Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Making whole-grain flour at home in 3 Easy steps! Turning Wheat into Bread!

 After 13 years of using an older hand-me-down grain mill, I finally have saved enough to get the electric grain mill I've had my eyes on for 2 years. Yup. We do practice delayed gratification at my house. I realize I could have bought it sooner...but I really wanted to be sure it was in the family budget after other debts were paid off. So. Enter the new grain mill. Eeeek! I'm so excited!  This is the NutriMill. I'm totally in love. Today we used 50lbs of whole KAMUT® ancient Egyptian wheat. It is organic, non-GMO and 70% of the people who have issues with modern wheat can tolerate this form of grain. With this mill, we made 50lbs of flour in about 20 minutes. That might be a record for making flour around here. In fact, my kids usually moan when I say, "It is flour making day!" However, this new mill was so easy to use that they ended up being asked repeatedly to stop making flour! I LOVE that! Love it!
 Here are the basic steps to making flour:
Step One: Assemble the grain mill.
 The first thing I noticed about this new NutriMill.  was how easy it was to assemble. I was worried that my giant-little brain wouldn't be able to get it to work.

 The instructions were pretty clear.

 Step 2: Follow what the NutriMill owner's manual says about the first time you use their mill. This means you need to mill 2 cups of wheat and then discard it. This will eliminate any contaminants the mill may obtain in the manufacturing process. Make sure the grain you use is clean! 
Mill that first 2 cups of wheat according to the mill instructions. This one says to unplug the mill, add the grain to the top. Then plug in the mill and turn it on. There is a knob on the front that is easy to adjust for how fine or large the grains are that are going into the stones to be ground.
 Throw away that first two cups of wheat (about 4 cups of flour). By the way, this step only needs to be done the very first time you ever ever use the mill. From here on out, I'm good to mill and use all the grain I want without throwing any away.
 Step 3: Let the kids take over and make the bread. You think I'm kidding right? Not really but okay. I was there in the kitchen when they started milling the grain. They know how to use our hand-crank grain mill as well, but today we did electric. I wanted there to be full ownership in this bread. I am the Little Red Hen Mother. If they want bread, they get to help make it. Plus, this also gives me the extreme emotional and spiritual satisfaction of knowing that in any given situation, my boys will know how to make food from grain. Bread, porridge, crackers or anything that can be made from flour, they can make. I'm sick-in-the-head that way, but I get a weird sense of peace in knowing that they will leave my home someday with a full knowledge of how to work, cook, and contribute to society as a whole. So...starting with wheat and basic food is a good place. They could end up in a country someday that doesn't have flour. You think I'm kidding right? No Way. I'm thinking about being prepared for anything in life...anything! Will they be soldiers or in a refugee camp in the future? I don't know. There are not any guarantees in life.  If they only had wheat or any other grain, they'd be good to go! Heck yes! Rock-star cool! Yes, they are boys. So?!? If I had girls they'd learn the same thing. Boys grow up into men who need to eat right?! What if there isn't a girl around who knows how to make flour?! See...sick mother isn't so sick right?  So let us repeat the steps again:
1. Unplug mill and add grain to the top (hopper).
 2.Turn mill on & adjust the grind to the your desired texture of flour. Random side note. My son asked, "Hey does the wheat scream when it gets down to the part where it is all ground up?!" I laughed out loud as I remembered watching my grandmother's grain mill and the last straggling grains hold on to the edge of the mill's hopper before being sucked into the black hole at the bottom to be ground into the sweet and delicious flour that would be made into bread. Yes my son. They scream. Just like kids scream when they go down a water slide. It's fun! Or it is grain-o-side. Either way...it is for the greater good. Right? Try not to encourage slipping on grain-native-ceremonial-garb and doing some weird dances and chants while the grain is being sacrificed to the grain-mill-demi-god. I'm crazy but I'm not insane. Wait. Now that I think of it...the dancing would be just strange enough to do wouldn't it? If I can fashion the turmeric and paprika into a thick paint-like paste to rub on our noses...{I digress}.
 Hold on little grain and your life may be spared! Bwhahaha! Not today looser. Evil grin (as I flick the grain with my finger into the pit of despair)!
One thing I do with my grain is add 4 cardamom seeds to each batch of flour.
 I grind them with the wheat. The mill is not designed to grind spices alone (so keep that in mind and if you do add anything to your grain, keep it as pure as possible).  The cardamom will help the flour to retard bugs and other pests. I don't keep the flour around very long but it is a wonderful habit to have. Doesn't that seed mixed in with the grain look so much like a...nevermind.
 Little Man took his turn with the grain grinding as well. He's getting so tall! I don't know how much longer I can call him my Little Man.
 Each 25 lb bag of Kamut made 5, 5lb bags of flour. Simple math right?
 In the end, we made dough for 25 loaves of bread. We retained 25 lbs of flour for the bread class I'd be teaching soon.
It is beautiful stuff.
Step #3. Let kids make the bread. Or make it yourself. Whatever.
My son Face was anxious to make the bread now that he had made the flour.
4 cups hard wheat flour

 2 cups water. 1/4 tsp instant yeast.
 1 1/2 tsp salt.
 Mix until just combined. I'm not going to lie. This is his favorite part.
 The dough is so smooshy at first.
Once all the dough is smooshy, cover over with a lid and let sit 10-14 hours (usually for us it is about 12 hours before we get back to it). Dough will be ready to make into bread. The printable tutorial is below for how to make it into bread.
If you want the printable go to:

There you go! Turn Wheat into Bread!
Save money and empower yourself! 

Legal blah blah blah: By the way...I paid for my mill out of my own pocket so this a totally unbiased review of the mill. The opinions expressed here on the blog are totally my own. Isn't that good to know? I don't make any money if you decide to buy a mill based on this review. 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Darlene said...

Looks good!
I have a "K-tech" and its a noisy little thing as well as requiring that I grind outside because it spits out flour dust all over. However, the price was right - $50. So...I'm just thankful I don't have to hand grind wheat into flour anymore. But I'd sure love to have one like yours. They're so quiet - at least compared to my jet-engine one (and The Jet-engine shops were00000000000000000 across the street from the AF flight line, it's almost as loud as an F-4 taking off!)

Chef Tess said...

I hear ya Darlene. You have to do the best with what you have and sometimes it is living with a jet engine. God bless! I did it for years. Love you! Keep up the good work!