Milling Your Own Flour/Homemade Bread
Unbelievably, I had some extra time for another post. 😉
This post is looong overdue. About a year and a half ago, I began using the Nutrimill to grind wheat berries into fresh flour at home. (Can’t believe it’s been that long already – wow.) Anyhow, Rebekah asked me about the use of it and wanted pictures of the process. I’ve had these pictures nearly that whole time on my computer just waiting for me to type a decent post…I’ve fiinally gotten around to it! 😯 😳 Sorry, Rebekah…
Without further ado, here is my photo demonstration for those who are curious/never used a grain mill before and would like to see the process. 🙂 (Updated 2/8/07: Commentary completed.)
All the components of the Nutrimill clean and ready to be assembled.
Attach separator cup.
Insert black mesh filter.
Attach lid to flour bowl. The black rubber seal can be troublesome – it fits tightly which is what you want but it can be very “sticky” making it very difficult to twist on. Rubbing a touch of flour around the seal helps relieve this.
Now, itsert the assembled flour bowl into the mill aligning the grey hole that you see to the right of the filter with the grey tube/hole that you see on the left side of the mill. Be sure that the bowl is firmly pushed in so that the flour that will be going through this tube into the bowl does not escape and make a mess by blowing into the air.
Add hopper attachment to top of mill.
Put the lid on. (For those who only need to mill a cup or two of flour at a time, you can skip the above step and put the lid directly on the hopper.)
The mill is now already to use! 🙂
Time for the wheat berries. Measure by the cup. I have found the mill approx. doubles the amount. (1 cup = nearly 2 cups flour.) So, if your recipe calls for 10 cups of flour, mill 6 cups of grain.
Be sure to check the grain for foreign objects such as small rocks, etc. The grain is generally very clean but I have found a small rock a couple of times so it is a good precaution to always take.
Pour grain into the hopper.
Hopper filled and machine ready to start. (With the Nutrimill, you can add grain during the milling process without stopping the machine so don’t worry if this isn’t all the grain you needed for your recipe or wanted to mill at this time.) Put the lid on, adjust your dial settings and turn the mill on.
That’s it – simple as pie! 🙂 Don’t forget to protect your hearing. The Nutrimill is touted as one of the quietest mills…but it’s not that quiet…at least not for us. We’re very conscientious about it around here and have several pairs of “ear muffs” or sponge/foam inserts to use for our ears for everything from cutting wood to milling grain! Or, your fingers can work just as well… 😀
After milling is complete, this is what the filter will look like. It needs to be dusted off as thoroughly as possible then rinsed and set aside to dry. Be sure to get as much dry flour out of it before rinsing or it will get “globby” and harder to clean out.
Opening the lid reveals wonderfully warm and great smelling flour! Be sure to tap the lid before removing it completely to settle the flour well down into the bowl and to knock it off the lid so that you won’t have too much of a floury mess on your counter.
Your flour is now ready to be made into or to feed a great nutrious sourdough starter! (Don’t forget the kefir. 😉 )
Or, if you do not prefer to use a starter, it is ready to use in whatever your favorite recipe is. Here I am using it for a few quick loaves with a non-starter recipe. The yeast mixture is nice and bubbly and ready for the addtion of more flour.
Mixing in more fresh whole wheat flour. When your dough is not sticky any more, it is ready for kneading. Kneading time varies but 10 – 15 min. should be sufficient. A nice “elastic” look to the dough is what you are aiming for. If you are new to making bread, time and experience will teach you how the dough should look and feel – don’t give up if your first loaves are a little heavy, etc. Hang in there – you’ll this wonderful art before long! 🙂
Dough is shaped and in the bread pans ready for it’s first rise. General instructions are to let it double in size, punch down and let it set for a second rise (approx. an hour). Put in the oven for your favorite recipes recommended time and temp.
Mmm-mmm-mmm Hot fresh homemade whole wheat bread from your own milled grain!! You can see, smell and taste the difference! If you’ve been wanting a mill but haven’t been sure you could justify the expense, don’t hesitate to start saving for one or buy one outright if you can. The nutritional benefits along with the ease, simplicity and pleasure of milling your own grain is definitely worth it in my opinion. Don’t forget – husbands usually don’t hesitate in providing themselves with the tools necessary for them to do their jobs or hobbies – don’t feel guilty providing yourself with the necessary tools to do your job of taking the best care of your family that you can! 😀