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Do you grind grains?

 
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I’ve recently signed up to https://www.azurestandard.com and putting together my first order. I was about to add flour to my basket when I noticed they sell whole grains for grinding. Earlier today, I read the line ‘If you can’t afford a grain grinder, buy whole grain flours  . . . ‘.

I could in theory use my blender, it’s not ideal but it could be a good way to experiment.

Is it worth doing?

Grain is slightly cheaper than flour per pound. It would be fresher.

I’m guessing grain has a longer shelf life than no refrigerated flour.

Could I sprout the grains before grinding?

There wouldn’t be any additives.

Do you grind your own grain and what do you use? Is it something that should be done properly rather than using a blender even if it is a high powered one that says it can grind grains? I make about 2.5 kg / 6lbs of bread a week.

I’ll have to ask myself, if this is another rabbit hole I really shouldn’t go down.
 
pollinator
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Howdy,
You should try using your blender/grinder on a small amount of grain to see if your pleased with the finished product. I have a hand grinder and do grind my own flours, corn, wheat, rye, buckwheat, BUT when it comes to time as in baking bread and the amount of flour I need, I just use pre ground flour. I grow my own corn for corn meal, and I have a 50 lb. bag of wheat berries. If I only need a cup or 2 of wheat flour I will grind my own.  I do have a # of grains that I store as they do keep longer as natural dried grain.
 
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One of the best features of permies is the related topics at the bottom of the thread. I was curious what would show up.

A year ago there was a great discussion of various mills and reading it makes me consider buying a mill... but I don't even have access to grain other than rice. What am I thinking? (The answer is finding enough land to grow grain on - of course)

https://permies.com/t/138836/kitchen/recommend-grain-mill
 
Edward Norton
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randal cranor wrote:Howdy,
You should try using your blender/grinder on a small amount of grain to see if your pleased with the finished product. I have a hand grinder and do grind my own flours, corn, wheat, rye, buckwheat, BUT when it comes to time as in baking bread and the amount of flour I need, I just use pre ground flour. I grow my own corn for corn meal, and I have a 50 lb. bag of wheat berries. If I only need a cup or 2 of wheat flour I will grind my own.  I do have a # of grains that I store as they do keep longer as natural dried grain.



Great advice. I just did a big inventory of all the flours I use and it’s quite extensive. There’s quite a few I already have the seeds / grains in hole form, so as the flour runs out, I’ll grind my own in the blender and see how I get on.

L. Johnson wrote:One of the best features of permies is the related topics at the bottom of the thread. I was curious what would show up.
https://permies.com/t/138836/kitchen/recommend-grain-mill



Yup - went down that rabbit hole after I posted. The related thread is way better than my search ability. Lots of really good stuff there.
 
pollinator
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We can get hard red wheat sacks (50lb) at the feed store for $15.
Our local food security group has a flour mill, a roller mill for processing husked grains like barley, and a cheap corona mill for processing beans, peas, and corn.
 
Edward Norton
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Nick Kitchener wrote:We can get hard red wheat sacks (50lb) at the feed store for $15.
Our local food security group has a flour mill, a roller mill for processing husked grains like barley, and a cheap corona mill for processing beans, peas, and corn.



I have no idea what a ‘food security group’ is . . . Sounds like a great set up.
 
randal cranor
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Howdy,
My hand crank mill is in here, somewhere..."seek and ye shall find", something I heard once or maybe twice, I don't remember...

https://permies.com/t/63467/Corona-Corn-Mill-grain-mill#1258144
 
pollinator
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We grind red wheat in our Vitamix blender. I then mix the resulting whole-wheat flour with my store-bought all-purpose flour for baking sourdough bread. The grinding does generate a lot of heat, though, so the whole-wheat flour has to cool and you may want to work in small batches.
 
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I use a molcajete for grinding small amounts of buckwheat. Next year I intend to get something more suitable for larger batches & tougher grains. Hoping to harvest some corn meal before a hurricane does. Ida knocked most of it down this year. Salvaged some but left most on the ground. It's acting like a cover crop right now. Not entirely a bad thing but it's not corn bread. Ugh.
hurricane-Ida-corn-damage.jpg
[Thumbnail for hurricane-Ida-corn-damage.jpg]
 
Edward Norton
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Mike Barkley wrote:I use a molcajete for grinding small amounts of buckwheat.



