I love baking bread, even in the hottest of summer.
The smell is out of this world, and the taste so perfect. My family can literally gobble down a whole loaf before it’s been completely cooled! With some butter and jam, this is the perfect treat! Making it yourself costs about $.50 for 2 loaves (rough guess-timate) and there is no plastic trash to deal with. Win-win-win all round! When you are able to mill the wheat yourself, it make the perfect food storage item. Most wheat berries, if stored properly, can be stored for 20 years. I use plastic food grade buckets to store mine. Simply mark what berries you are storing and when you got them so you can rotate your stock. This is the last of the soft wheat for my storage, so thankfully we will be placing our Spring order with our co-op soon.
Once you get your wheat berries, you will want to have a grain mill for them.
I love my WonderMill. It’s super quiet (well, as quiet as they can be) and it has 3 different settings; pastry, bread and course. It is great for making whole wheat pastry flour as well as all purpose flour. I also use it to mill corn for cornmeal. Simply pour in the amount of berries you want to mill. One cup of berries of soft white wheat can give you 1 1/2 cups of flour. You don’t want to mill more than 6-8 cups at once in the WonderMill, as it may run over and create a huge mess (trust me on this one!). I will mill several batches at a time and store the whole wheat flour in the freezer to help keep the nutrients longer. Usually, we will use this up in a week or so.
Here’s my family’s favorite bread recipe:
Honey Wheat Bread
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 T. dry yeast (or one packet)>
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, or melted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups wheat flour
- 2 cups white flour
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
Add the honey and oil and stir. Allow to “proof” for 10 minutes, until the yeast is active and bubbly. Add the salt to the flour, and add in 2 cup increments while mixing. You want the dough to pull away from the side of the mixer, but yet still be on the sticky side. Fresh milled flour can take a bit longer to absorb the liquid so if you add more flour at this time, you may end up with a dry and crumbly loaf.
Knead by hand or mixer for about 10 minutes.
You need this time to get a good development on the gluten in the wheat for a fluffy loaf. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. Punch down, and divide the dough in half. Shape into loaves, and place in two greased bread pans. I like to add a cut down the middle for appearances. Let rise a second time until doubled again.