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Story of Bread and Flour

The First Millers

The first millers were probably the Egyptians. 5000 years ago they were grinding wheat to make bread, they ate so much bread they were nicknamed the 'bread eaters'. The pyramid builders were paid in bread.


The first 'mills' were querns.One stone was set on top of another and the top stone was turned by hand. The stones crushed the wheat between them. flour dribbled out of the side of the stones and was collected from the floor. In the flour were bits of grit picked up as it was gathered. This meant that the bread was full of this grit. Which explains why the teeth of Egyptians and other ancient peoples were so worn down.

Toothache must have been almost a plague.

Stoneage Bread

The flour was mixed with water, made into a flat cake and baked on a hot stone. This gave the stone age people a portable food that would last for some time.


The picture shows two mill stones that have been dressed. The grooves in the stones channels the milled grain out from between the stones and into

Stone dresser

This was a highly skilled job, stone dressers travelled around the country working for millers, often staying with the miller until the job was done. The stone dresser cut grooves in the face of the mill stone. These grooves allowed the flour to flow from between the mill stones, it could then be gathered and put into sacks.

Showing your mettle

The hands of an experienced stone dresser would be grey from years of using metal tools and so showing his mettle meant he knew his job. The phrase has passed into the language and now means, 'to show what you are made of'.

Make some stone age bread.

Stone Age people had no yeast and salt was too precious to be used in bread.So this bread will taste very different from the bread you are used to.

You will need:
a mixing bowl, measuring jug, wooden spoon, greased baking tray, wire tray
ingredients: 100g plain Stoneground wholemeal flour 75ml warm water
What to do:
1. Get an adult to help.
2. Wash your hands.
3. Collect everything you need.
4. Set the oven to Gas mark 8 or equivalent.
5. Put the flour in the bowl, add the water. Mix together with the wooden spoon. Use your hands when it gets tough. 6. Put the dough onto a floured surface And knead until it is smooth.
7. Flatten the dough into a small pancake shape and place on the greased baking tray.
8. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes then put on the rack to cool down.