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View Full Version : Grinding your own flour, loads of questions-new question post 12


LeeDee
02-05-2009, 10:12 AM
I ask a lot of questions on another thread, but throughout the day more questions keep popping into my head, so I thought I'd start a thread to keep all these thoughts together! If anyone can help answer my questions I'll be grateful, otherwise, I'll post the answers on here whenever I do manage to find them out.

We're getting a tax rebate and I really want to buy a flour mill with some of it and start grinding our own. I have so much to learn though.

Here are a couple questions to get started

1) So I know the enzymes in flour die after a few hours of being milled, and that like 90% of the nutrients die within the first couple of days (or something like that). But what about the breads etc you make with the flour. Does it need to be eaten within a few days or else the enzymes and nutrients will die too, or does the baking somehow preserve them?

2) What is the best way to store homemade bread (not just home milled flour bread I guess). I don't like the thought of wrapping them in plastics all the time, since that can leech toxins. Would a bread bin work for unwrapped bread, or will it go stale super fast?

3) How noisy are the mills? I live in a duplex and the kitchen is right next to their house, we can hear the neighbours talking. I worry they'll be mad if this thing is deafening. I use a lot of flour in the day, I bake a lot. Pancakes, breads, cakes etc.

4) What is the best type of wheat berry to use for cakes and what is the best type for breads?

5) Will I need to add vital wheat gluten or anything for bread? Is the home ground flour higher or lower in glutens?

6) How do I substitute measurements in recipes that use bread flour. Is it the same, cup for cup?


That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I'll have loads more!
If anyone has any good links I'd be grateful.

Chris3jam
02-05-2009, 10:23 AM
1. There are complex chemical reactions and changes that take place during the baking of the bread, even the milling of the wheat. The types of ingredients changes things, even. The bread (after baking) will be fine and the nutritional value will not change, until the mold starts growing. ;)
2. Don't wrap bread in plastic. Wrap it in paper. . . you know, like a brown paper bag? More exposure to air will make it go stale, just like other breads.
3. The noise level depends upon the type of mill you get. You can mill all the flour you need for a day or two, all at once, and keep it in the freezer.
4. Soft wheat is best for quick breads and cookies and other things that don't need a gluten structure and high protein. Hard wheat is best for yeast breads and other baked goods needing good and sturdy structure (it is higher in gluten and protein).
5. You should not need to add any more gluten.
6. You need to kind of get used to the difference first. Start out by substituting cup for cup. But, because of changes in humidity and other environmental factors, you will always need to "eye-ball" things. But, that's true for any flour. Give it more time to absorb liquids, since it's higher in bran, and that takes time to absorb. For instance, if you think you have the perfect consistency right after you mix it up, and before it has a chance to sit, you will end up with a crumbly, drier product. Always starts out stickier and looser than you want it. . . . the bran takes time to absorb the liquid.
Bonus answer! ;) :) -- Give it time! Do not rush it! Never make a yeast bread in an hour. . . that's not near enough time to "soften up". And, even let your quick bread batters 'soak" for at least an hour.

CakeLady
02-05-2009, 10:25 AM
I only have a minute, so I'll answer what I can now. I've been grinding my own for a couple years now.


1) So I know the enzymes in flour die after a few hours of being milled, and that like 90% of the nutrients die within the first couple of days (or something like that). But what about the breads etc you make with the flour. Does it need to be eaten within a few days or else the enzymes and nutrients will die too, or does the baking somehow preserve them?

It needs to be eaten in a few days or frozen immediately (it will last about a month in the freezer..well it lasts longer, but the benefits you are after start to decline). You can also freeze your freshly milled flour for up to a month and still have the same health benefits.


2) What is the best way to store homemade bread (not just home milled flour bread I guess). I don't like the thought of wrapping them in plastics all the time, since that can leech toxins. Would a bread bin work for unwrapped bread, or will it go stale super fast?

I don't know...I use special plastic bread bags. :shrug


3) How noisy are the mills? I live in a duplex and the kitchen is right next to their house, we can hear the neighbours talking. I worry they'll be mad if this thing is deafening. I use a lot of flour in the day, I bake a lot. Pancakes, breads, cakes etc.

Yes, the mills are noisy, but it's only for like a minute or two. Grind up enough wheat for the week and then freeze it. That way you are only really noisy once a week.


4) What is the best type of wheat berry to use for cakes and what is the best type for breads?

For cakes and cookies, use the soft white berry....for breads use hard red berries.


5) Will I need to add vital wheat gluten or anything for bread? Is the home ground flour higher or lower in glutens?

It will depend on what you are making, but usually not.


6) How do I substitute measurements in recipes that use bread flour. Is it the same, cup for cup?

Don't know...never use bread flour. Try doing a google search for bread flour and whole wheat flour equivalents.

Chris3jam
02-05-2009, 10:32 AM
OH, and there's more. (Bonus material ;))

You *can* make quick breads, muffins, etc. from the hard red wheat to get a really nice, hearty texture. Some people like it better. You can mix soft wheat and hard wheat in breads. You can sift the flour after grinding to remove some of the bran for an even softer product (although I don't think that's a good thing to do, nutritionally).

