Dutch windmills where you can buy flour and other artisanal products
Dutch windmills where you can buy flour and other artisanal products
We spend enough time in supermarkets to realise that there’s more to being a consumer than supporting a monopoly, being bombarded with special offers, unnecessary and sometimes toxic packaging and - let’s face it - lower quality goods as a result of cheap shortcuts on production lines.
Preserving centuries-old traditions
On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said for supporting businesses that operate using know-how passed down from generation to generation. When we buy our everyday products from an artisanal producer, our choice to buy from them contributes to keeping centuries-old traditions going and drawing on the wisdom and skill of craftspeople.
In fact, in 2017, the job of a miller has been entered onto the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This has a hugely important place in Dutch society and master millers are keeping this craft alive.
Order online from Dutch windmills
Imagine buying supplies from a windmill? Well, in the Netherlands, you can! There are many windmills in the Netherlands that have continued to grind grains, as well as other consumer goods like pigments for painting.
Here are windmills, per province, that have online shops:
Order from windmills in North Holland
De Gouden Engel windmill in Koedijk supplies organic supermarkets and shops far and wide, including in Amsterdam, and operates a webshop with all the kinds of grains you can think of, including seasonal products like oliebollen. The range of cake mixes is very wide and De Gouden Engel is very conscious of healthy eating and transparency in product labelling. The pastry baking mixes with less refined sugar, more fibre, and less common flours are now in the category of “Special Baking Mixes”. This is also the one-stop-shop for baking enthusiasts, selling everything from sourdough starter to measuring jugs.
Non-edibles are also milled the traditional way in the Netherlands! Verfmolen De Kat (The Cat Paint Mill) at Zaanse Schans specialises in, as the name suggests, paint supplies – pigments, dyes and all kinds of glue. You can mix your own paint the way the old Dutch Masters used to, in Rembrandt’s time! Verfmolen De Kat (pictured above) even has a youtube channel with demonstrations on making paint with the tried-and-tested egg tempura method.
Order from windmills in South Holland
De Roos windmill in Delft was traditionally a multipurpose mill, producing grain for bakers, barley for brewers and animal feed for farmers. Nowadays it focuses on organic grain for supplying bakeries, the catering industry and, of course, the average customer. De Roos is located where the city walls used to be, on a round defensive structure. Originally made of wood, it was converted bit by bit into a bricks-and-mortar windmill over time. It was around 1760 that the windmill took on its present-day appearance, though it needed massive improvements in the 1980s.
Order from windmills in Groningen
De Hoop windmill in Kropswolde near Groningen has a webshop, too, where you’ll find not just grains, but also baking agents and condiments. Gluten free and vegan baking is also factored in! Their website has many great recipes for all kinds of cakes, breads and pancakes.
Order from windmills in Friesland
‘t Lam Windmill is one of two windmills in the village of Woudsend, Friesland. It dates back to the late 17th century. In Woudsend, ships were supplied with food for long voyages, so the windmill was likely to have played a part in providing valuable dry goods for those on board. It’s open on Saturdays as a visitor attraction (in “normal times” at least) and its grain shop opens from Wednesday to Saturday. As you can see in their webshop, as well as the myriad grains, they even sell baking tins, so even though shops are shut, there’s no excuse!
Order from windmills in Utrecht
Slagerij de Molen, the artisanal organic butcher housed in the Rijn en Zon windmill in Utrecht is the exception to this set of windmills, because the products they sell are not produced on the premises but it is worth mentioning thanks to the very high quality of the meat that they sell. The fact that it’s in walking distance from Utrecht city centre makes it convenient for the city’s meat-eating population. It is one of the five tallest mills in the Netherlands. It was out of use for many years, but its milling capabilities were restored in September 2020, so it’s likely to start selling grain again in the near future!
Order from windmills in Gelderland
De Zuidmolen windmill in Groesbeek is temporarily closed for face-to-face visitors but offers many great products on their webshop, from grains to seeds. If you’d like to buy a unique birthday present for your baking-obsessed friends, they make up special baking gift boxes! You can even stock up on cookie cutters, cake tins in various forms and high-quality baking agents. If you're not looking to bake but would prefer to taste something delicious, why not try their own in-house breads or orange cake?
The privately-owned De Hoop windmill in Klarenbeek has an online webshop that sells its own grains and also products of De Vier Winden windmill in nearby Vragender. They sell whole grains and seeds, various kinds of flour including wheat, rye, spelt, barley, buckwheat and oats, as well as pancake mix in various types, bread baking mixes and many very tasty cake mixes.
Nooit Volmaakt windmill in Gorinchem has existed since 1718 and underwent massive restoration in the 1990s. Ever since, it has been grinding grains to supply bakers in the surrounding area. Its name translates as "Never Complete". It has a diverse online shop selling not only milled products, but other locally-sourced goods such as jam, craft beer, freshly-pressed juices and even the traditional Dutch alcoholic drink known as advocaat.
