Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Lesson

I did a post on my bread making and thought I should follow it up by talking about grain a bit. I started by making whole wheat. Soon Mr. Farmer had some acid problems that we linked to the wheat. SO, I switched to spelt with a little wheat mixed in. He handles this combination just fine. Spelt is just another type of grain and is one the the original grains mentioned in the Bible. It's been around for awhile. It has more protein and nutrients than wheat and has a delicious flavor. It makes a lighter loaf than whole wheat, too. It does, however, cost twice as much as wheat. Of course!  So when I make bread to sell, I make whole wheat.

Now I'm gonna learn ya sumthin. When a grain is ground or cracked and the outer shell is broken, it starts to immediately break down. The oils start to go rancid and the nutrients begin to be lost. Within three days almost all nutritional value is gone. This is why I freeze any left over flour and the bread we will not be eating quickly. I want all the nutrients and vitamins I can get. The flour is still ok to use, but you've lost nutritional value. Also, the bread will mold more quickly than the store-bought stuff. It doesn't contain all the unnatural gunk to keep it from spoiling and keep it "fresh".

Here is a little visual for what happens to flour by the time it hits your store shelves.

They take the bran out and sell it to you separately. Then they remove the middlings and sell them for livestock feeding. The wheat germ is also removed and sold back to you, as is the wheat germ oil. And that's it. Now you have  the garbage left over  your white flour. Yum!

It used to be, back when there were still millers that ground your wheat for you, that if a miller was caught removing anything from your ground wheat that he was hung by his ear to the doorpost of his shop. You didn't mess with people's wheat. Now we pay people to do it and re-pay them for all they took out.

All that said, I still use white flour for some things like cookies. I need to get the sifting attachment for my Bosch so I can just use my flour without the bran, which changes the texture of a cookie. They are still delicious cookies, but Mr. Farmer prefers the white gunk for cookies. I figure that cookies aren't healthy anyway, so I'll make him happy. Just this once.


  1. Thanks for learning us something! My step-father was from Kansas and said that all the time!

    1. I grew up in a home where proper English was stressed- Grandma was an English teacher. It's hard to write that and not correct it.

  2. Your bread looks great. We use spelt at our place too. We're lucky to be able to buy it directly from a farmer who grows it organically. We like it a lot, but also find it challenging. Do you have a favorite spelt recipe that you can share? We'd love to try it.

  3. What challenges do you have with it? I can share the recipe I use, but it is for 6 loaves so it would have to be divided down for a smaller batch.

    Approx. 7 c hot water
    5T yeast
    2T salt
    1/3 c wheat gluten
    2T dough enhancer
    1 or 2T lecithin (optional)
    1c honey
    1c oil
    approx 16c of flour (only enough to clean the sides of the bowl)

    Hope that helps, Jody. Let me know what I can do to help. Like I said, I use mostly spelt with some hard red wheat mixed in. I have, however, made it completely with spelt and had it turn out just fine. It's just my way of trying to stretch a dollar while not causing my husband problems.

  4. Hi! Do you substitute equally spelt for wheat flour? Thanks. Nancy

    1. Hi, Nancy. Yes, I substitute spelt equally for wheat.