Grains/Home Milling 101
I just received my Mockmill 200 and am curious to try it out. I've done a few test runs with soft white wheat and hard red winter wheat -- just some basic 5 lb bags I found on Amazon -- and have liked the results I've found so far for breadmaking, especially the HRWW for sourdough. Now that I've made a few loaves with my little trial pack of wheat berries (10 lbs total) I am looking to buy some larger quantities of grains to mill for the following purposes: Sourdough, white breads, pasta, pastries, and steel-cut oatmeal. A few questions for the milling pros on this site:
- Where is the best place to buy bulk, unmilled grains? In terms of price and quality. I use about 500g of milled semolina per week and probably about 900g of milled wheat flours per week. Mostly for pasta and bread but I also dabble in cookies, cakes, rolls.
- What setting should I put my mockmill on for bread flour? Right now I have tried putting it on 1 (lowest) for the finest grain.
- Sifting. Is it necessary to sift? I assume sifting gives you a finer flour and therefore a lighter loaf with more air, higher rise, etc? But you would lose some of the health benefits? I've never been much of a sifter but I did notice the loaves I made so far were quite dense and not as light/fluffy as other loaves. The taste was amazing though!
- Ancient/Non-GMO grains vs conventional? Seems like there is support for Kamut, heirloom, non-GMO style grains over the basic/conventional grains for superior taste and health benefits. Agree? Disagree? I feel like any home-milled grain is 100x better than using store-bought flour but I could be convinced to go even further with the ancient grains if the taste, structure, texture, and health benefits are worth it.
- 00 flour: We also make a lot of pizza dough and I've found that 00 flour is key to making beautiful pizza dough. Seems like this is not really possible to mill yourself at home. Correct?
- Semolina: I have a Phillips pasta machine which is a bit sensitive to dough that's too sticky, too dry, too wet, etc (can get jammed easily). I'd like to try milling my own semolina for the machine but worried it might not run through the machine well. Anyone have experience with home-milled semolina and the Phillips pasta maker?