Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using my new grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. I’m learning a lot and thought I’d share some information and pictures with you.
First, when grinding the wheat with the KitchenAid you need to make sure that you have a container that is tall enough to fit under the shoot of the grinder, otherwise you’ll end up with flour all over the counter and your mixer and your hands and… and… and…
As you can see, my setup is rather hysterical… but hey, it works. I took two guacamole bowls and stacked them upside down to use as a platform for the recycled oats container that will catch the flour. I’ve actually replaced the guacamole bowls with a coffee cup since I took this picture. It seems to work much better and is a little more stable.
Be very careful when you turn on the machine to start the grinder. The instructions state that the machine must be set all the way up to the number 10 setting to get it to grind. Well, at that high of a speed, the little metal piece that usually holds the hook/paddle/whip, really gets moving!!! Kinda scary, but I just step back and let it run. Oh, and I thought maybe if I put the bowl on the machine it would guard against accidentally injury… but that doesn’t work either because it gets in the way of my oats container thats being used to catch the flour. 😦 I’m not sure why KitchenAid hasn’t come up with some sort of “catchment” system for all the great attachments you can purchase for the machine.
The picture above I thought was interesting. It shows the whole hard white wheat kernel before it’s put through the grinder. The bowl in the middle is the gritty bran (I hope that’s what it’s called) that I sifted off the flour. The resulting hard white wheat flour is in the bowl on the right.
And this picture shows the kernel, bran, a bit of commercial whole wheat flour, my ground whole wheat flour, and some white all-purpose flour. The all-purpose and commercial whole wheat flour are very soft and fluffy. My ground whole wheat flour is a combination of fluffy with a little bit of a gritty texture. The bran I sifted out of the ground flour is really gritty.
I did use some of the fresh ground flour, as is without sifting, to make French bread. As I shaped the loaves I could really feel the gritty texture. But after baking it, you could not feel any gritty texture when eating it! It made delicious sausage, pepper onion hoagies for dinner! 🙂
I wanted to remove the bran from another batch of freshly ground whole wheat flour to use in making some bagels. I wanted my to see if sifting it made any difference at all. To do this, I used a very small meshed strainer. It did a really good job of removing the bran from the flour. The resulting flour was still a little gritty and not as soft as the commercially milled whole wheat flour. And it does take a long time to sift a few cups by hand. I wonder if I should try putting it through the grinder again? I wonder if that would even make a difference. I’ll have to give it a try and do some more research on that option.
The bagel dough was a little gritty too, but after water bathing and baking, you couldn’t taste or feel the grit. I did notice they raised a little less than they do with the commercial flour. I wonder if adding a little more vital wheat gluten would help.
The bran that I’d sifted out of the flour I used to make oatmeal cookies. I replaced one cup of the all-purpose flour for one cup of the bran. Then I replaced the rest of the flour with the whole wheat flour that hadn’t been sifted. The cookies weren’t as puffy as I usually like, but I wasn’t using my normal recipe because I couldn’t find it. But I will tell you they were very very tasty and very crispy!! I’ll have to work on the recipe a bit more to perfect the cookies, because I think you’ll like them, I want to share a good recipe with you. I think I also want to make these a completely food storage recipe replacing the butter and egg with powdered butter and powdered egg.
I also made some grape oatmeal bars using the freshly ground whole wheat flour. I was watching the show Pioneer Woman on TV the other night (I really like this show!) and Ree Drummond made these bars for her homeschooled group. They looked really good and I think they’d be great to make for the morning of a future road trip we’ll be making. Here’s the link to the recipe for the Strawberry version that she made. Mine bars are a little dry and I think that’s because the whole wheat flour does have a tendency to soak up more liquid than regular white flour. I’m sure I can fix this by adding some water or milk or something. I’ll work on that because these are very yummy! Hubby will be blessing his staff these tasty tidbits!!
All in all, I’m very satisfied, so far, with grinding wheat at home for flour in baking bread and cookies. I know I’ll have to do some more testing to get things exactly how I like them. And I’ll make sure to pass along to you any other tips/tricks I find along the way.
Whoever falls on that stone will be broken;
but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.
Luke 20:18 (NKJV)