Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pulverizing My Grain Stockpile

My decision to buy a counter-top flour mill was based on inventory.  I was running out of space for both grains and flours.  The rotation and usage of each was questionable.  The same variety of whole grains and beans on the shelf could also be ground into the flours.  While the initial purchase of the flour mill was a little pricey, grinding my own grains will save money and preserve freshness in the end.  It's opened up a whole new world of recipes to try and create.

I jumped right in and tried as many grains as I could.  The internet is full of recipes, so if I wanted to grind a specific grain, I searched for "food made with that specific type of flour".  While no one in my family is gluten sensitive, it is important to categorize by gluten containing and gluten free grains since gluten is what gives breads structure and rise.  Gluten free baked goods can be crumbly and often need binding agents for structure.  Here is a summary of some grains and uses:

Grains with Gluten
Hard Wheat-use red or white for breads
Soft Wheat-use for pastries
Spelt-breaks down faster (don't over-mix); use in place of 25% of flour in recipe
Farro-can be used on its own; add more moisture in recipes-up to 1/4 cup
Barley-use in place of 25% of flour in recipe
Rye-use in place of 40% of wheat in recipes; good in recipes calling for cornmeal
Bulgur Wheat-reduce cooking time when replacing wheat in recipes
Kamut-can be used on its own 

Gluten Free Grains
Corn and Popcorn-use with wheat in recipes that need to rise
Oat Groats-use in most baked goods
Brown Rice-makes breads with a cake like texture; use cup per cup for other flours, adding tapioca or cornstarch to bind
Millet-use in place of 20% of flour in recipes
Quinoa-use in place of 25% of flour in recipes
Amaranth-use in place of 25% of flour in recipes
Sorghum-add 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch for each cup of sorghum flour
Teff-use in quick breads 

Gluten Free Beans
Black Beans-use in dips, thickeners in soup; replace up to 1/4 cup of flour in chocolate baked goods

Nuts and Seeds
Do not grind in a flour mill as they may cause plugging;  grind instead in a seed grinder.  Use ground chia or flax seeds in place of gums in gluten free recipes:  Mix 1 part ground chia or flax seeds per 2 parts boiling water-simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Then add 1 teaspoon per cup of flour in the recipe.

Quinoa Mixed Grain Bread

(1 loaf : 12-14 slices)

In bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place, mix 1 cup flour, sugar and yeast.
1 cup white flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Slowly add warm milk and lemon juice.  Beat on medium high speed 2 minutes.
1 1/4 cup skim milk (125 F)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Add 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.  Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.  Scrape sides down.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Add garbanzo and quinoa flours.  Add salt.  Beat on low speed, scraping bowl down.
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
2/3 cup red quinoa flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Slowly add white flour, kneading on low speed until dough leaves sides of bowl.
3/4 cup white flour

Place in a bowl greased with olive oil spray.  Turn to coat both sides.  Let rise until double in bulk.  Punch dough down.

Place in 8 inch loaf pan greased with olive oil spray.  Cover and let rise until double.

Bake at 350 F. 40 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.


Each whole grain supplies different nutritional functions-adding a variety of amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins.  All add fiber.  Each boosts the flavor profile.  Knowing where the specific grain is grown can ease GMO and pesticide fears. Rotation of grains and flours on the shelf is just as important as rotating other foods. 


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