Grinding Grain with a Vita Mix

My mother bought a new Vita Mix a little over two years ago. I was in love. It’s like a blender on steroids! When I started grinding my own grain, I would go to her house and use her Vita Mix. I couldn’t afford one myself, nor could I afford a grain mill. But I was happy just having freshly ground flour.

On the way to the chiropractor one day, I stopped at a local thrift store. In the kitchen section was (gasp!) a Vita Mix! Not as new or as beautiful as my mothers, but  a Vita Mix nonetheless. It was priced at $18.

I didn’t have $18 with me. I knew it was worth that, so I asked the lady if she would hold it for me so I could run to the bank. There was an ATM about five minutes from the thrift store, so it wouldn’t have been a huge trip. She said no. She explained that they “didn’t hold things for customers anymore.” I drove to the ATM, praying the whole way that the Vita Mix would still be at the store when I returned. Ten minutes later, armed with cash, I walked back to the kitchen area of the thrift store. I’m sure I sighed audibly. The Vita Mix was right where I left it. Let’s just say I had quite the praise be to God session after leaving the store! Continue reading Grinding Grain with a Vita Mix

Soaked Flour Whole Wheat Bread (Recipe!)

The reason why I soak my grains is explained in “Is Your Flour Wet?” a free e-book available from Kitchen Stewardship.  I’m not going to take the time to re-write the whole explanation now. Suffice it to say that soaking your grains/flour begins the process of breaking them down so our bodies can better use the nutrients available in the grains.

When I make bread, I really make bread. I soak enough flour to make about 9-10 loaves at a time. My newest plan is soaking my flour, then separating 3 cup portions into individual loaf pans and freezing them.  Before, I made the dough into loaves after the first rising and froze those loaves before the second rising. When I want bread, I thaw one portion per loaf on the counter. I allow it to come to room temperature, then proceed with adding the yeast mixture.  I will first give the recipe that I follow. At the bottom of this post I will put a smaller recipe. The pictures show exactly how things should look. If you haven’t made bread before, DEFINITELY make the smaller recipe first!!! Continue reading Soaked Flour Whole Wheat Bread (Recipe!)

A Grain of Wheat

Two years ago, my aunt invited me to a bread seminar. A local group of women showed a video lecture by the BreadBeckers and baked various breads for the guests to try. The video taught me a lot about grain, whole wheat flour, and white flour.  (You can get a free cd from the BreadBeckers’ website!) This lecture launched me into the world of buying grain, grinding my own grain to make flour, and cooking with whole grains.

Before I go anywhere near the buying, grinding, and cooking, you need to have a basic understanding of why I spend this much time and energy on grain.

A wheat kernel – sometimes called a grain of wheat or a wheat berry – is a seed. Each kernel has three parts: the endosperm, the bran, and the germ.

File:Wheat-kernel nutrition.svg
Illustration by: Berghoff W, 1998. Längsschnitt durch ein Getreidekorn. aid infodienst Verbraucherschutz Ernährung, Bonn. Français : Un grain de blé et sa valeur nutritionelle.

Continue reading A Grain of Wheat