Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Friday, January 30, 2009

Milling Wheat



I use Hard Red Spring Wheat. Hard wheat is suitable for bread, soft wheat is for pastry flour. Hard wheat has more protein content and more easily forms gluten, the stringy protein needed to catch the gas released by the activated yeast. Red Spring wheat is red wheat that has been planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. There is also white wheat which is genetically altered to produce a lighter flour.

The picture above shows my bucket of wheat berries. I buy 50lbs at a time and store the berries in a food grade bucket with a "gamma seal lid" that keeps out the oxygen. I filled the hopper of the Nutrimill FULL (about 11 - 12 cups of wheat berries). The third picture is my Nutrimill settings. Below you can see the hopper is almost empty. The last picture is the flour. It's soft and very smooth.



A couple of notes about freshly milled flour:
  • Because it has ALL the wheat parts, it is prone to oxidation and spoilage, so it needs to be stored in the freezer.
  • You can adjust the coarseness of the flour by adjusting the Nutrimill's controls.
  • 11-12 cups of wheat berries yields about 18-20 cups of flour. With the recipes found in _Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day_, each batch calls for about 6 1/2 cups of flour. So one milling would make about 3 buckets (each yielding three 1 1/2 lb loaves) full of 100% whole wheat bread.
In the next post, I'll be covering how I soak the flour along with some references why I feel it is an essential step. Many, many bread makers I know, even the professionals skip this step. I, personally feel you make no nutritional gains by using whole wheat without soaking it first, especially freshly milled wheat because of the phytic acid. More on that later (I promise I won't be on the soap box for long).

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