Giddy with anticipation and a little nervous....
As any of my loyal dear readers and followers know, I have been in a wonderful rut of baking the Tartine Basic Country Loaf. The vast majority of my loaves have been, dare I say, excellent.
If you have not baked this loaf because you are intimidated by it, fear not. I had nearly zero baking experience when I purchased the book and baked my first boule. I would, however, urge you to get that sourdough starter going before you invest money in the book. I say this because I have seen many people having trouble creating a starter, and it would be annoying to have purchased the book if you never were able to get a starter off the ground.
But, I digress. Saturday marked the arrival of my Komo grain mill. Unfortunately, I had three country loaves in various states of rising at the time, so I was not in a position to make much use of the mill. I did, however, grind 3 cups of Quinoa on a course setting to clean up the grinding chamber. I was disappointed that there was a virtual "cloud" of quinoa. I really expected a cleaner grind. Ironically, to me, it seemed less "cloudy" when I used a finer setting. I probably will not grind Quinoa on a course setting again to know if this was a grain-related incident or a "first time grinding" incident.
My next important project was to grind a cup of organic hard red winter wheat berries, which I used to feed some starter. I am still maintaining my white flour starter because I want to be sure I don't mess up my refrigerated starter by feeding it the good stuff.
There was no cloud of dust grinding the wheat. I actually ground most of it right into my bowl that had 200 grams of water and 20 grams of dispersed starter, and mixed it into a whole wheat leaven while it poured out of the spout.
After 10-12 hours, the whole wheat leaven stopped looking so lump and began to aerate nicely. I popped it in the fridge and this morning it looked like it was ready to bake some bread!
Of course, I have a job to get to so I won't be baking with this leaven. Instead, I will likely make pancakes or waffles with it tonight or tomorrow. But it was fun to see the flour pouring out and I really couldn't wait for the next weekend to try it out.
I did follow Komo's suggestion and stuffed a tea bag in the spout. The thought of moth larvae laying eggs in my mill was enough to make me okay with a string hanging out of the flour spout.
I was pleased that the noise level of the grinder was much less than I feared it would be. Obviously it is not quiet, but at least it did not hurt my ears. Then again, my three-year old was not home so I don't know whether he will come running into the kitchen with his ears covered, yelling, "what's that noise" like he does when the blender is in use.
This weekend I will turn to baking a whole wheat loaf, alla Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread book. I should still have a backup Tartine Loaf available should things not come out right....