Thursday, January 21, 2010

Grinding Flour




I've been looking thru the archives at all the things i've written since I started this blog and I noticed that I've talked a bit about growing wheat but nothing at all about using what I've grown. Baking with flour you've ground yourself isn't very hard at all. You can use just about any kind of grinder to make flour with. i've even talked to people that claim they can grind good flour with a coffee grinder. Now, I'm not saying I would do that, I'm just saying I've heard people claim that they can.




I have a Diamant grain grinder. It is super heavy duty, it has to be bolted down, it's hand operated and has stone burrs. I love it.

So, the top picture is the wheat I started with today. It's just plain old hand cleaned wheat berries that I grew. the wheat gets run thru the grinder for the first time and then it is sifted. The second picture is of the sifted wheat after the first run thru the grinder. The top bowl is the outer hulls of the wheat berries and what I intend to cast off and mix into the chicken feed. It is mostly the high fiber part of the wheat berry. The bottom bowl is the loosely sifted ground flour. Now, i could have used a finer screen in the first sift and the flour would be darn near white already but this flour is intended for our every day bread and I don't need to be so picky on the sifting.

Now, this bottom picture is the flour after it has been sent thru the grinder at least 3 times. It is the consistency of baby powder and is ready to set a couple weeks and "mature". After a couple of weeks, it will be ready to bake the wonderful bread you see on this blog.

11 comments:

  1. Wow, Ilove seeing the pictures as you go. Is that the total amount you grounded/grinded? (how do you say grind past tense? lol)If not, how much do you ground at a time? And how long does it actually take to hand crank a batch?
    Stacey SWPA

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  2. Yay, thank you for the info! Is the difference between whole wheat and unbleached flours that they grind up the part your gonna feed the chickens and mix it in? I think I'm gonna have to wait to buy a grinder till we're back on the mainland...shipping to HI is RIDICULOUS!!!
    Oh...since you grow your own coffee..you could probably grow your own cocoa tree too!? They sell the pods here in HI for $40...there are around 40 seeds in each pod. I want one!

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  3. A Diamant. I am impressed. That would be even better than having a Martin 12-string guitar in the pickin' world.

    During this maturing time, do you leave it out or refrigerate it. How is it better after the maturing time? This is the part I'm really curious about .. . . . Thanks for the tip on sifting. I've heard of running it through again, but I haven't heard of anyone sifting it first. This makes a lot of sense.

    Thanks, Liz

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  4. Hello Stacey! I ground about 10lbs of wheat for this batch. it's what I use in about 2 weeks. It takes about an hour to grind, not counting the sifting time.

    Sunshyneshanny! Unbleached, chemically unbleached, yep, that's what home ground is. It's not hard to blend wheat berries to give you the same consistency of store bought flour if you have a good combination of hard and soft berries available to you. The wheat will actually bleach out to a slightly off white on it's own over time(oxidize). LOL on the cocoa tree, I might have to look into that!

    Lizbeth, LOL on the Martin, wish I had one. I have to make due with a Gibson. Check the pictures out in my next post, you'll see the difference between fresh ground wheat and wheat "aged" a couple weeks. It's a chemical reaction thing as it oxidizes, it gives the flour more baking "body" and the dough is less wet and dense. I don't know how to tell you exactly what happens but I like it to sit for a couple of weeks, it makes better bread.

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  5. STOP IT!! Every time I come here I fid there is MUCH more to learn! I didn't know you should let it mature..never heard of sifting it..of course,i've not ever ground any either but..its one more thing on the "Gotta Learn" List! Off to fondle my seeds!

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  6. LOL Katidids! I know, I know. But, I don't want ya to get bored listening to me whine about being unemployed. I got good stuff to talk about too, LOL.

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  7. Hey! A Gibson is a lot better than makin' do! My mother has one. I really like it better than the 12-string Martin I used to have. Had a chance at a 3/4 Martin one time. It had a fine crack along the neck, and the turn around time at Martin was about two years then to get it worked on. Have kicked myself many times over the years for not buying it and waiting. It was a dream.
    Liz

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  8. I too have dreams of a Martin someday! But until then I will happily get by with my Fender.

    Thanks for the bread info MM... It's cool to actually SEE what the wheat looks like from start to yummy finish!

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  9. Wow! I also grind my own wheat berries, but I use it as whole wheat flour. I've not heard of anyone who grinds it and separates it to make white flour!! Do you ever use the bran and germ as well to have whole wheat flour? I'm assuming you don't let that 'age' on the counter, like you do the 'white' as it would turn rancid. So interesting!

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  10. I'll be attempting to grind my own flour, today. Nothing as good as yours, of course, and only a very, very tiny amount: just enough to learn the process. I'll be using a mortar and pestle to do it. If all goes well, I may get a mechanical grinder, instead! I had no idea that it had to mature... but, then again, I really had no idea about *any* of the process, so thanks for your info! It'll definitely be of value!

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  11. stumbled across your site in search of ways to grind some wheat that i got in my grain CSA. i don't have a mill or vitamix and had also heard about using a coffee grinder but i don't want to waste any of the grains if it doesn't work! thanks for the info.

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Comments always welcome