As I mentioned in my earlier post Food Storage - Wheat, I would be talking about wheat and wheat grinding. I hope this series will be beneficial to those questioning why I would want to grind wheat, for those who may be trying to decide which grinder to buy or just for those people looking for something information for the future.
My husband bought me my wheat grinder over 3 years ago for Christmas. He did all the research and the decision making on which one to purchase, glad it was him and not me. I was in shock when I opened my grinder at Christmas time, I wasn’t expecting it. I had mentioned I would like some new kitchen gadgets for Christmas. I received my L'Equip Nutrimill grinder, a pasta machine and drying rack and my Gordon Ramsey pots and pans….Oh yeah!
I will admit it took me a bit of to figure everything out……Hint #1 with the Nutrimill put flour on the bowl lid and flour bowl for easier turning (believe me it is still tough to turn even with the flour or maybe I’m just a
weakling…) Hint #2 make sure you push the flour bowl all the way in before you start grinding, or flour will be flying everywhere in your kitchen.
In my earlier post I went thru the different types of wheat used more commonly here in the U.S., but let’s review the types
- Durum – Very hard, translucent, light-colored grain used to make semolina flour for pasta
& bulghur; high in protein, specifically, gluten protein.
- Hard Red Spring – Hard, brownish, high-protein wheat used for bread and hard baked goods.
Bread Flour and high-gluten flours are commonly made from hard red spring wheat. It is primarily traded at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.
- Hard Red Winter – Hard, brownish, mellow high-protein wheat used for bread, hard baked goods
and as an adjunct in other flours to increase protein in pastry flour for pie crusts. Some brands of
unbleached all-purpose flours are commonly made from hard red winter wheat alone. It is primarily traded on the Kansas City Board of Trade. One variety is known as "turkey
red wheat", and was brought to Kansas by Mennonite
immigrants from Russia
- Soft Red Winter – Soft, low-protein wheat used for cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, and muffins.
Cake flour, pastry flour, and some self-rising flours with baking powder and salt added, for example, are made from soft red winter wheat. It is primarily traded on the Chicago Board of Trade.
- Hard White – Hard, light-colored, opaque, chalky, medium-protein wheat planted in dry,
temperate areas. Used for bread and brewing.
- Soft White – Soft, light-colored, very low protein wheat grown in temperate moist areas. Used
for pie crusts and pastry. Pastry flour, for example, is sometimes made from soft white winter wheat.
So I’m sure you are asking yourself…..Why should I want to grind my own wheat as compared to just buying the wheat flour?
1. If you are doing this for food storage, then you know wheat flour has a short shelf life. Wheat if stored correctly can last 30+ years and you can grind it as you need flour.
2. You are in control of what type of wheat flour you are using. Most store bought wheat flour is from red wheat and maybe you prefer white wheat or a combination of both. And the wheat flour hasn’t lost any nutritional value from sitting on the shelf for months.
3. Price: Grinding your own wheat flour is cheaper than buying flour at the store because you buy wheat in bulk. Plus if you do food storage you will have wheat for a variety of reasons if a natural disaster, emergency or financial hardship occurs.
4. Nutrition: eating whole wheat is healthier.
Next Question….Which Grain Mill / Flour Mill should I buy?
There are a few things to consider before making this purchase, but in the end it all comes down to personal and financial choice.
1. Do I want a manual or an electric grain/flour mill? There are pro’s and con’s to each one. If you can afford it, I recommend having both. (If you lose power then an electric mill is of no use, but a manual grinder takes endurance and time) A manual grain mill requires time and endurance to operate and excels at coarse flour. An electric mill of course requires power and is best for very fine flour. There are some mills that go manually if there is no power.
2. Am I going to use this in my everyday life or just occasionally? If for everyday use then I would recommend an electric mill
3. How will I be using my flour mill for? Meaning do you prefer more of fine flour compared to
that of course flour. The different mills vary in grind consistencies.
4. What is my price range? Range is from $50 to $500
5. Is noise an issue? Some mills are louder than others.
6. Flour dust? Some mills have more flour dust than others.
I will be posting about electric and manual models and then showing you how I use my equipment in this series.