Home bake bread flour is a fifth of the price if you have your own mill, and are able to get your wheat directly from a farmer. It takes only six-minutes to prepare the ingredients to bake your own loaf if you have a little oven; plus five hours, of course, to rise and cook.
Sadly you almost certainly do not have 100% meal available off the shelf in your supermarket. We didn't either and decided to look into our options. We came to the conclusion that to have genuine wholewheat flour you have to purchase your own mill.
This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 6th January, 2023.
There are rather cheaper grinders now to the Hawo, for example the Mockmill that comes in two different sizes. The larger processes the wheat at twice the speed. What is more they have come down hugely in price; around $300. The big ones are noisy apparently but they are getting good reviews; I have not used either.
Our Hawo mill is thirty years old and is used daily without a hiccough. Freezing the grain before grinding if baking more than one loaf is important; a lot of heat is generated.
Take care that your home bake bread flour is made from 100 percent wholewheat. If you are going to all that trouble to cook your own loaf then it is worth being sure you use only the best ingredients.
That is assuming you can find true wholemeal; in most countries it is simply not available and beware because it has a short shelf life. There is also a lot of fake and misleading advertising using terms like durum wheat, multi-grain, and enriched, to mislead you.
These are not necessarily wholegrain products.
Make sure that your grains have the word "whole" in front of them. They are rich in fibre which makes for a happy colon. As an aside, good fermentation in the large intestine requires an adequate microbiota which many folk do not have; the simplest solution is to daily enjoy a probiotic like kefir that is so easy to make in your own kitchen.
I was busy last Saturday doing one of my less pleasant jobs; that is collecting old vegetables and fruit from the supermarket for the worm farm when I met a man delivering bread flour for housewives. We got into discussion, and of course I asked him if he has a 100% wholemeal option.
No, said he, he wants to make sure that the flour has all the ingredients so he uses refined, bleached white meal and adds back some of the bran, assorted seeds and so on. It is junk, and has none of the germ where most of the vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals reside; and the protein too.
And there are less lignans; they are the phytonutrients that prevent breast tumours. Take note, ladies; the prevalence is one in seven in much of the Western world.
Have you had your lignans today? They compete with circulating hormones at vulnerable sites in the breast.
Read the labels is my advice; make sure you choose the 100% whole meal option, if it is available, because the food industry cheats, using terms like multigrain and add various colourants to make the it look darker and more natural.
Read more about these vitally important "lignans" using the Site Search key in the menu bar.
100% wholegrain flour is second only to buckwheat as a source of lignans.
Home-bake bread flour is the only worthwhile option in my opinion if you want 100 percent wholemeal; with all the lignans, vitamin E and good oils it is very nourishing. Add to that the iron and calcium and you have a truly balanced and nutritious starch.
There is very disturbing research published recently in the medical journal Neurology that taking calcium supplement raises the risk of both Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular conditions. Let your food be your medicine, said Hippocrates. How right he was.
I am sure you can see which of these is the real McCoy; it is from our grinder. That below is manufactured by the lying miller who, on the packet, describes it as wholemeal.
We should be aiming for about 40 grams of fibre a day but the average American is consuming less than a half of that; that means a build up of residual faecal matter in the colon with resultant malignancies in the distal bowel and rectum.
It is also constipation; it causes headaches. It exposes us to a
higher risk of stroke.
In a new study, following 70,000 people over ten years, researchers found that those eating the most fibre, mainly from fruit and vegetables it is true, had 10 percent less strokes.
Other research showed that adding just one ounce, 28g, of 100 percent whole grains had nearly a tenth lower overall risk of death.
And there was 15 percent less cardiovascular disease when compared with those who did not.
But cooks are interested only in flavour and texture; whether it's nutritious or not, good for you, is of little concern.
I could go on; best of all, researchers found adding a whole grain in place of one refined was profound. For example, just substitute a slice from the commercial loaf with one baked with 100 percent bread flour, and remove one cookie, then you are in business.
Of lesser consequence perhaps but it just tastes so much better too; the best part from the miller is either recycled as vitamin and mineral supplements, or fed to the pigs. We humans must be satisfied with what is left.
