The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Grinding Own Wheat

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gram26's picture
gram26

Grinding Own Wheat

I recently purchased a WonderMill, and 'wonder' if any of you grind your own wheat........am very interested in chatting with anyone who does, as I have not yet found THE perfect recipe for our bread. Would love to hear from any of you who do grind your own.

 

Gram26

Richelle's picture
Richelle

grind my own berries, either wheat, rye or spelt. What would you like to know Gram26?

 

gram26's picture
gram26

Would love a tried and true good recipe for ww bread.....have tried several, and not found one that we just love.  Any good ideas?  Spelt?  Why?  Fill me in, please!  Thanks,

shericyng's picture
shericyng

  • sheri     I also grind my own wheat and love the warm flour added it really help[s my bread to rise beautifully....not sure what you want to know  :)
swtgran's picture
swtgran

What kind or bread are you hoping to make?  Are you looking for a standard sandwich loaf or are you looking for something a little more rustic?  Terry

gram26's picture
gram26

Would like to make both Artisan bread, and am trying to find a reasonable Pullman loaf pan.  I am mainly interested in finding a fantastic recipe for sandwich/toasting bread, and then moving on from there.  Also was interested in the various grains that people might grind, as I have only done hard red and hard white wheat to this point.

 

gram26 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

If you make the bread, it's an artisan bread!

 

Artisan means that it was made by a craftsperson.  It doesn't mean it's good.  It doesn't mean it's French.  It doesn't mean it looks like this or like that.

 

Just that it was made by a craftsperson.

 

Even if you make a sandwich loaf in a pullman pan.

 

Mike

 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

Gram26, just last week I ground unpopped, popcorn kernels and made cornbread from the flour.  It was very good.  Only change I would make would be to increase the coarseness a little from where I had it.  It seemed a little sweeter to me than other corn meal.  Terry 

Richelle's picture
Richelle

because I read about it, researched a bit more and found out that spelt, among other things, is the only grain that contains glucosamine, which is supposed to help lubricate your joints. Alleviates the pain for people with artrosis. Scientists don't all agree on the effect of this, but my husband (hip artrosis) feels a lot better since I started baking with spelt on a regular basis. And I much prefer the intake of glucosamine by means of delicous nutritious bread, to pharmeceutically produced powders...

Besides that, I like the fact that is a very ancient grain, now more widely availabla again through organic growers. The taste is a bit nutty, especially noticable if you grind your own.

If you decide to try it, take your time with the autolyse and if necessary add a bit of water to your dough after that. Spelt is very thirsty! Don't overknead, it needs less kneading than wheat and keep a close eye on your proofing, cause it can suprise you by rising up to 2 as fast as wheat.

Unfortunately, I'm not a sandwich bread-fan, so don't have much experience with recipes in that area. Have you tried converting a good potato-bread recipe to a e.g. 60 ww-40 white flour one? Than you would have lovely but not too hard crust and airy crumb...

Succes!

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Richelle commented:

because I read about it (spelt), researched a bit more and found out that spelt, among other things, is the only grain that contains glucosamine, which is supposed to help lubricate your joints.

 

Do you have any sources on that you can point to?  Most glucosamine is made from chitin or cartilage.  Some newer processes make it from vegetable sources through fermentation, notably corn and wheat.  I haven't seen anything to suggest spelt is a source of glucosamine.

 

As an aside, the suggested dosage of glucosamine if you are having osteoarthritis is 1,500 mg a day for 2 months, and then cut back to a maintenance dose of 1,000mg a day.  I suspect that you'd have to eat a LOT of bread to get to those levels.

 

Mike

 

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Mike, I will try to re-locate them, but it has been a couple of years since I did the digging and it's hay-season over here, so be patient with me. I'm sure that the advised dosis is lots higher than my husband's actual intake at the moment, but hey, some say the hole glucosaminesulfate-thing is rubbish and a placebo...:-) (as I already mentioned in my post) so I just go ahead and bake some more as long as hubby feels okay... if it doesn't help, it sure doesn't hurt to eat fine bread!

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Mike, found the source, but it is in Dutch....

