The Fresh Loaf

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Amazing Organic Whole Wheat

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

Amazing Organic Whole Wheat

For months I have been trying to decide on buying a good quality grain mill and grinding my own fresh grains. I really don't want to buy what I can purchase easily locally, but we live in a rural area and it's a drive to a decent store that carries Organic. Jmonkey, Bill Wraith, Proth5 and many others have raved about how much better their fresh ground organic flours are. Today I baked up my first batch of Organic  Fresh Ground 100% WW bread. I used Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads Master recipe.


I'm still a little cynical about all this Organic and fresh ground stuff so yesterday I made a batch of the same recipe using Bob's Red Mill Stone Ground WW, which has been my usual WW flour. I was able to save half the loaf to compare with todays results. The bread was delicious on its own.


Today I used the flour I received from Country Creations mail order flour service. The price is right and due to a regional shipper I got the flour on my door step in 2 days for less than I would pay at TJ or Whole Foods. Rhonda took my order and ground the 2 bags I bought that day. The product is slightly grainy instead of the silky smooth KA brands but I think is fine for my use. I got good gluten development in the short mixing time and a nice rise during my over proofing :>(.


My family was asking what is in the oven since the aroma was stronger than my usual breads. The house filled with a rich wholesome aroma I have not experienced prior. When the loaves came out of the oven I was really surprised at the wonderful smell. I have always expected this kind of aroma but never experienced it. Knowing how much of our taste comes from sense of smell, I have high expectations.


Finally the taste test. My wife had been gone and so she was able to objectively try both versions and pass judgement. The overwhelming consensus is that the fresh ground is way better tasting and smelling.


So, I'm sold. Country Creations has a wide variety of the products I like to use and their prices are more than fair. To me it's a bonus that her farm is Certified Organic and also the taste test winner. It's a win win situation for us.


On another thread several members are discussing the changing flour situation and how hard it is to get a straight answer from TJ's. The Whole Foods is a huge place but they don't move that much product so I question how fresh it is, plus it is priced at double what I paid through these folks. I can't think of a reason not to support the small farmer/mill. Hey, it's Earth Day right? I'm taking a stand!


Eric



I was distracted and this got over proofed, sorry.



Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Sylvia

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I'm so glad you like the fresh ground wheat. I think you'll be just as happy with the fresh ground rye if you try it. I think most people don't realize what they are missing by not eating fresh food. If they never tasted fresh they just don't know.


Before we make our next trip to Minnesota to visit our daughter we're going to have Rhona send an order to our daughter and we'll bring it back to Ohio. The postage will be less. Rhona was very nice in our correspondences so I'm looking forward to buying from her. Smaller operation, organic, friendly, fresh, reasonable, what more could we ask for.


 


 


 


The bread looks delicious even if it was overproofed.


 


 

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Thank you for writing about this Eric. I too have been on the fence about buying a grain mill, but I just don't know where I could squeeze it in. I see an order in my future, when the current supply of KA runs low. How long can you expect it to keep that freshly-ground flavor?


Was this a yeasted bread, or sourdough?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Debra,


This was a yeasted bread version of PR's Master formula. I don't know the answer to the time question but I suspect that storage conditions would play a part in keeping the flour "fresh". I am going to try to order frequently in smaller quantities and freeze what I don't use right away.


I do not want to further clutter the kitchen with a milling operation and the garage is committed to wood working. This is just so convenient I can't believe I didn't do this a long time ago. My focus in bread making is creating a better flavor. I am obsessive about going to any extreme to develop superb aroma and taste. This was almost to easy to be honest with you. My wife just commented that the bread I made yesterday was unusually good, even day old.


I also bought a bag of fresh ground rye and I thought I would try sprouted wheat also. The nutritional info on sprouted grains is amazing. Apparently the body digests sprouted as a vegetable and not a starch. It smells like a grass field. Freshly sprouted and dried, then stone ground and delivered to my door by a certified organic farmer that controls the operation from start to finish. Rhonda has 1000 acres planted in grain up near the Canadian border in MN. Prime grain country. Being able to obtain the fruits of her labor so easily is remarkable if you ask me.


I have a small yeasted batch of sprouted wheat going now. Can't wait:>)


Eric

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink


The nutritional info on sprouted grains is amazing. Apparently the body digests sprouted as a vegitable and not a starch.



Oh, I'm happy to hear that :-)  I have grains sprouting as we speak---well, soaking anyway. I started yesterday, per Pamela's instructions. I hope I will be able to grind them fine enough when the time comes---it looks like they could pass through the finest disk of my meat grinder whole. I will be interested in your experience with the sprouted flour.

Edthebread's picture
Edthebread

For those of you within striking distance of Littleton, NH, I visited their mill recently, and they ground me 10lbs of rye flour while I waited, so this is another good source of freshly-ground flour.  Their flours are all organic and stone ground, and safe for nut and egg allergy sufferers.  I had great results with their rye and whole spelt, and the sifted whole wheat makes a fabulous 100% whole wheat loaf.

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

I bought a couple of 25# bags from Country Creations back in February and have been very pleased with the flour, and like Eric mentioned, their prices are very reasonable.  Plus you are pretty much guaranteed of the freshness.


Summer

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Thanks, Eric, for sharing your experience with us and telling us about more about Country Creations. I looked at their web site and plan to try their bread flour (I have a mill so no need to order what I already grind).


Especially interesting is that your wife could tell the difference between the loaves and how the freshly milled loaf kept better.


Your loaves look very delicious!


--Pamela

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Yes it is interesting how different the two breads are. If I didn't have the fresh ground to compare, I would be perfectly happy with the Bob's loaf. Around here, any time I can get a complement like that from a bread I make often, I'll take it.


It could be that the taste difference is from other things in the process too. I know zero about growing and harvesting grain but I'd be surprised if there were not variables that are under the control of the farmer that can change the flavor of the final food product. I know that my tomatoes are sweet for a reason.


Eric

Marni's picture
Marni

I've been considering ordering from country creations, I just figured shipping to CA would make the cost prohibitive.  I'd love all our flour to be organic.


I'd also love to experience the amazing smell of baking bread that you described!  If your family, who must be accustomed to great bread smells in the house, felt compelled to comment, it must have been great!


Marni

Monstergirl's picture
Monstergirl

Anyone know if dry sprouted wheat grain is available in whole form?  


I like using sprouted wheat flour for it's nutritional value.  I hear that the dehydrated sprouted wheat in it's whole form retains most of it's nutrition, and can be stored up to 7 years.  However, several days after milling it oxidizes and loses nutrition.  So it sounds ideal that I would want to store dry whole sprouted wheat for milling at home when I need it.  Then why in the world can't I find it?  I'm sure there's a good reason, and I appreciate any information anyone may have out there!  Thanks so much!


Shannon

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

I can do this for you. www.organicwheatproducts.com

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Eric,


I have found in experimenting with many different flours that organic is not so much a "bonus" but it is often the very reason why a flour has such good taste.  I believe that Daniel Leader addresses this very same subject in Bread Alone.


Jeff

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Thanks Eric and Summer for your kind remarks. We aim to please!