Hello from Minnesota
Hi everyone, I'm new to TFL and to bread making—never made a loaf in my life and think it's time to start. :) I'm a 25-year old guy who works with computers by profession and probably fall a bit outside the most common demographics of this community, but I look forward to becoming a part of it. I find that forums are often among the greatest sources of information and inspiration available on the topic(s) they cover.
My interest in bread-making is basic and simple right now: I want to have nutritious food, to know exactly what ingredients are in it, to be self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies, and to minimize my cost of living. With that in mind my plan is to get a manual grain mill (considering the Back to Basics model after reading about it and others in forums and reviews), stock up on hard red wheat berries (still looking for a source though Walmart has 25lb sacks for $10 in my area), and to buy a bread machine (considering the Panasonic SD-YD250 after reading about it in forums and reviews). The manual [not electric] mill and electric bread maker may seem an incongruous pair—I can handle grinding wheat a few hours a week but realistically, the time to make all my bread by hand might be too much for me, at least when I first start.
I would appreciate any input and suggestions and I have some questions:
- I understand that making bread with home-ground wheat is different from making it with store-bought flour. I have read suggestions online ranging from just letting it sit a while after grinding to soaking it in water a while before baking, to kneading the dough more to better develop the gluten (I'm not at all gluten-intolerant BTW). What's the best way to make bread in a bread machine from freshly ground wheat? Would the SD-YD250 bread maker I mentioned above be a good choice for this usage?
- There are conflicting views on how healthy grains are. For example, check nourishedkitchen dot com /against-the-grain-10-reasons-to-give-up-grains out. I realize that asking this here may get as biased result as would asking it at a paleo diet forum, but assuming I have no problem with gluten-intolerance, is it healthy for me to consume products made from grain I milled myself? The only points made by the page I linked to above that concern me are the references to leaky gut syndrome, inflammation, mineral absorption, and insulin response. I realize this is not a nutrition forum but welcome your input.
I just want to nail down the basics before I get into the true art and joy of bread making. I would start out with simple, nutritious, economical whole wheat loafs but I imagine that before long this forum will have me convinced to start making more exotic types of bread, perhaps without the bread maker. :P
Sorry for the long post. Thanks for reading and for your input.