Dave Miller and Whole Kamut
I recently took a trip back to my home state of California to visit some old friends and bakeries. Dave Miller is a bit of a legend in the small world of bread in the US, and I knew that this journey should start at his bakery, Millers Bakehouse, outside of Chico, Ca. Dave’s bakery is unique, in that he’s a one man show that supplies whole grain bread and pasta to the lucky few at the Saturday farmers market in Chico. His breads are all naturally leavened, and with exception of one bread, all 100% whole grain, meaning no white flour! Not only that, but he mills all the flour for his breads on his mill in “real time”. Ie:, as he’s mixing! It doesn’t get any fresher than that, and it shows in his bread. He wants his bread to taste like the grain, and I’ve never had such “fresh” tasting bread in my life.
Watching Dave work was quite an experience and even several months later, I’m still remembering little tidbits from the visit. I’ve never seen someone take such care in his bread. He’s a true craftsman, focused on bread and milling grain into flour. Every step of his 2 day long production is a step that makes up the sum of all parts. After spending so many years managing others, and growing bakeries, he’s created a system and a lifestyle that works for him, and I admire him greatly for that.
I could never do Dave Miller justice in the same way that MC has. I’d wanted to visit Dave for years, but it was her blog post that made me finally decide it was time. Read her post here for more about Dave, his bread, his llamas and goats and the life he’s built for himself in Yankee Hill, Ca.
Of all the breads Dave is famous for, the one I wanted to try the most was his 100% Kamut bread, made with freshly milled whole Kamut flour, sourdough, water and salt. Kamut is an Ancient grain that is related to Durum wheat. It has the same yellow color as durum, but is even sweeter and produces very light tasting whole grain bread, with a unique flavor. His Kamut bread has the density of a 100% whole grain bread, but its remarkable how mild tasting it is.
This months bread is a tribute to Dave. 100% whole Kamut. Unfortunately, it isn’t freshly milled Kamut. I don’t have a mill. Yet. The organic Whole Kamut flour comes from Milanaise in Quebec. I’ve found that this bread improves greatly on day 2. I suggest purchasing the bread on Thurs and tasting it, but save it for Friday. It becomes sweeter, milder and makes a really great grilled cheese!
Our kamut bread
Whole organic Kamut Flour