(Update, March 2014: Boy I was excited when I bought this grain mill! I have used my it and enjoyed it now for nearly four years, and find it most successful for milling rye flour to feed my sourdough, and using rye flour as an additional grain in wheat-based breads, but I have not successfully made bread using 100% home milled wheat flour using this grinder. Not to say it isn’t possible! I confess to not trying all that hard. Please read all the comments below, and other reviews online if you are considering purchasing a Kitchenaid Grain Mill.)
Last week I broke down and bought a KITCHENAID GRAIN MILL ATTACHMENT WOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Okay, there are probably a few of you out there who don’t quite get the all-caps-league excitement. I’ll admit I pretty much nerded out on this one. But I’ve been thinking about this one for awhile now, and I believe it was a good move to bring more nutrition to our baked goods.
Here are some things I have recently read about flour:
– Whole wheat flour is not really “whole”. It has part of the germ removed because the germ, which contains oils, can go rancid quite quickly. So they remove this to make it more shelf stable.
– The germ contains most of the nutrition, including B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese and potassium. It also contains enzymes that help your body in numerous ways. None of this makes its way into store-bought flour.
– Store-bought whole wheat only has a fraction of the fiber that whole grain fresh flour has.
– Wheat berries are incredibly shelf stable, lasting years–possibly even decades!
I recently threw out most of a 10 kilo bag of (poor quality) whole wheat flour because it went rancid. For me, moving to grinding my own flour will mean producing less waste as well as better nutrition. It will also be cheaper than buying organic flour from the store.
And it makes AMAZING pancakes!
Plus, I’m hoping to be able to help out some of my friends who are gluten-free by milling flour for them. There are several grains that are gluten free, but finding these specialty flours is hard–not to mention expensive! So if you’re in need of some gluten-free flour, let me know and I’ll share the bounty 🙂
The only glitch in my plan is that I’ve found fresh flour acts quite differently in bread making than store-bought flour. This might be because the increased bran cuts more of the gluten strands, making it harder to get a light, airy loaf. It could be because the grind is not as fine as store-bought flour. Or, it could be that some oxidization actually helps the flour produce a better loaf, as posited by some users on The Fresh Loaf.
I read a lot of grain mill reviews before buying the Kitchenaid attachment. This one has many negative reviews due to people burning out the motors on their mixers. But knowing this gives me power–instead of going ahead and milling 10 cups on the finest setting at the highest speed, I’m choosing to mill smaller amounts at a time, doing two (or three) passes, moving from coarse to fine, at slower speeds. I was thrilled that my machine, a 325 Watt Artisan, didn’t even break a sweat.
The other benefit of the Kitchenaid Grain Mill is that it can mill very coarsely, which will be great for cracking grains for porridge or for multigrain mixes for bread. I’ve heard fresh-cracked corn grits are amazing!
I’ve now got some new challenges, and new projects ahead of me. I’m EXCITED!!!