Tuesday, May 12, 2009

About Wheat!

These are from some of my notes on wheat.

The notes have been tucked safely in one of my homemade cookbooks, for years, likely since I started grinding my own wheat some 13 years ago or so.

Thought some one may find them interesting! :-)



All of the vital nutrients are LOCKED UP in the wheat berry. As long as the protective jacket- the bran- remains unbroken, wheat can be stored for years! Wheat deteriorates rapidly once it has been milled; if we do not consume flour which has been either freshly milled or freshly milled and immediately frozen- we fail to receive the essential nutritional benefit of whole-grains.



1) The wheat germ contains most of the oil and is the first part to become rancid. Air changes the color, fragrance and flavor of the oil; freshly milled flour kept at room temperature for even a few hours changes drastically in taste.



2) Freshly milled whole grain flour kept at room temperature for twenty-four hours can become contaminated. Bacteria and mold grow rapidly in whole wheat flour, giving off a foul smell from the toxic wastes.



3)All of the vitamins found in freshly milled flour are oxidized within 72 hours. Whole wheat flour contains an entire complement of B vitamins and is rich in vitamin E. However, milling the flour (and breaking the protective layer of bran which surrounds a kernel of wheat) exposes the vitamins and minerals to oxygen. Oxygen breaks down the chemicals which make up a vitamin and converts them into useless compounds- a process which begins immediately upon milling.

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FIVE TYPES OF WHEAT GROWN IN THE UNITED STATES:


HARD WINTER WHEAT is planted in the fall. It is usually dry-land wheat, grown without being watered, except by snow or rain. The extreme northern states are too cold for this type of wheat, but it grows well across Southern Idaho, Oklahoma and Kansas. Dry winters and springs make the protein content high, the moisture low. Hard winter wheat is a high volume producer.


HARD SPRING WHEAT is planted in the spring. Like hard winter wheat, it is not irrigated, thus yielding a high protein and low moisture content. This type of grain is quite expensive. It is usually mixed with hard winter wheat, a combination which makes an excellent loaf of bread.


SOFT SPRING WHEAT has been irrigated. It usually has a larger yield than hard wheat but is lower in protein. It is principally used for stock feed. Soft spring wheat is also used in making cakes, cookies, pastries, or other baked goods that use baking powder, baking soda, or shortening as leavening.


WHITE WHEAT is used to make crackers. It is also the best wheat to use when making rejuvelac, a fermented wheat water drink. Though other types of wheat may be used for this drink, white wheat gives it a more delicate flavor.


DURAM WHEAT is used for making all kinds of pasta. Popular demand has caused the milling industry to produce up to up to 250 different grades of wheat flour.


For more Kitchen Tips, visit Tammy's Recipes!

8 comments:

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

Awesome tips! I'm bookmarking, for hopefully someday when I can grind wheat. I might even get hubs to grow me some soft - wouldn't that be the best???

Shupes said...

We just started grinding our own winter wheat. How do you store your flour? Do you grind it every few days, or freeze it, or ??? Great post!!

Donna said...

Lenetta,
Soft would be a great place to start, especially if your family isn't used to a lot of wheat. However, if they have had wheat and like it, I would consider the Hard White Wheat! :-)

Shupes,
I grind up a big batch twice a week. I store it as soon as I can get it bagged up in the freezer, after grinding; using it throughout the week. (You will likely want to let it return to room temperature for a few minutes before using it in a yeast dough, unless you are in no real hurry
;-) According to the tips above from my notes, it is very important to freeze quickly after grinding to preserve it.

Store wheat berries (unground wheat) in a food-grade, plastic bucket. You want to keep them safe from bugs!

Organized Nutrition said...

THANKS SO MUCH DONNA! Of course you know that I just started grinding myself! THIS is great info! Just used some soft white berries for the first time.. YUM, you can really tell the difference!!!
THANKS for this post!

zenith said...

Do you find you need to do anything differently or add extra ingredients when you use fresh ground flour in bread? Do you use vital wheat gluten or diastalic malt? I'm having trouble getting bread dough to rise and become elastic with fresh flour from my Wondermill. Need help!!

Donna said...

Zenith,
I do use gluten and I have noticed that wheat flour takes longer to rise than white flour.

It seems that it takes a little more time to absorb some of the moisture so it might help if you stir in half of your flour and allow it to sit for about 20 to 30 minutes, then mix in the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time. You will know that you have enough flour in when the dough pulls away from the bowl. ...I have a tendency to add too much flour and get a very stiff dough that doesn't want to rise well. ..The last wheat I ordered seems to have less moisture than my last batch so I am having to really pay attention and add it gradually to make sure I don't overdo!

Also, If you have a copy (or can check one out of the library) of Nourishing Traditions, there's many recipes in there that call for pre-soaking. Pre-soaking will give you a much 'wetter' dough that may work up a little better for you.

TammysRecipes.com also has some great info on using extra things like dough conditioners, etc. I've never used more than gluten in my recipes so I couldn't advise about the malt.

Hope that helps!
Would love to hear how it goes and what you find works best!

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

PS - I linked to this on my weekly roundup.

Donna said...

Thanks Lenetta!!!!!