Spelt bij gewrichtsklachten: Glucosamineglycanen
Glucosamineglycanen die worden aangetroffen in spelt spelen een belangrijke rol bij de aanmaak en opbouw van kraakbeen wat belangrijk is voor soepele en veerkrachtige gewrichten.

Translated: spelt contains glucasamineglycanen which play an important role in the maintenance and regeneration of cartilage, which is important for supple, shockresistant joints.

I sent the makers of the content of this website an email with a request for further source material. If I receive any newsworthy answer, I'll pass it on.

Tried to find other, more scientific 'proof', but failed miserably :-). Your comment seems to just about sum it up, though since early this year a new, totally vegan product has hit the market.

http://www.foodqualitynews.com/news/ng.asp?id=82710

I apologize to anyone who feels cheated, but trust me, my intentions were quite honest. If you do want to take glucosamine the 'natural' way, you could try to chew a chickenbone or two:-)

Richelle's picture
Richelle

I grind in my mill are dry soy beans... to bring variey in our protein diet...

Same goes as for corn: don't try to grind them up to real fine flour all at once, start with a very coarse grind and repeat the process a couple of times with a finer setting. Just so you won't damage the stones or blades of your mill!

And check first whether your mill is supposed to be able to handle corn and/or soy! I am not familiar with the WonderMill, but when looking for the one I bought, only a few could handle more than just grains...

 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

If you're using a micronizer, such as a wondermill, whispermill, nutrimill and their kin, don't follow Richelle's advice!  The manufacturers of these mills explicity tell you in their manuals that these mills are designed to grind whole grains and that they should not be used to re-grind flour!

Also, check very carefully before grinding beans in these mills, some of these mills have trouble with oily products. 

Richelle's instructions are on the mark for a stone or steel wheel mill such as the KitchenAid attachments however.

 

Mike

 

gram26's picture
gram26

Thanks so much to you all......I have understood that I can use my mill to grind beans, popcorn, corn, and other dryer grains....just not to use on anything that is oily (flax was mentioned, for instance).  Thanks, too, for the info re spelt, I will be buying some of that the next time I go to Breadbeckers.....we, too, have issues with joints (age related), and I don't like taking over the counter products either.  Knew you all could help me out!

 

Gram26 

unclee's picture
unclee

Could someone tell me how to get rid of a slight bitter taste to my whole wheat bread?

Thanks Lee

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Hola Lee, you could try to add a teaspoon of honey to your dough.

 

shakleford's picture
shakleford

If you are using hard red wheat, you might try hard white wheat and see if you find it to have a more pleasant taste.  I personally find red wheat delicious and white wheat bland, but there are many who find red wheat bitter.

shakleford's picture
shakleford

If you have the budget for it, I would highly recommend a couple of cookbooks dedicated to whole wheat baking.  The Laurel's Kitch Bread Book by Laurel Robertson has a lot of terrific recipes and interesting information.  The approach is a little "hippyesque," which may be good or bad depending on your point of view.  Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads is the other one I would consider a must-buy.  His recipes are not as varied as Laurel's, but he has a more scientific approach and gave me many more ideas to try on my own.

In both cases, I've found that the recipes work equally well with my home-ground whole wheat flour and store-bought whole wheat flour, although others have occasionally had specific difficulties.

gram26's picture
gram26

Shakleford, I just ordered both books from Amazon........hope they help me!  Thanks for the advice!

 

Gram26 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

A lot of the King Arthur recipes use a little orange juice in them to help with that.  Terry

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I grind my own flour; I like the hard white and the hard red wheat. I’m using white wheat right now, I bought a 50 pound bag of it and I like it but I think when I’ve used it up I will go back to the red. To me the red has more flavor.

I have a Nutramill, which is a micronizing mill like the WonderMill. I grind my wheat on the course side. Not the coarsest setting but just a little shy of the coarsest setting, which is still fairly fine.

I live in a very small town and the closest grocery store is a 30-minute drive so I make all of our bread and have for years. When I started using home milled whole grain flour I found that there is a bit of a learning curve that comes with it.

