Friday, September 19, 2008

Using a Grain Mill

Recently I got a request to show my grain mill and how it works. Well, yesterday I was out of flour and cracked wheat, so I got out the camera and started taking pictures. Come along while I show Robin (in KY) how I make whole grain flour.
I buy my wheat from Frankferd Farms Foods in Pennsylvania. They deliver once a month down here in Maryland. Our family usually goes through two 50-lb bags a year. I buy the Prairie Gold White wheat berries because they have higher protein and less tannic acid (easier on the tummies). Wheat rarely goes on sale, so it usually costs almost $17 for 50 lbs.

My grain mill makes a little more than 3/4 cup of flour from every 1/2 cup of grain. So when you are baking, make sure you measure your flour...not your grain.

I also buy my other whole grains at FFF such as buckwheat groats, corn, oats, and long grain brown rice. Every once in a long while I will buy amaranth, quinoa, teff, semolina, spelt, triticale, millet and kamut. For some reason I rarely bake anymore with the different grains.
This is my Kitchen Aid grain mill that I bought in 1989 for $99. If you look hard enough, you can still buy it at that price on eBay or an online sale. I think this grain mill is the best there is. It doesn't make much noise, you can adjust the burrs while it's running, and the heat from the motor is separate from the mill, so there is no loss of nutrition. And the price is right!
I have two Kitchen Aid mixers. This one is 25 years old. I got it the first year of my marriage. It has been used much more than the average mixer. I prefer to use this mixer for my grain mill because I can grind a lot of grain before it overheats. I can mill 8 cups of grain before it even starts to get warm.

This poor mixer is also broken and only runs on the highest speed, so I use it solely for the mill.
I also have this large Kitchen Aid mixer, but I never use the grain mill with it. For some reason it works too hard to grind the grain, and overheats quickly. My hubby knows the "engineering" reason why that happens. If you want to know, I'll ask him when he comes home...just email me.
My hopper holds a little more than 2 cups of grain. I timed it...it takes 4 minutes to grind that much.
Two things to remember. Use your mill only on the high setting. And make sure you lock your machine or it may wobble!
Turn it on and get ready to inhale the freshest wheat flour available!
I also make cracked wheat that I add to dinner rolls and bread. (Just soak 2/3 cups cracked wheat in 1 cup warm water for 10 minutes; drain and add to your bread dough.) Delicious!
I keep this jar of Cracked Wheat in my freezer. It usually lasts me for a month.
If you want to make some lighter cake flour, just sift the flour through a sieve. The heavy bran will stay in the sieve and the lighter flour will sift through. Put the bran in an air-tight container and store in the freezer for muffins later.

The grain mill is easy to operate. When my children were 2 and 3 years old, it was their chore to keep the wheat bucket filled with flour. I make enough flour to fill a 2-quart container that I keep stored in the refrigerator. Today I used my fresh flour to make sourdough scones. Mike gave me this scone pan this past weekend, so I was excited to use it. I was so glad that I had this tall trivet, because my pre-heated scone pan was burning hot when I went to fill it! (Sorry about my messy counter, but I wanted to put the scones in the pan so I could clean up while they were baking.)
As it was, the scones came out of the oven just as I finished cleaning and putting everything away. What an aroma! (Sorry, no picture of the finished scones.)

My first picture on this post shows the sourdough rolls I made using the Easy No Knead Sourdough Bread recipe (except I used whole wheat flour) that has taken the baking world by storm. The only thing I would change is to slash the rolls down the middle so the steam could escape in a more uniform way. But they sure got eaten quickly!

Have a restful weekend. Mike and Allen spent most of Friday cutting and splitting firewood, so today we will take it off the trailer and stack it. What a nice feeling to see the woodpile get taller.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

1 comment:

Heather said...

i love this post! i did not know that you can buy a grain mill for the kitchen aid mixer. i may have to look into that. currently i borrow my mom's actual grain mill, but this looks wonderful. i love the no-knead bread recipes. i will have to try out yours for the rolls. yum!