Lindley Mills

Lindley Mills – A Mill with a Meaning

Lindley Mills produces organic rye and wheat flours, including the new SUPER SPROUT™ and cornmeal. Aside from the satisfaction of bringing back a nearly lost art, Joe believes the mill has a deeper meaning because of its role in history.

Lindley Mills stands where the north-south trade route from Hillsborough to Raleigh crossed the east-west route through the Piedmont in the 1700’s. Built in 1755 by Thomas Lindley, the mill on Cane Creek milled local grain. During the Revolutionary War, the North Carolina militia ambushed the Tories on the north-south road at Lindley’s Mill. Hundreds of men died in the four-hour Battle of Lindley’s Mill.

Nine generations later, Joe Lindley owns Lindley Mills. The family had sold the mill in the 1800’s, and as the milling process became concentrated in larger operations across the country, the mill switched to animal feed. In the 1960’s, the mill closed down completely. Joe’s father, a local surgeon, bought the mill back in the 1970’s with the intention of restoring the water wheel. Once the wheel was operational, though, the opportunity to grind flour was too good to pass up. Once they ground their first batch of flour, Joe became hooked on grinding.

The mill has ground 100% organic flour since the Lindley’s began operating it again in 1976. Although Joe’s background is in engineering, that hasn’t stopped him from grabbing a handful of flour, a sifting cloth and experimenting with different kinds of grinds. He credits his education, or rather, his lack of milling education as a backward blessing. When more traditionally-trained millers are faced with a problem they have only their traditional answers. Joe feels that because of his engineering background, he’s more able to think outside the box when it comes to solving flour-grinding needs. As a result, businesses that need special kinds of flour come to Lindley Mills.

The flour in bread determines both the crumb (the texture inside the bread) and the crust. Lindley Mills designs their flour to be closer to a European style that’s not as refined or uniform in texture as flour used for large production-style baking. Machine processed bread needs to be very elastic and consistent because a machine cannot adjust to changes in the bread dough. Lindley Mills flour is the choice for small artisanal bakeries and home bakers.

Lindley Mills, Inc.

 Graham * NC *