I had such a great day out this week! I visited one of the last remaining working water flour mill, right here in Pembrokeshire. Y Felin, has been in use since the 12th Century it is believed and is a step back in time.
Spend a Tuesday in St Dogmaels
I visited on a Tuesday, which also happens to be the day of the Farmers Market in St Dogmaels and this is held just a very short walk up the hill.
So, let me tell you about the mill and then I will tell you about the other things in St Dogmaels that will make it a great day out in another blog post.
The Mill is now owned by the Hall family and they have restored the mill to full working order since they bought it in 1977. It is thought that flour has been milled in this spot since the 12th century, which is when St Dogmaels Abbey is dated from. The present workings of the mill are guessed at an age of 1640, which is astounding in itself.
Take a guided tour
I can highly recommend a tour, given by the Miller’s Daughter, Emma, to get a real taste of the mill and fully understand the history of the mill and the beauty of the making of the flour. I won’t spoil the tour by telling you all here, I will let you find out!
I have used Y Felin flour in the B&B for quite a few years, I would take a trip over the bridge and buy my supplies from Nash Farm, a farm shop that stock the flour. It has been on my ‘To-Do’ list to visit the mill for years, I just haven’t managed to get there. I can tell you one thing, I will be visiting again, I enjoyed it so much!
I went on a rainy day and so was guilty of running from A to B and I missed the fact that they have a Tea Room, so that’s definitely a reason to go back!
The reason WHY I love this flour (and why you should too!)
What I am interested in, is the fact that the flour is stone ground and all that that means for the goodness of the flour.
Let me explain..
When flour is stone ground in a traditional manner the whole wheat grain is ground by the stone and the end result is the flour that you then use for bread and cakes. It is TOTALLY the whole grain, and this is why it is good for you.
All of the nutrients of the grain are retained, this is different to commercially produced flour, as in this process the most nutritious parts of the grain are removed and sold to major producers to go in other food, the ‘flour’ that we buy in the supermarket is purely the wheat starch, the bran middlings, wheat germ and wheat germ oil are all removed via processing(which is removing practically all the nutrients), leaving the fine white starch, which is highly absorbable by our bodies and hence, the sugar spikes that we get when we eat this.
Even in Y Felin, when they make ‘white flour’, which is called ‘grading’ the flour, this results in the semolina, bran and then the white flour, which infact, is not white, as to make this, commercially it is bleached. So, when you buy ‘white’ flour from Y Felin, it is still brown. Commercially, white flour has been bleached to achieve the white and then other additives are often added to enhance the flavour back up to the original due to what has been taken out! Crazy!
They also grind Biodynamic flour and I am always happy when I can get this to further enhance the bread experience. Biodynamic-that’s another blog post to explain!
So, I like to make bread with traditional Stone Ground Flour-it is a heavier flour and makes a heavier loaf and, most importantly, it is so much better for you!
Want to come and try our bread???
If this is making you want to come and try our lovely bread, then book your stay by clicking here
Here’s what ‘S’ said about her recent visit…’…Huge choice of breakfasts including a low carb, very hearty Welsh Breakfast, several fish/egg options too…. Have stayed 3 times now and would certainly return..’
To travel there, the post code you need: SA43 3DY
To read more about my adventures click here