Mister, somewhat absent-mindedly, said a few days ago, “I haven’t found any whole-wheat bread here that I like.” We have bought most brands, and none of them seem to please his palate. You should know by now that I like my food as devoid of nutrients as possible, so I usually buy white bread for myself.
I have tried to make whole wheat bread about a dozen times and I am an absolute failure at it. I can do white, no problem, but wheat is an entirely different story. Maybe the flour can sense my dislike.
My sister Arianne told me a few weeks ago about some fantastic bread she’d had at church. It was made out of ground white wheat and was light and not at all bitter. So I called up Ari to get the recipe.
I had a
brilliant foolish thought after I got off the phone; why not grind my own wheat? I have over a ton of it, after all. Thus began the two day saga of me trying to make bread.
The first obstacle: finding my wheat grinder. I don’t have a nice easy-to-use electric grinder. I figured that the only time I would be milling my own wheat would be if the world came to a grinding halt. So a couple of years ago I bought a really nice Country Grains hand grinder (a favorite among the Amish, I’m told). But since we moved I had lost track of it. Ah, yes, there it is at the very tip-top of the linen closet. Where else?
Fortunately it was extremely simple to assemble. The wheat bucket wasn’t so co-operative. It took me fifteen minutes to drag it out of the back of the closet and pry it open. But before long I was in business.
Holy mother-of-pearl, is it ever hard work to grind wheat by hand! After ten minutes my biceps (triceps? Both?) were screaming and I had started to work up a sweat. And this was all I had to show for it:
I completely gave up and waited for my
little slaves children to get home from school. And wouldn’t you know it, they took one look at the grinder and started to quarrel about who got a turn first. They all got plenty of turns, and by the end of the night we had enough flour for bread.
DAY 2: The lady who wrote the bread recipe was one of those people who says things like, “just add some flour until it’s the right consistency” and “let it rise for a while”. In other words, very vague. I like to have complete, easy-to-understand, no-questions-asked directions. Despite the vague recipe, I gave it my best shot. I was as surprised as anyone when I took the bread out of the oven and it had turned out perfectly. It was fluffy and soft and delicious.
But you can be sure that I will not be grinding any more wheat soon. Mister, you’ll have to get used to grocery store bread. Sorry sweetie!