Posted By Steve the Bread Guy

Last night I made a whole wheat bread out of some whole grains of emmer wheat my wife had given me for my birthday. This is an ancient strain of wheat, one that used 9,000 years ago in the Middle East. The grains are the seeds of the wheat plant, the stuff thaemmer wheat
t goes to a flour mill for crushing into flour. I suspect many people just use them as seeds to give their bread a little crunch. I wanted to do something different - make some flour at home.

Home milling used to be a lot of very hard work. We know that for thousands of years the task usually fell to women, who ground hard wheat seeds in between two stones, crushing them into a coarse flour. In the Middle Ages, European lords owned most of the mechanical mills, where horses or oxen served as the muscle, turning large milling stones to create flour. Peasants were often not allowed to mill their flour at home, they had to take it to the Lord's Mill. Here it could be ground into flour once, or, for a finer flour ( which cost more), twice. The latter technique was often used when creating the whiter flour rich people liked, and the poor seldom tasted.

Well, thanks to coffee grinders, we can all be our own millers now. Last night I used a twenty dollar coffee grinder that I reserve for making flour ( I never put coffee beans into it). I used about a cup and half of the emmer seeds, grinding them in 1/3 of a cup batches. It helps if you shake the grinder periodically so that what's on the bottom is brought to the top, allowing less ground seeds to get closer to the blades.

Coffee grinders are not ideal milling machines - the flour is still pretty coarse. I have tried to make pure whole wheat, home-milled bread in the past, using nothing but the ground flour, salt, yeast and water. The result was a very heavy, dense bread which I didn't like much. The flour was so heavy that the yeast had a hard time making it rise. So last night I used about 2.5 cups of white flour along with the home-milled flour. I also added about half a cup of the raw grains. The result was two very nice loaves, which rose quite well. I gave them about two hours for each rise, to compensate for the heaviness of the flour.

I have attached a picture below of one of the loaves. The bread is nice and crunchy, with a good, hearty flavour. Definitely worth doing again. In the future, I will be releasing a video of some red rice bread that I made by home-milling the rice into flour. Watch for that one in the next month or so.

The Recipe:

In case you are wondering about the basic recipe I used, here it is:

2 tsp instant dry yeast
2 cups warm water - mix and leave for ten minutes until a scum develops on top.

2 tsp salt
2.5 cups white flour
approx 1.75 cups home-milled emmer grains
.5 cups of  whole wheat emmer grains

Mix together gradually until you need to use your hands to knead and form a dough ball.(If you need more guidance on how to do this, watch my whole wheat video, which will show you the technique, but not the same ingredients).

Let rise for two hours.

Punch down, then shape into loaves. I made two, one round, one baguette.

Let rise for two hours.

Heat oven to 425, with a pan of water so the oven gets steamy.

Slash the tops of the bread with a wet serrated knife. Do the cuts very quickly, so knife does't get caught in the dough

Place breads in the oven for 30 minutes.


8 Comment(s):
sandy sayeau said...
hi steve I have been following your method of bread making plus adding about a 1/4 cup of sun flower seeds and quarter cup of flax seeds all ground plus a 1/4 cup of whole flax seeds. It has worked well up on till recently. I now getting centers of the loafs gummy and uneatable. I haven't changed the method but have replaced yeast as I run out. ny ideas why the centre is gummy?
August 8, 2015 10:26:47
Cathy said...
I have been watching many wheat bread + from professional chefs to some who didn't know much more than I do. You seem to be much easier to understand and have good results. I have a question. I want to make one loaf that will bake in the pan I have which is a 9" x 5" x 3" Corning ware. Many of the recipes are 5 plus cups of flour which I believe would make 2 loafs? Also, I found a Whole Wheat & Rye bread which sounds like a good bread. Can I use a 1/2 c. of Rye reducing the white flour? I also plan on using INSTANT YEAST, coconut oil instead of other oil or butter and Agave instead of honey. So, it think that is all, as long as I can use plain milk and not dry milk? What is hard when your a newbie is that people keep changing the ingredients to make the same breads? HELP!
February 21, 2015 05:42:06
Lauren said...
Hey, watched your bread making video.. thanks heaps!! I just had my first attempt ever at making my own bread rolls, they turned out okay but didn't double in size so I came looking for a better recipe. The recipe I used didn't allow enough time for the yeast to work, so I'm going to try and make my first loaf of bread tonight. My first batch of rolls still taste sooo good, even though they are a bit small.
May 23, 2013 09:57:43
Sonja&Bennie said...
Hello there Steve!! We love all your Videos and your instructions on how to make Breads are the best out there. We have been talking about making Bread for a long time. Now we have been successful with white and wheat bread so far. Now we are addicted to making Bread. We love your website and will stay tuned. Thanks to you Steve...:) "WE HAVE TOOK BACK THE BREAD"
April 4, 2013 11:44:19
Kerin said...
Thanks so much for this site! I have watched all of your bread making videos and have shared them with my father who also loves to bake breads. Your contribution to this plant is very valuable. :) Will check back often. Better run, "Mother" is calling.
January 17, 2013 04:03:16
Phil said...
Hey Steve, love the site! I make your dark Rye bread all the time, it's a hit with my wife and I. I noticed this morning you have a dead link on your front page there, to the Wholegrain recipe ( I have pictures of the breads I make if you're interested!
January 17, 2013 01:17:18
Yani said...
Thx for your lesson on how to make white was nice somehow I mess up on the first try the the second try it was rising only 3/4 high and it shrink when i put them in the oven. However the taste are still great and my kids love them. Looking forward to make the third time and hopefully it will be sucessfull. Great taste of bread though. Love it. THANK YOU
November 27, 2012 05:18:50
susan sutphen said...
Hi Steve. lost my oven months ago (can't afford to fix it) Bought a Nuwave oven and the temps are different. How do I make bread at a lower temp?
November 15, 2012 07:52:56
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