Nice! I’m learning more and more about Mexican food and really enjoy prepping and eating. I have a large granite pestle and mortar from Thailand, which is ok, but the inside is quite smooth and it’s deeper and narrower than a molcajete. I use it for grinding spices mostly and making garlic / ginger / galangal / chilli pastes. I haven’t tried with grain, I don’t think it would work. I think you need a flatter, slightly textured base.
077871AA-C961-44E4-AEE9-79AE46C6C555.jpeg
My Thai pestle and mortar next to a soda can for reference
My Thai pestle and mortar next to a soda can for reference
 
Edward Norton
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Think I might have to make one of these if I can find a seasoned oak log



Nice tutorial - https://jonsbushcraft.com/mortarandpestle.htm
 
master gardener
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I found an old hand cranked in a junk shop that is my go to.   I also have a grain mill for my Kitchen Aid mixer that is pretty slow.  I have a Wonder Mill ( I think) that I bought after I realized the Kitchen Aide was not going to do the job.
 
Nick Kitchener
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Edward Norton wrote:

Nick Kitchener wrote:We can get hard red wheat sacks (50lb) at the feed store for $15.
Our local food security group has a flour mill, a roller mill for processing husked grains like barley, and a cheap corona mill for processing beans, peas, and corn.



I have no idea what a ‘food security group’ is . . . Sounds like a great set up.



It's a local group of people who predicted supply chain breakdowns a few years back, and got together to establish greater food independence. We coordinate what each site grows based on the merits of the site, we work together on different projects at different sites, help with sowing, weeding, harvesting, and processing etc. And we share the bounty.

We are also connected to similar groups around the region and trade amongst each other (seeds, plants, animals, products). As it grows, it establishes a distributed food supply chain largely independent of the one most people's lives rely on.

Who controls the food supply controls the people...
 
Edward Norton
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Nice! Sounds like common sense so long as you can find likeminded people. When i say common, maybe I should say enlightened.

It’s my intention to end up in Ontario. I have family in and around Toronto and Georgian Bay. I read your post and thought it would be nice to be near your community but then I did a quick search and was once again reminded how vast Ontario is, let alone Canada. New Jersey to Toronto is only eight hours by car and it looks like your a couple of days drive on from there.
 
pollinator
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I have 2 grain mills. I bake regularly.

I have a nutrimill hammer mill, and a victorio hand cranked small grains mill.

Victorio is slower because it's hand cranked and has feed issues. Nutrimill is a bit messy, but it really makes a lot really fast and with a high level of consistency.

I mostly use the nutrimill. I grind red winter wheat, hard white wheat, rye, buckwheat, and barley.

I also often make porridge out of wheat and rye, add them to stews, and use them as a healthy alternative to white rice because they aren't just starch, there's a lot of protein and fiber too. They are very nice and I make stroganoff with wheat berries instead of noodles. It's a lot less work. I'm writing a cook book for time travelers... It's in there.

Time Traveler's Stroganoff
1 cup boiled wheat or rye berries
1-2 lbs finely chopped red meat such as lamb or venison, browned in its fat
edible mushrooms chopped well and cooked in the meat
onions or leeks chopped well and cooked in with the meat and mushrooms
mix in the wheat or rye berries, parsley, dill, long pepper and very sour skyr to your liking, and salt it lightly
May be served with toasted bread, flat breads, or a side of beets or turnips. Pairs well with sweet ale, sweet mead, or german white dessert wines

This is a hearty dish, for winter. It has a warming effect. You can cook it all in one pot, if you cook the grain first, and then set it aside. Retain the liquid for making beer.
 
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I grind the grains I grow myself, or that are easier to find as whole grains than as flour. I don't buy common grains for the purpose of grinding, although sometimes I'll take some that were bought for soup and grind them just for variety.

