(Originally published at Motherhood Reflections.)
About three years ago, I stopped buying bread from the store. After a year of (rather tasty) white bread, I decided it was time to take the next step and start making whole wheat bread. Luckily, I had put a small hand-crank grinder on my Christmas wish list that year, so I felt I was all set. I pulled out my bucket of wheat, clamped my grinder onto the counter, and started cranking.
45 minutes later, I had produced 2 cups of whole wheat flour. I checked my recipe, and found that one loaf of bread requires at least 6 cups of flour. So, I kept cranking. (To add insult to injury, the resulting loaf of bread was horrible - dense and tasteless.)
I happened to be on the phone with my father that day, and told him my funny (and pathetic) story of my afternoon in the kitchen. As we talked, he hatched a plan - if he acted as my sponsor, and bought me a nice electric wheat grinder, would I make bread for his house as well as mine? (I still have a few siblings at home.) Of course! About a week later, after some research, my Wonder Mill Electric Whisper Mill arrived, in a big happy Amazon box.
I quickly got into the kitchen to try my new toy out. First of all, set-up was a snap. Put the lid on the flour canister, plug the feed tube into the grinder tower, and hit the power button. Easy peasy! One cup of whole wheat berries will give you approximately one and a half cup of whole wheat flour. And it is FAST. The flour canister can hold about 12 cups of flour (or 8 cups of whole wheat berries). The mill is, of course, noisy, but not so much so that you can’t carry on a conversation if you are determined to talk. It is noisy enough, though, that I can’t hear the phone ring when it is going. Think noisy-vacuum type noise levels. My favorite benefit of the machine, though, is that I can grind wheat so quickly, experimenting with new whole-wheat bread recipes no longer took hours of hand cranking! I can get the wheat going, and let it grind away while I add my water, yeast, sugar, etc. to my bowl. By the time I’m done with that, the wheat flour is ready to join the party.
Over the past three years, I have ground approximately 200 pounds of wheat...and this little machine is still going strong! It’s a kind of hefty investment (around $300), but for our family, it was worth it. Whole grain flours, whenever we want them? Yes!