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On a recent trip we discovered this wonderful 7th century working water mill in the center of the southern Dutch city of Maastricht that grounded spelt flour and prepared breads using traditional methods. The Bischopsmolen (Bishop Mill) has an attached bakery and café/store where they hand-make all their breads using locally sourced Spelt. They are not organic, but I think it is great that they only use small local farmers to source their grain. Some of their principles for making their artesian (ambachtelijke) bread include:
-They take their time. They bake the breads without using any yeasts and therefore let the bread rise for two days using sourdough methods.
-They don’t use any artificial additives (chemische hulpgrondstoffen) or e-numbers
-They produce sustainably (duurzaam) and they ask that their suppliers do the same
-They use their hands (and only their hands) to make the bread
-They use 100% locally-sourced spelt flour. Their vision and commitment to their bread is inspiring and you can really taste it in their product.
We decided to have lunch at their cafe after looking at the water mill and watching them make bread in the bakery, and, as expected, it was all fresh and delicious. Then we went into their little shop and loaded up on spelt four and their recommended olive oil cake. This is definitely a great place to visit and it is very respectable their approach to making fresh real food. I have been to Maastricht a number of times but had never seen this place. It is hidden down a little side street right in the center, and from the outside you would never expect there to be a 7th century working water mill inside. Also, if you are not in the mood for bread they also have a lot of yummy traditional Limburgse Vlaai (Southern Dutch Pie), which, for me personally, is always a good reason to visit anywhere!
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