Thursday, September 27, 2012

Choosing Grain

Now that I'm grinding more and more of our flour, I am learning a lot about what types of grain work best for what I'm making.  I currently have three types in my pantry, hard red wheat, hard white, and soft white.

I purchased my hard white and soft white grain from Azure Standard.  They seem to have the best prices for bulk grains.  The hard red wheat I found at Walmart of all places.  I'm sure that it's not organic, but the price was right and I wanted to give it a try.

   The main difference between hard red wheat and hard white wheat is the color.  Red wheat still has the genes for bran color, while white wheat was developed from red wheat, but the color has been eliminated. 

Wheat Berries
 Just for my wonderful readers, I decided to make bread from each type of grain.  After about 25 minutes of grinding by hand, 2 cups of each, my arms were sore.  Each type of grain ground the same. 
The recipe I used was from my Amish book that I am giving away.  This recipe is a new favorite and will be posted tomorrow. 
Each loaf used the exact same amount of flour, and liquids.  They were in the oven for the exact same amount of time also.
My loaves turned out a little flat because I had divided the recipe into thirds.  My mini loaf pans were too small, and my regular loaf pans were too big.  The too big pans let the dough spread a little more than I would have liked.


The Results

~  I thought that the dough from the hard white was the easiest to work with, and held it's shape the best.
~  The bread made from the hard red grain had a bitter aftertaste.  The dough seemed a little dry, but it still formed a nice loaf.
~  The soft white bread cracked and seemed a little dry.  I enjoyed the taste, but my husband did not.
Overall, if I had to pick just one type of wheat to have in the pantry it would be hard white wheat.  It won me over in taste and workability.
It would be interesting to try this experiment with cookies or pasta.  Maybe once we get the wood cook stove going.  I hope that this post answers any questions that you may have about choosing grains.  As always, if you do have a question please feel free to either leave it in the comments or email me.



Preparedness Challenge

How did I meet this challenge?  Our local store is having a store wide clearance sale, so I stocked up on first aid supplies, personal hygiene items, and some crackers.
Today my husband is bringing home the last of our winter firewood.
I have been canning tomatoes from the garden like crazy, and I organized my seeds into a storage tote.
This didn't happen this week, but we finally got a wood cook stove for heat, cooking, and heating water.
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  1. I have all three wheat varieties in my pantry. I use the hard red and hard white for my bread and pancakes. I use soft wheat for desserts and muffins and such. I just made two loaves yesterday with hard white wheat, but sifted the bran out to see how the texture turned out. If you're interested, I can give you an update. I'm anxious to see what you find with cookies.

  2. Very informative, than you for sharing this great information. I love whole grains, especially in bread. Looks delicious!

  3. Interesting experiment. I have used various types of wheat but have never been too picky. I just use whatever I have.

  4. This post was so interesting. I have hard red wheat in my pantry, but since I can no longer digest wheat properly I use it to fill magic bags.

    Spelt is a doable form of wheat for me if I don't over do it :-) And the reason I'm telling you this is because I'm really interested in grinding the spelt kernals and wonder which hand grinder you have. (Maybe a private email would be more suitable for this topic.)

    A great post! I am visiting from the Farmgirl Friday blog hop.

  5. hi can you get flour from wheatgrass seeds ?


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