Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Whole-Wheat Bread Making

This weekend some friends of ours are hosting a "Survival" class at our church.  The main purpose is to educate folks on how to be prepared for natural disasters that might prevent us from simply running down to a store to pick up necessities. 

They asked us girls to make some bread with freshly-ground flour to serve as samples at the class.  So guess what I've been doing all day?  Making bread!

It takes a considerable amount of exertion to grind enough wheat finely enough for a few loaves.  It takes about 5-6 cups of flour for 2 loaves, and I was able to grind about 8 cups in 45 minutes.  After reading and hearing so many complaints about how difficult it is, I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that it was more than do-able. 

I let the mixer do some of the kneading for me since my arms were somewhat tired after grinding more than a dozen cups of flour. 

This is what it looks like outside our kitchen window...I don't think it's stopped snowing even for a minute today. 

Here is the dough...it's about ready to put into the pans to bake.

I decided it was more time and effort efficient to grind the wheat once with the stones as tight as they could be (which makes finer flour) than it was to grind it less fine the first time and run the flour through a second time.  It makes more of a mess to grind the wheat less-finely, because the larger pieces bounce and fly onto the floor. It takes more muscle to grind the flour finely the first time, but I also spend less time turning the crank than I would running it through twice. 

In the oven and ready to bake!

A beautiful sight after all that work!  I made 4 batches of 2 loaves today..so hopefully I will only need to make a couple more. 
Making bread this way is pretty healthy I think...first you get a great upper-body workout from grinding and kneading, then you get to eat a much more nutritious bread!   ;-)

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