If you grind your own wheat, tell me what kind, how, and for how much?

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I would like to get into baking with fresh-ground wheat. I have done it before, baking bread for friends in exchange for the flour to bake for my own family. I like it a whole lot better than store-bought flour.

What kind of wheat works best for you, and what do you use to grind it? What is the cost of the wheat and the grinder?

-- Cathy N. (homekeeper86@sympatico.ca), February 23, 2002


Yes, I grind my own wheat and I use Montana White. I really don't remember the cost of a 50 pound bag anymore because we got it in our stock-up for Y2K back in 1999. It has kept real well in 55 gallon drums in our storm cellar. I grind it in a unmotorized mill called a Family Grain Mill. I think I paid about $90 for it . I only grind what I will use immediately. I can grind 3 cups of flour in about 5 minutes and it gives a nice flour, not too gritty. They still sell them in Lehman's.

-- Nancy (nannyb@huntel.net), February 23, 2002.

Dear Cathy: I buy organic wheat from Montana, it is a red hard winter wheat. I also buy organic spring wheat for pastry flour for pancakes, waffles. I also bought our grinder from Lehmans. I can't remember what we paid, but it was expensive. However, I have a large family, bake 12 loaves a week and lots of other things. It grinds bean, rice, corn etc. Now, my first grinder was a Magic Mill and it was just fine when our family was smaller. I think I sold it for less than $200. I buy my wheat through Azure Standard, which is a coop here in the Northwest. Once you have your own grinder and wheat, you'll never go back to store bought:)

-- Marie in Central WA (Mamafila@al.com), February 23, 2002.

During the spring I just take a some 5gal buckets out to the field when they are havesting and ask for wheat off the combine. An offer of botted water or a six pack works wonders in diplomacy.

-- Gary (gws@columbus.rr.com), February 24, 2002.

Forgive me if this seems a silly question, but what does "wheat off the combine" mean?

-- Cathy N. (homekeeper86@sympatico.ca), February 24, 2002.

I use either all hard red wheat or a combination of hard red and kamut for my bread. Kamut is wonderful but a good bit more expensive which is why I don't use it by itself. I believe I paid $11 or $12 for a 50 pound bag for the hard red but I don't remember about the kamut. My hard red I buy at the LDS storehouse in Atlanta and the kamut and white I ordered through Wheat Montana. I have a hand mill that cost under $60 I think and also an electric mill, a Ktec Kitchen Mill. I love it though it is noisy. I don't remember exactly how much I paid for it (think it was $250=$300). I ordered it from Urban Homemaker.

-- Deena in GA (dsmj55@aol.com), February 24, 2002.

"Wheat off the combine" means when they are harvesting wheat in the field (usually at the end of July here in Ontario) you get it straight from the farmer who is harvesting it at that time. One caution is that the wheat may be full of weed seeds, chaff etc. It has not yet been cleaned. I have done this by using wheat from our bin (we are cash croppers). I have washed the wheat in plain water and the chaff and other light seeds float to the top. I then pour off the water and spread the wheat on cookie sheets. Those sheets are then dried in my warming oven of my cookstove. It is a lot of work. I think it would be easier to purchase wheat berries from an local organic processor and they would then be clean and ready to grind.

I hope this helps.

I also have a Family Grain Mill (hand cranked). It grinds an OK flour but sometimes I sift out the grit and regrind it. I purchase my organic hard unbleached flour from a local mill for $40 per 40 kg bag and combine it with 100% stone ground whole wheat bread flour to make my bread.

-- Silvia (organic_farmer@hotmail.com), February 25, 2002.

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