Smoking is Good (in the culinary sense, of course)

I love this flour. I love the bread it makes. It’s chewy, malty and has an amazing smoky aftertaste.

I bought a packet about a month ago at my favourite event of the year, Ludlow Food Festival: an event I’d managed to sneak into the travel itinerary on our last trip home (much to my glee). It’s made by a Welsh company, Bacheldre Watermill, who have collaborated with another of my favourite artisan producers, The Organic Smokehouse, in creating this wonderful product.

The Organic Smokehouse smokes the malted wheat flakes which go into the flour, using an 18-hour cold smoking process. And it’s funny, but when I first baked bread using this flour, it’s aftertaste reminded me so much of the one you’re left with after eating (or, as in my case, gorging on) the Smokehouse’s Organic Smoked Cheddar, it makes you realise what a powerful, flavour-injecting practice oak-smoking can be. I’d love to give it a try one day!

Today, having just baked a fresh loaf for lunch, the only slight disappointment for me is that (for obvious and justified reasons) I’m not able to get hold of any good, palate burning Cheddar here, which, while I’m in this reminiscing mood, is precisely what I want to eat with this bread. Never mind. The Gruyere-type mountain cheeses are pretty darn fine too, in their own salty way.

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