Steve Horton’s production space in the Food Building in Northeast Minneapolis is stocked with literal tons of Minnesota-grown spring wheat. It’s from Cokato, Cottonwood, and Moorhead. It’s loaded into a mill, crushed between Vermont granite stones, and sifted to separate the bran and middlings from the fine flour.
It’s a brand new mill for the Mill City from Steve Horton (above), formerly of Rustica Bakery. Baker’s Field produces single-origin whole grain flours, which he provides to the likes of Restaurant Alma, Spoon & Stable, The Bachelor Farmer, and now to the home baker (check the Eastside Co-op right now, with more retail locations to follow).
By milling a single grain grown on a single plot, Horton hopes to bring out the distinctive flavor of the grain that will come through in his flours. He sources from some farms that are certified organic, and others that aren’t certified but practice the same care of sustainable farming.
But he’s not just leaving the baking up to you. Be on the lookout for their own baked goods. “Using fermentation, naturally leavened breads, we can bring out the flavor of the grain, or the fermentation flavor, depending on the bread,” says Horton. “Some are a lot heavier, in terms of acidity, some are more grain-forward.”
His brioche-style pan bread is eggy and surprisingly light. A hearty loaf called “Hundred” is made from Hazlet rye, the same cultivar distilled into Far North Spirits’ Roknar rye whiskey. And the enterprising hamburger chefs of the Twin Cities will want to get their hands on Baker’s Field buns (below), substantial enough to hold a weighty burger, but almost ethereal on the palate with just a little sweetness.
Check the Northeast and Mill City Farmers Markets for his loaves and bagels for now, but expect to see them popping up in more outlets soon.