I find the Wonder Junior does a great job with most grains. Although I have learned not to use it with flint corn, because it damages the burrs. I found a different grinder for flint corn. The brand is from Haiti and the box is labelled in French. I found it at shopgoodwill.com for a good price. This thing is solid enough you could probably drive a truck over it, and it would still work.

Eventually I hope to grow more of my own flour, but until then I'll stick to buying flour already milled. My stamina is rationed tightly enough that I try to avoid buying myself more work if I can.
 
Ellendra Nauriel
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:


I'm writing a cook book for time travelers...




That sounds freaking awesome!!!
 
Ruth Jerome
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:
I'm writing a cook book for time travelers...


That sounds freaking awesome!!!



The premise is that the book is for sale at the time travel terminal, and these are your favorite modern foods made with locally available ingredients in popular time travel destinations. Ancient people sometimes had measures, and sometimes didn't. That's taken into account too. The above recipe is from my rough draft, and the destination is 9th century Kiev. The long Pepper was being traded along the Silk Road to Baghdad from India, and then up the Volga to the Baltic and Scandinavia, and across the North Sea to the Danish settlement of Jorvik in Angleland (York, England). Kiev was a popular stop along the Volga trade route. So they would have had the long pepper. You can buy it at import markets under the name pipali, and it's commonly used in India and Pakistan. If you use it, taste it first, it's usually quite pungent and you don't want to overdo it. In my opinion, it's part of the way between real wasabi and very high grade black pepper. The Skyr is because it was a mixed settlement of Norse and Slavs. Tatars and Avars also went to market there. So it was a fairly cosmopolitan place for its time. Bulgarian yogurt can be used instead of Skyr for example.
 
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I'm currently using the dry container of a Vitamix to grind grains, but I'd like to invest in an actual grinder at some point. I don't bake very often right now, so the Vitamix is satisfactory.

Store-bought whole grain flour, especially wheat, has a bitter taste to me. I hear the oils go rancid quickly, so much of the oil is removed from whole grain flour and what's left is likely rancid, unless you find small batch brands with high turnover.

I made a quick banana bread recently with einkorn wheat ground in my Vitamix. To avoid any graininess of the bran, I left the batter in the fridge overnight so it could fully hydrate. I gently stirred in the baking soda and baking powder right before pouring it in the pan to bake, and it was the fluffiest, tastiest, best loaf of banana bread that I've ever had.
 
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Nikki Roche wrote:. To avoid any graininess of the bran, I left the batter in the fridge overnight so it could fully hydrate.



This is a really handy tip. In addition to no graininess, the finished product holds together better. I usually let stuff sit at room temp for 24+ hours, too - like I'm starting a sourdough. Often you won't need any leavener then.

I usually only do up enough batter for myself, like 100g or so of flour, so a coffee grinder works fine for softer things like buckwheat.

Something else I do is soak whole grains and pulses, even let them sprout. Then put them in the blender with as little water as I can get away with to make a batter. I use as is for pancakes (which, not having an oven is what I use for bread) or thin it out for dosa type crepes. I think there's a thread on here about making mm ore traditional baked bread starting with a batter like this. Don't remember if the person figured out a good method or not.

Every once in a whole I think about getting a mill, but then I think about all the stuff I can make without one and talk myself out of it.

Lately, my husband and I have been eating lots of fermented pancakes made with equal parts oats and rice. Sooooo good.
 
randal cranor
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Howdy,

Jan, "Every once in a whole I think about getting a mill, but then I think about all the stuff I can make without one and talk myself out of it."

I was surprised when I couldn't find corn to buy for grinding into corn meal, at least not locally. I can buy corn meal, but I never know how long it's been "on the shelf/in the bulk bin". So I do grow my own corn for grinding.  I have been known as the "Pancake/Waffle King" here in certain circles.
 
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you might like our bicycle grain mill. we made a film about milling grain at home:

pedal-powered grain milling at home for self-reliance, in the appleturnover farmhouse
https://youtu.be/U7t8cxdPcpE

elisa
 
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L. Johnson wrote:One of the best features of permies is the related topics at the bottom of the thread. I was curious what would show up.

