Operation Use My Grain Mill
I’m stealing Trish’s idea from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity. She did a whole series of useful posts about using her kitchen tools and appliances called Operation Use My….
I want to make better use of my grain mill. I first wrote about it, in late 2012, when I was trying to decide which mill to purchase. I had been putting off the decision for years and still took another month. I finally ordered it on Epiphany of 2013 because I promised it to myself as a Christmas present and that, being the last day of the Christmas season, was as long as I could stretch it.
So, I’ve had it for about a year and I use it every week. When I first got it, I tried a couple of recipes from books about freshly-ground flour, but none of them were very successful. What worked was to convert the whole wheat measure in my favorite bread recipes to weight so that I could easily use freshly-ground flour for the whole wheat in my bread. I weigh the wheat, run it through the grinder, and quickly have the flour I need for my bread.
Freshly-ground flour makes a big difference in flavor. I don’t have particularly discriminating taste buds so I wasn’t sure I would notice, but I definitely do. There’s a grainy sweetness in the bread made from freshly-ground flour that’s reminiscent of corn bread — that’s completely lacking in the bread that I made from commercial flour. Also commercial flour makes bread with an off-flavor (mild rancidness, probably) that’s completely missing from the bread made with freshly-ground flour. Bread made with freshly-ground flour, then, has better, more complex, flavors and loses an off-putting flavor that can arise from commercial whole wheat flour.
I’m happy with my grain mill because it produces better-tasting bread. I’ll put my converted Golden Sunshine Bread recipe below. The other change, beside freshly-ground whole wheat flour, is the addition of garbanzo bean flour. That adds some protein to improve the bread’s texture and rising. I use the grain mill to make the garbanzo bean flour. Since I only use a couple of tablespoons at a time, I grind a bag of garbanzo beans and store the flour in the refrigerator rather than grinding fresh every time.
But. I intended to do more with my grain mill. So here are my goals for Operation Use My Grain Mill:
- Use other grains in my bread besides wheat
- Experiment with making breads with all whole grains (I still use a cup or two of commercial white flour in most recipes)
- Try making my own cereal
Next week, I’ll try grinding barley.
Bread Machine Golden Sunshine Bread
slight variation of this whole wheat flax seed bread
by Joy Weese Moll
1 3/4 cup whey, fat-free milk, or water
1/4 cup cottage cheese
2 Tablespoons sorghum
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup golden flax seeds, chopped up a little in the food processor
1 pound freshly-ground whole wheat flour
1 cup white bread flour
2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 or 8 pieces
2 teaspoons yeast
1. Mix the whey, cottage cheese, sorghum, honey, and salt.
2. Stir together the flax seeds, flours, and the butter.
3. Follow bread machine instructions for adding liquid and dry ingredients and the yeast.
4. Bake using the whole wheat bread setting.
Enjoy more Weekend Cooking posts today at Beth Fish Reads. She reviewed a fascinating cookbook called The Artisan Jewish Deli At Home by Michael C. Zusman and Nick Zukin.
Wow! I have only made bread from scratch a handful of times – and here you are with a grain mill and non-commercial flour! I don’t know that I’ll ever start bread baking on a regular basis in my current kitchen… it’s a galley and I have two roommates. But if I do move to a bigger place with more space, baking bread will go back on the to-do list. Your bread looks lovely!
I am a sourdough baker, but I have never considered making my own flour. It sounds like it would be worth it. Thanks for the insights!
I made some granola for Christmas and gave it as gifts to my daughter, our neighbors, and even my daughter-in-law. Everyone loved it. Really easy to make and delicious.
I bake bread often and have toyed with the idea of a grain mill. I haven’t yet taken the plunge. I bet the difference in taste is amazing. Where do you buy your whole, unground wheat?
Whole Foods, so far. Michael Pollan’s Cooked reminded me that there are people growing heirloom wheat, so I want to investigate mail order sources for that.
Mmmm beautiful! I have a friend who owns a grinder and makes the most delicious breads!
We have a grain mill which gets a lot of use, mostly for malted barley and brewing. I love the idea of making my own whole wheat flour!
I remember cranking my parents’ manual grain mill when I was a kid. Loved watching that flour sprinkling out of it. 🙂
Sounds like a great recipe!
I buy wheat that has been ground at mills in the neighbourhood (this one and this one). Windmill-wheat is ground more than supermarket-wheat, so it makes better bread in the breadbaking machine 🙂
That is very cool. I love the photos on those pages. Thanks so much!
Wow, I’m so impressed! Making homemade bread is already something I admire others doing, but to grind your own flour! It sounds really delicious and wholesome.
Wow! I see so many different flours that would be fun to experiment with but I have not considered grinding!
Impressive! Next step, growing your own wheat? (I would not be surprised, with all that you accomplish!) I just tried a new recipe this morning for breakfast, Orange-Pecan Skillet Millet, and it was delicious. I’ve been wanting to use more whole grains other than oats at breakfast. (Our kitchen has been gluten-free since Thanksgiving. I miss my husband’s homemade oatmeal bread! Yours looks delicious!)
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