If you are up in wine country near St.Helena, stop by Bale Grist Mill, a fascinating water powered mill built in 1846.
Mario was our miller and tour-guide for the day and he told the most fascinating stories of the history of the area. He also ran the mill and ground up a few bags of flour that we could buy. It was fabulous to see all this old wooden equipment come alive, powered by a giant water wheel.
So now I’m home with fresh bags of whole wheat flour and of polenta, and if the old-timers are right, I’m going to be baking amazing bread. ‘Cause here’s what they said ( quoted right from the Bale Grist Mill Historic Park site):
“When meal comes to you that way, like the heated underside of a settin’ hen, it bakes bread that makes city bread taste like cardboard.”