Monthly Archives: September 2014

Making Bread with a Kitchen Aid Grain Grinder

I wanted to show the process for grinding grain with a Kitchen Aid grain grinder. The first few times I tried to use it, I tried for a fine grind and had the speed on low. It didn’t work very well. I went out and did some research on how to use it and found that I should be doing multiple passes on high speed. So this was my first try at it. I used Wheat Montana’s Bronze Chief wheat. I also used my wild caught starter (which I mix up with bread flour to sit overnight.)

Grinder in use. It should be on the coarse setting at high speed.
grinding wheat with a Kitchen Aid grain grinder

This is what it looks like after the first pass. I’d call this graham flour as it’s pretty coarse.
first pass

Another view:
coarse grind

This is the second pass. I turn it to the finest grind and run it back through. Check the machine to see if it’s getting too hot. If it seems to be, you may want to do three passes.
second pass

Another view of the finer grind:
finer flour

This is two pint jars of wheat kernels, ready to use.
ready to use

This is my first rise. I just use flour, salt and water. I use the dough hook to knead the dough, then let it rise in the bowl for around an hour and a half. Then I move it to the Dutch oven and let it rise again. I bake this at 450 degrees, covered, for fifteen minutes and I usually splash a little water on top of the dough before baking. I drop the heat to 400 degrees and finish it uncovered.
first rise


It’s tasty, but didn’t rise as much as I’d like. I think I will shift it next time, to make a lighter flour. And I might let it rise in a warmer area. Every loaf of bread turns out differently. I have some hard white wheat that I want to try next. And I want a big old sack of spelt. I really like spelt. I know that some folks are truly gluten intolerant, but it does not seem to bother me. One loaf of real bread gets the two of us through the week. We usually split a slice, since they are fairly big. I don’t think I would ever get tired of making bread!

Stocking up

I have been writing down the prices of my groceries recently. I write it in a Field Notes notebook. It’s interesting. I have been stocking up. I don’t have anywhere near what I’d like to have on hand, but at least I’m working on it. Here’s today’s interesting lesson: milk prices are really going up. I bought several pounds of instant milk at Winco. We are talking about purchases made today and on the 5th. That’s 11 days. It was $3.95 a pound on the 5th and $4.17 today. That’s an increase of 21 cents! I buy whipping cream for my tea. On 8/16, I paid $3.28 a quart. Today it was $3.48. If prices are like this now, what are they going to be like this winter? I picked up 25 pounds of oatmeal and another 25 pounds of wheat. I can feed Loretta with oatmeal and milk, plus protein. I’ve fed dogs on oatmeal before and they love it. I bake a loaf of bread every week. I love my wild caught starter! I let the sponge work overnight, then use my Kitchen Aid to knead it. I could do it by hand, but I have the machine so why not? I have the grain grinder for it too. And that’s a funny thing. Lon bought that by accident when Kate was alive. And now it’s finally getting used. You have to make two passes to get flour, without overheating the machine. But I think I have that down. I use starter, salt and flour for my bread, although I like to add a cup of Bob’s Red Mill 12 grain cereal. I bake it in a cracked dutch oven that belonged to Lon’s mother. It’s tasty stuff.

I bought some sprouts from Sprout People. I wanted to try their Big Bird Mix and get some seed for cat greens. I ordered their starter sampler. Still trying this out. I think that it would be good to start using sprouts. Lettuce seems to upset my stomach, so I don’t eat it very often. I think this will be a good, cheap way to get some fresh veggies into our meals in the winter. I will plant some fall crops in the garden at the river, but I don’t expect much out of that.

I try to limit carbs, but I don’t see any way to really stockpile fresh veggies and meat. I’m just not willing to be in a situation where we are stuck at home with nothing to eat. It just makes sense to shop ahead. I still need to take inventory of what we have and figure out what to get on the next shop. I’d like a 25 pound sack of beans and maybe the same of popcorn. And I’ll keep buying instant milk every time I go. I really hope that more people will try to shop ahead like this, but I doubt that it will happen. I’ve seen what the Camas Safeway looks like when snow is predicted.

Mexican Blackbird

That is what we’ve been calling the new truck. It has been very temperamental so far. We have a problem with the doors auto locking. It locked into Park the other day at Winco. We didn’t think we’d be able to get it home. It’s an electrical issue for sure. George is working on it this weekend. We have a Silverado with the same interior for parts.

1997 GMC Sierra Stepside

At some point, I think it will be a good rig for us. We can haul stuff with it. There’s room for Loretta. It is a good looking truck. It’s just frustrating trying to get all the little things fixed. (And the name for the truck is a ZZ Top song, in case you are wondering.)

I have been busy trying to build up some food storage. So far, I am trying to just build up the things we’d eat in the winter. And no, it’s not Paleo. I don’t see any way to really do Paleo and food storage. I do bread once a week, using that wild caught yeast. I am looking into getting another grain grinder. I still have my faithful Corona. But I would like to have an electric model too. I have been stashing bacon and ham hocks for beans this winter. I still have that big halibut frame to cook into stock. Got a nice book, The Urban Pantry, which has some tasty recipes. And I am also buying up some wheat. This will be an ongoing process and I hope next year I can do some canning. Time to get serious about this stuff. I do not want to be the person with nothing to eat if the food distribution system breaks down for some reason. It’s just smart to have a well stocked pantry.