I grind up about 10 cups of berries at a time and put the freshly milled flour directly into the freezer where it stays. I use the flour directly out of the freezer. I also keep my vital wheat gluten, dough conditioner and yeast in the freezer.

I use vital wheat gluten and a dough conditioner in my bread, which gives it a good shelf life, great texture and wonderful oven spring. I figured up what my bread costs me a couple of weeks ago and even though all the ingredients to make bread are more expensive it still only costs me $1.76 to make two loaves of bread. One loaf of bread at the grocery store here is $2.98.

I get my vital wheat gluten here http://store.honeyvillegrain.com and my dough conditioner here http://www.preparedpantry.com/premiumdoughconditioner.aspx I buy my yeast in 2 pound packages at Sam’s Club.

I’ve had my mill since February of this year and this is the recipe that I’m using for sandwich bread plus a lot of other things. I’m posting pictures of some of the things I use this recipe for.

Light Wheat Bread
(Makes 2 loaves)

2 cups hot tap water
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup of sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4-cup vegetable oil
3 rounded tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 slightly rounded tablespoon dough conditioner
2 cups home ground wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading
4 teaspoons instant yeast

Place first 7 ingredients into mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed to combine.

Add 2 cups of whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of the all purpose flour and the yeast and beat on high speed for 4 minutes.

Change to the dough hook and add 1 more cup of all-purpose flour and knead on low speed to combine.

The dough is going to still be very sticky; add all purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time kneading until you have a dough that is just barely not sticky and you get a good window pane test. You should end up with 3 pounds and 1 to 2 ounces of dough.

Leave the dough in the mixer bowl, spray it with cooking spray, cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rise on the kitchen counter for 1 hour until doubled in size.

Turn your oven on to 375°…Divide the dough into two pieces; I weigh them to make sure they are even. Shape into loaves…rise for 30 minutes or until almost double in size and bake at 375° for 25 minutes. (You should always check you oven temperature with an oven thermometer; I keep an oven thermometer in my oven at all times.)

Take one of the loaves out of the oven and test with an instant read thermometer. It should read 185° to 190°.

Sandwich Bread and Hamburger Buns


Cinnamon Bun Babka


Praline Sticky Buns


Sandwich Rolls


Focaccia Bread


Pizza


Sweet Dinner Rolls


gram26's picture
gram26


WOW!  What beautiful breads!  I am impressed, and thanks so much for the recipe and the two links........good information!  I have baked bread all of my married life (47 years), but have just begun grinding my own wheat.....love the way it turns out, but am on the lookout for new recipes........thanks! 

 

Gram26 

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I'm glad I finished dinner before I saw your photos or I would have been baking instead of making dinner. Great photos and everything looks delicious. I copied your recipe and will get busy. So you used the recipe in your post for all these? What about the sweet dinner rolls? Great job betty                          weavershouse

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Would you share the details on the Cinnamon Bun Babka?

BettyR's picture
BettyR

gram26 wrote:
WOW! What beautiful breads! I am impressed, and thanks so much for the recipe and the two links........good information! I have baked bread all of my married life (47 years), but have just begun grinding my own wheat.....love the way it turns out, but am on the lookout for new recipes........thanks!
Gram26

Thank you and your welcome!!!

weavershouse wrote:
wow betty
I'm glad I finished dinner before I saw your photos or I would have been baking instead of making dinner. Great photos and everything looks delicious. I copied your recipe and will get busy. So you used the recipe in your post for all these? What about the sweet dinner rolls? Great job betty weavershouse


Thank you.
For the Sweet Dinner Rolls I upped the sugar in the recipe to 1/3 cup.

Using the dough for 1 loaf of bread (1-1/2 pounds) divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/3 cup softened butter over the two rounds. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.



Paddyscake wrote:
Would you share the details on the Cinnamon Bun Babka?


Yes, make the bread recipe as written; while you wait for the dough to rise, make your filling and preheat the oven to 325°. Spray a sheet pan with spray-oil, cover with wax paper or parchment paper and spray again.

