Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fresh Baked Bread

I think toddlers have the right idea.  Even though it can be a little irritating when my 3-year old has to do EVERYTHING herself, I imagine that she is basking in the glorious feeling that comes from BEING ABLE to do everything by herself.  

And that is a glorious feeling that I had a little reminder of.

A few Christmases back, my parents gave us a manual grain mill for our emergency preparedness stock.  I have never even opened it.  But in the spirit of becoming more prepared for an uncertain future (which I think we can all do), I pulled that mill out of the box and cranked it up.  Literally.

Then I took that freshly ground wheat and baked delicious wheat bread for my family.  Of course it was made even more delicious by a nice healthy topping of butter and honey -- oozing off the edges.  And the house smells like freshly baked bread too.  And I spent a little one-on-one time with my 3-year old in the process and put a big smile on my wonderful husband's face.
Homemade bread has more than just body health benefits I think.

And this particular recipe uses all shelf-stable ingredients.   Perfect if you're getting prepared for the future. Which I am.  And, even better, it will be featured on the Food Storage Made Easy blog.  Yippee!!  I highly, highly recommend their blog if you're looking for any information about preparedness.  And I do mean any.  So I'm not posting the recipe yet.  I'll reference you there when they post it.  In the meantime, are you drooling yet?  You should be.

But I also wanted to post a few more things about the milling process itself.
Here's my grain mill:
Very simple, no electricity needed, and actually really easy to use -- if you don't count the fact that I'm working arm muscles I don't ever work.  Well, that's almost all of them actually . . .
Anyway, you put the wheat in the top, turn the handle and voila!
My ground wheat is on the left, store bought wheat is on the right (with a nice little hole where my 3-year old needed to taste it).  You can already tell a difference, but the hand-ground is still very fine.

It's a little grittier of course, more like a fine sand rather than a fine powder like the store-bought (below).
BUT, my bread turned out the same as what it always does -- a little nuttier, wheatier maybe -- but still delightfully delicious.  And now I can make it anytime, anywhere.  Well, almost.  Still working on that alternative way to bake if there is a genuine emergency . . .

But the point is, one less thing to worry about.  And one more thing to celebrate.  Because I did it all by myself.