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Grinding grain

Grind grain to reap the best flavor and nutrition from home-cooked foods.

Radio interview source: Sue Gregg, Expert/Author, Sue Gregg Cookbooks

 
Home milling ensures you have fresh flour for your recipes without a lot of waste.
 
Sue Gregg is an expert and author on whole grain baking. She says fresh-ground flour is beneficial over store-bought because it doesn't lose its nutritional value when used immediately, and the taste and texture of baked goods are superior. There are a variety of grains you can mill for many uses.
 
"Hard white wheat is probably more popular for people who are really into grains than the hard red, because it gives a nicer flavor and color for yeast breads," she says. "As far as non-wheat grains are concerned, corn is popular, and brown rice is becoming popular because those are gluten-free grains, and a lot of people are getting into the gluten-free."
 
Gregg says she buys her grain from organic farms. Health food stores and the Internet are other options. However, because of the weight of bulk grain, shipping prices can be expensive.
 
You don't need fancy equipment. A whole-bean coffee grinder or blender will do the trick for small amounts. For the larger batches, Gregg recommends a special grinding mill. When measuring the amounts needed, her basic rule of thumb is that one-cup of grain will make a cup-and-a-half of flour.
 
"It depends on the grain, but I'm giving you what we get when we do wheat," says Gregg. "There's a little variation on each side of that, but I always tell people grind the approximate amount, and then always measure the flour afterwards to make sure you get the right amount of flour."
 
Gregg doesn't recommend grinding huge amounts all at once because it will begin losing its nutritional value. Grind what you need, then freeze any excess in plastic bags. 

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