Do you like whole wheat? I hate it.
I try to eat it because it’s supposed to be healthier but I think it’s bitter and I might as well be eating cardboard.
I do know that the fresher something is, the better it tastes. I also know that wheat is not the only grain but I was kind of scared to try others because I was scarred as a child when my mother gave me rye bread and told me I would like it.
Not really. I mean, she really did… and I really hated it. But no scars except that I still hate it.
I tried buckwheat. Yuck.
A couple months ago I bought a Vitamix and it came with the dry grain container which is specifically for things like milling flour. I go through phases now and then where I love making everything from scratch. As in make my own almond milk, ice cream and yogurt kind of scratch.
I wanted to
play with my new toy utilize this wonderful new kitchen tool that I had so I began trying different ratios of different grains mixed together on my guinea pigs (also known as children) until I found one that worked. I knew I had it right when my kids asked if we could just have bread for dinner. Every night.
Since then, I’ve made these rolls several times and they always turn out. I also used this ratio of flour to make waffles. They too were wonderful.
I did, though, use the same flour for my bread in the breadmaker and it was a total flop, so this isn’t a tutorial or anything like that on how to make the perfect flour from scratch but it does seem to work great for this recipe and everyone loves it.
Why Bother To Mill Your Own Flour?
First of all, and honestly my most important reason (sorry health nuts) is the flavor. It’s just that much better.
Second reason, it is waaayyyy healthier. If you don’t believe me, google it.
I’m the mom that will use bisquick when I need to be quick, so I’m not the one to preach about the health benefits even though I appreciate them. 🙂
Using a Blend of Grains Makes a Difference
When I first started making my own flour, I used hard white wheat berries because I read that they had a milder flavor than red and I already knew I preferred white whole wheat when I purchased a regular bag of flour (i.e. King Arthur brand).
My experience was that it still tasted like whole wheat. Better when it was fresh ground, but still heavy and dense.
If I’m going to go to the trouble to grind it there has to be a better reason than “a little better”.
I did some digging around online and found that several people used other grains, specifically spelt, to achieve a lighter, more “all-purpose” blend of flour.
I decided to experiment and after several attempts, I finally decided that my favorite ratio was about (really, “about”, I never am precise with this blend) 1/3-1/2 wheat berries (hard white) and then equal parts spelt berries and oat groats to make up the rest.
(Those are the wheat berries I purchased. That link and some of the following links are affiliate links.)
This article has some great information about spelt if you’re not familiar with it. Like I said before, I was afraid to try it the first time because I gag over rye and I detest buckwheat.
I’m happy to say that spelt has no strange flavor whatsoever and helps with the light and fluffy. I bought mine on Amazon… Bob’s Red Mill Organic Spelt Berries.
The other grain I use is oat groats. Yes, that’s what they’re called before they are steamed and “rolled”. Here’s where I got mine.
If you don’t have a grain mill
Before I had a Vitamix, I used my Ninja blender or Cuisinart food processor. They worked fine although they didn’t get the flour near as fluffy and fine which meant the bread wasn’t ever as tender and fluffy either.
But, I would definitely say to try that before investing in an expensive mill. Better yet, if you have a friend with a grain mill or Vitamix with dry grain container, borrow theirs.
Making the Rolls
I’m going to tell you how I made this bread. I’m banking on the fact that you can figure out how to adapt it for the methods you are using which differ from mine.
But, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them. 🙂 And if I left something out or sound like I was doing too many things at once while trying to explain something, let me know and I’ll clarify.
Mill the Grain
I use the measurement lines on the dry grain pitcher to guesstimate how much to put in. Remember at this step you are making flour – it’s okay if you make a bit too much and need to adjust.
An important thing to note is that it will increase in volume when you grind it. I always use about a quarter less in whole grains than the amount of flour my recipe calls for and I usually still have a bit too much.
You can kind of see in the picture that I measured out 2 1/4 cups whole grains into the container. It seriously takes seconds – maybe 30 or so – to grind it to flour consistency.
In a food processor or Ninja type blender, it will take a lot longer. Be careful not to overheat your blender or food processor if it’s not specifically for dry grains.
If you have a Vitamix, do not use it for dry grains unless you have the dry grain container. The motor is so powerful that you can easily overheat it by using the wrong container/blade.
After grinding, I had 2 3/4 cups.
I simply take a spoon and scoop out the extra and reserve it in case I need a bit more for my dough. Be careful not to pack it down when you put the spoon in.
That’s it! I don’t remeasure into cups, I go by the lines on my container. If you are using something without precise measuring lines, gently scoop it into your measuring cups to prevent it from packing down. This is important so that you don’t end up using too much flour and end up with dry bread products.
My breadmaker instructs me to put in liquids, fats and salt first. Next I put in flour and other dry ingredients. Last, I put the yeast on top.
If you’re not sure what order to put things into your breadmaker, this is pretty standard.
You can make this without a breadmaker. I have used my kitchenaid with the dough hook and you could always stir it with a spoon – just a lot more work.
A couple of things to know ahead. This is somewhere between a batter and a dough. While it’s mixing you’ll be convinced it needs more flour. Be patient.
I sprinkled a bit of flour, less than a tablespoon, on mine about halfway through the mixing cycle. It was just barely enough to form a ball that pulled away from sides of pan. It was still way to sticky to handle like bread dough though.
You don’t knead this dough.
You can substitute olive oil and it will still be yummy, but I am a believer in good things in modest amounts if they make a difference, and believe me, if you use lard it is way more tender and the flavor is just better.
Your next best bet for flavor and texture is vegetable
shortening, followed by oil. But if you’re going to use oil, use a really good quality olive oil to get more flavor.
When you make the rolls or muffins, it will stick to your spoon, hands, tray. It’s okay. Remember… between a batter and dough.
This bread will not bake well in a breadmaker… just use it for mixing and rising.
This post contains affiliate links.