home grown bread

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Hurrah! We finished harvest on Sunday and the last load of wheat has been taken to the co-operative grain store. If you watch the slideshow above, you’ll see (very briefly) the wheat story from sowing to bread. The only wheat left on the farm now is to be used as seed for the 2013 harvest.

Every year I take out a dustbin full of wheat to use for bread making through the year. This year my wheat came from Grove Field, which you can see being harvested in the slideshow.

When I need flour, the wheat is tipped into the little grain mill, ear protection donned (the mill is rather noisy since my sister took it apart to show a class of primary school children how it worked), the electric motor turned on and …

… the wheat is transformed into flour. The original wheat is on the left and the milled flour in the middle. Most of the time I use the flour as it comes from the mill, but sometimes (as in the right of the photo) I sieve out the bran so that I have a slightly whiter and lighter flour.

The first batch of bread baked with the new season’s wheat is always a bit of an experiment. The quality of wheat varies from year to year and there’s always a chance that the wheat will produce a brick instead of a loaf. Most years I can use 100% home grown flour, though the loaves can be a bit dense with a slightly crumbly texture and somehow just a little worthy and righteous, so after a couple of weeks of chewing our way through these loaves, I relent and mix in commercial strong white flour to lighten the loaves a little and make them easier to slice.

As you may have guessed, the loaf on the left is made with 100% home grown, home milled flour and the loaf on the right – yes, the slightly more risen, less brick-like loaf – was made with just under 40% commercial strong white flour. But they both smell and taste of harvest and sunshine. What could be better than a slice of this, spread with a little generous helping of butter?*

* My family would say white bread and butter.

20 thoughts on “home grown bread

  1. Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    The very idea of eating not just home-made bread but home-grown is so appealing. And no, white bread and butter is just not the same in my book. I’ll have a thick slice of your home-grown with butter any day (with very cold unsalted butter cut in shavings because it’s too cold to spread on newly baked bread without mashing it up!) Enjoy every crumb, Anne! Still looking longingly at that flour mill of yours but I can’t quite justify the expense not having access to wheat in the way you do. E x

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  2. csamom says:

    It would take a while for the oils in the flour to go rancid – I have had it happen after many months. But then, I try to slip it into something with a stronger flavor so the family doesn’t notice – cue evil laugh. I love your description of the bread made with the 100% home grown flour as worthy and righteous.

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  3. afterthekidsleave says:

    Hi, Anne!
    We’ve nominated your blog for the “Seven Things About Me Award”–just because we think you’re awesome. To accept the award, you should do three things:
    1. Link back to the nominator (that would be us).
    2. Post seven things about yourself–this can be as wacky or original as you like.
    3. Nominate seven blogs you like, and let them know you’ve done so.
    There’s a badge involved, which you can lift from our site.
    Of course, you can also choose to simply bask in our admiration, and that’s totally cool. Either way, we think you’re something special!
    Karen and Wendy

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  4. ceciliag says:

    The Riot-ous Righteous Loaf.. awesome. i am deeply impressed with your noisy mill and frankly jealous of your own wheat, very little wheat is grown around here, (all useless soy and field corn – can;t eat that stuff) . your bread is very very cool.. where did you get that darling mill.. c

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