For bread bakers, the locavore movement means something extremely basic, more basic even than sourcing produce from nearby fields or animals from neighboring farms. It means flour and water, two of the most essential of ingredients. For the water, that's up to you and your well. For the flour, now there's Grist & Toll, a new "urban flour mill" in Pasadena.
A passion project from business partners Nan Kohler and Marti Noxon, Grist & Toll opened for holiday hours on Sunday, Dec. 8. At their small shop on Arroyo Parkway, Kohler and Noxon are selling flour from grain sourced from local growers, which they mill themselves in their shop -- which has a small front room for retail but also houses their massive Austrian stone flour mill.
The Osttiroler mill, which Kohler had shipped from Austria, takes center stage in the glassed-in milling room at the back of the shop. Built mostly from pale wood, the mill is a gorgeous contraption -- imagine a medieval stone mill rebuilt by Ikea's Swedish furniture designers.
"Our bakeries are no longer milling their own flour," Kohler says of her project. "But in Europe it is still quite common, so that's where people like me are on the hunt for the right resources and gear."
Kohler is milling small batches of grain sourced from local farmers. On Sunday she had Triple IV hard red wheat flour and Sonora wheat flour for sale in 2 1/2 and 5-pound bags. Rye and spelt are being delivered this week, and Kohler is expecting corn toward the end of the year and durum wheat and hard white wheat in the near future.
Right now Grist & Toll has limited holiday hours, listed below, but they will expand in the new year. Kohler also has breads from Los Angeles Bread Bakers as well as wooden cutting boards and other items for sale in the shop, and expects to have more baking supplies and books available in the near future.
Friday, Dec. 13, noon-6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14, noon-5 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 20, noon-6 p.m.
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Saturday, Dec. 21, noon-6 p.m.
Check Grist & Toll's Facebook page for updates.
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