Prairie Mill Bread Co.
14253 23 Ave NW
The smell of warming yeast. The feel of wet dough. The joy it brings to others. Those three things are quiet possibly the most amazing, and heart warming sides to my own personal bread baking. So you can imagine that utilizing a day off to bake bread is nothing new; but visiting Owen Petersen at Prairie Mill Bread Co. is. Situated in the now loaded-to-the-brim Magrath Heights neighbourhood on Edmonton’s southwest side, this little bakery has been pumping out whole grain goodness for the last two years.
Pushing open the door, I was welcomed with a smile and warm hello. Worried that I may interrupt Owen’s flow if I chatted too long, he assured me it was not problem. As it just so happens, this man, who got his start at the original Calgary location, can multi-task with the best of them. As we talked about our love of bread, and chickens, I found that sharing my own passion with a dedicated miller and baker was beyond delightful. Owen was gracious enough to show me the stores massive gas oven which he found in southern Alberta, his Hobart mixer and his grain mill. I don’t know how to write my exact feelings, but try and believe me when I say I was in awe. Need any help Owen!?!
A jovial fellow, Owen is proud of his product and rightfully so. Using 100% organic prairie wheat while taking the axe to preservatives and oils, Prairie Mill Bread Co. is taking quality bread to another level. So much so that Avenue Magazine‘s 25 Best Things to Eat included their nine-grain bread on the list this year. If that wasn’t enough, they also received a Premier’s Award – Alberta Food for Health Awards for creating healthy food choices for Albertans. You know you’re doing something right when…
The list of products might be shorter than the bigger bakeries nearby, but includes something for everyone; Honey Whole Wheat, Honey White, Yukon Sourdough, Nine-Grain, Milled Flax, Sunflower Whole Wheat, Corn Millet, Muesli Whole Wheat, Cinnamon Raisin, Spelt, Multigrain Sourdough. Besides the traditional favourites, each day of the week Owen puts together a special or two. On this day it just so happened to be Cranberry Orange which is what you see taking shape above. There are also cookies, muffins and quick breads for those who want a sweet treat. And don’t forget, a slice of bread may just need a spoon of The Jam Lady’s preserve, which you’ll find in the corner.
Leaving with a loaf of nine-grain bread so fresh that it couldn’t be wrapped, I drove home with a greater than normal level of determination. Realizing that Prairie Mill’s breads may ring in a tad higher than what you’d pay for at the supermarket, I promise that after feeling the heft of this 2 lb 4 oz loaf, your wallet won’t feel let down. The nine-grain crust was superb and gave way to a soft, moist interior; easily earning its place on the list of 25 best things to eat. This isn’t the type of bread you’ll confuse with something lighter, but rest assured that you’ll appreciate the extra protein and fiber as the bread fills you up faster and keeps you going longer. As I set about making a grilled cheese sandwich for supper, I couldn’t help but think that if I didn’t bake my own bread, I’d be visiting Owen every few days…then again, with a personality as bright as his, I may just go back sooner than later.