Today we're going to grind wheat with an electric grinder. I'm using a GrainMaster by Whisper Mill. I don't know if this is a great grinder, I don't even know which grinders are great. I received this as a gift and it works for me. Possibly because I don't know any better, but hey, ignorance is bliss right?
Other grinders may have different details, but this post should provide you with an overview of wheat grinding and how easy it is. Nothing to be scared of.
Food Storage Made Easy has a video over at their website of how to grind wheat. I haven't watched it yet, but I'm sure it's great. Check that out if you want more in depth wheat grinding details.
So this is my wheat grinder. I had no idea how much joy and fulfillment it would bring into my life. A sense of security and safety. Although, I'd be out on my tail if the power were out. That's why I'm asking for a manual wheat grinder for Christmas. I've come to have strange wish lists...
There are three separate components to the grinder: a container to catch the flour, a lid to top that container (which has a tube attached which will attach to the third part), and the actual grinder that has the motor and the mill inside of it. The grinder has a cord to plug into an electrical outlet, and the top is a bowl shape that you put the wheat in and it gets sucked down to the mill, which smashes it into flour. Don't stick your fingers down there. Don't let your children stick their fingers down there.
Set the lid on top of the flour container and snap it on.
You will want quite a bit of room where you grind. If the weather is nice, I sometimes grind my wheat outside because a little bit of flour tends to fly everywhere. And it's really loud. Causing my daughter to run screaming from the room with her ears covered.
Connect the green tube into the grinder, making sure it's securely in before you grind. Otherwise you will be cleaning up a lot of flour.
Make sure the grinder is in the off position before you plug it in.
This is the air vent on top of the flour catching container. In most circumstances there is a foam circle thing that fits on top which allows air to get through, but not flour.
I lost mine, so I tape a paper towel over the top. It's very technical.
I forgot to let Hannah in on that detail when she borrowed my grinder. I hope she reads this first.
So you are plugged into the electrical outlet, your flour container is attached to your grinder, and you're ready for the wheat.
Hello wheat, I will now make you into warm flour, says the Little Red Hen.
There is a setting on the wheat grinder for how coarse or fine you want your flour to end up. I put it on the finest setting, the smallest side because...well, I don't know, that's just what I do. (I'm really coming off as an expert aren't I?)
Before you put any wheat in the top of your grinder, turn it on and allow it to start running. It's loud, and mine tends to jerk around when I first turn it on, so I hold it with one hand when I turn the switch. Yeah, that red and black one that says "on" and "off." Simple.
After the grinder is on and running, put wheat in the top bowl shape part of the grinder. I use a measuring cup and just dump it in.
The mill, in the main base of the grinder, sucks the wheat down and grinds it into flour and then forces it into the green tube and then into the flour container. As the wheat level in the top of the grinder goes down, you can add more wheat to it. Your grinder could grind wheat indefinitely, however, the flour container is a limiting factor. It can only hold so much flour.
The amount will be different for each grinder, so just test it out. Put a couple of cups of wheat in and let it grind completely through, you'll notice the difference in sound when there's wheat being ground and when it's empty. It's still loud, but when it's empty it is kind of whiny.
When your wheat has gone completely through, turn off the mill and pull the lid off the flour container. Gage how much flour there is, whether you can keep going, or whether you need to empty the flour container into another bowl.
Just remember to reattach the flour container securely before continuing to grind your wheat. This will make a big mess. I am, of course, not speaking from personal experience.
Here's the deal with wheat: the wheat flour you buy at the store has had preservatives added to it so it can be stored at room temperature for a long time. Flour ground from wheat in your home using the above method, does not contain any preservatives and will go rancid quickly, . When I am making whole wheat bread, I grind enough flour to make the bread right before I make the bread (did that make sense?)
I grind a little extra flour at this time and put the extra in a ziplock freezer bag in the freezer. Then when a recipe calls for whole wheat flour I pull what I need out of the freezer and use it. You can also store the wheat flour in your fridge, but it will last longer in your freezer.
Good luck! I'm going to go attack the mountain of laundry on my bed and dream of fresh, warm homemade bread with strawberry jam...
A delicious homemade bread recipe, made completely with food storage items is coming later this month, stay tuned!