A year ago there was a great discussion of various mills and reading it makes me consider buying a mill... but I don't even have access to grain other than rice. What am I thinking? (The answer is finding enough land to grow grain on - of course)

https://permies.com/t/138836/kitchen/recommend-grain-mill


I heard another podcaster, perhaps Spirko, mention you could get grain either from Brewing Supply businesses or even some feed supply places.
 
Rick Deckard
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Might be a 'duh' question but those who have used blenders (so far just the Vitamix mentioned that I've seen), do you think a Blend-Tec (the "Will It Blend THIS" machine) would also work or is there something unique about the Vitamix that makes it preferable? Thanks!
 
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elisa rathje wrote:you might like our bicycle grain mill. we made a film about milling grain at home:

pedal-powered grain milling at home for self-reliance, in the appleturnover farmhouse
https://youtu.be/U7t8cxdPcpE

elisa



This looks really cool. Part of our farmstead business is we recently opened a small farm kitchen bakery. We have gone back to pre-milled flour because the kitchenaid and the vitamix don't keep up with the demand and don't grind as fine as we would like. They were good for just us but...

Anyway this looks cool. Does anyone have other suggestions? I'm certainly not against a plug-in device that will mill fine and in quantity. I would maybe consider doing both the pedal power and something electric for preparedness and long term but also to keep up with demand now. We primarily mill hard red wheat but also do small amounts of rye and a few other like triticale and einkorn. So anyone with experience similar that could point us in the right direction we would be grateful.
 
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I have a lot of wheat berries put up in my long term storage.  Time to start looking for a mill.
 
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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.
 
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I found a wonderful grain grinder 15 years ago at a Goodwill that was 2 stone wheels, perfectly balanced, attached to a 3/4 HP electric motor within a wood cabinet. The stainless steel tray above the wheels had a small hole that fed the grain at a metered rate which produced a wonderful consistency of flour based on the adjustable space between the 2 stones. The resultant flour landed in a rectangular SS tray below. This thread brought to mind the fact that this delightful device is now among the ashes of a fire that consumed my double wide mobile and lifetime accumulation of practical things recently on Nov. 7th. My mental inventory of items lost in the fire had not acknowledged this until now...many little things are now just a memory. So life goes on and a release of attachments to 'things' has been ongoing. Still, that was the best flour grinder I had used in my 69 years here on the planet. Maybe a replacement will appear magically in my future travels.
 
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I use different flours for my breads and pizzas and have always wanted to mill my own flour. I dont have access to a good grain supplier and undecided on which mill to purchase. Any tips would be appreciated. Im from Philippines.
 
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carla murphy wrote: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.


The whole grain flour should not be the culprit of hard bread - although mixing in some bread-flour should help (not sure about the names in the US, in Germany we measure the milligrams of mineral content, i.e. burning 100 g of a certain flour will give you for example 405 mg ashes - the whitest flour; the bread type gives you 550 mg of ashes and is very suitable for bread).

I suspect you have no potent starter.
If you prefer to make bread from your own milled grain you should try to mill it quite fine, add enough water, use a lively sourdough and to be on the safe side add some yeast as well.
Baking in closed pan (metal like dutch oven or pyrex) will hold the steam for a while so that the bread can both expand - making for a softer crumb - and retain enough humidity.

In your case I would start with a "real" recipe that was developed for whole grain flour.

By the way, I am grinding with the milling application for my Kenwood, but I use a mix of bought flours (wheat, spelt, rye) and milled.
 
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Oh! So - I grind grains, also buy from Azure. I have a Mockmill and I love it. I used to have a Vitalmill which has the attached container that the flour mills into, but I didn't like that because I didn't want to limit my quantity and it always felt very "humid" when I opened it up, so I ended up getting the Mockmill which I like very much.

I mostly grind my own rye for 100% organic sourdough rye, since it helps my digestion. I also sometimes grind other grains, and I have a stockpile of wheat but at the moment I am using Azure's Ultra-unifine (not just regular unifine) white wheat whole bread flour which makes amazing soft fluffy bread on it's own.