We've treated flour in the past as one of those neutral ingredients in cooking, like salt and water. Milled for a long shelf-life most of the important parts, the germ and bran, have been removed and it has almost no aroma and little flavour; bread made using it tastes like cardboard. It has completely lost its character; and its goodness. In reality anything baked with it is a junk food.
Once you catch a whiff of freshly ground flour coming directly from the mill you begin to realise why, what is today being called real bread, is quite different; it is rich in flavour and character. Perhaps even more important with all those phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals is actually nutritious; and not fattening.
It is very exciting that cooks in many parts of America too are rediscovering the flavour of freshly ground flour. Small regional mills are springing up, and even compact machines that will grind the wheat right in the bakery.
Read more about this new development in baking at the power of fresh flour.
Did you know that researchers have found that adding calcium in chemical form, as is used in supplements and added to refined bread flour, is deposited in the coronary arteries, raising blood pressure and contributing to higher rates of heart disease?
In 100 g of 100% wholemeal flour there is 34 mg of calcium. Our loaf above is made from 600 g of wheat, has 16 slices of the finest bread, each with 13 g of the mineral from the grain alone.
Four slices would contribute about 10% of your daily needs of calcium.
Are you on blood pressure pills, but are not obese, never smoked, have not had kidney disease but still your doctor is worried? Could your supermarket bread with added calcium be the cause?
The beauty of their findings is that calcium found naturally in our food does not have that effect on the arteries.
Virtually 100% of the grains we now eat are whole; we eschew all refined carbs. Am I an epicure or a food snob? It is surely a major part of the reason that in our mid-seventies we have no issues with wellness and take no medication. We simply don't like being sick, taking drugs and consulting doctors; is that so weird?
Your unrefined meal, ground at home, is quite naturally a rich source of calcium. Granny should not be taking it as a supplement; it just adds to her blood pressure woes. Instead she ought to be walking daily and baking with home bake bread flour; so should we all.
Just the savings from getting the calcium and vitamin E from your own home baked bread will pay many times over for a high quality wheat grinder like our Hawo.
Vitamin E is one of the four nutrients identified as being central to the prevention of frailty syndrome, the premature loss of energy, strength and vitality.
Whilst in search for more food for our worms and chickens, I discovered to my astonishment that they will not devour white bread. Even stranger is that our dogs will not eat it either, unless they are very hungry.
Just look at how they turned up their noses at this; it just is not food, in their opinion, but give them stale slices from our home bake bread flour and they go crazy over it.
It seems that worms, hens and dogs are smarter than humans at recognizing what constitutes good food.
We were at the local green grocer, trying to grasp the meaning of the race to end waste; it is not a popular subject. That is where the nasty bread came from; I would never buy it.
Committing to nutritious food means you have so much more energy for all the things you are passionate about. That's where the vitamins and minerals, and the vital phytochemicals that promote wellness and help prevent disease, are to be found.
I really don't get it that we are so reluctant to focus on well-being, and even feed the supermarket crap to our children; no wonder they are constantly on antibiotics.
It is true it does take some extra time, and more money initially if you want real home bake bread flour; can you imagine, neither the good wife nor I have been to the doctor in over a year. We take absolutely no medication.
So you either spend time and money on visiting doctors, or you dedicate it to nutritious food and an active lifestyle. So, take your pick, make your bed and sleep in it; I have made my choice. Home bake with 100 percent bread flour is what it's all about for our family.
Cake flour should be reserved for high and holy days; it is junk of the highest order, and I hesitate to use the word food. And if you add sugar to it then it's game over; obesity, diabetes and body-wide inflammation; pain.
This loaf of what is now being called real bread, with the very finest ingredients you can get, costs me R6 to bake. About 33 US cents; but the mill and the oven were paid off years ago. And the taste is incredible; I could never go back to eating the commercial stuff.
Your taste buds will soon tell you the difference between real and fake bread.
Supermarket bread uses chemicals to speed up fermentation; everything has to be done in a hurry. And because we have lost the art of savouring our food, we do not even notice how tasteless it is.
