Whole Wheat Flour and Making it Yourself

On July 5th I posted an article from July 1979 about making your own flour, here is an article from a year later with further information on making your own flour, if you are willing to invest a little money. Please note that this article, as well as the previous one, was published in the Co-op News, whose audience was primarily farmers.

 

July 1980

 

For some time I’ve felt ripped off selling wheat for around six cents a pound and buying it back at the grocery store at these prices for one pound,

.13 white flour

.17 whole wheat flour

.45 white bread

.69 whole wheat bread

.80 white soda crackers

1.60 whole wheat crackers

2.20 snack crackers

So in protest I bought a flour mill attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. It cost less than one hundred dollars (now about $130) and has been a genuine money saver while at the same time increasing our use of wheat. Four bushels of wheat kept us in flour and breakfast cereal for a year. The wheat was stored in tight metal containers and ground fresh each week. Newton wheat made the best flour for me.

One cup of whole wheat flour has 400 calories and contains 18 grams of protein, and two grams of fat. It is an excellent source of thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin, a good source of iron, and a fair source of calcium. The bran in wheat supplies bulk for the digestive process.

Even if you buy whole wheat flour at the grocery store it is a wonderful nutritive bargain. This past year a wheat flour especially designed for home bread making has appeared in local stores. Its cost is higher than all- purpose white flour, but it does give superior results.

Since getting my flour mill I’ve been determined to experiment until I produce a 100% whole wheat loaf with a soft crumb. So far I’ve never been able to go much over 80% whole wheat flour and get the softness and texture my family wanted. Here is the recipe I’ve liked best so far. If any of you have a better one I’d like to hear from you.

 

Whole Wheat Bread

 

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup bread type white flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 package dry yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 cup warm potato water

1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm

2 tablespoons shortening

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour approximately

 

Combine the first six ingredients in a large mixer bowl. Add molasses, potato water, milk and shortening. Beat on medium speed five minutes. Remove beaters. Add the last whole wheat flour gradually, stirring with a spoon. Turn out on floured board and knead until smooth. Be careful not to work in to much flour. The dough should be a little tacky to handle.

Set to rest in a bowl rinsed out with warm water. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours at about 80° F. Punch down. Divide into two balls. Cover and let rest five minutes.

Shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans. Let rise for an hour or until indentation made with a finger remains and doesn’t spring back.

Bake at 400° F for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on racks.

 

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