I’m embarrassed to admit that 6 months ago I had no idea what wheat berries were and couldn’t have identified them if you asked me to (“Weird-looking rice???”).
But now I am one of those people–the crazy-grind-your-own-grain folk. It’s not as “out there” as I thought (or maybe I’m too far gone now to accurately judge). When someone first told me they had friends that ground their own flour, I pictured them threshing stalks of grain in their bathtub. Needless to say, things are much more modern than I had originally imagined.
This all started when I learned that in the 1920’s, millers began to remove the germ, germ oil, and bran from wheat so it would have a longer shelf life. They ended up taking out most of the nutrients (25+ including Vitamin E, Vitamin B, Iron, and Calcium). When people started to get sick, they put 4 nutrients back in and called it “enriched.”
We decided to give grinding our own grain a shot, found some wheat berries at a health food store, and ground them up in our juicer. The bread was amazing! I had been using whole wheat flour to make bread and it always ended up kind of dry and hard. Bread made from freshly-ground flour is moist and delicious. It’s completely superior! It’s so worth it–for the taste and nutritional benefits.
We used some credit card points to purchase a Wondermill. It’s pretty quiet and only takes a few minutes to produce freshly-ground flour. (The juicer worked okay, but it took a while and could only produce a coarse flour.) We buy wheat berries in bulk from Bread Beckers.
Now I grind the wheat berries, toss the flour into a ziploc bag, and put it in the freezer. You can use it “as is” from the freezer so it’s no different than pulling flour out of a pantry.
And here is my favorite bread recipe from a blog called Home with Purpose. The recipe only has eight ingredients and takes me about an hour to make (and that includes time to rise!)! I usually cut the recipe in half, which makes three loaves of bread. We eat one while it’s warm and slice and freeze one or two loaves for later. Yum.