Thursday, May 19, 2011

Whole Grains Update

It's been about two weeks since our initial foray into grinding wheat and making bread. Yesterday my very own mill arrived! At the moment I have no idea where I'm going to put it or what we'll do with it when we have a showing. I don't know where we're going to store the wheat either. I guess we'll figure that out when it becomes necessary. This is one of those changes you make and you just don't look back. The more I learn, the more I shake my head.

(I'm grinding my own wheat because as soon as a wheat kernel is cracked open it begins to oxidize, quickly losing the nutrients inside. Since it naturally has about 40 of the 44 nutrients we need as humans, I want as many of those as possible to still be in there when we eat it. The flour sold at the store, white or whole wheat, has lost many, or most, of these nutrients in the sifting process used to lengthen its shelf life. A few have been added back in synthetically, thus it's "enriched". Since wheat stores forever, I'm going to grind it into flour as I need it and make bread for our family.)

I have been to the healthy food stores more times in the last two weeks than in my whole life prior! We need more wheat. We need more honey. We need lecithin (to lighten the bread). We need gluten. We need more wheat. We want to try sucanat. We need more wheat. We want to try honey granules. We want to try quinoa (like rice). And what are all those grains? We are having a great time experimenting and discovering that we actually like a lot of healthier foods! Who knew?

Earlier this week we made a chicken pot pie using fresh milled whole wheat flour to make the topping. I'm not a big fan of pot pie, but this was good! Thursday night Brenna and I used several slices of fresh baked whole grain wheat bread in a recipe for meatloaf that tasted delicious! We've been so successful that I included 3 more recipes from the book in this week's dinners. Somewhere along the line one is bound to flop, but so far so good.

Speaking of flops - On Wednesday I set out to grind the rest of the wheat I had purchased so I could return Christine's mill. I decided to bake two more loaves of bread with it and freeze them so we'd have enough to last until my mill comes. I mixed some wet ingredients in my stand mixer and then began to add flour. When I turned the knob, nothing happened. I tried again and again. Used a different plug- nothing. Figuring I could still save the bread, I dumped the whole mess into the bread maker and set the dough cycle. Nothing but a goopy mess. It just couldn't form into a dough ball. The only option I had left was to pour it onto the counter and try kneading it by hand. I did that and once my hands were thoroughly coated in dough I realized it needed more flour. I called Daniel (4) into the kitchen and asked him to dump the rest of the flour from the bucket on top of my oozy mixture. He got a kick out of that and as I worked it in the dough began to take shape. It wasn't enough, though, so I asked him to grab the white flour from the cabinet and add a little more, which he did. I covered it and walked away so it could rise, fully expecting it to shrink.

Surprisingly, it did rise. I set it in the loaf pans and baked it as normal. Other than the elephant trunk-like appearance (thank you Brenna for that description), it seems to have done just fine! And it tastes great. As for my mixer, it was under warranty so Michael returned it to Sears. They quickly and without much fuss gave us a brand new one to replace it. Which means I'm good for another 5 years supposedly.

I'm getting the hang of this. Next up - a pasta maker. Or maybe a tortilla maker. Or the dehydrator.....


Christine said...

Yummy! That loaf looks like you've been doing this for a lot longer than just a couple weeks! I'm proud of you, Julie!

MomBrose said...

You have me all geared up to grind my own wheat! :) We've been eating quinoa for a while now and I won't tell you what Brian and I think it looks like *until you email me since it's not G rated* :D
But it has little flavor on it's own. It's great as an added grain because it has some bulk and won't change the flavor of your bread.
So....have you been filled on the truth about oats purchased at the store yet? :)