Elmore Mountain Bread loaves

Hundreds of today’s surnames came from vocations of yore, like Smith, Carpenter, Cooper and Judge and countless others — Wikipedia lists 859 of them.

The husband-and-wife team behind Elmore Mountain Bread aren’t named Miller or Baker, but their approach to their craft would be quite familiar to families in medieval England who begat such surnames.

Blair Marvin and Andrew Heyn started their bakery in 2004, after bouncing around the Seattle culinary world and coming back to Marvin’s home state. Elmore Mountain’s loaves — baguettes and anadama, and one called the Vermont Redeemer — are crunchy and chewy, with enough gluten to make even the most label-happy foodstuff packagers say, yeah, never mind.

It’s one thing to say your bread is made from scratch. It’s another to mill your own flour from locally sourced grains and immediately use that flour to make your bread. And it’s another thing altogether to start a side gig making 2,500-pound granite mills so you and other bread makers can revive the tradition of milling your own flour.

Of course, the 40-inch millstones are responsibly sourced, too, Barre Gray granite quarried and cut right here in Vermont.

Marvin remarked recently at a TEDx talk in Stowe that in a bygone age, every small town had its farmers, bakers and millers, and the sum of those vocations was the bread the people broke.

Their products are a far cry from Wonder Bread, and it’s a wonder why other bakers don’t do it the way they do.

— Tommy Gardner

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