Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mmmm! -- Whole Grain Goodness

My sister, Judy, started milling her own flour when she moved to Montana. She bought this gigantic grain mill and grinds various types of wheat into flour. She then turns the flour into the best baked goods you have ever eaten. Her sourdough biscuits are a particular favorite of mine.

When we visited Montana last November, we went to Mission General Store in St. Ignatious. I bought a small package of hard red wheat and a package of soft white wheat.

Now you're probably wondering what the difference is between hard and soft wheat. Hard wheat is higher in gluten (protein) and is used primarily for breads made with yeast. It tends to have a firmer texture and is chewier. Soft wheat has less protein and is used for breads made with baking powder or soda. It has a softer more crumbly texture. Hard wheat makes bread flour, soft wheat makes pastry flour, and a mix of both makes all-purpose flour.

I had my wheat but I had no way to turn it into flour. I looked at various grain mills before deciding to buy a KitchenAid Grain Mill for the stand mixer.

The mill arrived earlier this week. I immediately fed it two cups of hard wheat which yielded about four cups of whole grain flour.

The process was a little slow. If the mill builds up too much heat it can damage the flour.

I used the flour to bake a couple of loaves of whole wheat bread. Unfortunately I didn't knead the bread long enough so it wasn't very attractive, but it sure was tasty. I'm almost out of wheat but Judy is going to send me a bag next month.

I'm going to try using the soft wheat to make honey whole wheat pancakes. I have high hopes.


Sally said...

Baker Tim.

dean said...

Brandon and I will BRING you some. How much do you want?

Anonymous said...

Dude, you really need to go back to work :)