Home Milling: Baking Rye Challah

My favorite bread is rye bread. I’m particularly fond of dark rye bread; however, despite my love for it outside of a few sad attempts at making it years ago, I haven’t prepared it again until today. I purchased five pounds of organic rye berries a few weeks ago and have been determined to make my much-loved bread. Have you ever wondered why they call them rye berries? It’s a seed! Why do they call them berries? Perhaps it’s a marketing strategy? But back to the rye bread, I don’t have caraway seeds, which I see typically added to rye bread; however, I decided to make the bread without them. It’s still rye bread since I’m using rye flour.

Yesterday, I left work early because of a few appointments; I made my rye bread and used the sponge method because of the extra time. I find that the sponge method gives the finished bread more texture and flavor than the direct method; however, I don’t always have time to use this method.

Sponge Method: First Stage

I ground two cups of rye berries in my Mockmill Professional 200 grain mill. I added water and yeast and set it aside for 20 minutes so it could form a sponge. This is the first of two stages and can last a few minutes to several hours.

Sponge Method: Second Stage

The ingredients, except the remaining flour, are added in the second stage. Once the ingredients are combined, slowly add the remaining four 1/2 cups until a soft dough is formed. Once complete, the dough is kneaded and allowed to rise if desired.

I had the oven temperature preheated to 350 F and baked in the oven for 35 minutes. Let me tell you, the rye challah bread had the entire house smelling like a bakery in minutes.

Freshly baked Rye Challah

Results?

This rye bread tastes fantastic, a bit dense and crumbly. However, I know, just like with other new breads, I won’t have this issue in time. I’ll need to tweak it before I get the texture to my liking; however, this won’t stop us from eating this loaf. It’s that delicious. Since it’s just my daughter and me, if I follow a recipe, I’ll reduce the measurements since we won’t be able to eat the bread in the recommended time. Fresh milled flour/bread goes stale quickly if not refrigerated or frozen since no preservatives are added to the flour.

Baking with the Oldest Grain: Eikorn Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the past few weeks, I’ve made many recipes using freshly milled flour that I’ve ground with my Mockmill Professional 200 Grain Mill. The grain mill has opened up an entirely new door for creativity in the kitchen, and I’m enjoying myself immensely.

Of the numerous grains I’ve purchased in bulk, Eikorn is on that list, and, from my research, it’s the oldest grain known to scientists. It’s also considered man’s first wheat. It’s one of the only grains that has not been hybridized. It’s higher in protein and has less starch than any other wheat. I’d never used Eikorn before acquiring my grain mill, so it’s a new grain for me to experiment with, and I have plenty to use since I purchased 42 pounds. I’ve finally ventured out and started preparing various food items with this grain.

The cheesy mushroom and butternut squash bread I made a few days ago had three different types of grains added to make the flour, one of them being Eikorn.

 

This morning, I decided to make Eikorn Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are sugar-free cookies, and all the ingredients are organic.

Results? I like how the cookies turned out, although I won’t be eating too many of them. I much prefer savory. Most important is that my daughter loves them. I do think I’ll tweak the recipe a bit to make them a bit softer. I’m thinking of letting the cookie dough sit for about an hour before baking the cookies or perhaps adding additional liquid to the cookie dough to make a softer baked cookie. Why: The dough seemed a bit dry. Which can happen with freshly milled flour. However, the cookie is not dry. It’s super moist and gooey inside like my daughter loves chocolate chip cookies.

Further research in the book Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat by Carla Bartolucci, which arrived a few hours ago from Amazon, confirmed what I suspected based on how the cookie dough felt. Yes, it was dry and freshly milled Eikorn needs to rest before it’s used. In the book, Carla recommends letting the dough rest for at least 15 minutes. I’ll make sure I do that next time.

Freshly Milled Flour: Cheesy Mushroom and Butternut Squash Bread

“What do you think about me incorporating sauteed mushrooms into a bread?” I asked my daughter today. “I don’t know,” was her reply. Sighs, she was a lot of help with that, am I right?

 

I’d asked my daughter that question because of three things.

  1. I had portobello mushrooms in the refrigerator that needed to be used within the next few days, or they’d go bad. I don’t particularly appreciate wasting.
  2. While looking up videos on home milling, a video popped up in my recommended feed. The Youtuber made breadlogs filled with tomato sauce, pepperoni, and cheese.
  3. This caused me to open up my book, The Essential Home-Ground Flour, by Sue Becker, and locate the cinnamon roll recipe.

Instead of following a recipe from that book, I decided to experiment. I was almost out of my Hard Red Wheat berries. I had a cupful of that left. I also decided to add Einkorn, and as an afterthought, I pulled my jar of soft wheat berries to turn it into a trio of multi-grains.

My MockMill Professional 200 Grain Mill made quick work of the three cups of grains, and less than two minutes later, I added my flour, salt, yeast, eggs, oat milk, and butter (but I did not add in that order) to the freshly milled flour. I mixed everything in my Ankarsrum 6230 mixer. I love that mixer, and let it knead the dough for eight minutes. The first rise was an hour. Near the end of that hour, I sauteed my mushrooms and added yellow onion, green onion, butternut squash, and tomatoes to the skillet. I cooked until soft. Guess what? The butternut squash and tomatoes came from my garden!

I was thrilled to see that the dough had risen a lot. I punched down the dough and rolled it into a sheet. I then added the sauteed veggie mixture and cheddar cheese over the spread and moved it into a log, sealing the ends. I then placed it in one of my small Pullman Loaf pans. I know I should have let the mixture cool before doing this since the heat caused it to penetrate the dough in certain spots; however, I was too impatient and decided to continue.

