On Saturdays, when we bake our mill loaves, the bakery is redolent with the aroma of freshly baked bread. At the Old Donsbrüggen Mill, we combine two very traditional trades – that of the miller and that of the baker.
We’re also very traditional in the way we bake our bread – in an old stone oven. It is an original "Königswinter" oven from the town of the same name. For centuries, building baking ovens was an important branch of industry.
We start by setting a fire right inside the oven. Once the wood has burnt right down, the oven will have reached the correct temperature. Then the embers and ashes are swept out, the oven is given an extra once-over with a brass broom and mopped out with a damp cloth.In the meantime, the bakers have prepared the dough and formed it into loaves. They transfer each loaf into the oven with a baker’s peel, a tool resembling a shovel or paddle. Then they give the peel a quick jerk and pull it out again. That prevents the dough from sticking and preserves its shape. It takes about an hour for the loaves to finish baking before they’re put out on to the racks to cool. And that’s how we make our delicious wholemeal loaves, which our customers are happy to buy and pick up.
The bakery started operating in 1987. It was built so we could show how grain is turned into bread. But we were also continuing an old tradition, because until the mid-20th century, Old Donsbrüggen Mill actually had its own bakery.
Photos: © Dagmar Trüpschuch und Förderkreis Alte Mühle Donsbrüggen