Old sorts of grains, healthy and fresh flour, cozy atmosphere
… is a short description of the baking course at Falslevgård Mølle.
This post is dedicated to baking course I took last Saturday. After the course I am really looking with different eyes at the bread we are consuming on an every day basis.
Falslevgård Mølle – is a mill located in a beautiful city of Mariager. The city is tucked away in the end of Mariager fjord, and it is hidden between small hills and green woods of pines trees. Nature looks amazing there. Close connection to the sea and woods makes this area very attractive. I will certainly visit the place again. Now I have two reasons to come back. 😉
Short history of the mill
The farm dates all the way back to year 1927. Chresten Foged came back to Denmark in 1927 when he bought Falslevgård mill. Son Niels and his wife Karin took over the farm in 1998. They converted it to organic farming, by growing organic breads of grain and modern sorts of wheat. After some years of growing modern wheat sorts they came with an idea to cultivate the ancient grains and grind them in a stone mill. 2008 is the year Falslevgård started with the production of ancient grains: Spelt, ølandshvede, emmer, enkorn, svedjerug, goldblumehvede, scalinhvede, stavehvede og nøgenbyg.
It is primarily Niels og Karin, who are working with the production of grain, flour, and bread, together with their kids Mads, Ida og Jens, while aunt Inger and uncle Frits are helping on the way. Ida is a raw food specialist, with a couple of books behind her, training and courses about raw food life style. Impressive, isn’t it?!
The course at Falslevgård Mølle is based on the old sorts of wheat (grain). Why old sorts? It is important to use freshly grain flour, but why does fresh matter? Stone grained flour is much better, why? The answers to all of these questions we got at the course.
We are consuming a lot of bread daily, therefore we should consume quality. Read on to learn how to be healthy, cuz in healthy body lives a healthy mind.
After the course I was very interested in continuing reading, so I have made a short research and wrote the most important pointers below.
Whole grains contain three parts: the bran (outer layer), endosperm (middle layer), and germ (innder layer). The bran and germ are the most nutritious parts of the grain; they contain concentrated amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
What is wrong with modern wheat?
Wheat have been used from ancient times. It is, in fact, the foundation of civilization. When the seed is grounded and prepared into fresh bread it releases its nutritional bounty. This is how grains have been consumed over the millennia: stored in whole kernel form and milled fresh, full of life and nutrients.
What has changed?
Industrialization have changed everything, the way we produce, process and eat wheat. It has happened in two distinct “technology revolutions”. The first was in milling, the second in cultivation and farming.
In the 1870’s, the modern steel roller was invented. Compared to old stone methods, it was fast, efficient and gave fine control over the various parts of the kernel. The modern steel grinding processes the grain through a series of rollers that strip the grain’s layers, removing the outer layer first and then several following layers (bran). The next step is the removal of the very important, but oily germ. Once removed, the remaining portion, the endosperm is ground under steel friction. After being ground and sieved several times, it becomes a highly refined white flour. So all the vital nutrients, which are richest in proteins, vitamins, liquids and minerals were removed from wheat kernel (bran, germ, shorts, and red dog mill streams). Isn’t it ironic? But this way pest problem was solved, so flour could be stored for longer time (almost indefinitely), allowing a long distribution chain. Within 10 years all the stone mills in the western world were replaced by the steel roller mill. This was the beginning of processed food.
The second technology revolution came in the 20th century. This was Green Revolution, and in flour industry it meant use of new methods in growing wheat. According to Wikipedia, Norman E. Borlaug succeeded in breeding varieties that were able to grow in almost any part of the world, regardless of ecological conditions. Green Revolution wheat was resistant to rust, a fungal disease, but it required large amounts of fertilizer, pesticides, and often irrigation to achieve the high yields. From the year 1960 the nutrient content in the grain starts trending downwards. The amount of minerals like Zinc, Copper, Iron and Magnesium has decreased by 19-28%. On the way, we also figured out how to increase glutens for better “baking properties” (fluffier results).
For the very small percentage of the population that is celiac, even minute traces of gluten can cause terrible discomfort. For the vast majority of people with some level of “wheat sensitivity”, symptoms are much milder and seem to be triggered not necessarily by gluten per se, but by “something” about modern wheat. In the industrial bread there is often extra gluten proteins added to achieve better baking properties. People may show allergic reactions on some proteins, so it is no necessarily to always go completely gluten-free.
What should we buy then?
One of the healthy advises would be to return to old fashioned flour: organic heritage wheat, freshly stone ground, where the entire wheat kernel is ground and the germ is crushed into the flour. Watch out for the industrial “whole wheat” flour where in some cases some of the bran is just added back in. Healthy wheat flour is hard to find because it doesn’t keep well—delicate fatty acids start to degrade immediately.
We have been buying flour which was on shelf for a long time, so our generations already believed that flour doesn’t have to be fresh. This is true for industrial refined flour, but not for the whole grain flour ground from the stone mill.
Ancient variety of wheat you should look for are spelt, Kamut, Emmer, Einkorn, etc.
Why whole grain?
The type of carbohydrates you eat makes a big difference in the way you metabolize food and in the amount of energy you have. Refined grains are quickly digested into simple sugars and absorbed into your bloodstream; this can cause blood-sugar levels to spike and then quickly crash. These rapid swings in blood sugar can drain your energy and leave you feeling moody and tired. On the other hand, high-quality carbohydrates such as whole grains are rich in fiber, which helps temper blood sugars by slowing the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream after meals. They provide long-lasting energy that will keep you fueled for hours.
Thanks to Falslevgård
And in the end I would like to thank Karin and Niels for the awesome baking course. It was a great joy to meet you, listen to your stories, bake bread with you, share the table with you and just enjoy the atmosphere. Check out their website, cuz more baking courses are on the way and healthy flour is freshly milled just for you.