Just kneaded and shaped a loaf of bread? Instead of baking it by its lonely self in your oven, take it down to Grist & Toll‘s community “pop up” on Sunday, February 9th.
Michael O’Malley of Michael O’Malley’s Mobile Oven (MOMO) will be on hand to pop your creation into his oven with other home made breads. The “Your Local Hive” pop up shop will also be available, featuring small batch goods like Frog Hollow conserves, Eat Well salts, and Fat Uncle Farms blistered almonds and nut butters.
Grist & Toll has also begun its new retail hours: Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., or by appointment.
Grist & Toll is the first mill in the greater Los Angeles area to sell freshly milled flours created from organic heritage wheat and grains since 1902. Both Pasadena and Los Angeles have rich flour mill histories. In Pasadena, El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill) was the area’s first mill built in 1816.
The mill, the brainchild of partners Nan Kohler and Marti Noxon, is the result of a chance meeting in Paris. Noxon and Kohler met on a street while the two were waiting for their seats in a tiny restaurant and continued to bump into each other at a number of other locations throughout the city. From there, a friendship blossomed that led these two like-minded, passionate bakers on a journey to open Grist & Toll.
Wanting to fill the missing link in the current farm-to-table movement, the duo have begun partnering with farmers to organically grow heirloom wheat and reintroduce “lost” local grains that haven’t been seen in California since the 1800’s and early 1900’s. These heirloom, or landrace, wheat varieties have richer, deeper and more diverse flavor profiles, enhancing the quality of even the simplest baked goods. (Italicized text courtesy of Grist & Toll)
Nan and Marti invested in a beautiful Austrian stone mill. They say that “The process of stone milling the wheat allows for a finer product while preserving the natural vitamins and minerals found in the grains.”
The more we baked with freshly milled flour made from heirloom wheat, the more we knew that other bakers and chefs of all skill levels should have access to it. It is a revelation.…Flour is no longer just a filler or a vehicle to create loft and volume, but an actual flavor, texture, and color building block. (Nan Kohler)
When Grist & Toll creates their flour it is by a process called “whole grain, stone milling.” They explain that this means they grind the wheat or grain with the whole berry intact—”no tempering or soaking the grains prior to milling to separate the germ and bran from the endosperm.” (Endosperm: the part of the seed that acts as a food store for the developing plant embryo, usually containing starch with proteins and other nutrients.)
This process preserves what we hold most dear: nutrients, flavor, and integrity.
Breads may be purchased at Grist & Toll, as well. Last week they had walnut bread, a rustic country loaf, and a whole grain seeded loaf. These were baked by their baker Joseph Abrakjian of Beyond Bread.
So, if you would like your loaf baked for you with many other home bakers’ loaves in Michael O’Malley’s Mobile Oven or would prefer to purchase fresh bread created by another’s hands, come check out this “pop up” craze at Grist & Toll—striving to create a sense of community, one loaf at a time.
Beyond Bread has a booth at the new Downtown Glendale Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., located in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church on North Maryland Avenue, just east of Brand Boulevard, and between California and Wilson Avenues. David Karp of the L.A. Times calls Abrakjian “a remarkable newcomer” to the market, extolling his “signature” product, 100% whole wheat ciabatta that is naturally fermented for 18 hours, “loaded with seeds and complex flavors.” His bread “is likely to be a big hit at farmers markets.” (Read full article here.)