Filling
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2-cup flour
1-tablespoon cinnamon
1/2-cup butter (I use real butter here-I've never tried margarine)
Mix dry ingredients together, cut in butter. Place in refrigerator until needed.

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, 12x24 inches. Spread the filling evenly over the dough and roll up jelly roll style so that you end up with a 24-inch long roll. Pinch the edges to seal.

Starting at one end and working your way down the dough a little at a time, twist the dough as though you were wringing out a dishtowel; the roll will get longer as you twist it. Do this gently as not to tear the dough but well enough that it is well twisted and almost doubled in length.

Then coil the dough around like a pinwheel creating a super large cinnamon roll, tucking the loose end of the dough under so it doesn't unravel. Brush dough very well with melted butter to prevent a skin from forming and let dough rest for 10 minutes, then bake at 325° for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the Babka is golden brown.

Make a glaze out of powdered sugar, water and a little vanilla. Drizzle this over the Babka and let it cool.






Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

for all the Cinnamon Bun Babka details..this is tomorrow's bake...

BettyS

BettyR's picture
BettyR

You are very welcome; let me know how it turns out.

This is one of my family’s favorite treats and I like it because it’s so much quicker and easier than doing cinnamon rolls. It’s easier to bake and easier to store.

gram26's picture
gram26

Betty, if you are up to it, would love to have the recipes for your savory breads as well......don't think any of us will go wrong trying your recipes! 

 

Question:  Did you make the sweet rolls and the savory breads completely from your ground whole wheat flour?  

 

Gram26 

BettyR's picture
BettyR

 I’m not sure what you mean by savory breads. Tell me what you are looking for and I can tell you if I have that recipe.

 All of the pictures that I posted are variations of this recipe.

Light Wheat Bread
(Makes 2 loaves)

2 cups hot tap water
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup of sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4-cup vegetable oil
3 rounded tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 slightly rounded tablespoon dough conditioner
2 cups home ground wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading
4 teaspoons instant yeast

Place first 7 ingredients into mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed to combine.

Add 2 cups of whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of the all purpose flour and the yeast and beat on high speed for 4 minutes.

Change to the dough hook and add 1 more cup of all-purpose flour and knead on low speed to combine.

The dough is going to still be very sticky; add all purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time kneading until you have a dough that is just barely not sticky and you get a good window pane test. You should end up with 3 pounds and 1 to 2 ounces of dough.

Leave the dough in the mixer bowl, spray it with cooking spray, cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rise on the kitchen counter for 1 hour until doubled in size.

Turn your oven on to 375°…Divide the dough into two pieces; I weigh them to make sure they are even. Shape into loaves…rise for 30 minutes or until almost double in size and bake at 375° for 25 minutes. (You should always check you oven temperature with an oven thermometer; I keep an oven thermometer in my oven at all times.)

Take one of the loaves out of the oven and test with an instant read thermometer. It should read 185° to 190°.

gram26's picture
gram26

By that, I mean those that are not sweet....the foccaia, buns, rolls, et al.  Would love to know how you made them......exactly what you did with the recipe after making it into bread.  I am so very impressed! 

 

Gram26 

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I make bread about 3 times a week for my family. An extra loaf of bread lying around isn’t a problem it will get eaten up very quickly. So I just make the 2 loaf recipe and usually just make one loaf into sandwich bread and use the other one to make pizza, Focaccia bread, sandwich rolls, hamburger or hotdog buns and so on.

For the Focaccia bread I use one loaf (1-1/2 pounds of dough) I put it in an oiled a 9x13 inch cake pan and flatten the risen dough into the pan pushing and pulling until it fills the pan. Then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with minced fresh garlic and herbs (I grow fresh herbs in pots on my patio). Let it rise until the pan is about half full. I make some herbed olive oil that I serve with the bread and I dip my impeccably clean fingers into the bowl of herbed olive oil and poke holes in the bread with my oily fingers and then bake it at 375° for about 25 minutes along with the other loaf of bread.

This is what the herbed olive oil looks like.


For the sandwich rolls I use one loaf of the bread, form them into sandwich rolls and let them rise. When they have risen I score them with a very sharp knife, paint them with an egg wash and sprinkle them with either poppy seeds or sesame seeds and bake them at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes along with the other loaf of bread.

