How to Make Homemade 12 Grain Bread

Many thanks to Wondermix for sponsoring this post.

Continuing with my Earth Month Challenge this week – I’m moving to food. Today, I’m showing your how to make a delicious, homemade 12 Grain Bread. Bread is often a source of hidden ingredients (potassium bromate, trans fats, monoglycerides, diglycerides, BHA, high fructose corn syrup, coloring, soy lecithin – to name a few). Since I’d rather not feed my family these ingredients, I’ve learned over the years to bake my own super yummy bread. Another bonus – baking my bread is also lot cheaper than buying it from the store!

How to Bake 5 Loaves of 10-Grain Bread in Under 2 Hours and a Wondermix Giveaway

One way that I keep my costs down is to grind my own flour. I buy wheat berries in bulk from Azure Standard and make my own flour for pennies on the dollar. Because I don’t have a lot of time, and I have six hungry people to feed, I need to bake a lot of bread very quickly. Using the right equipment, I’m able to grind my own flour AND bake five loaves of yummy bread in under two hours – from start to finish, including clean up time. That’s not all active time either. The bread rises for half an hour and also bakes for half an hour.

How to Make Homemade 12 Grain Bread and WonderMix GiveawayI grew up eating what I call REAL BREAD in Germany. Bread that crunches. Bread that’s made with whole ingredients. Bread that has flavor. We used to joke that American Bread was plastic compared to the German bread we bought from bakeries. You know what plastic bread I’m talking about, right? After I got married and started cooking for my husband and then later my kids, there weren’t many great bread options for me. The good bread that I could find was seriously expensive and out of my price range. After meeting a woman who ground her own flour and baked her own delicious bread in 2003, I think, I was hooked. And I have been grinding my own flour and baking my own bread ever since.
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Pomegranate Orange Bread

If you’re looking for a homemade treat to give to this time of year, I’ve got an idea for you today! This Pomegranate Orange Bread is easy to make and could be a nice gift for the teacher, neighbor, or bus driver on your list…and what a fun way to sneak in some antioxidant-rich foods – pomegranates are soooo good for you! I adapted Betty Crocker’s recipe here to make these mini-loaves.

Pomegranate Orange Bread

Pomegranate Orange Bread

orange pomegranate bread
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A Grain Mill Showdown: Nutrimill vs Wondermill

I’ve been getting quite a few questions about the two types of grain mills I own, so I figured it was high time for a post covering the differences!

Are you ready for a grain mill showdown??

Nutrimill vs Wondermill – which one do you prefer?

First up, L’EQUIP Nutrimill Grain Mill

This grain mill has been my workhorse for the last ten years. I’m on my second one, but that has more to do with my first machine flying of my husband’s truck when he wrecked on our move to Iowa in 2006 than shoddy workmanship. It had been mildly broken for about 8 years {still worked ok but I had a hard time controlling grinding texture because the feed had broken off}.  I finally replaced with a new model a couple years ago.

Features of the Nutrimill:

  • 20 cup flour capacity
  • Variable texture control mill for creating fine or coarse flour
  • Grinds non-oily grains with precision grain feed control
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Purports to be the world’s quietest grain mill {but so does the Wondermill…}
  • Costs $249.99 on Amazon

 Next up: the WonderMill Grain Mill:

I got my WonderMill this summer for participating in the Grain Mill Challenge! I was excited to get it because of course I’ve heard about it, but since I didn’t own a WonderMill, I have never been able to compare them.

Features of the WonderMill:

  • 12 cup flour capacity
  • 3 texture controls for creating finer or coarser flour
  • Also grinds only non-oily grains {that means NO flax seeds or nuts}
  • Also has a limited life-time warranty for original owner
  • Purports to be the quietest grain mill in the world {but so does the Nutrimill}
  • Costs $259.95 on Amazon

So how do Nutrimill and the Wondermill stack up in a side-by-side comparison??

