Grateful Bread is already one of our favorite bakeries in town, earning the Best Bread award in our Best of Denver 2015 edition — and owners Jeff Cleary and Kathy Mullen are about to make things even better. Starting in August, they'll be milling their own specialty flours on a custom-made East Tyrolean grain mill that's being built in Austria this summer. Once shipped to Colorado and installed at the Golden bakery, the mill will be able to grind up to 200 pounds of whole-grain flour an hour.
East Tyrolean builds its mills from solid pine — which is not sensitive to temperature changes — and stone grinders from the island of Naxos in Greece. Mullen says they'll use the mill for all whole wheat, pumpernickel, rye and other small-batch specialty grains, but not for the unbleached baker's flour that the company currently uses for the majority of its breads. "We've been talking to farmers to get some good local grains," she notes.
“We prefer working with local farmers for all our ingredients so we are excited to be sourcing Colorado grains for use in this mill,” adds Cleary.
Grateful Bread will also be working directly with chefs at the restaurants they currently supply to ensure that breads made with the house-ground flour meet the chefs' requirements. Mullen says they've already received positive feedback from chefs who are looking forward to an even more artisan bread. The bakery will also have the ability to mill grits and polenta to restaurant specifications, adding another product to their current line.
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Although the bakery's goods have only been available to the public one Saturday every three or four months (when hour-hour long lines form for baguettes, boules, croissants and other specialty items), Mullen says that the bakery will offer packaged stone-ground products for sale and will increase the retail sales days from once a quarter to every Saturday sometime this fall.
At eight feet long and seven feet high, the new mill is big enough to require its own room, which is also being built at the bakery this summer. East Tyrolean (or Original Osttiroler Getreidemühlen, as the company is known in German), is a family-owned business that has been building all of its wooden mills to order for more than 70 years.