One thing I do have to contribute - I made a video showing my process of quickly sifting the flour. Because - sometimes you DO want white flour, and sifting by hand is incredibly laborious especially if you sift multiple times. So I figured out how to use a sawzall to get it done quick - here's that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BntafVjanG4&lc
 
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I gave up on wheat, yet I do some baking with oat flour,rice flour, coconut flour, almond flour.

I have used my vitamix to turn soaked rolled oats into flour, yet I have not tried it with whole oat berries. I am not even sure where to buy them, as I haven't thought of this before reading through this thread.

The other flours, I have purchased as flour.

I have used soaked walnuts, ground finely in the vitamix, as an addition to something baked also.

I typically make gluten free cookies, biscuits, and also dumplings in soup, and I am going to try making dehydrated crackers soon.

A grain grinder like the one being offered on this site as a giveaway - well that would make it a lot easier to grind dry grains. I wonder if it can be used with soaked/wet grains also?



 
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Location: Twin Cities, MN
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I have ground my own grains for 28 years. The selling points for me from the person who sold Kitchen Mill and Bosch mixers were you get the vitamins from the whole kernel and the grains aren't rancid. Made 6 loaves at a time for family of 6, with fresh milled flour, water, honey, olive oil, salt, and yeast. Delicious! Would cool and freeze asap. Then, DH found out he was allergic! Drats. Took a break. Oh, and Kitchen Mill had given up the ghost so switched to Whisper Mill. A *little* quieter than the other, but don't you believe it's a whisper!😆 Put aside bread making for many years. But like many good covid  hibernators (actually mine was temporary retirement), decided to develop my own sourdough starter. Supposedly those who can't tolerate whole wheat bread can do SD? So that is only fresh milled wheat, water, salt, and fed starter. Takes a whole lot longer, don't make so many at a time, hubby still "cheats" and pretends it's ok. Well that was a rabbit hole, wasn't it? All to say wheat berries last a long time, can fresh mill, doesn't lose its nutritional value.
 
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Location: Walla Walla, WA
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I have been happy using the grain mill attachment for my Champion juicer. You can buy that from the manufacturer (championjuicer dot com) directly for $85 (plus tax, shipping etc.) If you already have a Champion juicer, this is an easy way to have a grain mill, too.

I use the grain mill attachment extensively for grinding organic brown rice, as my wife and I like homemade cream of rice cereal in winter time. I don't quite grind it to flour consistency - but close to that. Cooking the cereal is a 4:1 ratio of water to ground rice; cook time (once water is boiling) is 1 minute. Make sure you whisk constantly. Remove from heat and let sit for a minute. Yummy.

I also use the grain mill to grind whole grains - wheat (red & white), spelt, rye, kamut - for specialty baking.

I am fortunate to have a local source (Joel's Organic) for organic wheat, etc. who also mills it. He keeps a little more bran in the flours than most store-bought flour. I buy 25# bags of Bread flour directly from him, although I can find them in the local markets in Walla Walla as well. It is organic, and the price point buying directly from Joel is pretty close to what it would be for me to buy organic wheat berries and grind them myself, unless you need all the bran as well as the wheat germ.

I keep most of the flour in the freezer until needed, with only a couple pounds at a time in the pantry ready to use.

Note that the grain mill attachment for the Champion might need some adjustment at first to get a fine enough grind. I have seen many reviews of people dissatisfied that they could not get a fine enough grind. This can be adjusted, as I too had similar complaint when I first got my grain mill. The manufacturer's literature did not mention this, but being the curious and analytical person I am, I figured out what was going on and how to fix it before contacting the manufacturer.

I found I could undo the limiter set screw to allow the adjuster to bring the grinding "blade" closer to the "stone" (both are steel not stone). Once I allowed a closer - but not binding - spacing, I re-secured the set screw. You obviously do not want the metal to bind, yet you want the working pieces to be close enough to get a fine grind.

Making flour from whole berries, I start first with a coarse setting, then re-run that on a finer setting until I get the flour I want. Keep track on the number of "clicks" on the coarse/fineness knob, so the next time you can shortcut the process. I usually do one intermediary grind before the final grind.

