My Newest Endeavor

I’ve been surround by friends who milled their own wheat for years but always resisted making my own breads because I just didn’t want to do it. I knew some of the facts about bread you buy at the store – even whole wheat bread. Facts like:

  • The flour you buy at the grocery store is virtually empty of fiber and the germ is removed. The vitamins are bleached out and replaced with artifical vitamins.
  • Commercial millers take the wheat berries, and break it into three parts: – the bran, which is the fiber and mineral portion- the germ, which is where most of the vitamins and unsaturated fats are-and the endosperm, which is where the grain keeps its protein.
  • They only use the endosperm to make white flour and feed the nutritious part to animals. They do add back vitamins but not all that were lost.
  • Even wheat flour you buy at the grocery store is processed and just enough bran is added back in to meet minimum standards. Also, wheat flour loses its nutrients very quickly, so the flour at the grocery store could be less nutritionally dense than you need it to be.
  • Buying whole wheat bread is great, but the good quality breads are expensive and still don’t have as many nutrients as freshly milled grain.
  • You can mill many types of grains, not just wheat. You can grind popcorn, spelt, oat groats, kamut, and quinoa. I used hard white wheat to make these rolls and bread loaves. I have soft white which I will use for muffins, granola bars and pizza crust.

Well, even though I’ve known all that for years and years I still resisted. I finally gave in after a friend brought me some blueberry muffins she made using her fresh ground wheat. They were delicious and substantial. I talked it over with John and we decided to give it a try. It helped that John just finished reading David Kessler’s book, “The End of Overeating!” John is even more aware now of processed foods and their impact on our bodies. Thank you Dr. Kessler.

Am I saying everyone should do this? NO!! But, I thought you might find the process interesting.

Here are the wheat berries in the grain mill getting ready to be ground into flour.  Aren’t they pretty?

Here’s the freshly milled flour. It’s very finely ground and warm when it comes out of the grain mill.  You have to use it within a few hours or it starts to lose its nutritional value. It can be frozen for a couple of days.

Here’s the first batch of dough I mixed up for rolls. The dough was much heavier than dough I’ve made before with wheat or white flour from the grocery store.

And here are the finished rolls and the bread loaves I made. They were delicious and filling! Even my teenage son was full and that’s a miracle.

 I hope that I don’t get burned out making our own bread. Fortunately I have an ultra strong Bosch mixer that can handle the heavier dough and knead 20 cups of flour at a time! With this large a family that’s a necessity!

Have you ever heard of grinding your own wheat or made your own bread?  Diane

Here’s the link for where I got my mill: http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/

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About Diane Carbonell

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Comments

  1. Oh you are my hero!! I’ve thought about this for years. I have had many homeschooling friends that did this faithfully. I suggested it to my daughter a few years ago and she laughed at me and said “umm, mom, don’t you think you should try making your own bread first??” sigh…

    For a while I got my flour from Wheat Montana..the Prairie Gold flour. It’s excellent! I’ve heard awesome things about their wheat berries too.

    My husband would be the happiest man on earth if I made him bread.

    Let us know how you like this and if you find it’s something you can keep up with.

    I would love a Bosch but I won’t get one until I commit to really use it. Kitchen Aid is still going strong.

    That book “the End of Overeating” sounds good. I’m going to check it out!
    .-= Julie Lost and Found´s last blog ..That Simple 3 Letter Word- Simple Truth or Derrogatory =-.

  2. I admire your baking skills:) I’ve never attempted to bake my own bread just too busy(lazy)I guess. Let us know how this goes if you can keep up with it etc…seems like a lot of work.
    Have a great weekend!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..The Wagon =-.

  3. I’ve never heard of this before, very interesting. The bread looks perfect and delicious!
    .-= Alissa´s last blog ..My First 5K =-.

  4. Yes, to both questions. I have gone through stages where I made my own bread. I had to stop because my husband is not a huge sandwich eater and I was the one eating the bread. For all the reasons you describe above, I’ve been thinking of starting again and grinding my own wheat. What type of grain grinder do you have? Were you able to buy it locally or did you order it online? Did you buy your wheat berries locally or online? I’ve found some good company’s online that sell the wheat berries in bulk. With a family the size of yours, might save you some money. Love the idea, you’ve got me thinking about it again!!
    .-= Sharon´s last blog ..Holiday Backlash =-.