I do the same thing with the hamburger buns, hot dog buns and so on.

For the pizza I use all 3 pounds of the bread dough and make 3 large pizzas. I cook my pizzas on parchment paper directly on the oven rack.

I don't have a pizza stone so I move one of my oven racks to the lowest setting inside the oven, top my pizza and cook it directly on the oven rack on the parchment paper. I have to turn the pizza several times while it's cooking so that it cooks evenly. You can reach into the oven with your bare hands and turn the parchment paper, I don't know why but it doesn't get hot. I move the pizza to and from the oven with a cookie sheet that doesn't have any sides.

Thank you for your kind words and I really hope you enjoy your new mill as much as we have enjoyed ours. A couple of weeks ago I had run out of my freshly milled flour and I needed to make bread right then. I had a just enough store bought whole wheat left over in the freezer to make my bread and so I just went ahead and used it up. I could not believe the difference in the taste between the freshly milled flour and the store flour. The bread I made with the store flour tasted old almost stale.

gram26's picture
gram26

Once again, THANK YOU so very much!  You have more than exceeded my request, and I am so very appreciative.  I am saving this entire page, as it is helpful for me, and I thank you all for your input! 

 

You mentioned that you used only white wheat; I have been using about half and half white and red, but your baked breads look so very much lighter than the only white french loaf that I made Friday.......is there a difference in wheat?  Other than the red/white, hard/soft variaties?????  Just wondering, and know that you are all far more knowledgable than I am at this point.

 

Gram 26 

BettyR's picture
BettyR

I got my mill in February and I’m still learning.

I bought a 25 pound bag of hard red wheat from Bob’s Red Mill when I first got my Nutramill. When I got the wheat and began to use my mill and learning to make bread from the freshly milled flour, of course I was doing it all wrong.

I was milling the flour way to fine and trying to jump into all the soaking of the flour and making all the other things that you read about in the Peter Reinheart books and I was a miserable failure at it all.

As I got to the bottom of the bucket of the red wheat I decided to just go back to baking bread the way I always had in the past by making a dough that was mostly all purpose flour and maybe 1/4 whole wheat and gradually up the ratio of whole wheat to AP flour as I began to get a feel for working with it. I got to the bottom of the bucket of red wheat and I decided to order a bag of hard white wheat and see how I liked it.

As time has gone by I’ve worked my way up to half whole wheat and half all purpose flour. As I said before I like the hard white and the hard red, there are some things that I think turn out better with the white wheat and some things that I think turn out better with the red.

I’m planning on ordering myself another bucket so I can have both the red and the white on hand but right now I’m using the white wheat because I only have the one bucket.

As far as white versus the red I would suggest you read this thread http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6985/wheat-red-vs-white-spring-vs-winter
Subfuscpersona has I’m sure been doing this a lot longer than I have and seems to know quite a lot about the differences between the white and the red.

phxdog's picture
phxdog

Gram26,

Here's a link to the best Whole Wheat bread recipe I have come across to date. It's from "Rose Levy Beranbaum’s 100% Whole Wheat Epiphany Loaf". She's the author of "The Bread Bible".

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/11/rose_levy_beranbaums_100_whole.html

 I grind my own wheat & add it (still warm from the grinding) to the recipe in this link. I consistantly get a SOFT, flavorful, moist, long lasting whole wheat loaf. As stated in the link, you'll smell something akin to fresh mowed hay as you mix this!

Even my kids who never eat whole wheat bread will devour these loaves. This is truly a whole wheat recipe for those who don't like (or who currently think they don't like) whole wheat bread.

Let us know how it works for you!

Phxdog (Scott)

gram26's picture
gram26

Scott, thanks so much for the link......I have printed out the recipe, and bookmarked the site.....will definitely try it the next loaf I make.  I do so appreciate your taking the time to answer this, as I am still looking for any and all info that I can find!  I will put it to the test next week, as all 6 of my grandchildren will be here for camp......only 3 of them like WW bread, so we shall see how it goes!  ;>D

 

Gram26