The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Grinding your own flour: Where do you buy the grain ?

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Patrick's picture
Patrick

Grinding your own flour: Where do you buy the grain ?

For those of you who grind your own flour ...where do you buy your grain? I live in the Seattle area and am interested in both local dealers and internet dealers. I don't have a mill yet ...want to make sure it is going to be practical to buy the wheat first ...and I would want White Wheat (not the traditional "Red" wheat) before investing in the mill.

Patrick

Srishti's picture
Srishti

If you go to your nearest health Food store, you would be able to find whole grains in bulk section... Also the store should be happy to make a special order for you  and you can order a whole sack (usually about 15lbs or so) and get 10% off.

Patrick's picture
Patrick

So my nearest "Whole Foods market" would probably have White Wheat in bulk and/or in small (15lb or less) bags ... ?

Srishti's picture
Srishti

They definitely should. Or you can check out the online distributers mentioned below by mountaindog.

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Patrick,

If you want to try internet sources, Wheat Montana was just discussed on another thread, here is their website, and also they have local distributors in Washington State.

http://www.wheatmontana.com/store/index.php 

My sister grinds her own flour from their berries and really likes them. 

Also, Bob's Red Mill in Oregon sells wheat berries online:

http://www.bobsredmill.com/catalog/index.php?action=showdetails&product_ID=410 

Patrick's picture
Patrick

Thank you Srishti and Mountaindog for the feedback...

    As I look at the wheatmontana site I see that they sell "wheat" and "wheat berries".  What is the difference? What are "wheat berries"?  And why is it that on the wheatmontana site I see soft white wheat but not hard white wheat?

Srishti's picture
Srishti

I think they are just saying wheat sometimes and othertimes wheat berries. It's really the same and it's the whole grains of wheat (as in the picture) that you should be getting. (I have had no experience with montanawheat).

Also, of cource make sure you get the hard wheat for bread purposes. Soft is for making pastries & cookies.  But it won't make bread as it has minimal gluten content and won't raise your bread.

I guess they don't carry the white hard berries!!Maybe you could call them? Also I'd try the local heath food store first and get a couple of pounds from the bulk section to see if you like the red or white better?

Since buying whole berries in huge amounts online is so cheap, I'd try someone who sells organic wheat berries!

All the best

Srishti

Patrick's picture
Patrick

...okay ...thanks for that clarification...

...also, If I want to grind my own buckwheat flour, I would order "buckwheat groats" from the BobsRedMill website ...right? -Patrick

Srishti's picture
Srishti

That is right :)

Noche's picture
Noche

If you are just starting out, I would stay with soft or hard white spring. The soft has the taste and the hard will give you a good crust. I also clean field corn and grind it and like the added depth it gives all my flour products. Any waltonfeed hard will be the Golden 86 that is on another thread. This is the only hard white they offer is the 86.

Let all flour sit for a couple up to ten days before using.

I usually put about three cups assorted whites in with about four cups regular flour for my bread. I am at 3600 feet and use more water and flour than you might call for.

Look at your loaf. Is it up to the top or do you want it higher in the pan (if you are using a pan)? Add water and more salt and you will add the extra flour as you kneed automatically to get the right feel for your final dough. I increase water at 1/4 cup increments until I get the loaf height I like.

In a farm community go to the feed store and tell them what you are looking for. I go right after harvest and get 50 lbs. double cleaned for $4-8. Once in a while it is still dirty but a stiff wind and some elbow grease will separate the wheat from the dust. They will pull barley off the farm trucks or wheat and you can see what you are getting. 

kauseway's picture
kauseway

Let all flour sit for a couple up to ten days before using.

 

I am very new to this but have been reading that fresh wheat still has the kernel inside? Not sure the name. This kernel goes bad very quickly and so it is removed before making flour commercial.  Does letting it sit for 10 days affect this? 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Whole wheat goes rancid fairly quickly because it still contains the oily germ. In white flour, both the germ and the bran are removed, leaving only the endosperm. White flour keeps a long long time. Wheat berries also keep for years. But once they're ground, the clock starts ticking.

I've read a lot of conflicting information on how quickly the flour decays. Some sources say that it starts to lose nutrients as early as three days after grinding at room temp, though it's certainly NOT rancid at that point. Others say all flour should be aged at least a week before using. Personally, I think it takes about a month for the stuff to go rancid at room temp, but that's not based on scientific inquiry.

You will get better performance out of flour that has been aged 3 days or more, but I've made great bread from completely "green" flour that I've just ground. Usually, I grind up enough for a week's worth of bread and leave it in a sealed container on the counter. It's usually used up within 5 days or so. If I won't use it before then, I put it in the freezer, where it will keep for months and months.

Rancid flour has a waxy, bitter smell -- it's one of the reasons so many folks don't like whole wheat bread. They ate bread made from rancid flour. Unfortunately, many of the not-so-great brands on the shelf are already rancid. I've had good luck with King Arthur flour -- its whole wheat always seems fresh. And folks on the West Coast seem to like Giusto's, though I've not used it myself.

Good luck!

Flower's picture
Flower

I still can't get over how marvllous this site is.

I too was thinking of buying a flour mill and like others wanted to find out if I could buy the grains first. I have found a site in UK (where I am, damp and cold) but just have to make my mind up if I 'need' one. 

kr105's picture
kr105

For inexpensive shipping costs, check Honeyville grain company (online at http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=273) shipping is $4.49 (no matter what the order weighs.)

 Also if you have an organic food store, you might check their prices as well.

 

Some baking purists swear by FRESH yeast (cake form, lasts about 1-2 weeks.)  I've never used it myself, but thought I'd pass it onto you as well.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Their shipping may be low, but their grain price is higher than I've seen elsewhere.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Hi Flower! I'm in UK too and use a Kenwood chef with the milling attachment to make flour. It works really well. You can get the attachment on eBay.  I grind flour  as I need it - I find it tastes best - really super - if I use the flour as it is milled. You can buy organic wheat from several sources - I get mine from a farm near to Devizes in Wiltshire.

 

Good luck and happy milling / baking!

 

Andrew 

Pastor Paul's picture
Pastor Paul

I have been using Wheat Montana wheat berries for several years, and found it to be of excellent quality. There is a country store nearby that carries Wheat Montana organic hard white spring wheat in 50 pound bags, as well as smaller amounts. I mill my flour in a Nutrimill and use it the same day.

JBeddo's picture
JBeddo

I believe the hard white wheat berries that that Montana Wheat sells are called golden something. On their site they give a description of what their wheat so you can verify that. The Wal-Mart near me carried the wheat berries in 25 lbs sacks for a while. I guess I was the only one buying them so they stopped. I have also gotten berries at Whole Foods (I had to ordered a 25 lbs sack) and co-op near me as well carried them in their bulk foods.