Friday, August 10, 2012

bread from hand milled flour

i have been baking bread for over 2 years now and experimented with lots. 2-3 years ago, just before martin left for uk (he's now back in malaysia), martin gave me a hand mill. i used it once but made such a mess of it as i didn't build a proper stand for it.

so at blog visitor's chan's prodding, i tried this mill again. fabricated a proper mount and managed to mill some wheat berries.

note, i finally found a use for junk mail!

as this is a hand mill, it took quite an effort to mill the wheat berries to flour. however, if you modify the mill, you could hook up a bicycle chain, thus you could cycle, have some exercise, while you mill the flour. not bad an option! who says men can't multi task?

as for me, it took about an hour to mill about 1 kg of flour. i have scrawny hands...

so, what's the point of milling flour? other than bragging rights, well, with whole wheat flour, the most valuable part is the wheat germ oil which is also the most nutritious part of the flour. and oil, being oil, will turn rancid if left too long. so some manufacturers take out the wheat germ oil or put in some preservatives to preserve this oil. yes, even the organic flours. by the way, wheat germ oil is sold separately for some really serious mullah.

in white flour, only the wheat endosperm is milled to flour. the wheat bran, germ and oil is all taken out, so white flour do not have this problem of the flour turning rancid or smelling bad. white flour is also a lot less nutritious.

furthermore, freshly milled flour is still active with enzymes and nothing is as fresh as working on them to make bread just after you milled the wheat berries!

also, hand operated stone mill is better as the stones won't heat up too much as we can't spin them too fast, thus the nutrients and oil is kept fresher.

so the flour is all whole wheat.

from experience, not an easy bread to bake and don't expect monster rise unless you add gluten which i'm not interested in at all.

still, the bread turned out pretty well.

okay, burning question, what's the difference compared to bread baked from store bought flour?

taste wise, there's less "wheat" smell. this is only apparent if you bake with 100% whole wheat flour. if you only bake with white flour, then you have no idea what i'm talking about. now this "wheat" smell, could it be the rancid wheat germ oil?

texture wise, it's more tender compared to 100% whole wheat bread made from store bought flour. also, it stays tender longer.

so all in all, i like this bread much better. the effort to mill the berries is justified! so don't think i'll be buying flour any time soon!

the mill i used is this "little ark" from this company called retsel in the usa.

you could buy wheat berries from most organic stores. the variety i bought is described as "hard wheat". i think it's protein content is higher, thus suitable for making bread. the wheat berries range from rm7-rm12 a kg.

1 comment:

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