Now that I'm finally getting settled into our new home, I've loved being able to begin the bread baking once again. I've been doing it multiple times per week for so many years that to stop seems… I don't know… just weird.
When Stuart said to me the other day “You know what would be delicious with this? Some homemade bread.” I knew it was time to jump back into the bread saddle.
Luckily, I had just ordered 100 pounds of wheat berries.
I get asked the question quite often about how we prepare our wheat, what variety we buy, what grinder we use, etc. and I'm always happy to answer because truthfully, my wheat grinder is how I began my whole food journey.
Well, it was at least a huge part of it.
My first grain grinder I affectionately named Fannie. She was old, but strong, and for some reason reminded me of an old farm lady. I used Fannie for years and years before upgrading to this beast:
Unlike Fannie, this grinder mechanically grinds the wheat instead of stone-grinding it, but I love it's effectiveness and ease. Fannie made a little bit more of a mess than my new, super clean grinder which I can easily keep on my counter at all times. And since I use it multiple times per week, I'm happy to leave it out amongst the appliances. I truly recommend this grinder – I've been using it for over a year and love it. You can purchase it through Amazon here. (Note: there are lots of fantastic grinders out there, use what works for you!).
I've found through experience with lots of readers that the ‘art' of grinding your own flour is really more of a mental hurdle to tackle than a practical one. Earlier this week, I ground two different types of flour for crackers, biscuits, and bread. I timed how long it took me: 1 minute and 46 seconds for all of it. Including opening the stubborn food storage buckets that I keep the berries in.
That's fast food, my friends.
The smell? Heavenly.
And the taste? Unmatched by any packaged flour you could possibly buy.
It is so, so, so good. And requires a ridiculously low level of participation to acquire.
The only stipulation of enjoying this beautifully, fresh homeground flour is making sure that you have high-quality wheat berries to grind. I always keep two varieties on hand: hard wheat (I enjoy both white and red) and soft white wheat.
The hard white wheat is used for breads, whereas the soft white wheat is used for biscuits and pastry (it grinds into more of a pastry flour). Technically, it has to do with the level of protein in the different varieties, but I'm sure there's a lot of other things that you'd rather do than sit here and read about protein contents of wheat berries. Like, mop your floors, or something.
I mean, I find it interesting, but I'm strange when it comes to my love of food.
If you're making the switch to grinding your wheat at home, you'll also find that buying the wheat is bulk helps tremendously with buffering the cost. I purchase our wheat through Azure Standard – purchasing it in 50 pounds bags, I'm able to purchase it for about .50 cents per pound. And that's for organic, certified non-GMO wheat!
Have you priced organic flour at the store lately? So expensive. Eek.
We've found that despite the the growing trend to ditch gluten, our family processes home ground flour incredibly well. For starters, we make sure to drink and eat lots of cultures foods like kombucha, kraut, kefir, and yogurt to help us maintain healthy guts. Yep. We like our guts nice and active and healthy. Then, we make sure to always soak, sprout, or ferment our flour so that our bodies are able to further digest it with ease.
I hope that this is helpful to some of you out there who are wondering where to begin on your whole-foods journey. Making your own bread, crackers, pastries, and biscuits at home is a huge step in the right direction. If you can't afford a grinder right now, start saving and don't forget to look on Craigslist for gently used ones! You can also try and find a friend with a grinder who will trade you use of their grinder for a bit of freshly ground flour!
It's amazing what people will do for freshly ground flour.
Yes. It's that good.