18 January 2011

Grinding wheat for baking day Tuesday

I did it.  After several phone calls to my mom and a practice run last night, I successfully ground my wheat flour this morning.  It brought back memories of "helping" when I was a girl.  The rumbling and shaking of the counter, pouring the wheat berries in and chasing them around to get them down the hole and the amazement at the finished product.  It was fun showing my kids the progression from the "seeds" to the flour, to the bread.

Here's a shot of the wheat going down the hole to be ground up.

 This is how it looks without that metal plate on top...before I got serious about grinding anything.  The stone toward the top of the picture (toward the back in real life) spins really fast against the stone in front.  The berries drop down the hole and fall between the two stones.

 Here's what it looked like after grinding.  Flour everywhere.  I learned not to blow into there. 

I started with a quart of hard white wheat and about 1 1/2 cups of hard red wheat.

 I ended up with a pint of the hard red.
The quart of hard white wheat yielded a generous six cups, filling both the quart jar and a pint jar.

Something I really didn't like as a girl was how heavy and tough the whole wheat bread was.  My mom's generation is all about hard red wheat and I didn't realize that there was anything else.  Last year, as I was attempting to slowly move my family from white bread to wheat bread, I discovered white wheat flour, which has the same health benefits and usefulness, but is a much lighter, easier to swallow wheat.  At least for me it is.  I don't think anyone actually noticed that it was wheat bread at first.

For my wheat today, I used a half and half mix of hard white and hard red wheat.  You can kind of see the different colors in this picture.

I don't know if it was the white wheat, or being freshly ground, but the bread turned out really nice today.

I also tried the bread recipe I found late last week.  It looks a bit rough and we haven't tried it yet because we ate almost an entire loaf of the pretty bread, and we're kind of full.

I also burned the heck out of my left thumb while getting this one out of the oven, so it's not really endeared to me.  The blister is showing up much better now, but I don't really feel like taking another picture. 

Due to my injury, my husband volunteered to finish off the day, which wasn't really baking, but it included bread, so it fits.

We made some scones, topped them off with taco fixings and called them gorditas.  My kids were very excited and are planning to open an eating store to sell them.  The store will consist of two camp chairs set up behind a cooler on the sidewalk outside.  We informed them that a store already exists that sells them, so I think I am off the hook for now.

It was a long day in the kitchen and now I need to get in there and clean it all up.  I think I set a record for pictures in a post with this story.  Sorry about that.  I usually struggle to find just one pertinent picture, but this one went the other way  See you tomorrow, when I'm back to my almost picture less posts!


  1. That was a very interesting post! Great demonstration! Thank you, I enjoyed that! I am impressed with your flour maker as well as the beautiful bread! Look like prize winning loaves to me! Sorry about your thumb, that looks like it hurts!


  2. Thanks Sharon. My husband told me that they look good enough to give away and is thinking of people we should give one to as a thank you, so I guess he thinks they look good too.

  3. I bought a grist mill,at an auction,a couple of years ago, but have yet to try grinding anything on it. I keep thinking I will tackle it one day, but I said the same thing about a pasta machine I have had for 10 years or more. Maybe one day soon,I'll dig them out and give them a try.

  4. Where do you get your wheat? I've always wanted to grind my own flour -- but wondered if it was more expensive than store bought.

    The two loaves look marvelous. Nothing like warm bread out of the oven. I think I must bake some today. :)

  5. Sawn, I've had this grinder on the counter for a few months, just working up the courage to try it out.

    Nancy, I bought the white wheat at the grocery store. They have a bulk storage section. I think I got it on special, but the 45 lb. bucket is usually $20. The cheapest big bag of WW flour (when I bought) was 13.90 for 25 lbs. That makes the wheat .44/lb and the flour .56/lb.