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Prairie Mill Bread Co. - Edmonton

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Dan G Jan 25, 2009 08:13 AM

It was nice to see a bit of press for this place in yesterday's Edmonton Journal. I've been shopping there since it opened before xmas, and really want it to succeed.

Owner (Owen) mills the organic grains (grown near Thorsby) in store, and makes a variety of breads. I've tried most, all are good, but the best has to be the 9 grain sourdough. They also make a very good banana loaf, and wonderful oatmeal cookies. It is a bit pricey - loaf of bread is close to 6 bucks, but oaves are 2 1/2 pounds of a good heavy dense bread. Not the type of thing you want for kids lunches, for example, but if you just like eating bread as is (or it makes incredible toast), this stuff is great.

Only thing I haven't been completely thrilled with is the buns, which are a bit heavy.

Nice perks: a buy 12, get one loaf free card, and (even better) when you go it, Owen will cut you a slice of bread that you can slather with real butter and eat while you chat with him and make your choices.

It is in the plaza on the southwest corner of 23 ave and rabbit hill rd.

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  1. sarah galvin RE: Dan G Jan 25, 2009 11:33 AM

    There is also one in Calgary. Wonderful bread. Grind the flour same day bread is baked.

    6 Replies
    1. re: sarah galvin
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      Dan G RE: sarah galvin Jan 25, 2009 12:16 PM

      Yeah, the guy running the one here worked in Calgary for them, off and on over the past few years.

      1. re: sarah galvin
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        graemejw RE: sarah galvin Jan 25, 2009 01:50 PM

        Are you sure they mill the flour on the same day it is baked??

        Flour has to age for several weeks after it is milled before it is any good for breadmaking.

        The only way to get round this is to artificially age it with chlorine gas or potassium bromate - neither of which are remotely good for you or the flour.

        1. re: graemejw
          sarah galvin RE: graemejw Jan 25, 2009 03:16 PM

          That is what I was told! I doubt they treat it with chemicals.

          1. re: sarah galvin
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            Dan G RE: sarah galvin Jan 25, 2009 06:31 PM

            I was told the same thing - milled first thing every morning. And no chemicals...would seem kind of pointless to use organic grains and then treat them.

          2. re: graemejw
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            cancowboy RE: graemejw Jan 25, 2009 06:54 PM

            I found this on http://www.victoriapacking.com/flouri...

            "Any flour develops better baking qualities if allowed to rest for several weeks after milling. Freshly milled flour produces sticky doughs and products with less volume than those made with aged flour.
            While aging, flour turns white through a natural oxidation process referred to as bleaching. Natural aging and bleaching are somewhat unpredictable, time-consuming processes, however, so chemicals are now used to do both. Potassium bromate and chlorine dioxide gas rapidly age flour. Chlorine dioxide and other chemicals bleach flour by removing yellow pigments in order to obtain a uniform white color. Bleaching destroys small amounts of the flour's naturally occurring vitamin E, which is replaced in fortified or enriched products."

            So aging seems to improve the charateristics that make me like white bread.
            But freshly milled flour would tend to produce the kind of loaves that you would want from an organic bakery.

            1. re: cancowboy
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              pingpong RE: cancowboy Jan 26, 2009 02:37 PM

              I have shopped at the calgary store for years, and know the guy there. (met owen years back too.) They do mill there flour every day, and they never add any chemicals or other stuff to it. it is awesome and I love trying all their new loaves. They also mill their flour at the store, you can always see it there....fresh! I feel way better eating organic.

        2. sharonanne RE: Dan G Jan 26, 2009 03:07 PM

          Sounds like a good occasion for a taste test!

          I also like the bread from the Prairie Mill in Calgary.

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            rob1234 RE: Dan G Jan 27, 2009 07:53 AM

            How are the prices here. I find Cobbs way over priced so I'm looking for an alternative.

            9 Replies
            1. re: rob1234
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              Dan G RE: rob1234 Jan 27, 2009 09:02 AM

              Actually, a bit more expensive than Cobbs. A loaf of sourdough is $5.75, but it isn't the type of bread you are going to make kids lunches out of. I don't think it is outrageous for really good bread, locally made, for serving with dinner. And, unlike Cobbs, it doesn't go stale for at least a week. It may not be as great by day 5 as it was the day it was made, but still edible (and spectacular for toast).