    • Sharon,

      I got the Nutrimill Grain Mill from Pleasant Hill Grain online. They ship for free. I have hard white wheat and soft white. The hard white I’m using for breads and the soft white I use for muffins and bars. I found a Mennonite bakery about 35 minutes away that stocks the grain. I also bought local honey, sucanat and wheat gluten there. Let me know if you do it!

  5. Gorgeous bread, Diane. You have the touch, for sure.

    I have a way to get freshly ground, non-commercial flours from grains grown locally, but bread is one of my triggers – I’d plow through those loaves like a hot knife through butter. Better to know my limitations!
    .-= Roxie´s last blog ..Back On Track =-.

  6. Diane, you are a killer! I’ve made homemade bread all my life but have been avoiding it now that I’m trying so hard to reduce. You photos made my mouth water….bad girl…bad!!

    Marsial
    .-= Marsial2010´s last blog ..More Behavior Modification =-.

  7. That’s really cool! Since I only have a 2-foot by 4-foot balcony, it’s not really going to happen. But I think it’s a great idea for people who have a yard. Your bread looks great, and I’m sure it’s much, much better than the stuff I buy.

    Oh, and I just bought Dr. Kessler’s book for my husband. Now if only he’d read it. I’m hoping he’ll see junk food in a new light, too!

    • Tracey – I didn’t grow the wheat! Then I would be superwoman or something!! LOL! I buy the wheat berries in 50 pound bags from a Mennonite shop.

  8. Wow! That bread looks awesome. I’ve never even thought about grinding my own wheat, but it makes sense that it would be a better way to go.

    I’m curious — how often do you end up baking bread in a week these days?
    .-= Desert Agave´s last blog ..Keeping Things Interesting =-.

  9. I am culinarily challenged. But even if I was not, I would so not be doing this because I love bread way too much to have fresh-baked laying around my house! I can just smell it looking at this post. Sigh.
    .-= Karen@WaistingTime´s last blog ..When Good News Might be Bad News =-.

  10. I forgot to mention that I have that book sitting on nightstand and keep meaning to read it. It has been recommended to me by several people. Unfortunately reading makes me want to snack so I have a huge pile of books waiting for me.
    .-= Karen@WaistingTime´s last blog ..When Good News Might be Bad News =-.

  11. Wonderful post – adding it to my scratch recipe info on my own side bar.

    can you add your recipe (to this posting) please?
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..I can only change my own things =-.

  12. That is so cool, Diane! The rolls and bread look so delicious! Hmm….I can almost smell them :)
    .-= Marisa (Loser for Life)´s last blog ..Sugared Up =-.

  13. Kathy R. says:

    I thought I would get burnt out too. We have 4 children. The recipe I’ve learned to love (and what fits in my smaller kitchenaid) makes 4 loaves. We usually have 1 day where we do lots of baking. We’ll bake 8 or more loaves and put them in the freezer. That will usually last our family about 3-4 weeks depending on what we have going on that month. We use it for everything though, cookies, pancakes, everything! We now live on an army post and when we make bread, we will often deliver a loaf to a neighbor or two. It absolutely brightens their day. Oh! We recently used my exact bread dough to make cinnamon rolls. They were delicious! My neighbors all commented now they were shocked that they were so light and fluffy for whole wheat rolls. Our wheat was a hybrid red/white (I will not buy it again, will buy better quality next time). Next time I will buy hard white and red berries. My friend grinds up beans and puts them into her breads and other baked goods.

  14. I think it’s so much better the more things you can make at home. The time and energy is worth it if you ask me. I had never heard of milling your own grains until now! The rolls and breads look wonderful. I did have a bread machine and made my own bread for many years, but then it broke and I never got a new one because I found the bread was just TOO good and I was going crazy eating it!
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..Another light eating day- =-.

  15. I just can’t resist hot fresh bread so I’m afraid to get a bread maker. Just the smell of it cooking would make my mouth water. MMMmmmm…I’m sure it tasted amazing. Enjoy!

  16. Wow, this looks fabulous, tasty, and so good for you! Thanks for sharing in such detail.
    .-= Alan´s last blog ..How Heath Bell Lost 25 Pounds =-.

  17. That is so awesome and you have inspired me! I have a Blend Tec blender that can grind wheat so I should try this.

    I read Kessler’s book and it changed my way of thinking when it comes to eating! Everyone needs to read that book!

  18. I love baking bread. Just bread as I am not big on sweet baked goodies. I never knew I can mill my own flour. You are a star Diane.

    WOW! I hope I can get my own mill in this part of the world. Have to hunt it.
    .-= Mbini´s last blog ..The Best 8 Years of my Life =-.

