ancient grains, baking, bread, flour mill, hard red spring wheat, mill flours, spelt, spelt pasta, sprouted grains, whole grains, whole wheat bread, WonderMill
I have been wanting to mill my own flour for 20 years! It began when I lived up in Inuvik, NT and tasted my friend/employer, Judy’s freshly baked whole wheat buns. She made her bread with flour that she had milled just minutes before making the dough and they were the tastiest little breads with a lovely texture and a bit of a nutty flavor.
Finally just last week, after 20 years of thinking about it, planning for ‘someday’… we bought a WonderMill. It was my visit with my wonderful sister-in-law Laurie last month that set things in motion. She demonstrated using her NutriMill and I got to see how quick and easy it is to mill flour from spelt. Then I got to taste Laurie’s spelt buns, spelt pie crust (pumpkin pie, yum!), breakfast cookies, spelt tortillas and spelt pancakes– all of which were delicious!
Inspired (and craving more spelt bread!) we did a bit of research and decided on the WonderMill (pictured above). We wanted to support a local Alberta business and found a place in Cochrane, Alberta called Briden Solutions that carried both the mill and the grains we wanted. (By the way, Briden specializes in ’emergency preparedness’ and carry an extensive range of home and kitchen products including water filtration, oils, beans, whole grains, many of which are organic. They also have an informative blog called Briden’s Guide to Preparedness which features in-depth articles on their products and tips for being prepared for unexpected events.)
Through Briden, we also bought 50 lb bags of organic red heard spring wheat and organic spelt (great for breads), both from Grainworks, a certified organic farm. (Grainworks was first homesteaded on Alberta land in 1912 before moving to Saskatchewan in 1939. They have been certified organic since 1988.)
You can also cook these ‘wheat berries’ and then add them to soups and salads as an alternative to quinoa, orzo, barley or millet.
The grains take only about a minute to mill (longer if you’re milling a larger batch).
Here is the beautiful, fragrant red wheat flour ready for baking! We made a whole wheat bread with this batch.
Like the wheat, you can cook the ‘berries’ and add to soups and salads. You can also sprout these grains and make sprouted grain breads (both with or without flour). I will be trying this soon and will post the recipe.
Here is the lovely freshly milled spelt flour. We made homemade fettucini with this batch. (I will post that recipe tomorrow.)
With more people choosing to live healthier lifestyles or in response to developing allergies or an intolerance to “commercial wheat”, as in the overly processed, hybrid wheat and products made from this wheat (very difficult to digest), ancient grain and whole grain flours have become a more popular choice. It is no surprise that they make a much flavorful food source. Artisan breads made from ancient and whole grains can be found in most bakeries and for those of us whole enjoy baking it ourselves, freshly milled flours can be found at health food stores, gourmet food stores and local farmer’s markets (i.e. through Gold Forest Grains at the Strathcona Farmer’s Market in Edmonton and coming soon to the Kingsland Farmers Market in Calgary and the Grand Prairie’s Farmers Market).
I look forward to learning more about ancient grains and whole grain flours and experimenting with these flours in the kitchen here at cabinorganic. I look forward to supporting local farmers and sustainable farming practices. I look forward to learning more about the nutritional benefits in milling my own flours and sharing my flours and breads with friends and neighbors. Mostly, I simply look forward to the delicious taste and smell of fresh, home-baked breads that are highly nutritious as well as delicious!
P.S. By the way, I am sure Judy is still baking her famous bread! If you’re ever planning a visit to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, consider staying at the Arctic Chalet. Book a tour with Judy and Olav, go for a ride over the tundra with Judy and her dog teams in winter or go canoeing or kayaking in the summer and enjoy the high Arctic in style!