House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Questions and answers on Grain mills and wheat/flour.

Thank you for last night!! It was fun. Here are more questions and answers :) I would like to do a bulk grain mill order, I have done 3 of these before for my homeschool group. Please share this info with others!! Especially if they are not on my email list :) The group grain mill order is extended to everyone, but picking up grain mills will be at my house, this way we save money on the large order and on shipping.

Kitchen Mill by Blend-Tec (the LOUD one)
FGM = Family Grain Mill (it was the one in the middle, cute, little) here it is with pictures of the attachments too!!!!

CLM = Country Living Mill (the big pretty one with the big fly wheel)

How much does each grain mill cost?

Country Living Grain Mill approx $410 FREE S&H

Kitchen Mill by Blendtec (the LOUD one) $200

Family Grain Mill (just the grain mill with hand crank base, no other attachments) $140 FREE S&H

with Motor $270

**IF you have a bosch or kitchen aid, the FGM has an attachment so you may use that as your motor!! ALSO, I have a place that will give me a deal on FGM and attachments if ordered together!

attachments for the FGM include: Flaker, Vegetable processor, and meat grinder usually about $75 EACH.. But again, I can get lower pricing if these are ordered WITH the mill.

If you could only get one grain mill, which one would you get?

Great question! At first I would say the CLM because I have always wanted it. But that would be my heart, not my practical mind. So in all honesty, if I could only get one, it would be the first one I ever got, the FGM. Why? I can do a coarse or fine grind, yes for bread I would have to do a fine grind and grind the flour twice, but that's ok with me. Also, the FGM is LIGHT, STRONG, easy to pack. I take this camping with us. I can set it up just about anywhere and use it. I would NEVER get the KM again!!! In all honesty I think this was cheaply made, and it is sooo loud! Even double ear protection hurts my ears. I love my CLM, but I can't use it for meat or as a veggie processor; and it is so heavy I wouldn't want it in my hand cart! The FGM is easy to pack, and if you just want it for emergencies, the price is good.

What protein content for wheat do you use?

First off, depending on where the wheat comes from and what kind it is will determine a lot! I do not like Utah wheat, the protein is about 12% which is the lowest for a hard wheat. It also is usually a bag full of rocks and dirt clumps!

You want to be choosy with your wheat. The best wheat is Montana wheat, it's protein is usually 15 to 16%, the highest you can get. I use Prairie Gold, which yes, is a hybrid, but makes wonderful bread. I order my Prairie Gold Montana Wheat or Bronze Chief Montana Wheat through Champion Grocer in Issaquah on Maple Street.

How much flour do you get from a 50-lb bag of wheat?

Ok, fun stuff.. 50-lbs is not even a bushel!! A bushel of wheat is 60 pounds, which usually makes 90 or more loaves of bread, alot matters, how fine the grind, humidity, how big the loaf is. AND if you use only hard wheat.

How do you make all-purpose flour?

Well, I just go out into my back yard, pick a bunch of grass seed and grind away.. NAH, just kidding. I use low protein, low gluten grains for my all-purpose flour. I use SOFT white wheat, barley, rye, triticale, kamut, buckwheat, oats and sometimes add in some rice. So the other day I used 2 cups of soft wheat, and 1 cup each of barley, triticale, rye, kamut and oats. It was close at hand. I mixed all the grains in a bowl, then add to my grinder. I also stir my flour before using.

When I tried to make whole wheat bread it didn't hold together well. I got my flour from costco..

Ok, the flour at costco is pastry flour. So in other words soft wheat, LOW gluten. You need gluten to make a gluten bread like a yeast bread. It would make better cookies than bread.

Your bread is so moist, how do you make it?

HA HA, well I watched Grandpa Harry make it several times, but he used white hard flower from a mill in Seattle. And he used a big Hobart mixer...I don't have either of those. But he did teach me how to handle doughs. BUT I have only changed how I roll my bread, I still roll my rolls the way he taught me. I have been making bread from scratch for 11 years now, everyother day, except Sundays.. ok, not true, sometimes i make french bread on Sundays (cravings).. When I say by hand, I mean at home; I use a bosch type mixer. I use 8 cups hard white spring wheat, I also use 7 cups of my all-purpose flour. Sometimes I use sugar, sometimes I use diastatic malt (I'm out of it right now). It's hard to explain. I could come to your house and teach you with your own equipment.

Why do you make bread and everything from scratch?

um... I need to. My daughter and I are allergic to corn, although I still sometimes eat it in short amounts, I am not as reactive to corn as she is. Corn is in EVERYTHING, whether in its whole form or scientifically made. Corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, food starch, sorbitol, xylitol.. ALL CORN. I found out from my corn allergy board that there is corn in all-purpose flour too!! So we no longer use that stuff. It isn't hard, and it is actually healthier for us to eat this way.

How do you store wheat and the flour after you grind it? Can I grind the entire 50-lb bag and store it?

ALL food storage should be kept under 60 degrees, ideally 40 degrees, but in reality, some people are lucky to keep it lower than 70 degrees. The higher the temperature the shorter the shelf life. You want a dry area, do not store any food items on cement or on the ground, moisture will permeate, and cement has some toxic stuff in it that will transfer through plastic, and metal will rust. Light, heat and moisture are enemies of food storage!! I store my wheat in white food safe buckets and in canning jars (they look pretty that way, and I use those up usually in a week or less). I store my beans this way too.

If you can fit 50-lbs of fresh ground wheat in your fridge, then sure go ahead and grind it and store it; IF not, then only grind what you need, and keep leftover flour in the fridge in airtight container (canning jars with lids work great!). Flour goes rancid quickly, and loses more and more nutrients and vitamins as it sits out. You can also freeze leftover flour.

We also stopped buying flour from the store as usually it is rancid before you buy it (yum).

How often do you grind wheat and or make bread?

I grind wheat or other grains daily. I make bread about everyother day. I make 6 loaves at a time. First I make up my all-purpose flour and grind 7 coffee cups full (extra flour goes in the fridge for later use, usually all used in a day!) then I put that flour aside and grind 8 or 9 coffee cups of hard white wheat. Again, extra goes in to the fridge.

What is vital wheat gluten and do you use it?

Vital wheat gluten occures naturally in all wheat and wheat derived white flours. Some white flours have more or less than others. In a dry form, it is used to give the yeast a boost because it contains a high amount of gluten forming proteins. Vital wheat gluten only does one thing, it helps improve the rise and texture of bread.

Use it in your heavier breads that rise slowly, such as rye, whole grains, or ones loaded with sugar, dried fruit and nuts. Do not add it to regular bread recipes. Some use it all the time for their bread machines especially when using whole grain. Generally if you are using store bought white bread flour, you don't need to add any, BUT sometimes whole grain flours need it.

I use Vital Wheat Gluten in my rye breads, and sometimes in my everyday whole wheat bread. ONLY 1 teaspoon per cup of whole wheat flour is needed!!

The bread I made for the meeting did NOT have Vital gluten added. My gluten strands were amazing and it didn't need extra gluten added.

Anymore questions please ask!! Love to help you,

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