You could be forgiven for overlooking the power of pie pastry flour in a Brockleby’s pie but, what would your plate of delicious and nutritious filling be without it?
With provenance uppermost in our minds, we carefully choose our suppliers from within a 30 mile radius of The Bakery. We apply this ethos to the supplier of the flour we use to make our shortcrust butter pastry.
Our pastry flour supplier
Bugbrook in Northamptonshire is where you will find Heygates situated next to the River Nene. This is an entrepreneurial family business which has farmed in Northamptonshire since 1562. The Doomesday book confirms that there has been a mill on the very same site as their headquarters in Bugbrooke for over one thousand years! It is from here that we purchase our pie pastry flour.
The Heygate group spans farming, flour and feed milling and baking.
Today, the business employs over 900 staff and operates ten flour mills on four sites, a feed mill and two modern bakeries. We are pleased, as always, to be supporting our local economy. As a result of geography and tradition, Heygates are strong supporters of British Agriculture favouring grain supplies from local sources where possible.
Types of flour
Within the broad headings of white, brown, wholemeal and specialist flours there are over sixty types of flour which Heygates mill. Each type has its own specific characteristics. We use the ‘Athena’ variety of white flour. This is an untreated flour ideal for bread and pastry with an excellent quality of gluten. The more protein present in a flour means a greater amount of gluten, and more gluten present means greater strength. When baking, the amount of gluten present is what will determine the structure and texture of the pie’s pastry.
Heygate’s knowledge of wheat is extensive. They boast a grain testing laboratory at each flour mill which tests the grain for quality after harvest.
Brockleby’s has adapted our range of pies providing gluten free pastry which caters for the gluten intolerant and coeliacs. You can read more about our gluten free pastry flour in a previous blog article here.
We have come a very long way since the Egyptians made the earliest forms of pastry! They mixed flour and water into a paste and coated meat with it before baking!