More information you may not even be interested in. . ...

Many plant enzymes (and sugars) are there for the plants' benefit. . . . for growing and maturing (one of the reasons these enzymes die or cause rot so quickly after plants are harvested). These are not the same enzymes we would use for digestion (although they can be of benefit). The biggest benefit of home-milling the wheat and the resultant baked bread would be the fiber (both quality and quantity), and the retained essential oils and other nutritional vitamin components.

LeeDee
02-05-2009, 04:37 PM
:rockon Thanks so much. You're my experts.

Ima LeShalosh
02-05-2009, 04:42 PM
:popcorn

sprout
02-05-2009, 10:56 PM
what type of mill are you considering getting?

LeeDee
02-11-2009, 09:56 AM
I'm looking at the nutrimill
http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/

not 100% decided yet.

CakeLady
02-11-2009, 01:58 PM
I :heart my nutrimill!

sprout
02-11-2009, 08:57 PM
the nutrimill looks lovely....I might be a tad bit jealous if you do get it...and, thinking of what I might enjoy as a future gift! :heart

Can'tTurnLeft
02-24-2009, 04:43 AM
I'll be a wee bit jealous if you get a nutrimill :) I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have one! but we wanted a hand mill for emergencies, so we have the family grain mill :)

ViolaMum
03-10-2009, 02:41 PM
:popcorn

LeeDee
03-13-2009, 01:59 PM
Ok I have a question...I'm trying to source my wheat berries. My local food co-op has local, organic hard red wheat berries (local), but no soft wheat berries. If I got spelt or kamut instead, would it work ok for pancakes etc? What about pasta?

Also, I just came across a post in my local craigslist. There is someone advertising 50lb bags of hard red wheat berries for $12 each! I'm wonder whether they'd be safe to eat. He says they are "not treated" and "non genetically modified". He also says they're leftover from planting this fall. Does that make a difference? He says they're great for spring seedling projects or for making into flour. Would it need cleaned? $12 for 50lb seems too good to give up.

CakeLady
03-13-2009, 02:06 PM
I use hard red for just about everything. The only time I use soft white is for cakes and cookies. I use hard red for pancakes...not sure about pasta, but the hard red should be fine.

I'm not sure about the craigslist offer. :shrug Do you have a costco near you? Ours has it and a pretty decent price.

SonshineMama
03-21-2009, 12:42 PM
Ok I have a question...I'm trying to source my wheat berries. My local food co-op has local, organic hard red wheat berries (local), but no soft wheat berries. If I got spelt or kamut instead, would it work ok for pancakes etc? What about pasta?



I used spelt for everything - bread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, brownies, etc :)

Chris3jam
03-21-2009, 12:52 PM
Ok I have a question...I'm trying to source my wheat berries. My local food co-op has local, organic hard red wheat berries (local), but no soft wheat berries. If I got spelt or kamut instead, would it work ok for pancakes etc? What about pasta?

Also, I just came across a post in my local craigslist. There is someone advertising 50lb bags of hard red wheat berries for $12 each! I'm wonder whether they'd be safe to eat. He says they are "not treated" and "non genetically modified". He also says they're leftover from planting this fall. Does that make a difference? He says they're great for spring seedling projects or for making into flour. Would it need cleaned? $12 for 50lb seems too good to give up.


It sounds like it would be fine, especially if he specifically said, "Grind into flour and bake." You could ask specifically if this is human food grade/for human consumption. But, I would be suspicious, I think.

ViolaMum
03-21-2009, 01:38 PM
Ok I have a question...I'm trying to source my wheat berries. My local food co-op has local, organic hard red wheat berries (local), but no soft wheat berries. If I got spelt or kamut instead, would it work ok for pancakes etc? What about pasta?

Also, I just came across a post in my local craigslist. There is someone advertising 50lb bags of hard red wheat berries for $12 each! I'm wonder whether they'd be safe to eat. He says they are "not treated" and "non genetically modified". He also says they're leftover from planting this fall. Does that make a difference? He says they're great for spring seedling projects or for making into flour. Would it need cleaned? $12 for 50lb seems too good to give up.


It sounds like it would be fine, especially if he specifically said, "Grind into flour and bake." You could ask specifically if this is human food grade/for human consumption. But, I would be suspicious, I think.


I asked a Mormon friend where she gets her wheat, because I've been trying to find a good local source. Their Bishop's Storehouse sells 25 lb bags of Hard Red for around $7. The Craigs List ad is in the same ballpark, so I;d be inclined to check it out.

How would you clean it? Anything I can think of - water, heat- would cook or otherwise alter the berries so that you had to use them and couldn't store them so easily. What am I missing?

Chris3jam
03-21-2009, 01:40 PM
You don't need to clean it. It should be clean already. If you feel you need to, pour it onto a clean towel and rub some. Please specify to your Mormon friend that it is *not* for seed/planting, but for eating. There's a difference.

ViolaMum
03-23-2009, 10:46 AM
This IS for eating. It's the wheat she buys to make bread every week. Apparently their church grows the wheat, that's why it's so inexpensive.