6.17.2017

It's a Grind

Recently, I was lucky enough to win a beautiful German-made KoMo Classic Grain Mill from Pleasant Hill Grain through a giveaway contest on my friend Christina's blog, Christina's Cucina. Her blog is fantastic, especially if you want either authentic Italian or Scottish recipes - as she is both!

I have used the mill several times now, and it is fantastic! I expect you will be seeing quite a few recipes from me using home-milled flours. My first was chickpea flour, which Pleasant Hill Grain sent to me with the mill. So nutty and earthy, it made wonderful cecina - a crêpe-like pancake we first tasted in Viareggio, Italy. The company offers 32 types of GMO-free grains and legumes, many of these are available in an organic option, and many come vacuum-sealed in buckets for maximum freshness.

I love how the wheat kernels look when grinding - a wonderful pattern!
Today, I bought some Sonoran White Wheat berries from Robert of Tucson Tortilla at Tucson’s Heirloom Farmers Market. I was originally thinking of using the kernels for soup, but then I remembered the KoMo Mill.

I ground the wheat on the machine, using its finest setting. It felt like talcum powder between my fingers. It has a wonderful aroma - almost a honey sweetness. I wish all my readers could try it!

I mixed half this Sonoran white wheat flour with half white bread flour. With a little yeast, salt, and water, it produced a very nice, fragrant bread with a crisp outer crust. Of course, you can use regular whole wheat flour and it will still make a perfectly good bread.

Time to get kneading!

~ David


Sonoran White Wheat Bread

1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups water, about 110°F (44°C)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
1 1/2 cups unbleached pre sifted flour
1 teaspoon of salt

Whisk together the yeast with 1/2 cup of the warm water in a large mixing bowl. (If your house is cool, it is best to warm the bowl a little so it doesn't cool off your water when trying to proof the yeast.) Let the yeast proof for about 10 minutes. 

Add both flours, the salt, and the other cup of warm water and mix well with a sturdy wooden spoon; the dough will be sticky. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured board and knead several times to form a ball. Using some olive oil, grease a large glass or ceramic bowl and add the dough. Turn the dough so the bottom is now the top and has a light coating of olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place for at least an hour, and up to 1 1/2 hours.

Add more flour to the board and turn out the dough. Divide into two pieces. Knead each piece several times and then shape into a long cylinder. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set to rise for another hour. 

Preheat the oven to 425°F (225°C). Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined tray, separating the loaves by at least 4 inches, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Makes two medium loaves.


32 comments:

  1. I never thought about having a mill at home. And the variety of grains you mentioned really fascinated me. We used to make about 40 loaves and muffins at a time (it filled the freezer and our friends loved us), and we put all sorts of good things into it. But we never milled our own flour. Something to try. Those loaves look yummy.

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    1. That is some serious bread-making, Susan! I am impressed, and it is no small wonder that your friends loved you for that! It is especially good to mill your own flour when there is a gluten issue, as you can imagine.

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  2. That's some beautiful bread, David. I agree, Christina has a fab blog!

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    1. Thanks, Liz - it would be fun someday to get us all in the same room on the same continent! I know one thing - no one would starve!

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  3. Glad to read you know the "cecina": it's typical of Tuscany, while in Liguria they call "farinata", but it's quite the same thing. Congratulation for this bread (and your new mill): it look great!

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    1. We are coming to Tuscany in September with a day trip planned to Carrara, where we hear the cecina is pretty good! Looking forward to that!

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  4. Oh David, just look at that crust! I look forward to seeing more of what you create using the mill. What a great toy!

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    1. I knew the crust would catch your attention, John! It was my favorite part!

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  5. I was so happy when you won the Komo mill because I knew you would make good use of it, David! I was right! These loaves look like something my aunts would have baked in their stone ovens in Italy! Beautiful! Keep on grinding! :)

    P.S. Thank you for your kind words!

