I haven't forgotten about this blog. It's just been a difficult couple of weeks, and I have been therefore falling back on comfort food. Like crockpot turkey breast, which made everyone smile. And those lovely cinnamon rolls a few posts down. Like last year, I will attempt to post something weekly, so come back in a few days and see what I've come up with. Now that I have the comments set up to email me, I actually can respond to ones you make on old posts. Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it!
I had quite an experiment with wheat grinders this week. So while this isn't a recipe post, I hope it'll be useful. I was given a Whisper Mill a decade ago for my wedding by my mom, master of massive batches of homemade bread. She has an old bakery mixer with a 5 gallon bowl that's capable of 10 loaf batches at a time. It's really a humdinger, and something you have to see in action to fully appreciate. A Kitchen Aid never looked so wimpy. Anyway, Whisper Mill went out of business and with it went the warranty, but shortly after that, someone else bought up the rights to the design and Wonder Mill was launched. Same mill, different label.
The Whisper Mill has been good for me for all these years, but the motor conked out this week mid grind. Boo. Alan tried some resuscitative efforts, but was unsuccessful, so I began the process of researching new mills. Many people have raved about the Nutrimill, and the Nutrimill and Wonder Mill are similar in price. I read as much as I could find online, then set about asking neighbors. I even went and tried one out. The flour seemed a little coarser, but the speed was reasonable and the noise level similar. One of my neighbors, whose opinion I really respect, strongly recommended the Nutrimill because their customer service is so great and they actually follow through on their life time warranty.
With all of those things in mind, I headed to the store and purchased a Nutrimill. The particular mill that I bought had been used as their demo model for a few months, then rotated out. Warranty still intact but 40 dollars cheaper? Sold! I took it home, all excited to try it out. I ran the first batch through with the settings at low speed and finest grind. The flour that came out into the bin settled in a dense, stratified heap, with a swath of visibly granular coarse grinds and a swath of finer, but still palpably coarse grinds and other stuff in between. Hmmm. Not quite what I had in mind.
We fiddled with the settings some more, downloaded the instructions, and had it on what should have produced the finest flour - high speed and finest grind - and it STILL produced far more gritty flour than I have ever gotten from my Whisper Mill. Not quite ready to throw in the towel, I decided to reserve judgement until I actually used the flour. I made a batch of my honey whole wheat bread and it felt like I was kneading a glob of sand! I wound up adding a fair amount of white all purpose flour to it just so that the dough would handle remotely like I was used to. Very, very disappointing. I used some in a batch of pancakes, and they had a chewy grit to them, even though the ratio of whole wheat to all purpose flour was quite low. Same with some rolls I made for dinner last night.
The flour that I get out of the Whisper Mill is fluffy and light, very finely ground. I would be quite interested to do a cup for cup weight comparison of the products of each mill. I wound up taking the Nutrimill back to the store, and then took my ailing Whisper Mill to a local retailer that carries the Wonder Mill. They sent it in to the manufacturer to replace the motor. Still a good chunk of change, but far cheaper than a new mill...and I'll get my good flour back!
I don't know if I just got a dud Nutrimill, but as for me and my house, we will stick with what we know works - Wonder Mill all the way. How about the rest of you?