Okay, so I got going and had to write a second preparedness blog post while it was bouncing around in my head. For the record, nothing in this post is exaggerated - I adore my grain mill, and if you haven't heard me rave about it yet consider yourself lucky - I usually tell everyone! Lol. It really is my favorite kitchen toy.
My Hand Grain Mill - Even Better Than I Hoped!
When my husband and I commenced our real food and preparedness living journeys, I was devastated to discover that whole wheat flour was both more expensive and harder to use than all purpose white flour. I love to bake and store bought whole wheat flour created only hard, dense loaves. It didn't even offer the increased nutrient content that might have compensated for the lack of taste because it had been sitting on the store shelves so long that all the nutrients had bled out or gone rancid!
I started researching alternatives. Scouring bread and baking books, I came to the conclusion that our best option was to grind our own flour.
More research ensued. Finally, we took a chance and ordered a Hand Grain Mill and two Superpails of wheat – one each of soft white and one hard red. That purchase has revolutionized my life!
I love my grain mill! A little practice (and building up of strong arm muscles) allows me to quickly and efficiently grind all the grain we need. Fresh ground whole wheat flour used within a few days or stored in the freezer retains all of its rich nutrient content and is exponentially cheaper than buying flour. Whether purchased in Superpails or 50# bags from a local milling company, we purchasing wheat for pennies a pound, cutting our food budget substantially and creating a solid base for our food storage program.
Having grain on hand means never having to run to store if I want to bake and find myself out of flour. It also makes it much more feasible to keep both pastry flour (soft wheat) and bread flour (hard wheat) on hand, giving me more flexibility in my baking. The grinder is small, quiet and easy to store when not in use.
And the results? Outstanding! Freshly ground wheat bakes up into light, soft bread, biscuits and cakes with none of the heaviness, graininess or “whole wheat” aftertaste inherent to commercial flour. People are amazed when I tell them I used whole wheat in a recipe; I always point them to my grain mill and tell them if they get one of their own they'll never go back. I know I never will!