Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm In Love

What can I say, but that I'm totally in love... No, I'm not referring to my husband (although I love him madly too), but my Wonder Mill. I know, this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I assure you it's not. I've finally had some time to play with the mill, and it's really amazing. First off, not only does it grind flour out of grain, but beans and legumes too. We're talking flour as fluffy as freshly fallen snow.

What really inspired me to play with the machine was a recent trip to Bob's Red Mill. I discovered organic soft white wheat kernels, which I was told could be ground into pastry flour. I was so excited, because you can't buy white wheat pastry flour in stores. Completely intrigued, I proceeded to buy myself a 25 pound bag. I know that sounds like a lot, but I go through a lot of flour with all of the baking I do and I'd been wanting to do more exclusively whole grain baking. This seemed like a great start. Oh, and guess how much that organic 25 pound bag was? It was something like $11.00. Sold!

So I pulled out the grain mill and flipped that baby on. First up, white wheat pastry flour. The result? The MOST amazing flour I have ever baked with. Soft and fluffy, this was the perfect pastry flour. Intrigued, I tried regular white wheat flour. Result? Amazing. Now I was ready to really mix things up. I pulled out red lentils. I mean, how cool would red lentil flour be. Result? A beautiful pink flour that I'm dying to play with. Imagine the possibilities. Next up? Brown rice flour. I was having so much fun producing silky, fresh, beautiful flour. I also made black bean flour and chickpea flour. I love that the machine grinds the flour super fast. I quickly cleaned out the mill and put it back in the cabinet. No muss, no fuss (or so to speak).

White Wheat Pastry Flour

White Wheat Flour

Red Lentil Flour

Armed with the white wheat pastry flour, I started baking. I decided to try subbing the flour measure for measure with all purpose flour in several recipes. The results were outstanding. I made delicious pancakes, awesome blondies (from the book My Sweet Vegan) and a decadent chocolate cake. I also tried my hand at 100% whole wheat bread, using my regular white wheat flour. I used a recipe that has been making it's way around the blog world, and it is a great loaf of bread. Light, fluffy and 100% whole grain.

Whew! Fortunately I still have some energy left to start painting the kitchen. We got a bit of a late start on it, but it's now ready to go. I will post before and after pics when we're done. Here's a picture of the beautiful new cabinets that Jay built. I can't wait to see how it's all going to come together. I'm hoping that we can get it finished in a week and a half.


Anke said...

fresh is always best... and freshly ground flour is no exception. glad to hear you are having great results :-)

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, so exciting! Can we play with it when I come to Portland? hehe.
I'm excited to see the new kitchen paint.

Liz Ranger (Bubble Tea for Dinner) said...

that's too cool! all those possibilities! and I love your description of the fresh, fluffy flour, like flour can be luxurious in it's own way. :o

MeloMeals said...

How exciting! I am sooo jealous!! I was pretty bummed after getting my Vita-Mix that it doesn't grind flour well enough to produce light whole wheat breads..

btw, the next time I make the buns I'll write down the recipe and post it to the group. I wing it all the time, but will make sure to measure it so you guys have the exact amounts.. It's taking me a while to get through all the buns in my freezer!
I can't wait to see what you do with the red lentil flour.. hmmm.. red lentil scallion pancakes? I might have to start saving for this grain mill.

MeganFabulous said...

I have never heard of a Wonder Mill - I want one! Your kitchen looks so nice and the cabinets, AMAZING!

Amy said...

Wow, those flours sound amazing. I always love reading about the contrast in food between other countries and here. Here there is no such thing as whole wheat pastry flour, only white, only one brand and as far as I know it's only been available in the supermarket for a relatively short amount of time (sigh). I'd do anything to get my hands on whole wheat pastry flour (international flour swap anyone? :P)

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Georgous cabinets! (way to go Jay!) I can't wait to see what you make with the red lentil flour! You have the BEST kitchen gadgets! :)

Carrie™ said...

Nice cabinets. Very nice!
I can understand your excitement. Your mill sounds like an amazing kitchen appliance that will get lots of use. Can't wait to see what you make with all of your flours.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Great cabinets!! I love my Wondermill, too! It is easy to use and clean, works like dream, doesn't create a mess, isn't expensive, saves me money, and the company gives great customer service, too!

Anonymous said...

what an awesome gadget. I've been reading a bunch of indian cool books lately, and they use a lot of bean and legume flours in their cuisine. Next time I'm shoping in little india, I'll look for lentil flours. That is, until I get my hands on a gagdet like this.

aTxVegn said...

How fun! I try to be gluten free so I'm esp. intrigued to see how you use all the flours.

Unknown said...

hey julie!
when we were in india, we saw a lot of mill shops. women would buy grain and bring it there to get flour. pretty nice, can you imagine a grain mill at the corner? suffice it to say, i've never experienced freshly milled flour. i bet the taste is unparalleled.


Julie said...

We have the same type of flour mill, except ours is called a Whisper Mill. They changed the name to Wonder Mill shortly after we bought it. It's a pretty good name change too, because it doesn't 'whisper' when it's running, but it does make you 'wonder' how the flour turns out so perfectly.
I enjoy using 100% whole wheat flour (freshly milled) in all of my recipes. Using a flour mill makes the flour so much lighter in texture and most of my friends don't even realize it is all wheat flour. Love it!

Sheree' said...

I am thrilled for you. I have The Kitchen Mill. I always grind my own flour. Mine is not the quietest, but it does the job. A couple weeks ago I realized (after using it for 4 years) that it also ginds wheat into pastry flour. How silly I feel with all the money I spent buying pastry flour. Brandie was thrilled too, since she needed pastry flour. I have made white bean flour, and split pea flour. What you can do is add hot water or broth to split pea flour and you have instant split pea soup. I need to go get my books out and see what I can make! I am so glad you enjoyed the bread. We love it!

erqsome said...

I feel a bit silly about this, but as it's instructed, I feel compelled to let you know that you make my day:


I can't wait to try the suasage recipe, yum!

Alisa said...

I had never heard of a wonder mill, that is sooooo cool!

The cabinets look beautiful!

Anonymous said...

The Wonder Mill sounds great! I'll have to look into that.

The cabinets are wonderful! Great use of space too!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Looks like a handy tool! I need to experiment with some different flours...

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Can I just say...........wow.

Another reason you are my hero!

Unknown said...

What is the benefit of the mill over a blender? Other than the amount of time need to get to flour form?

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