How to mill wheat without a mill.

jenicaDecember 6, 2008

Hi everyone,

I have been wanting to get a mill to grind my own flour for a while now but just haven't been able to afford it yet. Well, imagine my excitement when my neighbor told me how she does it without a mill. Basically the process goes like this: 1. In a large container, wash the wheat berries in cold water, most foreign matter should float to the surface where you can skim or pour it off. Drain the water off. 2. Cover the wheat berries with fresh water and add a glug of vinegar (the vinegar will help remove any pesticides) 3. Soak at least overnight 4. Drain the water, rinse, and put wheat berries in a food processor adding a little warm water 5. Process until a smooth dough forms, about 5 minutes.

Now, what your left with is a dough that is too wet for kneading so what do you do... Enter my latest copy of the magazine, Mother Earth News and a cover story of how to make fresh bread in 5 minutes a day. Their recipe works great and with NO KNEADING!! So what you do here is: 1. Put six cups warm water in a very large bowl add 3T salt and 3T dry yeast then mix in 13 cups flour 2. cover loosely and let rise 2 - 8 hrs. 4. Stick in in the fridge 5. when you want to make a loaf of bread rip off a hunk of the dough and shape it, slap it in the pan to rise, then bake it. That's it! When you start getting low you can just add the above recipe to the leftover dough.

So what I did is take their recipe and modify it to work with my "grinding" method and the wonderful and amazing recipe for 100% whole wheat bread that grainlady was so kind to share in another post. I measure out 5 cups of liquid before grinding the wheat and then use this in the processor to grind the wheat. I use the liquids in grainlady's recipe but just up the proportions to match the magazine's recipe. I only use 5 cups of liquid because the grain is already wet so that adds more moisture. As far as the rest goes I follow the magazine yeast, salt, and flour amounts and then I use all grainlady's other ingredients with the amounts multiplied to match the recipe. It works great!!

To top all this serendipity off, my same neighbor found a source (local farmer) for hard winter wheat berries for only $8 for a 50 lb bag!

Grainlady, if you read this I want to thank you for the wonderful recipe, I tried it for Thanksgiving (with $4/lb organic whole wheat flour I got before learning how to do the above) and it was wonderful and light as promised.

Hope this helps some of you who wanted to mill flour like I did but didn't have a mill.


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Now this is something I need to try! I love this milling idea, and to have such a quick and easy way to get fresh hot bread is wonderful!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 1:39AM
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Wow, Jenica, I'm jealous of you for your $8 wheat.

If I can ever get any wheat berries I will try your method as I, too, do not have a mill. I do have a hard-working Cuisinart food processor, however.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 8:15AM
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WAY-TO-GO!!!!! Where there's a will, there's a way.... ;-)
That's a wonderful price for wheat!!!

This is similar to recipes where you sprout the grain then grind it (see link below for information) for unleavened and leavened breads. You'll get more nutrition from sprouted grain, but there are advantages when you soak the grain, as well. Your method couples this ancient method with the bread-making method from the book, "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hergzberg and Zoe Francois. BRILLIANT!

Many traditional people (pre-industriliazed people) soaked or fermented their grains before making them into porridge, breads, cakes and casseroles. Ask someone who is "of-an-age" if they remember when the instructions on the oatmeal box called for an overnight soaking.

All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer (the bran). Soaking allows the enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. When you soak cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight, it will improve their nutritional benefits.

Instead of the "glug of vinegar", I'd probably use some whey from my homemade kefir as the acid. I already use grains that are chemcial-free.

Using an overnight sponge method for 100% whole wheat bread will make the loaf much lighter. Soaked flour is also a method used with wholegrain flour that makes it much lighter.

Soaked grains are also easier to digest - for you folks who have digestive problems with whole grains (NOT related to gluten intolerance).

If you use steel-cut oats, try this soaking method. Oats happen to have a high amount of phytic acid in them, so this is a very beneficial method for preparing them. I mill my own oat flakes in a flaker mill, or coarsely milled oats (similar to steel-cut). This makes it cook much faster.

Bring 4 c. water to a boil (in a pan that has a lid). Turn off heat and add one cup steel-cut oats. Add 1-2 T. whey, buttermilk, yogurt, or kefir (cultured dairy products) or even a little vinegar or lemon juice (all are acidic ingredients). Cover pot and leave overnight at room temperature. The next morning cook the oatmeal on low for 9-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sprouted Wheat Bread Recipe

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 10:20AM
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