Baking Bread

I was inspired by the information about the Loetschental Valley to try making my own bread from freshly ground flour.  Dr. Price recommended that each city should have its own mill to provide freshly ground flour to bakeries.  Since that isn’t likely to happen any time soon, I will have to grind my own.  Fortunately, I already have a KGM Grain-Mill Attachment for my KitchenAid Stand Mixer.  The mixer is also capable of kneading small amounts of dough, so I am all set with my equipment, at least for now.  I understand from reviews that if I continue to grind grain or knead 100% whole grain dough with my current mixer, I will kill it within a couple of years.

Some time ago, I bought No More Bricks! Successful Whole Grain Bread Made Quick & Easy by Lori Viets.  The author has a website at where she also offers a video class.  I bought the book during my vegan phase, but I never made any bread using that information up until now.  I was intrigued by the title because when I was young, my mother tried making bread from home-ground flour.  It turned out very dense.  We called it “brick bread.”  I wanted to avoid the same outcome.  So I pulled out the book yesterday and read it.  Not only does the author claim that you can make 100% whole grain bread that isn’t a brick, but you can do it in 90 minutes.  Wow!  Even people with fulltime jobs have enough time for that, if that were true.  My own batch of two loaves took three and a half hours from the beginning of grinding until the loaves came out of the oven.  I bought the grain at Whole Foods Market from their bulk department.  They have an amazing selection of grains to choose from.  Whole Foods Market is a good source for an occasional baker, but someone who bakes bread often will want to find a source that can supply larger quantities.  I found a one-pound bag Saf-Instant yeast at Smart & Final for only $3.59.  That will make a lot of bread.  I was pleased with the results of my first attempt.  The loaves were definitely not bricks!  I recommend the book.

The author recommends using a Nutrimill Home Grain Mill and a Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine.  There are people who have been using Bosch machines for kneading dough for 20 years with no problems.  The old model had an average life of 17 years.  The newer model is rated for twice the life.  When my KitchenAid fails, that is what I will get.  Cookie Paddles with Metal Whip Drive, Universal Slicer Shredder Attachment, and a Blender can be purchased for the Bosch machine, making it a truly versatile appliance.

There’s a chapter in the book about why it is important to grind one’s own flour.  To begin with, white flour should be avoided because so much nutrition has been removed from it that legally it must be enriched with four vitamins and iron.  There are some 30 different known nutrients in whole grain wheat, so that means a great deal of nutrition has been lost in white flour.  Buying whole grain flour at the store is not a good option, either.  Whole grain flour loses much of its nutrition quickly after grinding.  Plus, it also spoils quickly.  Whole grain flour should be kept refrigerated after grinding, but when was the last time you saw bags of flour in the refrigerator section at the supermarket?  If that were not enough to dissuade you, whole grain flour sold in the store isn’t as whole as you might think.  Many manufactures simply add enough bran and germ back into white flour to make it brown.  Manufacturers also put additives into the flour, and many of these do not even need to be listed on the ingredients label because they are considered standard.  The only way to know for sure that you are getting true unadulterated whole grain flour with its complete nutrition is to grind it yourself.

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