The squeaking of wooden wheels. A hot stone oven floor. Aprons covered in flour and rolled up sleeves… Let the wind work its magic!
In Terwolde, in the eastern province of Gelderland, you can find one of the seven remaining Dutch flour windmills that is still operating. It is called ‘De Ooievaar’, Dutch for ‘The Stork’. This brick-based mill dates from 1854 and was rebuilt twice after a series of devastating fires. Although the Netherlands is known for its many mills, there are only a few left that still run production on a professional level. The maintenance is expensive and requires a lot of devotion and knowledge. Doable for only for the real millers among us.
Catch the wind
Family Bökkers keeps the mill running, and not to forget the lovely shop located inside. Bastiaan Bökkers, sixth generation miller, takes the lead with help from his father Henk and wife Marina. “If the wind suddenly starts blowing when we are on our way home, we look at each other, turn the car around and drive back to turn the sails the right way. To catch the wind.”
Bastiaan still grinds grains the traditional way; with natural millstones. He prefers grains from Dutch fields and imports from France and Germany. Thanks to the traditional milling process all natural nutrients and tastes are preserved. Below the mill you can find the small shop filled with a wide selection of flour specialties. If you see yourself dragging home a burlap bag of ten pounds, no worries, they sell convenient small quantities especially for the enthusiastic home baker. You can taste the difference. With the right kind of flower you bake the crunchiest cookies and the most fluffy and steamy bread you have ever tasted.
Fresh baked floor bread on Saturday
If you visit the mill after 11 in the morning on a Saturday, the store is filled with fresh baked floor bread with crispy crust. Made from spelt from South Limburg and baked directly on the stone oven floor. Therefore the name “floor bread”. Enriched with rye leaven that has been fermented for twenty-four hours, for that distinctive taste.
Windmill De Ooievaar
Where? Wijkseweg 3, Terwolde
The shop is opened on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 09:00 a.m. to 02:00 p.m. You can visit the entire mill (the upper floors where the magic happens) during visitor days.
Visit www.bokkersmeel-bakkersmeel.nl for up to date opening hours and information.