Order from windmills in Zeeland
Get your flour delivered all the way from a Dutch island! De Jager windmill in Oud-Vossemeer, located on Tholen island in Zeeland has an online shop. A windmill existed on the site since 1850 but it fell out of use for a long period of time. The modern De Jager windmill was officially opened on 8 May 1976, National Mill Day! On their website, you can even check out the impressive photo album of the windmill’s restoration in the 1970s.
Order from windmills in Brabant
De Arend windmill in Terheijden is a listed national monument (rijksmonument) and the miller who runs it is part of the Artisanal Miller’s Guild, which stands for extremely high-quality flour production. The windmill was erected in 1742 by order of the noble Nassau-Siegen family in Breda. Due to being built in a populated area, it had to be tall enough to catch the wind. It is named after an eagle, due to its height, with the windmill sails soaring in the sky.
De Arend windmill in Terheijden, Brabant
Visit a windmill to buy artisanal products
Take the time to visit some of these windmills and buy top-notch products face-to-face. Many working windmills in the Netherlands operate their shops without an online version, so plan a cycling trip or go for a leisurely drive to a windmill near you, and stock up on premium quality artisanal goods.
Visit windmills in Utrecht province
Inside De Windhond windmill, the adorable windmill in Woerden, you can buy many different kinds of flour, from wheat to spelt, as well as their own special in-house cake mixes (including mixes for making delicious pancakes, stroopwafels and speculaas cake.) It also sells raising agents, cake spices and raisins. You can even find souvenirs such as recipe books, colouring books and tote bags.
De Windhond in Soest is not to be confused with De Windhond in Woerden, even though it’s in the same province! As well as all the exceptional kinds of flour and meal, they also sell beautifully packaged gifts that include specific ingredients for certain kinds of cakes, along with loaf-shaped cake moulds.
Visit windmills in Overijssel
D' Olde Zwarver windmill in Kampen is both a working mill and a tourist attraction. It plays an important role in the lives of the locals in the historic city of Kampen, with its school and community outreach. Its name means “The Old Tramp” because it has been wandering! The windmill had to be transported from its original place in 1952 to avoid demolition. Research done on the mill in recent years suggests that it may have been moved in the 19th century, too. If you’re in the region on a Saturday morning, the windmill shop is open, selling, wheat flour, rye flour, buckwheat meal, bran, cornflour and more.
De Leeuw windmill in Bathmen is located on the N344, so if you’re driving between Deventer and Holten, it’s worth stopping by! There had been several windmills on the same site, but the current one was built in 1856. The windmill fell into disrepair in the early 20th century, but by World War II, wind power was back in favour. It was on the up and up for a few years, but another massive restoration was needed in the 1980s. The grains produced there are on sale on Fridays and Saturdays.
Visit windmills in Gelderland
Not only is De Witte Molen the only fully functional windmill in Nijmegen, but also the oldest. It has been listed as a national monument. It typically supplies local bakers and food manufacturers and doesn’t have a webshop, but visitors are welcome to buy from the windmill shop during opening hours from Tuesday to Saturday. On the Witte Molen website, you can even take a virtual tour of the windmill!
Molen De Maagd in Hulshorst on the Veluwe is located between Harderwijk and Nunspeet. The grains that are produced in the windmill can be bought via a “click and collect” system.
Den Olden Florus in Terschuur also operates using a “click and collect” system - products can be collected on Saturdays between 10am and 3pm. It also often sells products from De Vlijt windmill in Wageningen.
Joannusmolen in Heumen has been committed to organic food since 1982. They don’t have a webshop - instead, you’ll find their products like breakfast cereals, grains and baby food in health food shops throughout the Netherlands, such as Ekoplaza, De Natuurwinkel, Marqt, Estafette and Gezond&Wel.
Nooit Gedagt windmill in Woudrichem
Here are some other Dutch windmills where grains are milled and sold onsite:
- De Leeuw windmill in Aalsmeer
- Kijkduin windmill in Schoorl
- ‘t Rode Hert windmill in Alkmaar
- De vriendschap windmill in Weesp
- Kyck over den Dyck windmill in Dordrecht
- De Eendracht windmill in Alphen aan de Rijn
- ‘t Vliegend Hert in Brielle
- De Rode Leeuw in Gouda
- De Walfisch windmill in Schiedam
- De Doornboom in Hilvarenbeek
- De Korenbloem windmill in Oploo
- Kerkhovense molen in Oisterwijk
- Nooit Gedagt windmill in Woudrichem
- De Zwaluw windmill in Burdaard
Get your baking supplies from a traditional Dutch windmill
During “corona times” many of us have taken up baking, what with all the extra hours that would otherwise be spent commuting or socialising. Why not stock up on supplies for your next sourdough loaf, banana bread or flapjacks from your nearest windmill? Check out the Miller's Guild website for more information.