Results: Bread from Home-Ground Grain

Homemade wheat breadI’ve already written about using the Family Food Mill to grind this grain. How’d it work for making bread?  To sum up: Yum.

The bread pictured here is the 100% wheat loaf made by the same recipe as the best bread I’ve ever made. You’ll notice it’s not as high a loaf as that was, but that’s no surprise, given that the other was made mostly with white flour. This loaf was no brick, though; it was moist and hearty with a very nice crunchy crust. Terrific with guacamole or honey (not both…).

Even better, though, was the second loaf I made (not pictured here). For that loaf, I mixed together then ground 1/2c. hard red wheat berries and 1/2c. rye berries that I grew last summer. (Threshing rye is amazingly easy!). That made about 2c. of flour, to which I added 1c. of white flour. It had a nuttier taste and a slightly finer crumb and, as you might know, rye makes the nutrients in wheat more easily absorbed (though I confess I forget if that’s because it adds a missing something to the wheat, or binds something present in the wheat that hinders absorption).

Sifting flourGiven the difference the white flour makes, I’ m going to experiment with sifting the wheat flour. I tried a bit with a sieve, but I think the holes are too large. I bought some fine-meshed fiberglass screening this weekend – does anyone know if that’s food-safe? If not, I’ll have to find something with a finer mesh than your average kitchen sieve.

What’s next for the intrepid grinder? More wheat bread experiments, to be sure, but also dosas and tortillas!



  1. El said,

    March 3, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Looks quite yummy; I am so glad it turned out. Now you have me thinking about growing some rye…hmmm…

  2. Emily said,

    March 3, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Rye is so easy. I broadcast it on the absolute worst soil we have (weeds don’t grow there) and walked away. A couple months later, I snipped the tops off, threw them in a big Rubbermaid tub, stomped on them, then winnowed the chaff away.

  3. Emily said,

    March 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    An update: tonight I ground 3 cups of wheat berries (a little over 4c flour) in 11 minutes. More boring than tiring…

  4. bob said,

    March 15, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Your loaf looks a little flat, but the crumb appears to be well risen, so you probably were not using enough flour.

    Just a few suggestions, first get a scale cause any advanced baker is going to give to you ingrediants in weight not in cups.

    Usa just a little yeast, or better, if you are using rye berries, try NO YEAST at all ! Just mix it up, and set it aside in the frig, or a cool room. The cool temps will help to develope a natural yeast starter that you caqn use again, and again.

    My daily bread is 7.5 oz of white wheat berries, 15 oz of rye berries, and 21 oz water. It looks really wet at first, but you juwst mix it together, pout it into a bread pan, and let it rise over night. 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp of starter, I never kneed it, I just let it autolize.

    Been making bthat same recipe for years…

  5. Emily said,

    March 17, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Thanks, Bob, for the input. I have a scale and would love to make bread by weight, but *every single recipe* I’ve found has ingredients by volume, only! Do you have a good source for recipes by weight?

  6. bob said,

    March 19, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Humm.. every recipe you have is by cups.. well, I would say weigh a cup, then go from there. I have several bread baking books ( none handy ) and from memory, they all show ingrediants by weight.

    Another thing you can do, for fun, is add beer as a substitute for water 1 for 1, and for a Euro flare, you can add dry onion flakes, and caraway seeds.

    Add molasis, sunflower seeds, orange peel, lots of stuff.

    As I recall, there is a word in German Rogenbrat, and it means old bread. The peasants had old left over bread, they would dry it very well, then toast it, then grind it into a powder, and add it to their bread. in modern times they use chocolate, and coffie, and vinigar to make it taste like a sourdough.

    Strangely enough, a decent rye can also have vinigar, chocolate, and coffie.

  7. Bonnie said,

    April 19, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Do you know if a person who is gluten intolerant can eat the wheat berries? I’ve just learned that I’m gluten intolerant and am trying diligently to find recipes for bread I can make and eat. (It can’t have yeast, either…except for natural sourdough.)

  8. Emily said,

    April 20, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Bonnie- Gluten intolerance is really severe, and I’ve never heard of folks being able to tolerate wheat berries, which have gluten. For folks who are allergic to wheat (and I’m fuzzy on the difference – maybe it’s a non-specific wheat reaction, not a true allergy), some can tolerate older varieties of wheat, like Kamut.

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