Give this home bake sourdough loaf a long fermentation time for the natural enzymes to act on the bread flour and it brings out the most delicious flavour; so good that I can usually hardly bring myself to add various jams and our raw honey, or peanut butter.
Just plain bread and butter is what I love; it is to die for, and surprisingly we do not put on an ounce of adipose fat with all these home bake carbohydrates. It has all the fibre and nutrients to make for robust energy for doing all the things we are passionate about.
Note too that our easy sourdough bread recipe not only tastes profoundly more exciting than the dull supermarket loaf, but given the extra time, the enzymes that the bacteria bring to the party start breaking down the offending proline in gluten that so many of us are allergic to. And it has a longer shelf life. Come to grips with this important subject at meaning of gluten if bread gives you abdominal pain and bloating, and sometimes rectal bleeding.
You might also try and find a source of one of the ancient grains like spelt or einkorn which are lower in gluten which are reported to be higher in micronutrients like lutein and beta carotene.
It is a catch 22 situation; higher gluten content improves the quality of your bread but may give you abdominal pain. This is why I favour the sourdough method of baking as it is more likely to break down the protein properly into its individual amino acids. You simply have to experiment with your own body to find out what it tolerates.
Yes, initially it does take extra time and money; but once you are in the groove of home bake bread it takes only four minutes a day. It tastes so much better, is better, has half the salt and costs a fraction of the supermarket loaf. Just what are you waiting for?
Sourcing wheat berries may be your biggest obstacle; I have located a farmer, and buy four 50kg bags each year; that is where the savings are that will pay for your grinder; they are not cheap. Take your time testing them before purchasing; stone ground is best for bread flour. I would not get it from a mail order.
My Hawo for home bake bread flour is twenty-five years old and going strong; I use it every day. It was not cheap but amortized over so long a period, it has paid itself off many times over.
Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.
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If you look sharp in a wheat field in June in the Northern Hemisphere, you will catch glimpses of the grain as it begins to emerge from the stalk in such an elegant curvaceous way. In just a breath the flower will have pulled away and be standing upright.
With thanks to artist, Lorraine Harrison who made this sketch in Kent, England.
100% wholemeal flour contains about 15 percent fibre, mostly in the bran. Millers remove almost all of it.
So our loaf above contains 15% x 600 g = 90 grams of fibre.
Each slice would contain 90/16 = 6 g. Your total daily requirement is about 25 grams so in fact 4 slices would contribute your total need.
This however is not entirely desirable. I recommend no more than one slice at a meal and we should be enjoying other types of fibre too.
It contributes both to giving the stool bulk and and is fermented by the microbiota producing very important so-called short chain fatty acids, providing energy for the lining of the gut.
Your home bake bread flour of course is a starch. White bread has a GI of 71; it gives a sudden rise in blood glucose making it fattening and likely to cause type II diabetes. Our 100-percent wholemeal bread has a low GI of 51.
My interest in all this is that I am pre-diabetic; thus it was fascinating that our Eggs Florentine on a thick slice of toast made from our home bake bread flour gave these blood glucose readings:
Before the meal
30 minutes later
There is not a hiccup to be glimpsed in these figures. Perhaps I will do the testing with white toast. It is true that on this day I took a brisk fifteen-minute walk after the second reading, and then did some fairly vigorous gardening. Exercise certainly keeps your readings down, turning the sugars to glycogen in the liver and muscles, and prevents the deleterious effects of raised blood glucose.
Find out more about the meaning of starch, and why you cannot have your cake, and eat it, but you can enjoy true wholemeal bread, and have it without it affecting your well-being.
Type "healthy flour" and "life without medication" into Site Search above for more information.
Stone-ground flour has the least effect on blood glucose.
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If all of this is far too much trouble for you, then find a source of real bread, if it's available. Look for the logo.
I have never seen it in South Africa which is why we mill our own home bake bread flour. Grinding and preparing the sourdough takes me five-minutes every day to provide the finest loaf you will get anywhere in the world. I could never go back to eating commercial slices; they taste completely insipid and have to be smothered in jams, jellies and meat to make them palatable.
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