  19. Looks amazing, and I bow down — but beyond my capacity. Envy though…
    .-= Emergefit´s last blog ..Contemplating Fitness… And Americanness =-.

  20. Julie from Cannes now USA says:

    Hi Diane,
    This post is really interesting. I do my home bread too. And before i could do it in USA i was buying it in Central Market. Even if it’s the more looking like French one. It is not the same taste at all. And the worst part is that ALL the “baguette” i bought in USA can have the same taste for 2 or 3 days. While if i do my home bread with only organic product and no additive or preservative only flour(different type), salt, yeast, water it’s good the first day and only good in toaster the second day. And impossible to eat on a third day but at this time you’ve eaten it all!!!!
    So in bread you buy you have so many dirts that your body doesn’t require…

  21. Looks delicious!! I often make my own bread, but I must admit that I have never tried milling my own flour. That sounds like fun!

    I like to buy bread from local bakeries, where they DO mill their own flour. I’m glad to be able to help out the local economy AND be good to my health at the same time.
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..The Living Healthy in the Real World Guide to Cleaning -amp Organizing- Part Seven- Making the Bedroom a Relaxing Area =-.

  22. Go Diane! That sounds great and like an awesome thing to teach your kids.

    When I was in college there were a few girls in one of my teach classes that made their own bread for everything. When we roomed together I watched them and was amazed. they just never had bread from the store and their bread tasted so much better.
    .-= Cynthia (It All Changes)´s last blog ..Happy Birthday America- =-.

  23. Your bread looks delicious. Congrats on your latest endeavor.

    I’ve never made my own bread before unless banana bread counts. ;)
    .-= ‘Drea´s last blog ..Getting To Fine =-.

  24. I know a lady who made all of her breads for her family when we kids were all younger and living at home. There were five children and she said it was just easier and cheaper to make her own hamburger buns, rolls and bread loaves for the large family.

    I’ve made bread before, but never from my own milled wheat. I can imagine your breads taste wonderful! If it’s anything like having coffee made from freshly roasted and then ground beans versus the stuff off the grocery shelves, then it’s definitely worth the time.

    Have fun with your new venture!
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Plodding Along =-.

  25. I have a breadmaker and used it a lot, years ago. I’ve never milled the wheat, though. Your breads look so delicious. My husband would be thrilled if I made him fresh bread again. I’ll have see if I can get the wheat locally.
    .-= Sandi´s last blog ..Learning to trust yourself =-.

  26. I have made bread and ground my own wheat. When my grinder broke I did not replace it because unless I could find a good price on wheat berries it was not cost effective. It does taste better and the flour does preform better. Sadly, unless you get your wheat berries very fresh and store them in the freezer, they also deteriorate in quality and you can wind up with rancid kernels- and therefor rancid and nutritionally depleted flour. If your family eats a lot of bread, this could involve the need to store a 50 lb sack of wheat berries in your freezer in order to keep it cost effective. Bread baking is a wonderful, useful art and skill that everyone should try. Even if you are not grinding your own wheat, you are getting something that is more real food than anything sold commercially !
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Vacation recap =-.

    • Thanks! If the berries are properly stored they can last 8 years or longer. They’ve found grains in Egyptian tombs that still are able to sprout. It’s really once the wheat is cracked that the rancidity factor comes into play. Now bugs? That’s why they have to be stored properly! Here’s a link in case you are interested.
      http://www.wheatmontana.com/faqs.php

      I’m not surprised you used to grind your own wheat – you are so great with making everything from scratch!

  27. My mother ground wheat for our bread when I was growing up. But that was mostly because whole grain bread was nearly impossible to find at most stores when I was a kid. I am so grateful to be able to buy Ezekiel bread at our local store. But at $5 a loaf, it is pricey. I have baked our own bread in the past (hubby’s is gluten free), but never grown my own grain. You may serve as an inspiration now!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Off to Grandmothers House We Go =-.

  28. RNegade says:

    You might enjoy making bagels. They are easy and fun. And for some reason, people are very impressed by home made bagels…maybe because they taste so much better than any you can buy. ;)

  29. Babbalou says:

    Good for you, Diane! I’m a big fan of making your own foods to the extent possible. I’m not eating very much bread these days but used to love to bake breads (and pies! I love baking pies!). My personal favorite is sourdough, using a starter made from grapes. It’s fabulous! Anyway, just wondered if you knew you can cook the wheat berries and add them to the bread. I used to enjoy making the honey wheat berry bread from the old Vegetarian Epicure cookbook. I guess that shows my age, eh? Let me know if you want the recipe, it’s a good one.

