When I first started prepping, the last thing on my mind was purchasing wheat for long term storage. Heck, what was I going to do with 100 pounds of wheat berries? Eat them raw? Cook them? Sprout them? Turn them into flour? I did not have a clue. My my, how things have changed.
Today I am thrilled to share with you my experience learning how to mill my own flour with the incredible WonderMill. Not only that, the nice folks at WonderMill have set aside one of their grain mills for one very lucky Backdoor Survival reader. But more about that later.
THE INCREDIBLE WONDERMILL
The first thing I did when my WonderMill arrived is take it out of the box and set it up. Even though I am a “read the manual first” type of person, I skipped that part and simply followed the pictures on the outside of the box. First impression? There are very few parts – no itty bitty pieces to put together – just the basic components that go together in just a few minutes.
I had expected it to be heavy and clunky and actually quite a bit larger than it was, but in fact, it is quite compact and streamlined. The way it works is that you turn on switch, pour your wheat (or other grains) into the hopper, and let it run. In less than a minute, wheat turns into flour that is transported via a piece of rubber tubing into a separate, storable container.
What about the mess? That is where the incredible comes in. There was none. My expectation was that the milling process would result in a white dusting of flour on my black countertops and allover me as well. Incredibly, there was very little and I was pleased.
The WonderMill is said to be the quietest Mill on the market, and while I have nothing to compare it to, it was not as loud as I expected. I would say that it was comparable to the sound of a vacuum cleaner or a blender whipping up a batch of slushy margaritas.
There are three separate settings on the mill itself: pastry, bread and course. I have only used the “bread” setting which produces a nice fine flour, not dissimilar in texture to regular unbleached flour that is purchased commercially.
During the grinding/milling process, the unit does get warm and puts forth a sweetish smell. I would imagine that this smell might be unique to the type of grain being used; in my case it was hard white wheat that I had purchased from both Thrive Life and Emergency Essentials. This other thing I should note is that one cup of wheat produced a tad less than 1.5 cups of flour.
Cleanup was pretty simple. I separated the storage bin from the mill itself then tapped out any excess flour. I then used a small brush (the type that you use with a coffee grinder) and brushed away any remaining flour from the nooks and crannies. This only took a minute or two.
As interesting as the technical details might be to some, to me the real tale is in the results. How did the flour turn out within the context of a real loaf of bread or in a pizza crust?
I made two separate loaves of bread in my bread machine. The flavor of my bread was, as I described it to a friend, the “best darn whole wheat bread I have ever tasted”. It had a fresh sweet flavor unlike any other bread I have purchased or made myself. I made no adjustment to my standard recipe that and found that the loaves raised and baked up quite nicely with a nice crumb and a rich golden color. I did feel that the bread was slightly more dense and a bit more filling than normal.
I need to do a bit more research to be sure, but that may have to do with the home milled flour having a higher percentage of protein than commercially milled flour. On the other hand, it may be due to those extra thick slices that I enjoyed during my taste test.
My pizza dough was made from the whole wheat pizza dough recipe found in the Artisan Pizza in Five book. It, too, came out perfectly and the taste? Let me put it this way. Two of us ate the entire pizza in one sitting.
WHY IS GRINDING FLOUR AT HOME A GOOD IDEA?
If I said it is fun would you believe me? Well it is! Just like making your own bread and your own sourdough starter is fun, grinding wheat is fun.
Not only that, there is the satisfaction of knowing that you have taken your baking to a new level of deliciousness. I used hard white wheat and as I indicated above, the flavor was unlike any bread I have ever tasted. Another thing is that I like the idea that I can grind only what I plan on using right away or over the next couple of weeks at the most. This means my flour is always fresh. If you have been baking for awhile, you know that old flour gets stale and looses its oomph.
Something else to consider is that wheat and other grains store well when packaged in food grade buckets with gamma seals which means you don’t need to find the space to store sacks upon sacks of various types of flour (unbleached, whole wheat, pastry, bread, etc.).
ENOUGH ALREADY! WHAT ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY?
Here is the part I know you have been waiting for. WonderMill is giving a grain mill to one lucky reader. The winner will have a choice of the electric WonderMill, like the one I have, or the Wonder Junior Deluxe which, as a manual mill, can be used to also grind nuts into nut butter, coffee and a variety of other items not possible with an electric mill.
To enter, please respond to the following question in the comment area below:
What pioneer skill do you feel will be the most valuable following a disaster, collapse or other “stuff” hits the fan scenario?
In addition, you can earn an extra entry by doing the following and telling me so in a separate comment.
And finally, you can earn a third entry by doing the following and telling me so in a separate comment.
Just to be clear, to take advantage of all three entries, you must leave three separate comments.
The closing date for entries is Friday, September 6th at 6PM PDT. The winner will be selected at random using the tools available at the random.org website. After being notified by email, the winner will have 72 hours to claim their WonderMill or Wonder Junior Deluxe. Otherwise, an alternate winner will be selected.
Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article. Also, this giveaway is only available to readers with a US or Canadian shipping address only.
THE FINAL WORD
Now that I have my WonderMill Grain Mill, I am beginning to research different grains and even the usefulness of grinding beans for bean flour and corn for corn flour. I plan to go back and re-read John Hill’s book, How to Live on Wheat also to continue making various types of baked goods with my new mill. I am also planning to write some new articles with on tips for using wheat and other grains as part of your long term storage strategy.
The value of this giveaway is as much as $250, depending on which mill you select. I would like to thank the fine folks at the Wondermill company for offering this fantastic opportunity to the readers of Backdoor Survival.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Today I feature items that will get you started milling your own flour with the WonderMill.
WonderMill Grain Mill : This is the electric version, like mine. The WonderMill is the quietest and fastest flour mill available. You can create super fine flour or coarse flour at temperatures that preserve nutrients, ensuring that you will always have the perfect flour for your food. The WonderMill will not only grind wheat, rice and other small grains, but will also grind legumes and beans as large as garbanzos. It is extremely easy to use – simply fill the hopper and you’ll get flour. Also available from here: Wonder Mill Wheat Grinder.
Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain / Flour Mill by Wondermill: I struggled with the decision whether to go manual or electric. The advantage of the Wonder Junior Deluxe is that it does not need power. In addition, because the grinding mechanism can be cleaned, you can use it to grind nuts, coffee and a variety of seeds (as well as wheat and legumes, of course).
Coffee Grinder Cleaning Brush: This brush is perfect for whisking flour away from the nooks and crannies of you mill when you are done using it.
Aluminum 12 Ounce Scoop: A couple of these would sure be handy for scooping your wheat into the hopper.
Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day: What can I say? You will do fine with the recipe I have shared today, but the book is well worth it and I believe in supporting these two fabulous authors that really do care about your success. There is also Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients from the same authors.
Danish Dough Whisk: Besides the pizza book, this is the one must-have. This gizmo makes mixing up the dough a lot – and I mean a lot – easier.
One item I can recommend available is their Do It Yourself SuperPail Combo. It includes 6 x 6-Gallon Buckets with Lids, 6 x Metallized Storage Bags and a 10-Pack of Large Oxygen Absorbers.
In addition, Emergency Essentials sells both the Wonder Mill Wheat Grinder and Hard White Wheat at reasonable prices. They also sell Hard Red Wheat and a large variety of other grains already packaged for long term storage.
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