Great Harvest Bakery became a sort of gateway drug for us…

We’ve enjoyed their delicious bread for years. We’ve gotten to know the owners of a few Great Harvest stores. When we wanted to have fresh loaves of bread cooked overnight in a bread machine so that we could have fragrant, soft, delicious bread with breakfast, we bought freshly-ground truly whole wheat flour from Great Harvest. (The “whole wheat” flour in the paper bags at the grocery store isn’t actually whole; most of the oil-containing germ is removed to keep it from going rancid. It really isn’t the same thing.) We have mixed two cups of Great Harvest whole wheat flour with one cup of white flour to make the tasty loaf slightly less dense.

Eventually, though, we wanted to get into more kinds of grain. Blends with varying amounts of red and white wheat. Specialty wheats like kamut and spelt. Fresh whole oat flour. (Gateway drug!) So we bought a countertop micronizing flour mill, the kind that used to be ironically called a “Whisper Mill” because it sounds like a young jet engine. And last week, our various wheat berries arrived.

So, Friday night, we made our first loaf of bread from our new wheat. Half hard red spring wheat, half hard white spring wheat. A cup of each type of berries made almost three cups of flour, and about a tablespoon of white flour made up the three cups of flour for the recipe. We figured it would be quite dense, but tasty.

We were very wrong.

That loaf was one of the lightest loaves of bread we’ve ever made in that bread maker. Not much of the loaf survived breakfast. (It seems that the micronizing mill cuts the bran much finer than a stone mill, so that the bran does not break down the gluten so much.)

I’m sure not all of our experiments will turn out this well, but I’m sure looking forward to more of them.

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