Since I had a small amount of dough left over, I made them into dinner rolls after creating that log. The second rise was 30 minutes. Once finished, I placed the loaf in the preheated oven (400 F) for 25 minutes.

 

The dinner rolls grew a lot and turned into these delightful baked rolls.

Cheesy Mushroom and Butternut Squash Bread

And look at my Cheesy Mushroom and Butternut Squash Bread!

My daughter is eating her second slice

Results? This loaf tasted terrific! The only thing I would do differently is to allow the sauteed veggies to cool before spreading them onto the loaf. However, this made a delicious, moist, and flavorful loaf of bread, and I will be making this again soon. I already have ideas for creating different varieties, and since this loaf is small, I don’t think I’ll be freezing any of this since it most likely will be gone within a few days.

 

 

Freshly Milled flour: Another Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

My Mockmill Professional 200 Grain Mill hasn’t received much rest since it arrived last week. Today, I made another cornbread. My daughter likes it a lot. She loves mild flavors in her food. Nothing too spicy or intricate for her, thank you very much. Simple, for her, is best.

Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

This cornbread┬áhas seven ingredients and takes less than 30 minutes. That included prep time., I decided to increase the time by five minutes to see how I liked the cornbread, it gave it a darker crust, and while it’s still moist and incredibly tender, we both agree that we much prefer the cornbread I made last week.

Regarding the grains used, I used two cups of white corn. Yes, the same as last time, and the recipe did not change. I DID ask my daughter if she would like me to add sauteed onions, mushrooms, or anything to the cornbread. “No,” was her quick response. Ok, fine, fine, fine… I’ll save the experimentation for another day.

It’s been a long time since I started something new with cooking; however, here I am when using freshly milled flour in my recipes. Excited and eager to explore much-loved recipes and see how the freshly milled grains respond to what I create. Well, it’s not entirely like starting as someone new to cooking since I have decades of experience cooking; however, I must say that it is exciting to see that freshly milled flour does not always perform like aged flour, and I like the newness of creating and experimenting with recipes that I’ve prepared for years. Even better, I don’t react to freshly milled flour as I did with the organic flour I purchased at some specialty grocery stores.

I’ve been craving a pot pie, which I’ll prepare this weekend. Pot pies, a mug of hot chocolate or herbal tea wrapped up in one of my hand-knit blankets while sitting by our woodstove is pure bliss, and while we still have a little ways to go before the cold weather hits, at least I can recreate the foods that I associate with that time of year. I’ll hold off on starting the wood stove for a bit longer.

Mockmill Professional 200 Grain Mill: Mini Quiches with Zucchini, Sausage and Cheddar Cheese

I’m on a roll with my freshly milled flour. A few days ago, I told my daughter I would make the mini quiches I saw mentioned in The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book by Sue Becker.

Today, after purchasing the organic cheddar from the local Target store, I returned home and made them. In the recipe book, Sue used freshly milled quinoa; however, although I know I have quinoa, since I recently rearranged my supplies, I could not locate them. So, since I had soft white wheat berries, I used those.

What’s great is the zucchini came from our garden! I finely chopped my zucchini, green onions, and cheddar cheese and added them to my Wolf multi-cooker; after about 30 minutes, my three cups of freshly milled flour was added to the sausage/veggie blend and mixed well. Afterward, I placed them in my silicone muffin pans and placed both of them in the oven.

The quiche muffins were ready in 25 minutes. Results? My daughter loved these mini-quiches, so I consider this a win. I made two trays, so that was 24 mini quiches. The majority will be frozen and brought out when my brother and nephew arrive.

 

 

Mockmill Professional 200 Grain Mill: Cast Iron Skillet Corn Bread

Today, I finally made cornbread. Towards the end of last week, I’d told my daughter that I would make cornbread, and although I’d wanted to make it, I didn’t have corn on hand to grind. Well, Wednesday, my white corn arrived from BreadBeackers, so today, I finally made the cornbread.

I used the Cornbread recipe on page 230 of The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book by Sue Becker. In that recipe, she gives the option of using soft wheat berries and corn. I chose only to use corn.

I rarely follow recipes; however, since using freshly milled flour, I have been following along; although I have made some tweaks since I’m finding that it’s not that much of a difference to use freshly milled flour, at least I have not had any issues yet. Then again, I’m still new to using newly milled flour; perhaps it might be different as I move on to other recipes. We’ll see!

White Corn about to be ground into cornmeal

I used 1.5 cups of white corn and ground which gave me the cups of ground cornmeal needed. This was not a sweet cornbread. I don’t like sweet cornbread; I much prefer savory! Instead of buttermilk, I used oat milk and added a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to mimic buttermilk.

Cast Iron Skillet Corn Bread

Twenty-five minutes later and the skillet cornbread was finished. I had a slice, and I must say that I enjoyed it immensely. My daughter loved it also and commented on how flavorful and tender this was. I’ll be making this again. Tomorrow, I plan to make a quiche using produce from our garden.

The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book by Sue Becker

I enjoyed the book so much that I purchased two copies. The spiral-bound version arrived today. I’ll keep the spiral-bound copy since I love that I can flip to a recipe I’m trying and don’t have to bend or secure to keep the page open. I’ll gift the other copy.

 

Gone But Not Forgotten

Today marks one year since my father passed away, and I still miss him. He passed away three months and nine days after my mother passed away on Mother’s Day. I miss them both; however, I was much closer to my father. I must say my personality is a blend of both, and my approach to life is very laid-back, just like my father. I appreciate everything they taught my brother and me while alive. They are truly missed. I’ll see you both in heaven.

 

Missing You – Diana Ross

Miss You More Than Life – Justin Bieber