So I finally got to make my first batch of whole-wheat bread with fresh ground wheat flour the other day. Boy what a difference! In the past I used the wheat flour my mom ground for me while visiting her in Illinois. She had used her Champion grain mill to do the grinding but this time, I used the Nutrimill grinder instead. The flour was so fine and easy to make. In less than 1 minute, I went from a heaping 4 cups of wheat berries to over 8 cups of fresh flour.
There are so many health benefits to fresh ground wheat flour vs. store-bought wheat flour. For instance, when you grind fresh wheat flour, whatever you don’t use then has to be kept inside the freezer otherwise it will go rancid. Makes you wonder how you can possibly purchase wheat flour off a shelf at the store that has been sitting there for days/weeks and STILL hasn’t gone bad. Either the store flour has been overdosed with preservatives or the nutritional properties have been altered to a drastic extent to make it shelf-stable. I can’t believe I never really thought about that fact before. Just figured that if I was making bread from scratch I was doing something a little bit healthier than purchasing pre-made bread at the store.
Some of my favorite parts to this recipe is that it doesn’t use any butter or milk as well as the fact that the flour is “soaked” overnight. The soaking actually helps break down the gluten in the wheat so that the body is able to digest it better. Huh! Go figure! 🙂
Using the Nutrimill start by adding the wheat berries to the machine.
I used a heaping 4 cups (plus a little extra just in case I would need more flour later on if the dough was too soft).
Just like when cooking dried beans, you need to sort through the berries first to ensure that there are no pebbles hiding inside hence the paper plate. Just scoop a handful at a time onto the paper plate, sift through it a bit then add it to the top of the mill.
Love how the Nutrimill can hold all the berries at one time and you don’t even have to put the cover on to cut down on noise or any flying pieces. It is extremely quiet considering the power and job it is doing!
Start with the bottom knob turned all the way to the right for about 5 seconds. Then change it to the 12 o’clock position for the remainder of the time. The mill sucks the berries down quickly, and you can use your hand to gently push any stray berries down without fear of being injured. You can hear the blades/motor change pitch when all the berries have been ground. Give it a few more seconds to ensure that everything is ground before turning the knob all the way back to the left. Cracks me up every time because it truly sounds like jet engines powering down!
This is what you end up with after carefully removing the top and shaking all the loose flour into the bowl. Wonderful, fluffy FLOUR – without the nasty preservatives or loss of nutrients from being overheated when milled!!!!
Measure out 8 C. of flour into your Kitchenaid or bowl.
Next add 3 C. water (any temp except hot!) and 2 T. apple cider vinegar.
With the bread hook, knead until there is no more dry flour left. You may have to stop the mixer and rotate the dough by hand so that you can ensure that it is all mixed properly.
Once mixed, pat down by hand to form a dome shape and drizzle with a little olive oil and spread gently to cover the surface area. (This will help protect it from exposure to the air.)
Use a small piece of plastic wrap and cover the surface ensuring that the edges are tucked down around the dough to make a nice seal.
Cover with a plate to ensure no stupid critters get into your dough and then let it set for 12-24 hours. You definitely don’t want the dough to set more than 30 hours because it will go bad by then.
As you start to clean up, don’t forget to store the extra flour you milled inside a freezer bag and place inside the freezer. Fresh ground flour will go rancid if not used immediately!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. When it reaches that temp turn it off and place your bowl inside the oven for 10 minutes in order to warm the dough.
Mix 2 tsp. active yeast, 2 T. cane sugar, and 1/4 C. warm water. Let rest for 5 minutes.
*Carefully place your HOT bowl back on the stand! Add the yeast mixture to the warm dough and on a low speed begin mixing together.
If your dough is too moist, add a little extra flour a little at a time. (You can thank yourself later for putting the extra inside the freezer!) 🙂
Using the same plastic wrap from earlier, gently cover the dough and place on a warm spot to let rise for 45 minutes. (You can either use a heating pad or do the same heating method from earlier by letting the oven heat then turn it off before placing the dough inside. The method I use here is letting the oven stay on since it gives off a warm steam at the back which is perfect for keeping the dough warm and helping to warm up my otherwise cold kitchen.)
Sprinkle your work area with some of the extra wheat flour and place your dough on top. Add 2 tsp. salt and 250 mg. Vitamin C (optional) to the top of the dough. Knead well until the dough is tough and no longer sticky. By the way, prepare yourself for a good workout with this part of the recipe! This is not like typical dough that becomes elastic-feeling the longer you knead. It is quite the undertaking to knead it well.
Divide the dough in half and grease your bread pans in preparation.
Roll out each section one at a time with a rolling pin then roll up and tuck sides down.
Place each roll inside the greased bread pans and let rise in a warm area for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, place dough inside a preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes. When you remove from the oven you can rub unsalted butter over the tops to help keep the bread soft longer.
Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool for 10-25 minutes before cutting. (Very important that you don’t cut into the bread until the 10-25 minutes are up because it will cause it to dry out faster. The moisture still inside the bread will distribute throughout the loaf as it rests after being baked.)
Soaked Whole-Wheat Bread – by www.Weedemandeap.com
- 7 ½ C. flour (8 C. freshly ground)
- 3 C. water
- 2 T. apple cider vinegar
*Mix together. Pat down and cover surface with oil then place plastic wrap snuggly around. Cover with plate and let rest for 12-24 hours.
After 12-24 hours, warm dough before adding:
- ¼ C. warm water
- 2 (heaping) tsp. yeast
- 2 T. unrefined cane sugar
*Let yeast mixture rest for 5 minutes. Mix together with dough. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes or until doubled.
Sprinkle 2 tsp. sea salt and 250 mg Vitamin C. Knead well until dough is tough. Divide dough in half. Roll out and place in buttered bread pans. Let rise 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool for 10-25 minutes before cutting.