Ten weeks ago I started a tax preparation class. Yesterday I turned in the final exam. I thought the midterm was hard. That was nothing compared to the final exam. The teacher gave us 10 days to get it done. I even started the exam ahead of time and still didn’t get it finished until 6 pm on Sunday. It feels amazing to have completed it. I am pretty sure I passed, but not so sure I passed with enough of a percentage to be hired this coming year at the teacher’s company. The score to meet is 85% to get a position with the company. I will get the results tomorrow. Fingers are crossed and I will let you know. As long as I pass I am okay as this is the first “real” class I have taken in 30 years.
With the class over and done with I really needed to get back to me if you know what I mean. I decided to grind some grain for bread. I have the above grinder attached to a butcher block table from Ikea. This thing is awesome. I spent months researching this and decided on the non motorized version of the grinder. I thought what perfect exercise for my arms to get rid of the bat wing condition. It also costs us nothing to use, such as electricity.
I bought the Wonder Junior Grain Mill months ago. A blog that I used to read (and can not find anymore) told how the family saves money without an income for a year. The husband was a car salesman and during this last few years he made very little in steady income. They had 4 kids and she home schooled them. The family thought the way I do. If you can’t find a job the next best thing to do is find ways to not spend money on. They also stocked up on food before they experienced the crisis in which they were living. They live out west and are able to purchase the grain in bulk for much less than I do at Wal Mart in Carterville, Illinois.
The Wonder Junior Grain Mill is versatile as it can grind beans, wheat and any grain. It can grind nuts for nut butter. Oh and it can grind coffee beans! It came with two different type of burrs. The burrs are the plates that grind the grain. The stone burrs are used for dry grains like wheat and corn. The metal burrs are for coffee, beans, and nuts. I have found only two draw backs with using this.
1. The supply of wheat is a pain as we live in Florida. We have to purchase bags of grain from Illinois when we visit our daughter. I have not found a place that sells wheat berries at a decent price anywhere near me. I think I am the only person in the area who actually does this.
2. Not having a motor makes this a pain. We have discussed getting a motor, but I can’t decide if we really should. If I discipline myself and grind the wheat every day for half an hour I have enough to use in breads and other items.
The positive side is the things I bake with this taste amazing. The grinder has different settings and the flour gets ground up so small there are no small pieces of the shell of the berry unless of course you want the small pieces. You get all the healthy oils and fiber that is taken out to make all purpose flour. I still use the white flour to make bread, but add the all purpose to the whole wheat.
The construction of this machine is so sturdy it will last me forever! The wheat will last up to 20 years if properly stored. The grounded flour must be used quickly as it has all the natural oils still in it. I personally put mine in the cupboard for up to a week in a sealed container and in the fridge or freezer for longer storage, but then it never really lasts that long for me.
The machine costs $219.00 from Pleasant Hill Grain. They carry all sorts of stuff and are an interesting site to explore. Explore here! The wheat berries run me approx. $13.00 for 25 pounds at the Carterville Wal Mart. You can purchase online, but the shipping and handling are crazy expensive. A really good priced place is Wheat Montana. To be fair you can go to Sam’s and purchase 25 pounds of all purpose flour for about $11. The prices on their page are so reasonable until you get to the shipping.
The conversion rate is 25 pounds of wheat berries equal 25 pounds of flour. 1 cup of wheat berries equal 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat flour is bulkier so it doesn’t take as much flour to make most things. You should also add some all purpose into the mix to make a lighter, more fluffy product. So far I have used this in baking breads. The combination of fresh ground wheat and yeast just makes the yeast seem to rise wonderfully. I can’t get a loaf of bread to rise all that well no matter what I do, but it still works for sandwiches and toast.
You can also use the wheat berries to grow wheat grass and the foodnetwork website has an article written of information and recipes here.
I know this isn’t the average days before Thanksgiving post, but I have been trying to find the right time to write about this. I am very happy that I found out about grinding my own wheat. I enjoy grinding the flour. My husband enjoys grinding it, and our grand daughter had a blast helping me grind the flour. The electric grinders cost more, but they smell amazing while grinding from what I have heard. The only thing I have heard not positive is do not attempt to use the grinder attachment to a KitchenAid mixer to grind the flour as the engine will burn up!