Wouldn't it be cool to eat a slice of bread, fresh from the oven, that you'd created from start to finish? I mean, from planting it right down to harvesting, milling and baking it... that's real hands on living and something you don't find much of in today's world. It doesn't even seem realistic to do things like that, but people did it for most of human history.
It seems that we've been sold a bill of (commercialized) goods.
How did people survive before the last century or so? Too many people now don't know and if you tell them, they won't believe you. We're coddled, cocooned and protected from the real world so much that we don't even know it exists.
Anyway, back to wheat...
I've mentioned before (elsewhere) that I buy wheat at a feed store. That's not exactly true. It should read I bought wheat at a feed store. It's been... 6 or 8 years since I've done that and the reason is that I still have wheat! I don't even remember how much I bought, but it must have been a hundred pounds.
A hundred pounds of real whole wheat flour goes a long way, but probably not as long as mine has, if you use it all the time and use it exclusively. I sometimes use white flour with it to make a bread that rises better and I only bake for one person now, so it goes a long way.
Real whole wheat flour, ground at home and used immediately is better flour than any you can buy. Wheat germ, part of the wheat kernel, goes rancid pretty fast once it's broken or milled, so what you buy in the store is either inferior quality or has the kernel removed for longer shelf life - which is inferior nutrition.
That makes feed store wheat a lot more frugal in several ways.
1. It's cheaper. You can still buy wheat for a lot less than you can buy generic white, bleached flour (the cheapest of all flours).
2. It's more nutritous, having had nothing removed from it for any reason - and it hasn't set on the shelf, losing B Vitamins over time before you even see it in the store.
3. It has a much deeper and clearer flavor than premilled flour. If you've ever eaten it, you'll never be satisfied with "whole wheat" bread again.
4. It's more filling - more food than fluff. A glass of milk and a slice of real whole wheat bread will fill almost anyone up.
If you don't have a feed store in your area, maybe a day trip would put you in reach of one. As a last resort, you can buy wheat online. The shipping can be high, but if you go together with a friend, you will probably be able to buy enough to make it worthwhile. Remember to figure the cost against the cost of flour, and if you're really fair, figure it against the cost of the best whole wheat flour you can buy.
If, on the other hand, you're just frugal, figure it against the cost of the cheapest white flour you can buy. Chances are real whole wheat flour is cheaper. Then add in the rest of the benefits and it's still the most frugal flour ever!
Friday, February 9, 2007
Real Whole Wheat Flour
Here's something I haven't done, but I would love to: Growing and Harvesting Wheat by Hand