Wheat, Flour & Mills

I’ve been wanting to grind my own flour for a very long time. I know . . some of you are rolling your eyes. It is funny though when you make homemade stuff. Once when Chad was younger, he was visiting his dad for a couple of weeks in the summer. He called me and he was whispering . . Mom, can you please send me some soap? They use storebought soap! He was disgusted with the thought of using storebought soap! I’ve quit making soap and we now use storebought soap and he’s gotten used to using it.

I was looking at one of the blogs that had the “7 Weird Things About Me” and I asked Vince and Chad what what was weird about me. Neither of them had a problem coming up with a dozen or so ideas but Chad’s first one was you make your own bread!

We do use a lot of flour. King Arthur is my favorite and I either have to mail order it or buy it in Joplin. When I go to Joplin, I usually buy all they have on the shelf and then ask for more which they usually don’t have but offer to get for me.

There are several reasons, which I won’t go into here, why I want to grind my own flour. My friend, CJ, is real knowledgeable about this kinda stuff and she’s given me lots of information. She recommended the Country Living Grain Mill, which is pretty darned pricey.

grainmill.jpg

I don’t mind paying for it at all . . if I know I’m going to use it. My dilemma today is whether to pay $350 for this one or buy a cheaper one just to see if we’re going to like bread made from fresh ground flour. My thinking is . . if I buy a cheaper mill, the flour may not be ground too coarse and then we won’t like the flour. Grizzly has this one which looks pretty small but it’s $22.95. The health food store in Joplin said they’ve seen it and it looks pretty substantial . . probably meaning that it’s cast iron and will last a lifetime.

What’s a girl to do?grainmill21.jpg

Comments

  1. 1

    Richelle Robinson says

    I would suggest a Magic Mill. (http://www.magicmillusa.com) They have several mills to choose from. My favorite being the WhisperMill. I actually have and use a KTec it works for my needs I just find it to be messy and loud. So messy in fact, I go outside to actually use it. Mills generally have a setting as to how course or fine you prefer your wheat to be ground.
    A good source for comparisons of different mills is http://waltonfeed.com/self/grindele.html

    Good Luck!
    Richelle

  2. 2

    Karen L says

    Judy, Would it be possible to find someone in the area that could grind up wheat for you so you could try it in your bread before you buy one. That way you could see if you like the texture of the bread.

    I can remember as a kid, my mom ( actually Dad) grinding wheat for the bread. Hey Grandma had the grinder in her cabinet, we all thought it was fun to turn the handle. I probably don’t think it would be fun now.

    Karen L (remembering the past)

  3. 3

    says

    Ahh, this subject is kinda up my alley. 😉 Thank you so much for pointing out the Grizzy grinder! I just might have to see if I can wiggle that onto a birthday or Christmas list this year. I’d feel better if I had a back up for my electronic wheat grinder.

    But hand grinders tend to grind up more coarsely and you’ll probably have to run the flour twice through the mill. You’ll get great biceps though! 😉

    I have an electronic grinder and it does a great job. This specific brand is no longer available, but it’s worked wonderfully for the past 9 years. The consistency is perfectly acceptable to both my husband and I.

    Not only do I use the wheat for bread, but muffins, tortillas and even half and half (wheat/white flour) sometimes. If my husband turns something down, it’s because he doesn’t like the overall taste of the product, not because of the whole wheat.

    What’s a gal to do? I’d buy the Grizzy and see how your family likes freshly grained flours in their bread. If it’s all good, I’d buy an electronic grinder – I really don’t think you want to be doing it all by hand. If you had 7 kids, I’d say go ahead and buy the Country Living Mill. You’d have no problem grabbing an ear and telling them to grind you 20 cups of flour. 😀

  4. 4

    says

    Oh, I see the Richelle mentioned the Whisper Mill as her favorite – that’s what I have right now. Problem is that the company switched hands, they started making crappier mills til they finally had to pull it off the market. The old version is highly prized among wheat grinders and it’ll either be a long search or a high cost to get ahold of one. Or both. No, I’m not giving up mine! 🙂

  5. 5

    Sheila says

    I’ve never ground flour, but it doesn’t surprise me that you want to!

    The lower-priced version you show brings memories of exactly of the grinder my mom used to make “ground-up meat,” which was chunk bologna, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, and homemade mayonnaise. I’m wondering if there’s not just different attachments for the same machine!

  6. 6

    says

    We grind our own flour (usually wheat, but others occasionally) from fresh berries. You definitely want an electric mill. The hand-powered ones take a long time and don’t generate as fine a flour, no matter what the sales people say. We have 10 in our family. It takes about 7 minutes to grind enough flour for 3 large loaves, whereas my DH used to use the hand mill for 45 minutes (and his right arm looked like Popeye’s) for 2 small loaves when we first started. There is no comparison to the flavor of freshly ground flour. Whisper Mill is a great brand.

    ~Joan, who quilts more now that her teenage girls make all the bread

  7. 7

    says

    Homemade bread, yum! Neat idea to grind your own flour; I’ll bet it makes a real difference.

    Since you seem to like Lorna’s Laces yarn, there’s a nice shawl pattern on Knitty called Clapotis that uses LL Lion and Lamb. I’ve seen it made up in another type of yarn, and it’s really pretty.

    Your Quiltathon is a great idea!