Here are some pictures to show the size and appearance difference.

And my honest opinion?

Both are awesome grain mills. I probably prefer my Nutrimill a tad better, though, simply because of the larger flour capacity. I need more than 12 cups of flour when I bake my bread and I’d rather get it all in one fell swoop. However, since I do use a variety of different flours on some of my bread {like my 9 grain bread} , sometimes the capacity doesn’t bother me. In all, both mills are fine. They are both easy to operate – though there is a bit of assembly required with the Wondermill {you have to stick the grey tube from the bread bowl into the grain mill} that’s not necessary with the Nutrimill. I can’t perceive much of a noise level difference, so I’m not sure which one can honestly claim to be the world’s quietest mill. :-) I like the Wondermill because it is smaller but I do have to find a spot for two objects {mill and flour bowl} with the Wondermill and only one spot with the Nutrimill. So if space is an issue at your house, you might want to take note of the sizes and number of objects that you will have to store. The Nutrimill is quite a lot taller, but it can all be stored together. The difference is price is very small and wouldn’t be a factor for me in this decision.

And that’s it! I hope I’ve provided you with enough information to make your own informed decision. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you own a grain mill? Which one? If you’re in the market, which one do you think you’d prefer?

Linking up: Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysHealthy 2day WednesdayMostly Homemade Monday;

Artisan Bread in a Bosch

I love a good, crunchy loaf of artisan bread but I don’t like to use store bought flour because I grind my own. The health benefits of freshly ground flour can’t be beat, but it takes a while to get used to as it’s different to work with than the flour you can buy in stores.

I used to buy a lot of unbleached flour. My price point was .99 / 5 lb bag and when I quit seeing that price, I quit buying it. At the same time, I also found hard white wheat berries instead of hard red wheat berries. I’ve been grinding my own flour since 2005, but I had only used hard red wheat until just this year! While I adore the rich taste of the hard red wheat, we found it too wheaty to use exclusively in delicate baked goods so I mixed it with the store-bought unbleached flour.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the hard white wheat tastes light and nutty, though. I’ve been using it in 100% of my baked goods for months now and it’s delicious! So flavorful!! For the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with the hard white wheat and artisan bread. I think I’ve finally found a winning combination!

The problem I’ve been having is that the dough is too runny and the bread won’t hold shape. It tastes good, but the loaf had been turning out too flat. To fix it, I simply added more flour. I was worried because the authors of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day say the dough needs to be really wet and sticky so I didn’t want to add too much flour. But at the same time, flat bread’s not what I’m after.

I double the basic recipe here. To clarify, I used the basic recipe from the Original Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (not the Healthy Recipe Book). If you want to make this bread using unbleached flour, I recommend you follow the exact recipe. If you’re using freshly ground flour and double the recipe, I recommend adding 15 1/2 cups + of flour instead of the 13 the recipe calls for. Don’t be afraid to ruin the dough by adding too much.

Artisan Bread in a Bosch

Mix up your ingredients and continue adding flour until your mixer bowl sweeps clean. That means dough does not stick to the sides. For me, the right combination was about 15 1/2 cups, but that amount can vary slightly based on how much water you’ve added.

Artisan Bread in a Bosch
After you’re satisfied with the dough, follow the book’s recommendations for allowing it to rise in your chosen container.

Artisan Bread in a Bosch
When your dough is ready, shape the loaf and allow it rest. Before baking, slash the bread with a bread knife. Make sure you slash it very deeply or they slashes will bake out.

Artisan Bread in a Bosch

See? I didn’t slash mine deeply enough and it looks funny. But it still tastes good!

Artisan Bread in a Bosch
Slice, butter, and enjoy!

I’m linking up to What’s on your plate and Healthy 2day Wednesdays and Simple Lives Thursday. Do you grind your own flour? Have you tried Artisan Bread with freshly ground flour? What’s your favorite baked good?