Tuesday 29 September 2015

Dunster dough!

Recently we enjoyed a break in Somerset. A beautiful part of the world if you've never been. We had many days out but the best was our day at Dunster Castle, which is just outside Minehead and can be seen for miles around as it's situated (as all good castles should be) on top of a hill!

Once inside, the castle has been returned to its glorious 1920's heyday. All of the rooms have been dressed accordingly and its a real privelege to see how they lived in the castle all those years ago. Here's a pic of the study. Wow!

A prize is on offer if you see any Mary Berry books

The grounds are immense, too much for us to cover on one afternoon, but we wanted to stroll down to see the water mill, as we'd heard it was used to make Dunster Castle's own flour.

The water mill was a sight to behold. As we wound our way towards it, we could hear the ripples of water getting louder until we crossed a Lovers Bridge and there it was!

Lovers Bridge

Dunster Castle water mill

Everything was working and we headed inside to have a good look around, determined to find a bag of flour to purchase.

Inside, we were given a very detailed explanation of how the mill works and, hopefully, how it will be used more regularly in the near future due to the local demand for good flour. Brilliant news.

All too soon we were in the gift shop and we bought some flour, which I had to wait until we got back to our nest to use.

Dunster Castle wholemeal bread flour

I opted for the wholemeal. If you're gonna do it, do it right!

Once home, I made up a poolish ( or starter) using my ongoing white bread flour sourdough starter and the lovely wholemeal flour. I then left this to prove overnight, before mixing it with more wholemeal flour and kneading, finally resting it in a banneton for several hours. Eventually, it was baked!

Sourdough starter

Dunster Castle wholemeal sourdough...

The taste was lovely and the crust chewy with Somerset tang!

A few days later, I increased the white bread flour to a 40:60 mix (ie more wholemeal than white) as it was a tad strong for the kids!

...with a bit more white bread flour!

If you're near Somerset, why not pop into the castle. There's lots to do - oh, and buy some flour while you're there! :)