You may remember a number of posts over the last few years regarding wheat. The latest one was about the harvesting of this year's wheat (you can check it out here if you are interested). It has been three years now since our first wheat was harvested and each year I have written about the harvest etc. But, has anyone noticed that I have never mentioned the way the wheat has been used after it has been harvested? There is a simple explanation for that - we have never got it past the harvested stage before! The first year I started out with two very small packets of wheat. All the wheat that was produced was then kept for replanting the following year, when I managed to grow quite a lot more, but ended up leaving it outside too long after it had been removed from the husks and the mice had a nice feast. Fortunately that was after I had already planted this year's crop.
This year a friend "donated" their wheat husker thingy machine which meant separating the wheat from the stalks was a breeze! We managed to get about 19kg of wheat and actually got around to drying it and finding a place which would mill it for us (not so easy these days as most of the mills around here are run by elderly people who have all recently given up). In the end I brought home a big bag of about 11kg of flour, which obviously won't last for very long, but it is still pretty exciting to finally be able to make things and say that "this was made with our own flour!" Hopefully I will be able to plant even more this year and slowly increase to at least 20kg of flour each year... hopefully!
I always thought that the difference between regular flour and bread flour was to do with the milling process, but apparently not! From what I can tell it is to do with the variety of wheat planted. The only wheat that we can grow in this area is not suitable for bread making - or so they told me... of course I've never been one to listen very much to what people say, so after proving that our flour would work with cupcakes and chocolate slice I tried to make our regular bread with it and.... it worked! I did add a couple of tablespoons of gluten to the mix, which probably made all the difference, but still - it worked! I have a feeling that planting this year's seeds won't be such a chore this year - I will just keep dipping into my homemade baking for energy!