One of my favorite Xmas gifts came in the form of the attachment for my Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer. Can anyone guess what it was? No, not the pasta maker I already mentioned…Give up? It was a grain mill!
One of the things that has been a painful realization the past few months is exactly how much all of this GF stuff costs. I mean seriously - it is practically 50c an ounce for flour mixes! That is sooooo much more than a 5lb bag of flour costs! And of course, now that I can’t have traditional bread stuffs, I have been craving baked goods - hence, my purchase of GF flour stuffs.
I initially started buying the pre-blended flour mixes (Bob’s Red Mill, etc.). However, the new cookbooks I have been working through (another xmas gift from my DH) mentioned that there is no truly great pre-blended flour - that flours should be altered based on what you are cooking. I don’t know if I totally believe it (laziness will always win in the end), but I am willing to try making my own flour blends (mostly because of the costs, as I mentioned previously). So, after I ran out of the pre-blended flour, I bought bags of individual blend components - rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, buckwheat flour, teff flour, almond flour…I am sure I am missing a few components there… You know all that room I had in my pantry from cleaning out the gluten free stuff? It has now been filled. (And so has my fridge, in which I am also keeping GF flour mix stuffs.)
Each of the flour blends in my cookbooks makes about 10 cups or so of flour, and practically uses a whole 22oz bag of rice flour. So, after I had gone through a couple of bags of rice flour (and tried to much avail to find pre-ground millet flour in my local stores), I decided I was going to take the next step and get a grain mill (which was actually given to me by my parents - how thoughtful of them)!
This week, I have been putting my new favorite kitchen toy through its paces. I started by grinding millet flour - which turned out perhaps to be not the best grain to grind first. For those of you unfamiliar with millet, it is very small, very hard little grains, which take forever to grind in the grain mill. But my awesome mixer pulled through (with multiple breaks and ample time to avoid overheating the motor), and I now have a quart sized bag of millet flour I consider millet gold - I mean, it is golden in color after all.
I have subsequently started grinding rice - I bought an entire 5 lb bag of rice at the grocery store for this exact purpose. Let me be the first to say that grinding rice is much easier than grinding millet! My awesome mixer can plow through a hopper of rice in about 10 minutes! I am on my second quart size bag of rice flour, and have been grinding a little every evening this week in anticipation of refilling my now empty container of rice flour blend A (as my cookbook calls it).
[The picture below shows the grain mill at work, grinding rice. My engineering mind was curious that the rice flour is not evenly distributed throughout the chute, but instead comes out on either side (which you probably can’t very well see since the image isn’t totally in focus).]