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Do you grind grains?

 
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Some commercial "whole wheat" flours mill the grain into streams and then recombine the streams to make their whole wheat flour. Some mill divert part of the more valuable streams (e.g., wheat germ) for sale at a higher price - so some whole wheat flours do not have same nutrition as flour ground at home.
Flour ground at home is fresher.

High protein wheat is hard when dry. Most high quality high protein wheat is sold at moisture content of 10% to 12%. It is much easer to grind when the moisture is closer to 14%.  I add 2% water, and mix and let set and mix for a few days to "temper" the grain. Do not be careless. If moisture gets up to 16% it will likely clog the grinder! The 14% moisture grain will not keep for very long.
I had a Vitamix with the dry blending attachment, and I moved on to a Komo mill.

I bake twice a week and after trying all kinds of make-shift  and cheap bake stones and Dutch ovens, I have settled on a Fibrament baking stone (in an electric oven) as being faster, easier, and producing a broader range of baked products of better quality.

Whole wheat sourdough bread baked at home on a good baking stone can be as good  as any bread, any where,  any time. It brings new meaning to "bread is the staff of life".


 
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Aaron Lewis wrote:I bake twice a week and after trying all kinds of make-shift  and cheap bake stones and Dutch ovens, I have settled on a Fibrament baking stone (in an electric oven) as being faster, easier, and producing a broader range of baked products of better quality.

Whole wheat sourdough bread baked at home on a good baking stone can be as good  as any bread, any where,  any time. It brings new meaning to "bread is the staff of life".



I use a dutch oven in my oven to bake a miche or batard style loaf, but a large ceramic pizza-stone for baking pizza, focaccia, baguettes, or pretzels. I use a glass dish for dinner rolls since they are a soft crust bread anyways. I also bake breads without an oven too, such as lefse, pitas, and garlic naan. I use a paella pan on a fire outside to do those. I want to build a double chamber cob oven, but just haven't gotten around to it. And right now I'm actually too sick to do any baking anyways. I just got out of the hospital and I have to recuperate before I do any big projects.
 
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Location: Zone 7a, Alabama
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carla murphy wrote:I have a KitchenAid grain mill I acquired from an auction.  This is my only attempt at grinding my own wheat.  The 'flour' comes out really coarse even on the finest setting.  I run it through twice.  I've only been able to make bricks of bread, not loafs.  To be fair, I'm not a baker, so I don't know how to 'read the dough'.  I grow, my husband cooks.  But I dropped wheat from our diet about a year ago and have thoroughly enjoyed the lack of aches and swelling since we did.  I was hoping grinding an organic wheat would allow us to get back to bread.  So far I have not made anything palatable.  Bread so hard that even croutons made from it would break a tooth even after soaking in soup.  Are there any tips/tricks anyone can share about grinding with a KitchenAid grainmill and how to get a loaf of bread, not a brick using that flour.  Thanks in advance for any help.



We have a wondermill. One thing we have noticed about course versus fine grind, is the feed rate of the wheat berry greatly affects the final product. The closer you can keep your grind plates to top speed, the finer the finished product.
 
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I grind a lot of things.  Sometimes grain.  A lot of times a salt block from the farm store for horses that I use in my food.  Comes out of Utah and nothing is done to it and is MUCH cheaper than that pink Himalayan salt.  I like the flavor.  Also I grind plants that I forage after they are dried.  Anyways, I have used my coffee grinder.  With wheat berries, it leaves it s bit coarse, still.  I mix that in with regular flour. My goal is always to use things I don't have to get at the store or buy parts for to replace.  Right now since covid and shortages of parts, I bet you can see why.  What if you couldn't get new wheat grinder parts?  

I started using a mortar and pestle that you get in the Mexican section of the grocery store.  It is a rough texture.  But I broke it one day when hubs was really getting on my nerves.  Pounded a lil too hard...  Wasn't meant to be used that way anyways and it was tedious for grain.  So we found a big flat rock in our travels and I use it inside of a cardboard box lined with freezer paper to catch everything that falls off.  It works pretty quick and everything gets properly powderized.   Video of using it for salt, here.  

https://beggsnachin.webstarts.com/blog/post/mortar-and-pestle-replacement-from-found-stone-in-eastern-washington
 
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I was afraid my mill (a Wondermill) would be a large, expensive folly....and I've used it every week for a dozen  years now, and would rather have it than any other kitchen implement. I do about 5 pounds at a time, for 4 loaves of sourdough (I make 2 right away, the dough for the other two sits in the fridge to be made about 3 and 6 days later). It's cheaper than flour, but most of all it's much better/fresher, and also much more convenient (at the time I didn't have a car, and who wants to lug 5 lbs. of flour home in a grocery bag every week with all their other groceries?). I get 4 or 5 50-pound bags at a time, from a WA producer or from Azure, and then never have to worry about running out.
 
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Location: Orange County, CA
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I grind my grains with a Mock mill made for my kitchen aid mixer, it’s fantastic, adjustable grinds, which flows right into the mixer bowl

https://www.shigi.us/collections/new-arrivals/products/byijjzca10200265
 
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Location: Israel
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Two months ago, I was fortunate to buy a Mockmill secondhand from a neighbor who imported it from Germany but then found she didn't want it.
I thought I should buy it since it was a right next door at a good price and seemed like a fun experiment.
I have been pleasantly surprised by how often I'm using it and how much I like the results.

Here in Israel, I can't easy buy the range of grains in bulk that people do in the US but I'm making down with the wheat and spelt grains I can get.
One major benefit is that the sourdough starter I started and now maintain with fresh-ground wheat is far more vigorous than any starter that I ever made from store-bought flour.
Another benefit is the taste and texture, which I am really enjoying. I'd say it's 40% better than store bought.
I hope that nutritionally it's better too!

I see grinding my own grains as part of my goal to produce most of my own food locally, since I live in a climate that is very conducive to dryland farming of wheat.
However, that is part of my dream of growing or at least sourcing my wheat on local farmland (I live in a garden apartment, so it's not happening on my place!)
That will hopefully happen one day!

Another project that I am excited to use my Mockmill for is to grind my own homegrown spices, such as cumin, coriander, etc. It is realistic that I could grow a year's supply of these favorite spices in my yard, and then grind them fresh.

I will try my hand at growing them this winter.
 
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I grind both spelt and rye in my Vitamix blender, and from this, make all my own breads.
I buy a sack (25kg) of each grain (biodynamic, of course), and this lasts me for the entire year.
I grind about a cup of grain in as little water as possible, add a smidgeon of salt and honey (one pinch salt, and one tsp to one Tbsp honey), depending on the season), and set it in a cool place for the day. I repeat this three more times, adding each successive batch to the previous till I have a total of 4 batches. Each day I give everything a good stir for 5 mins or so to help the gluten do it's stuff.
Once all four batches are in, along with any seeds (sunflower, caraway, fennel etc) I have a hankering for, I pour into baking crocks, set everything in a warm place for 7 hours or so, and then cover and bake.
The bread is better than anything else I have ever had, it is simple, requires no "starter", and because the grains are biodynamic, both the land where they are grown and I am very, very happy.
It also keeps well. hugshugs from early winter New Zealand where I was building cob like tiny walls around a garden bed this morning and wondering if the winter rains will wash them away before they have the chance to dryish out.
I am thinking they might do ok. As am I.
 
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