Monday, January 12, 2009

Amazing Grains

I know that I've talked about it before, but I just have to share the love again. I am in complete and utter love with grinding my own flour. Not only is it economical and nutricious, but it's the freshest, best tasting flour I've ever used! I literally use all whole grain flours in my baking now, and the baked goods come out really light and delicious. The white wheat flour has a sweet and slightly nutty flavor.

One of my favorite flours to grind is white wheat pastry flour. It's truly unbelievable, and a flour that's not sold commercially. I start with soft white wheat berries (from Bob's Red Mill), which I buy in a 25 pound bag. Then about once a week, I grind the berries into a beautiful, silky white wheat pastry flour. I do the same with hard white wheat, which I grind into a really nice bread flour. It makes a fantastic whole grain sandwich loaf, which is my new, go-to bread of choice. Next up is home-ground spelt flour.

Of course there are many other flours that I grind regularly. Garbanzo beans, black beans, pinto beans, red lentils and yellow split peas all make great flours. With the bean flours, you can make instant refried beans and silky soups (including split pea). They're also great for thickening sauces, soups and gravies too. Oh and let's not forget rice. Rice flour makes a nice crisp coating for tofu, but it's also wonderful in gluten-free baking too.

The grain mill that I use for grinding flour is The Wonder Mill. It's easy to use, super easy to clean, can grind 100 pounds of grain in an hour and has a strong, powerful motor. I keep it in my cupboard and pull it out as needed. It's not heavy, so it only takes a couple of minutes to set out on my counter.

I can't help myself. I'm becoming a whole grain junkie!


Carla said...

Oooh. How wonderful. Tell us how you're using it to help you create delicious breads and pastries and stuff!

The Cooking Lady said...

Just wait, it gets better. You start making whole grain cokies, biscuits, cakes. the list goes on. But suffie it to say, you will not be sorry you got your wondermill.

I have a whisper mill and w elove ours.

Anonymous said...

You are the cutest Susie Homemaker ever with your homemade soymilk and grinding your own flour. They're both items on my wish list so maybe one of these days...

Amy said...

Mmmm I'd love to grind my own grains. They sound incredibly delicious! I hope I can afford something to try this myself one day!

Jael said...

Wish I had a grain mill too, I have not seen such a thing for home use here in Israel.Instead I grind small amounts in my Magic Bullet,but that is only for very small amounts and the machine is terribly noisy as well.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Julie, you are so cool! I want to come live with you & make everything from scratch.

Diz Rivera said...

Hi Julie. Happy New Year!

My friend (and neighbor) Molly also has the WonderMill. She makes a beautiful millet flour that she uses for cookies to cut down on the gluten. Anyone with gluten issues should invest in one of these!

Great post as usual.
My word verification was "cheappi" dang.

Sheree' said...

I grind my wheat too! I have a whisper mill. So can you share some of your great bread recipes?

Adriana said...

How do you store a 25lb bag of white wheat berries? My 5lb bags of flour take up a lot of real estate in the fridge. Any advice will be much appreciated.

Michelle said...

hi julie, i made your gluten free chocolate chip cookie bars the other day.. they were really good! i didn't have the bob's red mill mix, but i used the El Peto all purpose mix, worked fine.

Unknown said...

sounds good! (though i myself have sworn not to acquire any more appliances until i get my own house, but it's good to know what's out there!)
energetically these flours are better for you too (and likely include more vitamins) as they're ground fresh, instead of having them processed only to sit around for weeks or months.

Debbie Ann said...

Will you ever do a step by step demonstration on DishTV showing newbies like myself how to make a great tasting & healthy, whole grain bread? I am so intimidated by making homemade bread. I don't have any fancy machines for kneading and so I don't know how the bread is supposed to feel. Seems like it's either too sticky or too stiff. I can never seem to get that part just right. :(

julie hasson said...

Thanks you guys. Yeah, I do love to make everything from scratch. Not only is it fun, but the food tastes so much better and is better for you.

Madness, millet flour is a great idea. I'm going to have to try it out soon.

Debbie Ann, there is a recipe for whole grain bread on Everyday Dish with Dave Dahl. You could make it by hand instead of using the machine. It's just going to take a lot of muscle.

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