Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The racks are made from stainless steel which I ordered online. The SS is not cheap but you don't want to use anything else. I have two sizes of screening, I made some of the racks with a wider mesh for fruits and a tight mesh for drying grains. Can you make that out in the picture?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Published by the Grain Marketing and Production Research Center, USDA, ARS, 1515 College Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502, USA
Abstract: Insect fragments in commercial wheat flour are a major concern to the milling industry because consumers expect high quality and wholesome products at the retail level. Thus, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a defect action level of 75 insect fragments per 50 g of flour. Millers routinely test their wheat flour to comply with this federal requirement and to deliver sound flour to their consumers. The current standard flotation method for detecting fragments in flour is expensive and labor intensive...." The article goes on to describe current and emerging technology to address this issue with flour. Published in 2002.
I read it as "just another reason to buy wheat berries and other grains WHOLE and sprouting/dehydrating them before grinding them into flour yourself at home".
Insect fragments are a non-issue when you start with berries and sprout them because you can rinse them till your hearts desire before you soak! Home mills are conveneint and relatively affordable. If you bake enough the mill will pay for itself eventually. But the rewards are more than monetary - the satisfaction of milling your own flour is priceless, really. And don't forget how nutritious and digestable the grains are after they have sprouted.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
"Sound and sprouted flours (24 and 48 hr) from bread wheat (WL-1562), durum wheat (PBW-34) and triticale (TL-1210) were stored at room temperature (34.8°C) and relative humidity (66.7%) for 0, 45, 90 and 135 days to assess the changes in physico-chemical and baking properties. Protein, gluten, sedimentation value, starch and crude fat decreased during storage in all the samples; however, the decrease was more in sprouted flours. Free amino acids, proteolytic activity, diastatic activity and damaged starch decreased with increase in storage period. Total sugars and free fatty acids increased more rapidly in the flours of sprouted wheats during 135 days of storage. Loaf volume of breads decreased during storage in both sound and sprouted flour but the mean percent decrease in loaf volume was more in stored sound flours. Aging of sprouted flour for 45 days improved the cookie and cake making properties but further storage was of no value for these baked products.Chapati making properties of stored sound and sprouted flour were inferior to that of fresh counterparts".
I am going to look into this further and see what I turn up...
From what I can tell "sound flour" is basic baking flour.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Jenny at the Nourished Kitchen shares, “When examining the nutrient density of sprouted wheat to unsprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, you’ll find that sprouted wheat contains four times the amount of niacinand nearly twice the amount of vitamin B6 and folate as unsprouted wheat. Moreover, sprouted grain contains more protein and fewer starches than unsprouted grain and is lower on the glycemic index than its unsprouted counterpart.” For a most detailed explaination of sprouted grains check out the Nourishing Gourmet.
According to Sally Fallon "all grains, nuts, and seeds contain phytic acid, an organic acid that blocks the absorption of minerals. Grains also contain enzyme inhibitors and irritating compounds that can inhibit digestion. Traditionally, grains were properly prepared by soaking and sprouting. Not only does this practice neutralize the negative effects of phytic acid, but it also increases the nutritional value of the grain." Proper preparation is essential. For more information on how to properly prepare your grains, see the recipes in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
At the Weston Price website there is great tutorial on the dangers of WHITE FLOUR. A must read!
So sprouted flour is more digestible and nutritious! Having a quantity of sprouted flour in your freezer readily available is the most convenient option to provide your family with easy digestion. There are two choices when it comes to using sprouted flour. Sprouted flour is expensive and wheat berries very affordable but sprouting takes time and diligence. If you make your own you can dry them with a dehydrator or in your oven). Here is a picture of my homemade dehydrator.
In my opinion there is a danger to storing the sprouted berries or the sprouted flour in the freezer as opposed to the fridg. When you pull out the berries from the freezer condensation instantly forms on all of the grains and the inside of jar. I am no expert but this seems like a problem so I store in the fridg as I don't see the same level of condensation forming on the jar so I am guessing less moisture is being introduced.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Here is my latest 100% Whole Wheat bread using home sprouted Prarie Gold Hard Spring Wheat berries and Spelt. After a few mediorce loaves I got the feel for it again.
I use Prairie Gold Hard Spring Wheat Berries and Spelt berries from Wheat Montana. They produce chemical free wheat, they are beyond organic, since they do not use manure on their wheat they are not “certified” organic. They do not use any chemicals at all to grow their wheat. I suggest you read over their website so you know more about their operation.
They ship, but I order 25 pounds of the berries through Rainbow Natural Foods at our local health food store. You can find distributors at the Wheat Montana website here. I also get spelt berries too and use a ½ and ½ mix.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- One .5 gallon mason jar for soaking and sprouting the berries.
