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Milling and Baking Our Own Homegrown Bread

Hello friends,

After harvesting and processing the 2023/2024 season's wheat, we were ready to mill our grain, and then bake our own homegrown bread.

The first step was to mill the wheat grain using our Mockmill Stone Mill which attaches to our Kitchenaid stand mixer. You can find out more information about our Mockmill milling set up in last year's blog post.

It only took a few minutes to mill all of this year's grain into flour (and some of last year's leftover grain), in the stone mill using a fine milling setting.

The next step was to separate the white flour from the majority of the wheatgerm and bran. Last year we used the sieve we have at home, but the sieve was too coarse, and most of the wheat germ and bran still got through. So this year we invested in a super fine manual flour sieve from Flour Power Mills. When sieving was completed we were left with a light brown super fine flour, which still contained some fine wheatgerm and bran. The coarser wheatgerm and bran is now stored away for other baking and cooking projects during the year.

All that remained was to bake a loaf of bread. After milling we had 4 cups of flour, which we used in our standard wholegrain bread recipe.

Wholegrain Bread Recipe for use in a Bread Maker

Ingredients
1.25 cups of hot tap water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (canola or any other neutral seed oil)
1/3 cup of milk (can be from milk powder, but the liquid volume is important)
1/3-1/2 cup of 7-seed-mix, whole-grain, or other similar tasty grains (we get ours from Bin Inn)
3 cups of strong/bread flour (or in our case homegrown and milled flour)
2 teaspoons of supabake yeast (i.e. mixed yeast with bread improver)

Recipe
(1) Place in the baking tin in the order above, it is important to have:
       * The grains *in* the liquid (to soak)
       * The flour on top of the first 6 ingredients
       * The yeast on top of the flour (so it's not in the water, or in contact with the salt or sugar until it starts mixing)

(2) Place the baking tin in the bread maker, and set the bread maker to the "wholegrain" program in your bread maker. Start baking your bread.

(3) We have a 10+year old Sunbeam bread maker, but we have reports this recipe works well in others. The bread maker should have a first period where it keeps the water warm to soak/soften the grains (which is why you do not want the yeast in the water, with warmth and sugar it'll activate far too soon).

And two hours and twenty minutes later our homegrown bread was out of the bread maker. It wasn't quite as fluffy as commercially grown bread, but the bread had a wonderful nutty flavor which was great fresh, as well as toasted.

We've found that growing our own wheat, and then processing and milling our own flour is a very fulfilling thing to do. It's nice to see how processed food is made, and to appreciate the hard work that goes into making flour and bread.

Have a wonderful day

Julie-Ann

Want to discuss my post? Feel free to chat with me on Instagram or Mastodon or Bluesky.

April Handmaiden Spinning Fibre Club

Hello friends,

Up until a few months ago, I got into a spinning rut. I didn't really have anything fun to spin, and so my yarn spinning fell by the wayside. After hearing about Handmaiden NZ's monthly fibre club, I decided to sign up for a couple of months, to see if it would help me get back into spinning. Every month Handmaiden, Amy Hughes, dyes a 100 gram braid of yarn in a new colour, and with a new fibre blend to try.

Eager to get back into spinning, I signed up for the fibre club and waited impatiently for it to arrive.

When April's fibre club showed up, and it was a soft and fluffy 100% merino braid, in pretty shades of white, green, blue, and purple, and it came with a small candle from the Bluebird Candle Company, in the scent Beautiful. The candle scent was very floral and pretty, and not too overpowering. Very excited about getting into spinning, I got to work. I unraveled the braid and split it lengthwise down the middle so I could make a two ply. In an experimental mood, I chose to spin each half braid from different ends. This would make the colours overlap in the middle.

I decided to spin the braid on my trusty Majacraft Suzie Pro, with the spinning wheel set up on the middle whorls, and aimed to spin at my default width, which would end up with approximately DK yarn once plied. It didn't take very long at all to spin up both singles and then ply them.

Once plied and rested, I set the yarn by washing it with wool wash. Unfortunately the wool wash we have at the moment has been making dye run, so the wash and rinse water was in shades of blue.


With the yarn fulled and washed, it was left to dry. I ended up with a total of 175 m of DK knit weight yarn at the end of spinning and processing. I don't know what I will do with it, but for now I'm just happy to squish it and enjoy the pretty colours. Have you been spinning anything pretty recently?

Have a wonderful day

Julie-Ann

Want to discuss my post? Feel free to chat with me on Instagram or Mastodon or Bluesky.

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