – in her memoir Red Velvet Underground. Along with rock ‘n’ roll memories, we follow her cooking lessons with her son Jonah. One of their first lessons is how to bake bread, which is fitting because one of the first times food and music collided for her was as a teenager working in a Bloomington bakery.

Stories On This Episode

Neb. Plan Could Be Model For Cleaning Up Groundwater Pollution

brazile creek sign

The plan is to help farmers adopt practices that reduce the amount of nitrates getting into the groundwater and implementing more efficient irrigation methods.

Baking Bread And Dropping Beats In “Red Velvet Underground”

freda love smith and Red Velvet Underground

Freda Love Smith's memoir chronicles her life as a rock drummer and food lover. She tells stories of how those two worlds have collided in some unexpected ways.

Lack Of Protection For Migrants Puts Food System At Risk

Workers pick sweet potatoes

A new report from Johns Hopkins University says a lack of rights for undocumented farm workers threatens public health and the food system.

Soda Taxes And Small Candy Bars: Two Countries Fight Sugar

sugar

The U.K. and Canada released reports last month detailing efforts to reduce sugar consumption in their respective countries, with two different approaches.

Judges Take Up Big Soda’s Suit To Abolish Philly’s Sugar Tax

coke bottles

An appeals court hears arguments Wednesday on the future of Philadelphia's landmark tax on sweetened drinks.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media