Many homemakers are returning to the basics and providing their family with natural products made at home. Families are making their own butter and cheese, growing vegetables, and making natural cleaners. If you want to add to this and have fresh ground flour for baking and cooking, you can grind your own wheat. The good news is that you don’t need massive muscles; there are many ways to grind wheat berries without over-exerting yourself.
Why Grind Your Own Wheat?
There are many good reasons for grinding your own wheat. First, it is more nutritious. Whole wheat is packed with vitamins and minerals; however, once it has been ground into flour, it loses 45 percent of those in the first twenty-four hours after it has been ground. In seventy-two hours, it loses 90 percent of its nutritional value. Grinding your own wheat flour in small amounts allows you to use it and still preserve the nutrients.
The flavor of freshly ground flavor is reason enough to grind it at home. You will be amazed at how good bread and baked goods taste with fresh-ground wheat flour. If you make your own wheat pasta, you will be even more amazed at the taste difference. Nutritious and delicious, two of the best reasons for grinding your own wheat.
Before you can start grinding your own wheat, you need two things: wheat berries and a grinder. Wheat berries can be purchased from many local co-ops and farmers, or you can order them from suppliers on the Internet. You can purchase wheat berries in bulk and store them in large, sealed buckets until you are ready to grind. If properly stored, the berries will last for many years.
You will also need a grinder to transform the wheat berries into flour for cooking. There are electric and manual grinders, both of which will be examined further below. First, you need to consider ways to buy wheat berries.
Wheat and Wheat Berries
First, you need to understand that the wheat berry is what makes whole wheat flour. If you use all of the wheat grain, you get whole grain flour. Two of the most popular wheat berries used for home grinding are the hard winter red berry and the hard spring red berry. You may also like white wheat berries. If you want to ensure you have berries that provide the best nutrition without fear of pesticides and chemicals, buy organic wheat berries.
If you aren’t sure what type wheat berry to buy, purchase small amounts of each type. This will give you an opportunity to compare the various flavors of wheat flour. Once you have found one you like, you can order in bulk.
There are many types of wheat grinders in both electric-powered and hand-cranked varieties. You may want to have a powerful electric one and a manual one for backup. The prices vary immensely. This makes understanding the differences important so you can get the best grain mill that you can afford. You can always upgrade to a higher-end model later.
Manual grinders come in many of sizes and prices. These grinders are powered by you; your arm is the motor. You pour the grain into the hopper where they are then fed into the burrs as you turn the handle. This is a slow process, but it does work and is always available, even if you lose power. It also prevents the grain from becoming scorched due to excess heat from electric grinding. The Junior Hand Grain Mill from the Solutions From Science website is an excellent choice for a manual grinder that is not dependent on the grid to function.
Electric grinders can be small and inexpensive or large, loud, and costly. They are efficient in grinding flour quickly; most can grind enough wheat to make six or seven loaves of bread in less than fifteen minutes. If you purchase a quality electric grinder, it can last for many years. Some of the best grinders are outlined here.
1. KoMo Fidibus Classic – This is a beautiful, wooden grinder made from organic wood. It uses 360 watts of power and has a noise level of 70 db. It has a hopper with various grinding levels and is self-cleaning The KoMo Fidibus Classic does not cause the grains to overheat, an important consideration for nutrition.
2. Nutrimill- This grinder has a range of grinds, from coarse to ultra fine. You can grind up to twenty cups of flour at once. Comes with a lifetime warranty.
3. The K-Tec Kitchen Mill- This is a very loud grinder; however, it lasts for many years. The K-Tech Kitchen Mill can grind one and a half pounds of flour a minute and up to 100 pounds per month. This is a heavy-duty, long-lasting mill for family use.
These are three of the top-rated grinding mills; however, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mills on the market. You can shop around and read reviews until you find one that you can afford and that has excellent reviews. You should always make sure you have a warranty and a return option.
Tips for Grinding Wheat Flour
Before you rush out and buy an electric grinder and order 500 pounds of wheat berries, you should also keep these tips in mind to ensure you have the best wheat flour for you and your family.
- The flour must be ground at cool temperatures. During the grinding process, some mills produce too much heat, and the flour can have a rancid taste. Keep this in mind when choosing a grinder.
- Grind only as much as you can use in two to three days. The nutritional value declines rapidly once the wheat is ground. If you are going to grind a large amount, keep it in a dark, cool place until you are ready to use it. This will ensure the freshest taste and the most nutrition.
- You should be prepared to pay $200 to $300 for a good grinder.
- You don’t have to use your grinder for wheat only; you can grind beans, oats, barley, and other food items. You can have an assortment of nutritional flour for use in all types of cooking and baking.
- You should investigate the different types of wheat berries and the nutritional value of each before you buy. Each type if better suited for different types of baking. For example, hard red wheat has more protein and is less delicate than the soft wheat used in making pastries.
Having your own grinder will drastically change the way you look at flour and wheat products. You may never go back to buying flour again. Your family will love the taste, and you may never get them to eat commercial bread again. Start with a small electric or manual grinder and a small supply of wheat berries. As you learn to grind and bake with your freshly ground flour, you can increase your supply and move to bigger grinders. You can have wheat flour anytime you want, without going to the supermarket and sacrificing the nutrition.