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    1. That is the highest compliment you could pay me, Christina! The best part was, the bread really reminded me of bread I habe gotten in Italy!

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  6. Hi David, now I want a Komo mill to mill my own flour. There is supposed to be someone in Tempe that mills his own flour but can't make enough to keep in stock. Your bread looks wonderful, love the texture. You make bread making sound easy, an area that still intimidates me.

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    1. Native SEEDS has flour from Phoenix - I wonder if it is the same guy in Tempe!

      Oh, Cheri - I was afraid of bread making for years and just decided to go for it. I wondered why I waited so long!

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  7. Thanks David for reminding me of my bread-making days. I too had a mill and loved the whole process of being the family bread-maker. The flour comes out just the right temp to add the yeast and get the process started. As a young mother of two boys I used to congratulate myself for providing healthy seed bread to make lunch sandwiches for them. It wasn't until they were in their 20's that they confessed to talking friends into sharing their white bread and baloney sandwiches. One son fed my bread to the local cows who roamed the farm field beyond the school grounds and the other stuffed a years worth of seed bread sandwiches into his locker. Apparently nobody mentioned an increasingly odd odour in the school hallway. I put a positive spin on the whole story by imagining my boys didn't want to disappoint me. Amazing what lengths mothers go to skirt reality when it comes to their sons ��
    Yvonne

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    1. Yvonne - Your sons were so lucky and they probably realize it now if they didn't then! I like how you chose to take a positive approach to their actions. Do you miss making your own bread? It's funny you should write but I was just looking at the photos of our trip to Bainbridge Island... such wonderful memories!

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  8. Beautiful bread of life! On another subject,
    do you use fresh yeast in your breads? I've read that it is much easier to digest and is used in European breads. I've looked for it here in Tucson but no one seems to have it for sale. Any clues?

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    1. I, too, have been looking for fresh yeast, Jean. No luck yet, unfortunately... Someone suggested Sprouts but I haven't tried there yet. I also thought maybe one of the bread bakers locally might have a source. If I find one, I will share it with you!

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  9. That Sonoran white wheat flour is the best, and your bread looks delicious too. Fabulous photos as always.

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    1. Thanks, Carolyne! I just got another bag of wheat berries this weekend. More bread coming!

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  10. David somewhere in my rubble I have an old German bread baking book . If I find it I will send it to you . Your bread looks great.

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    1. Oh, Gerlinde - that would be wonderful! German breads are so wonderful - I woudl love to learn how to make them.

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  11. I have been buying a flour called "Prairie Gold" from Walmart. It's supposedly "white whole wheat" and comes from Montana. At $3.72 for FIVE pounds it's pretty inexpensive. It's not labeled as organic, though. We are considering buying large quantities of wheatberries and (do I dare admit it?) stockpiling wheatberries and other foods for future needs, if you get my drift. I won't say more. I will look up Pleasant Hill. I am curious about that flour/wheat mill, too.

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    1. That is pretty reasonable, Caterina! The grain mill would be an investment, for sure, bit worth it!

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  12. I did look at the Pleasant Hill website and found that they have a "preparedness" page. Thanks for the tip from your blog.

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    1. And they have so many wonderful grains from which to chose!

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  13. Home ground flour. Home made bread. Sounds like a HOME run! GREG

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    1. Well, I never thought I would see the day when someone used a sports analogy on my pot! Thanks Greg! :)

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  14. Homemade bread is some of the best stuff on Earth, David and yours looks delicious! That mill is a terrific prize and it's perfect that it was given to someone who will love it! Wonderful recipe!

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  15. I have an old Wondermill that came (very discounted) with my first heavy duty mixer and I have never used it. You are really getting me thinking David!

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    1. I remember Wondermills, Inger! Let me know if something exciting happens up there!

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  16. This is inspirational. Good whole grain bread is so hard to find!

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    1. Even finding decent wheat flour is hard these days, Susan!

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