February Grain Share
Today I’m going to deviate from my standard recipe posts to talk about where I get my grains and how I use them. Since I do a lot of baking, I decided to try to some locally milled flours from Meadowlark Community Mill. I discovered that they have a grain share programme which is essentially a CSA for grain instead of produce or meat. Every other month I get a box of standard bread flours as well as some new items to try. I’ll show you what I got in the February Grain Share and how I plan to use the different flours this month.
What came in the February grain share?
Here’s everything I got this month’s February grain share:
- Bolted bread flour (5 lbs)
- Whole wheat bread flour (7 lbs)
- Rye flour (2 lbs)
- Red wheat berries (2lbs)
- Corn flour (2 lbs)
Bolted Bread Flour
Bolted flour is somewhere between refined and whole grain flour. It has 75% of the bran removed, making it softer like white flour, but still retains some of the nutritional goodness that makes the flour more hardy. I use it as a base in most bread recipes instead of conventional bread flour. Some of my favourite recipes for bolted flour are my Crusty Artisan Bread, Savoury Herb Swirl Bread, and Sourdough English Muffins.
Whole Wheat Bread Flour
Whole wheat bread flour is another favourite of mine. Even in recipes that call for white flour, I like to substitute some of it for whole wheat bread flour. It gives the bread a hardy, rustic feel and is so much more substantial–not to mention more nutritious with a lower glycemic index! It’s the perfect flour to use in my whole wheat French bread.
Rye flour is something I had never tried before starting the grain share, but I really enjoy using it. I most commonly use it in place of whole wheat flour in any of the recipes mentioned above. Although rye does contain gluten, it has less than wheat. For some who are mildly gluten sensitive, rye might be okay to use in small amounts, especially if fermented in the case of sourdough. Of course in the case of true celiac disease, it must still be avoided!
Whole Wheat Berries
This month also came with a bag of whole wheat berries. Previously, I was under the impression that the only way to use them was to grind them into flour. As much as I would love to grind fresh flour at home, I don’t have a mill so it’s not feasible right now. However, I was looking at recipes, and found that wheat berries can be cooked and made into salads, grain bowls, or added to soups. Keep an eye out for recipes as I experiment with this new method in the coming weeks!
Corn flour is also a new one. I regularly use corn meal in my Egg-Free Cornbread Muffins and Whole Grain Belgian Waffles and make polenta as a side dish occasionally, but corn flour is different. It’s much finer than conventional corn products, but not as refined as corn starch. I’m excited to add it to some new recipes this month and see what happens. Stay tuned for some new corn flour recipes!
If you’re local to Wisconsin, I highly recommend checking out Meadowlark Community Mill. This post is not at all sponsored–I just really love these wholesome, organic grains and want to support a small, local business. If you’re not from around here and they don’t ship to your area, I’d highly encourage you to seek out some local grain farmers. Freshly milled flour will definitely take your bread baking to the next level! Happy baking!