Books Magazine

Book Review: Flour Power by Marleeta F. Basey

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

Book: Flour Power: A Guide to Modern Home Grain Milling by Marleeta F. Basey
Genre: Food
Publisher: Jermar Press
Publication date: 2004
Pages: 265

Source: Purchased on-line

Summary: Flour Power remains the only book on the topic of milling flour at home. The first question, of course, is why would you want to?

Apparently, flavor is the most important reason. I tried freshly ground flour a few times with a hand mill before it broke and didn’t notice that much difference in taste but I also didn’t feel like I developed enough experience to take advantage of the possibilities.

Nutrition, then, is the reason behind my interest. It turns out that when I buy whole wheat flour, what I’m really buying is highly processed white flour with some of the bran and germ put back in at the end. Not exactly the whole natural product that I intended to buy. If I want whole wheat berries ground into flour, the only way to get it is to mill it myself.

Also, there’s a time element. The nutrients of whole grain flour begin to disintegrate the moment that it is ground. I’ll get the most nutrients in my bread by milling the flour just before I bake the bread.

The advantages to home-milled flour are covered in the first half of Flour Power. The second half covers how to choose a mill, how to find and buy whole grains, and some advice and recipes for using freshly ground flour.

Thoughts: I tweeted a few days ago that I was going to buy myself a flour mill for my Christmas present. Trish (Love, Laughter, and Insanity) and Christine (The happily ever after…)  were intrigued so I thought I would share my process. Maybe y’all can finally get me to act on this.

I read Flour Power in March of 2010, about six months into my weight loss journey. After reading the book, I wanted a flour mill. I spent a couple of months researching possibilities. I have a spreadsheet! There are many choices and it’s both a cash-consuming and space-consuming purchase, so I wanted to get it right.

Before I was ready to make a decision, I reached a point where I experimented briefly with a lower-carb diet. So, that was another complicating factor. When I reached my goal weight, would I still be baking and eating enough bread that I could justify milling my own flour?

Now, I’ve reached my goal weight. Since every one of my Weekend Cooking posts in October included a bread recipe (Applesauce BreadPumpkin (Winter Squash) Yeast Bread, Sweet Potato Yeast Bread, and Whole Wheat Flax Bread), I think we can safely conclude that bread is part of my healthy maintenance plan. In that last bread post, I wrote about how I cope with having fresh bread in the house even though I’m a recovering overeater (Tips to stop overeating fresh bread). Bread baking is enmeshed in my identity as a woman, including emotional ties to Grandmother Hoover and Aunt Mart and untold numbers of other ancestresses. There is a lot that I have given up to be a healthy weight, but bread isn’t one of them.

So, it’s time to make a decision on a flour mill already!

Here’s what I’m considering:

Family Grain Mills

photo from Pleasant Hill

Family Grain Mill — multiple components including a food processor (my big food processor which just had its 26th birthday is on its last legs, so that’s a plus), a meat grinder (Rick’s allergic to red meat so we don’t trust any ground meat products, but we would if we ground our own), and a flaker (make your own rolled oats). If I bought all that as one package, it’s nearly $500. But I could just buy the base and grain mill for $270 and add other components later if it worked well for me.

Nutrimill Grain Mill Flour Grinder 200o

photo from Pleasant Hill

Nutrimill — a self-contained unit for a little less money than the Family Grain Mill ($250). The Nutrimill doesn’t have all the flexibility, but it seems like a simple and clean solution for me. This seems to be the most popular model available today.

KoMo Wolfgang Classic B 200o

Image from Pleasant Hill

KoMo Classic Grain Mill — This one is pricey at $500 but, unlike the other two, it’s beautiful enough to have a place in my kitchen rather than be stored in the pantry and pulled out for use.

Weekend Cooking meme graphic
Your thoughts: Do you grind your own flour or know anyone who does? How would you go about making a decision like this?

Weekend Cooking is hosted each week at Beth Fish Reads. Visit her post today for links to other posts around the web featuring cooking and eating.

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