Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The dawning of a new idea: Grinding wheat outside. In January!

I've recently revived bread baking using up previously ground flour I had stored in the freezer. I attempted my first-ever Ezekiel bread. While I wasn't really disappointed in the loaves, I had to tweak the recipe right in the middle of kneading because the recipe I had was way too sweet. Adding more wheat flour helped, and the taste is just plain wonderful now, especially for toast. The loaves did not rise as high as I'd like, but that may well have been my rusty skills. 

I never grind only enough flour for a baking but grind a lot and then store it in the freezer. This has worked perfectly for me. Today, I needed to grind more flour but really dreaded it because of the noise, cleaning up flour dust from the counters, cabinets, and floor (not a lot of dust, but it does lodge in more places than I would like). Suddenly I thought, Well why not do it outside? It is the last day of January in Virginia, but today's temperature rose to the mid-60s after an early morning 27 degrees. And the wind has been blowing furiously. Perfect! I set up my utility table under the ceiling-mounted retractable extension cord in the carport and went to work. In no time, I had flour and the cleanup was quite doable. Once I loaded the grain, I pulled up two large loads of wood since the grinder was within hearing range.

I ground about 6 quarts hard white wheat. Then I ground about 5 quarts of a mixture of spelt, millet, barley, red and white beans, pinto beans, and lentils. This mixture is used in the Ezekiel recipe, but I'm going to experiment just adding it into my regular bread recipe. Plus I'm planning to add some quinoa and ground flax seed.
I'd say I'll start grinding all grain outside now. And I don't know why I'd never thought of it before!


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