I grew up during the 80's and 90's when there was quite a lot of push about eating whole grains. This was before anyone had ever heard much about gluten intolerance, sensitivity or celiac disease. Not that these digestive issues didn't exist, they just weren't very commonly heard or thought of. My mother wanted a grain mill while I was growing up and eventually obtained one, but before that she always bought 'whole grain bread' at the store. I don't think any of us enjoyed that bread. It was acidic, the texture felt scratchy in my mouth and it was not satisfying. My mother bought whole wheat flour and tried baking with it, but everything she made was dense, heavy and the flavor was not enjoyable. The "whole wheat" took over the flavor of the whole baked good and nothing was enjoyable. With such a waste of effort and flour my mother soon gave up baking what her family would not eat.
In contrast; later when my mother aquired a grain mill, it was a much different story.
I left home thinking I wanted a grain mill of my own, so I could store grain and mill it fresh myself when needed. But, I soon forgot all about my milling aspirations when I found I could not make a proper loaf of bread, even in a bread machine, as it was.
After collage I was too busy trying to stay slim and trim and dating, to think about baking bread. After I married; I began to think about cooking nutritious foods for my family, milling grain and baking bread again. I took a class on bread baking in addition to the kind German-American lady's instructive visit. Fourteen years later I settled on which electric mill I wanted and made an order. It took four months for my mill to arrive (it was delayed further than projected.) But, finally it arrived on my doorstep and I was thrilled! I immediately set it up and was milling flour the next day. I had some Einkorn wheat berries I had been saving since my Kitchenaid Mixer seized up while mixing a loaf of bread after using an attachment mill to grind flour. The attachment grinder had been a "cheap" compromise and eventually took its tole on my mixer's motor. I purchased a high speed blender (the Deluxe Cooking Blender by Pampered Chef) to grind the remaining wheat berries, but I felt it heated the grain too much, and would even make it sticky and clumpy (activate the gluten? I dunno.) So I had just waited, coarsely grinding a bit to make a porridge cereal from time to time. I was frustrated and disappointed.
The first thing I baked when I recieved my proper mill was muffins. Sourdough English Muffins and my 8 year old's favorite banana muffins. I suddenly realized I didn't have many recipes for fresh ground flour, so I got out all my recipe books to take stock. Then I went in search online. Even the bloggers I knew milled their flour didn't have many recipes using fresh milled grains. I was disappointed again. Then I found The Bread Beckers on YouTube!
The Bread Beckers are a family owned business in Woodstock, GA, who sell grains, mills and much more, but also teach classes about the importance of whole grains, digestion and baking. It's amazing and wonderful and you can find them at breadbeckers.com. They are too far away for me to buy grain from them, but they have the best prices. I did order their Red Cookbook and Sue Becker's recently published cookbook The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book because I didn't know which to get. Many recipes from the Red book are in Sue's published book and on their website, but the Red book also has recipes for dehydration and sauces that I didn't see in the published cookbook. The published cookbook has many more recipes in it. I love Sue's recipe for basic bread dough using both red and white wheat, but I decrease the sweetener and use SuCaNat instead of honey. It is delicious.
basic muffin recipe is good, but I think has too much baking soda. I will try ½ tsp instead and see how it goes.
The recipe for Rich Peanut Butter Bars are a huge hit in my family, and so easy to whip up I don't mind making cookies every week to keep them away from peanut butter cups. I grind a whole cup of Einkorn berries for this recipe, sprinkle Guittard milk chocolate chips on top and press them down before baking. My 8 year old doesn't like the chocolate chips, but eats them anyway. They are soft and chewy.
Barley Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe too, they make a great, almost guilt-free snack. I use all SuCaNat in it and grind about 1 ½ cups of barley that makes 3 cups of flour. They are a thick almost cakey cookie. I usually like my cookies chewy and crisp, but these are very satisfying and some chopped pecans go really well in them!
I have been using a recipe from King Arthur Flour that makes really nice chewy brownies. I weigh my Einkorn berries and then grind them right into the mixing bowl. I use much less cocoa powder because when it comes to Cacao powder I do feel less is more!
I wanted to share these finds because I feel like eating fresh milled flour in baked goods is important in most people's diet and needs to be encouraged. Baking with fresh milled flour is so easy, yummy and an investment in our health. Once you have a mill the rest is economical and so worth it. Like any change we make in life, we just need to be convinced we are right and committed to our work. Sue Becker is a great inspiration if you need motivation! I feel like God led me to her on YouTube and I am so greatful for all the work she has done.
I just had a baby and my house is a wreck, but I still clean up the kitchen and bake with whole grains, because I am convinced it is the best thing for my family and I am committed to maintaining and improving our health. I continue to find more and more recipes and bake the same cookies, bread and muffins my family loves because I do continue to see our health improve.
So now we are eating fresh milled whole grain bread, muffins, cookies, tortillas, buns, and porridge cereal. I also make up an easy no fuss granola that is mixed and baked without stirring. I also recently purchased a bag of Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice at my nearest Costco. I cook the Brown Rice in the Instant Pot for 20 minutes on high and it turns out soft and tasty. I love Brown Rice now! I cook a big batch and freeze part and I put it in stew and stir-fry where my family might not notice as much they are eating brown rice. It is funny to me how whole grains have such a bad rap. If you don't like brown rice it probably hasn't been cooked enough. If you don't like whole wheat bread, the flour probably hasn't been fresh ground before baking. Einkorn makes sooooo delicious Cream of Wheat-type porridge just coarse ground and a super easy and fast breakfast item. I have yet to make pancakes and waffles, but I know my children will love them. I feel excited to bake again and to eat the food I make, I told my mother I didn't know why I was so excited about this! She said, it's because you know you are doing something good for your family's health and you are prepared and have good food to make for them. I think she is right, but I also feel like part of it is because I know I am eating something God intended for me to eat and I am being blessed. I feel those blessings every time I eat those whole grains. Might sound crazy, but I say try it and see for yourself!