- Wheat Berries (I use the word “berry” and “grain” interchangeably)
- A strainer top that fits the mason jar. I took a splatter screen made of stainless steel and cut it into circles which fit the 2 part jar lid. Or you can cover the jar with cheese cloth and fasten it with an elastic band or the screw band of the mason jar lid.
- An oven thermometer and a meat thermometer. It is good to know what your actual oven temprature is. The meat thermomter is for checking to see when the bread is done.
- a good digital scale that measure in grams and other units also. It is very important to WEIGH your ingredients - ESPECIALLY when using fresh grains because the hydration rates are SO different from store bought flours. This is a must, truely.
- 1 or 2 cookie sheets for drying the grains
- A way to dehydrate the grains, here is picture of my homemade dehyrdator
- Fill the jar about 1/2 full with berries.
- Add cold water to fill the jar and risen well a few times. I use my stainless strainer/sieve top to strain off the water.
- After they are well rinsed add cold filter or spring water to fill the bottle, screw on the strainer lid or regular lid.
- Put aside and let soak 8-12 hours. I soak overnight so it is usually 12 hours. I put them up at dinner time and then in the morning the berries are ready to be sprouted.
- Rinse the berries well and set to drain: Securely screw on the strainer top. You want to allow the remaining water to drain off totally so turn the jar over and put it in a container that will keep the jar from falling over.
- Place in an out of the way place, I put mine in the cupboard.
- Rinse 3 times during the sprouting. This is important and you should not skip.
- Try to leave an hour or so between the last soak and when the grains are sprouted so they are already starting to dry out. They will dry faster that way.
DEHYDRATING THE SPROUTED GRAINS
If using your oven, put the trays and turn it on the lowest setting. My lowest setting is 190 so I cycle it on and off once or twice 2 days. My oven is pretty hot; I don’t want to cook my grains. I always keep the oven door cracked open a bit for good air flow. Air flow is INCREDIBLY important during dehydrating. If you heat the oven and then open the door, this will create air flow as the heat escapes through the open door. I prop it open with a dish rag. I check on them berries periodically, moving them around a bit with my hand so dry evenly. This gives me a feel for how dry they are. The berries are dehydrated when they crunch between you teeth – totally dry and hard. If they are not then let them dry out a bit longer. We live in a dry climate so they dry in 2-3 days in the oven. If you live in a damp climate you might need to do some more research about how to dry them thoroughly.
STORING YOUR SPROUTED/DEHYRDATED WHEAT BERRIES
Once the grains are completely dry store them in clean dry mason jars or plastic bags. If storing in jars it is harder to minimize the amount of air in it. So plastic bags are not a bad idea. Remove as much air as possible and store in the refrigerator for months? Need to check on that. Don't store in the freezer.
When you are ready to bake a loaf of bread just grind what you need in your grain mill. We use a Family Grain Mill. But we used our little coffee grinder with decent results. At least it will give you and idea. But you will need a decent grinder at some point. The family grain mill is working well for us, has both a motor and a hand-crank in case the electricity goes out! I bake off 2 loaves at a time and grind the berries twice to get a really fine flour. This takes about 20 minutes.
FINALLY.....BAKING 100% WHOLE WHEAT BREAD USING SPROUTED FLOUR
I used a bread recipe that calls for creating a soaker, a biga and a final dough which is proofed twice and baked in a loaf pan. It was surprisingly easy! I found the recipe online by Peter Reinhart. I have since purchased and read his book on Whole Grains. Although the soaker/biga method looks difficult and strange. All you do is mix the biga and soaker separately the night before you want to bake the loaf, 12-24 hours later, mix and knead everything together. Even without a kitchenaid it was simple and the results where extraordinary. I used a scale to weigh my ingredients and a thermometer to test for doneness.
227 grams [or1 3/4 c or (8 oz)] spouted flour.
4 grams (1/2 tsp) salt or 1/2 t (.14 oz) (I used Celtic Sea Salt)
227 grams [or 1 3/4 c] spouted flour
1 gram [1/4 t (.03 oz)] instant yeast
170 grams [3/4 c (6 oz) ]filtered or spring water, at room temperature
all the biga
all the soaker
56.5 grams [or 7 T (2 oz)] spouted flour
5 grams [5/8 t (.18 oz) salt
2 1/4 t (.25 oz) instant yeast
42.5 grams [2 1/2 T (1.5 oz)] honey
14 grams or 1 T melted unsalted butter
extra spouted flour for adjustments.
Preheat oven to 425° and place loaf pan in the oven. Immediately turn the temp. down to 350° and bake for 20 mins. Rotate the loaf a complete half turn and bake another 20 to 30 mins. or to 195°.