The small-scale craft flour mill and bakery is nearly open for business.
Steve Horton’s goal was to bring milling back to Mill City, and he’s finally done it.
The former Rustica Bakery owner has begun milling and baking out of Northeast Minneapolis’ Food Building with his new small-scale craft flour company, Baker’s Field Flour & Bread. The concept, which is possible thanks to the City Council adopting amendments to the zoning code to allow for small-scale grain milling, will soon roll out flour, as well as a fresh-baked bread, for wholesale accounts and local farmers markets.
For Horton, who sources his grain from farmers in the upper Midwest, his locally stone-milled flour helps to fill an underserved aspect of the market, which is traditionally full of less tasty and more uniform industrialized flour without clear origins.
“It’s craft flour. I almost think of it as single origin,” Horton told The Journal. “It’s starting to grow. Every couple months I hear about somebody new or something coming up.”
Despite more than a decade of experience baking at Rustica, stone milling is new for Horton, he said. But he’ll have many chances to experiment on the mill at Baker’s Field, which is from Vermont-based Elmore Mountain Bread. When milling, there are several controls, from the speed of the mill to distance between stones and more, and each kind of grain can have its own conditions, he added.
“There’s a lot of trial and error with every grain. Every grain is going to have its own hardness and consistency,” he said.
Horton has thousands of pounds of grain, including golden flaxseed from southern Minnesota, emmer from North Dakota, buckwheat from South Dakota, spelt from Michigan and more. He’s also hoping to get malted grains from Northeast Minneapolis-based Able Seedhouse and Brewery, a farm-centric taproom that opened near the new Highlight Center last fall. Several of the farmers are featured on the Baker’s Field website.
Horton’s flour will retail in two-pound and five-pound bags at farmers markets. Right now he’s looking at a whole wheat flour, a bread flour, a whole rye flour and corn meal for the first batches, but Horton said he’s looking to add an all-purpose flour and flours made from spelt and buckwheat.
For bread, Baker’s Field will have a rye bread, a whole grain bread, a filone, a seeded loaf, hamburger buns and more. Horton said he’s also working on a pan white bread and flatbreads.
Horton has begun testing batches in the Baker’s Field space in Kieran Folliard’s food startup incubator, the Food Building, in the Sheridan neighborhood. Baker’s Field has the last production space in the building that is also home to Mike Phillips’ Red Table Meat Company and Rueben Nilsson’s The Lone Grazer Creamery. The Draft Horse, a neighborhood restaurant, deli and bar, also opened last December.
Baker’s Field will begin selling flour and bread at the Mill City Farmers Market, Midtown Farmers Market (flour only), the Northeast Farmers Market and the Riverplace Market beginning Saturday, July 16. For more information, visit bakersfieldflour.com.