  30. Kudos on going the next step with wheat bread! I’ve been working with a holistic nutrition coach who has been a wonderful source of education on the problem with processed foods. I’ve made some big changes with getting rid of sugar, cutting out low calorie processed crackers and more. But the wheat bread I eat with my eggs on the weekend has still stuck around and I’m not quite ready to change it yet. However – those photos of your loaves of bread look so yummy. Can you put a slice in the mail and send it to me in Atlanta?

  31. Oh my goodness, that bread looks SO good! I am impressed!
    .-= erin´s last blog ..Sometimes the Little Things Make a Big Difference =-.

  32. Oh, that looks delicious! I think I’ll try to master breadmaking from store-bought before I invest in a mill. It seems like it would be fun (getting me in touch with my inner Laura Ingalls Wilder) and rewarding.
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Cammy- Fitness Consultant =-.

  33. I never knew fresh grain was so different! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Awesome!!! Your bread looks absolutely delicious. You are right homemade bread is so much more nutritious (but I haven’t made any in a LONG time). Plus, I find it therapeutic. But it does take a lot of time and energy… Again, great job!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    .-= Andrea@WellnessNotes´s last blog ..“Letting Go” While on Vacation But Not Too Much =-.

  35. Those look wonderful. I make my own bread often, but never ground my own wheat.
    .-= Shawnee´s last blog ..Feast on my Friday =-.

  36. I have baked my own bread in a bread baking machine, it’s ideal if you want to bake it more often in the future. There’s nothing better than fresh warm baked bread.

  37. LOVE to hear others commit to milling grains. I have been making our bread for about 5 years now and we love the way our bodies are stronger and healthier. Your bread looks great!

    Heres some of my past posts about milling and fresh bread.

    A day in bread…
    http://homesteadblogger.com/countryhomeschoolin/91989/

    Russian Black bread
    http://homesteadblogger.com/countryhomeschoolin/51035/

    Outback Steakhouse’s Bushman Bread (whole wheat)
    http://homesteadblogger.com/countryhomeschoolin/49645/

    Some of my breads…
    http://homesteadblogger.com/countryhomeschoolin/47503/

    Cheese Garlic Biscuits (whole wheat -like Red Lobsters)
    http://homesteadblogger.com/countryhomeschoolin/27732/

    German Chocolate Cake (whole wheat)
    http://homesteadblogger.com/countryhomeschoolin/25657/

    Homemade whole wheat French Toast Sticks tutorial
    http://homesteadblogger.com/countryhomeschoolin/143636/
    jeanette recently posted…This weeks menuMy Profile

  38. Diane, of course I miss the day you are posting about my beloved bread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you plese send me some!!!!!???? :-) YUM!!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 52 recently posted…Saturday Fun with Fitness WordsMy Profile

  39. Oh I have a Nutrimill and love it, I mill the grain for my bread and pastries every week and sue it as needed, from the fridge. Its convenient, much, much tastier, far healthier, and less expensive than buying quality flour (that is still much lower quality than anything I can mill).

    I do generally prefer kamut bread to wheat, it’s less allergenic for me and has a nuttier, yummier flavor. It also is an easy way to diversify our diets and eat less wheat – more diversity is better for digestion.

    So yeah, I am there with you. A loaf and a pan of breakfast muffins or cinnamon rolls for my husband to grab for work every Monday afternoon, without fail :)
    Taryl recently posted…Exercise issuesMy Profile

  40. How amazing, Diane! It’s so wonderful to make homemade, nutritious bread for your family. I would love to take on a project like that someday!
    Lara (Thinspired) recently posted…Substituting Ingredients- Review -amp GiveawayMy Profile

  41. Looks so good. I love the aroma that fills the house while the bread is baking.
    My daughter has been making sourdough breads, rolls and muffins this year.

  42. Mmmmm, looks great! I used to bake bread every week, but found that I was eating most of it while DH only had a piece or two. Had to give it up. Maybe one day I’ll make my peace with bread and try it from scratch like you did.
    Tish recently posted…Birthday EditionMy Profile

  43. I’ve never heard of anyone milling their own but doesn’t surprise me. I meanwe use to do it a few years ago right? With that machine you’re not getting any exercise though like they use to :-)

  44. Im
    In
    AWE.
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