How Small Scale Millers Like Nan Kohler Are Changing Our Flour

Nan came to milling by way of baking, via a long stint as a wine rep. She was always an enthusiastic home baker and worked for a time at a small café in Sherman Oaks called Sweet Butter Kitchen. Her cookies were a huge hit, which she attributed to the fact that she sought ingredients that spoke for themselves.

“When I first started baking, I looked at the flour just like everyone else does,” she says. “It was a blank slate with no essential flavor.”

Grist & Toll - Bake From Scratch How Small Scale Millers Like Nan Kohler Are Changing Our Flour
Photography by Matt Armendariz

Eventually, she started experimenting with different kinds of flours—first rye, then maybe a little spelt. Barley. Around that same time, she was smitten with a particular segment of a PBS television show called Adventures with Ruth hosted by Ruth Reichl. Nan particularly liked a part with French baker Richard Bertinet, who owns a bakery in England. She watched it several times to retain one of the baking techniques that Richard demonstrates.

One day she sat down to watch the segment again and rewound a little further than usual. She landed right at an ancient flour mill in Bath, England, and although she’d seen the segment before, this time it was different. She listened to the miller as if for the first time and, as he talked about blending wheat varieties, something clicked. She had never heard anyone talk about flour with the same care as, say, heritage vegetables. She also saw for the first time that wheat for flour could be treated the same as grapes for wine, each type having unique flavor and handling capabilities.

3 COMMENTS

  1. How wonderful that so many individuals see the need for better food, the way God intended it, and do something about it. Thank you for all your hard work and efforts to improve the lives of others through our food sourses and communities.

    God Bless You.

    • Hi Walter,

      Thank you for reaching out. We do not ship flour but you can try looking for 12% protein flour through Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour, which are two of our favorites. Happy Baking!

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