So, I have started on the journey of making my own bread / bread products through the encouragement of a friend. I am impressed at the way freshly milled wheat products keeps certain members of the household "regular". I was impressed with what this book and this book had to say about the value of whole grains in our diet. Two very differing viewpoints, but they each reinforce what I was learning about.
Being the bargain shopper that I am I found a grain mill (used) on ebay (since these can easily run 200-300 dollars for starters) and I placed a bulk co op order from Breadbeckers (along with their cookbook).
The order came delivered to my house on Wed night (thanks to some helpful friends)and the kids and I milled our first batch of flour out on the back porch. (My mill is a little messy and spews small amounts of a fine floury-dust) It was really fun. The kids were impressed.
My first recipe with this flour was a batch of biscuits. My friend supplied the recipe. I have never eaten her freshly baked biscuits plain, but I don't know if mine turned out right or not. I suppose it would have helped if I had a biscuit cutter. But it was fun.
This is the recipe I used, supplied by Abbie over at Just A Bunch of Characters
*adapted from Bread of Life Volume 1...will feed a six member family with a few left over*
6 cups flour (I use fresh milled whole wheat but I believe any would work fine)
2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c (or less) butter
4 tbsp mayo (I use plain yogurt)
2 c buttermilk (or you can use plain milk or make your own buttermilk..see below)
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter and mayonnaise until it looks like coarse cornmeal. Add milk. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead approximately 15 times. Pat to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Cut into biscuits. Bake 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees.
To make buttermilk: 1 cup whole milk to one tablespoon lemon juice
*I use the 1/2 cup butter...this is down from the full cup of butter original to the recipe. I've found that using yogurt in place of mayo or shortening is not only healthier but it also makes the biscuits way moist and extra yummy.
I will continue to post as I learn what to do and what not to do in the bread baking world. I must say, I had a biscuit and some eggs for breakfast and I feel stuffed!