I also use a gallon heavy duty ZipLoc bag inside the denim flour catch "sock" that snaps onto the grinder. Keeps things neater and cleaner.

The grain mill attachment comes apart for cleaning after each grind, which is a good practice.  Three Phillips head screws hold the two pieces of the casing together.



 
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Edward Norton wrote:I’ve recently signed up to https://www.azurestandard.com and putting together my first order. I was about to add flour to my basket when I noticed they sell whole grains for grinding. Earlier today, I read the line ‘If you can’t afford a grain grinder, buy whole grain flours  . . . ‘.



Hey, I have been stocking up on the whole wheat berries from azure for a while.  At the moment, I'm just buying it for longer term storage, but a friend of mine sprouts it, dries it, grinds it and uses it in her sourdough so it can be done! I'm trying to get a local mill to carry whole berries because they have my favorite variety but until that happens, whole berries store best.
 
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Location: Meriden, NH
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I have grown and ground my own corn and red wheat so far.  The corn meal was excellent.  I ground it all and used some that day.  The rest I divided into 1 c. Bags and froze them in a combined storage bag.  I grew Painted Mountain corn suitable for NH growing season.
As for wheat, if I didn't have a couple of young boys willing to beat the wheat for threshing, it would still be in the field. All I can say is thank goodness for grain farmers and combines.  It's a lot of work by hand. Now I buy from King Arthur.
 
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Location: Fall City WA
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We have set up a Country Living Grain mill as bicycle powered too. They manufacture the mill so that a V-belt can easily be put on the wheel. We have an old bicycle set up on a bike trainer, purchased at a used sports supply shop. I can grind a quart of wheat, rye, or corn in ten minutes or less. That is about 700-500 grams. Dent or flour corn is much easier than flint corn, that takes a bit longer to grind. Three quarts of wheat or rye berries is enough for me to bake three large loaves of bread, just what fits in my oven and is enough for our small household for about two weeks. The ones we won't eat within a few days go into the freezer. It is more efficient with my time and the energy used by the oven to bake that much at once. The flour is fairly coarse but it makes fabulous bread. Sometimes I sift it if I want finer flour for pasta or piecrust.

One thing I've learned about whole wheat bread baking is that whole wheat requires more water than white flour, and longer ferment (rise, proof) times. I recommend looking at the Bread Lab's recipes https://breadlab.wsu.edu/recipes/.
Mark Bittman's new bread book gives very good information on no knead, long ferment whole wheat bread making. I prefer to mix (and knead) bread by hand to get a sense of what it should feel like to rise well. A classic whole grain bread book is Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book which has been around  a long time, should be easily available used. She very thoroughly goes through the basics of working with whole wheat, describing what the dough should feel like and look like (the window pane test!)

Fresh ground and home baked whole wheat or rye bread is really fabulous. Much better than most of what we can buy. And much less expensive.
 
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Do I grind grains? Not often. I do kike to bake, though, and it's surprisingly easy to make a loose approximation of Mark Bitman's no-knead bread in a dutch oven, after our masonry heater has finished the hottest part of a burn. It's a very forgiving recipe. Get the dough feeling right, kind of wet and sloppy, and it makes itself.

I do have to admit that bread made using a substantial % of freshly ground whole wheat floour tastes notably better. Maybe I can convince myself that the hand mill is good exercise and start grinding more regularly?
 
Edward Norton
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Location: Hudson Valley, New York
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Rick Deckard wrote:Might be a 'duh' question but those who have used blenders (so far just the Vitamix mentioned that I've seen), do you think a Blend-Tec (the "Will It Blend THIS" machine) would also work or is there something unique about the Vitamix that makes it preferable? Thanks!



I have a Blendtec and don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work. I’ll get back to you on that in the next couple of days.
 
For my next trick, I'll need the help of a tiny ad ...
Paul will be at the Idaho Panhandle Preparedness Expo on October 1-2, 2022
https://permies.com/t/190477/Paul-Idaho-Panhandle-Preparedness-Expo
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