              I guess the Journal article has increased their business; my wife stopped in last night at about 5 pm and got the last loaf! They said that it has been very busy all week.

              1. re: Dan G
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                rob1234 RE: Dan G Jan 27, 2009 10:01 AM

                Thanks. If it's good bread I don't mind paying. I just found Cobbs too salty and I could have made better at home myself or bought better for 99 cents at sobeys.

                1. re: rob1234
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                  Dan G RE: rob1234 Jan 27, 2009 11:26 AM

                  I don't think $5.75 is outrageous for what you get. Some of the Dempsters multi-grains, etc are $4 in most stores now.

                  1. re: rob1234
                    too_hungry RE: rob1234 Jan 29, 2009 11:07 AM

                    Careful with the Sobey's bread...read the nutrition label and you'll find gobbs of trans fat! Like 6 or 7%.

                    1. re: too_hungry
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                      rob1234 RE: too_hungry Jan 29, 2009 11:44 AM

                      I should check. I usually just look at the calories and get the low sodium stuff.

                      1. re: too_hungry
                        Bryn RE: too_hungry Jan 29, 2009 12:44 PM

                        They add shortening to prevent the bread from staling.

                        1. re: Bryn
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                          Dan G RE: Bryn Jan 29, 2009 12:54 PM

                          who does? You should be clear that you aren't saying PM does...

                          1. re: Dan G
                            Bryn RE: Dan G Jan 29, 2009 09:34 PM

                            Seeing as I directly replied to too_hungry's post which did not mention the local bakery at all, I thought it was obvious.

                  2. re: rob1234
                    sarah galvin RE: rob1234 Jan 27, 2009 06:26 PM

                    No comparison to Cobbs. Way better.

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                    edmo foodie RE: Dan G Jan 28, 2009 01:15 PM

                    hey DG Don't you read City Palate --Prairie Mill was in their stockpot Jan 1. Owen is awesome and the breads v good, one slice does you. I find Cobbs too sweet, and not like an artisan loaf at all. Re other breads: Treestone on 99st makes impeccable slow rise breads, we need more Treestones across the city as they seem to run out of bread at noon. also Baker Bill at the downtown market but I think he may be at Strathcona market now, for the winter.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: edmo foodie
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                      Dan G RE: edmo foodie Jan 28, 2009 01:39 PM

                      Well, City Palate isn't really the mainstream media. One article in the Journal will get them more exposure than a year's worth of coverage in City Palate (which I do read...).

                      1. re: edmo foodie
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                        Larry33 RE: edmo foodie Jan 28, 2009 02:49 PM

                        Fresh Start Bakery makes a pretty decent loaf. I also enjoyed a nice Caraway Sauerkraut Rye loaf I got recently at the Farmers Market.

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                        cocoafan RE: Dan G Jan 29, 2009 07:59 PM

                        And do not forget Breadland Organic Whole Grain Bakery on 104 Avenue. The best ciabatta in my tastings around town

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                          Sonic Monkey RE: Dan G Apr 26, 2009 08:27 PM

                          I laughed when I read this, because we do buy Prairie Mills' white bread for the kids' lunches. They love the taste, and I rarely have leftovers. If I add fruit and veggies, one piece of bread is enough. It is very heavy bread.

                          My husband likes their raisin bread and the multigrain (not sourdough), but I find it too heavy. I think it is a good accompaniment for soup, not an "every day" bread. I checked the calorie count, and it is almost double that of most breads.

                          For years, the whole family ate nothing but Bee Bell's 7 grain bread, but the kids want white bread (like their friends), and sadly, I think Bee Bell's bread has really deteriorated, particularly in the last eighteen months or so. I don't even buy 7 grain anymore, and would like to find a good alternative.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Sonic Monkey
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                            Dan G RE: Sonic Monkey Apr 26, 2009 09:14 PM

                            When I wrote that, I hadn't eaten any of the breads but the multigrain sourdough (still my favorite). Have now had most, and yes the others are good sandwich breads. I love the white with peanut butter or for grilled cheese. Have also been using it as a hot dog bun of sorts, wrapped around a bison smokey from Thundering Herd bison at the market.

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