I was once a food storage newbie, and I still learn new things about food storage all the time. I’d like to share with you five food storage tips that I wish I could go back and give myself about eight years ago when I was first considering looking into food storage.
This idea actually isn’t my own. I was recently featured on my friend Heather’s blog: Cooking with My Food Storage. She asked me to list my five top food storage tips and to focus on those things I wish I’d know when I started my food storage. I’ve simply decided to turn that list into a series and give the same tips here on my own site in a bit more detail. You can view past posts here:
Today’s food storage tip is
One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome when it came to food storage was my fear of wheat. That’s right, I admit it: I was scared of wheat. I can just hear my sister in law Kristy giggling. I remember having conversations with her about wheat. She regularly bakes her own bread from wheat flour. I remember telling her all about how I didn’t even know what wheat looked like, much less what to do with it. I didn’t own a grinder, and I didn’t want to. I had no idea how to sprout it or use it as a meat substitute. And I didn’t want to learn. I simply wanted to stock up on items I was already using and forget all about wheat. Besides, couldn’t wheat make you sick if you ate too much? She was so kind and would just politely listen, but I’m sure she was giggling inside at my naiveté.
Eventually, I realized that I just couldn’t buy enough bread to last for a year. (Obviously!) Even if I froze it, I still wouldn’t ever have enough. It was much more practical and wise to learn how to make my own. But I still avoided wheat. I just went with white flour. I was able to make some decent bread: especially rolls, pizza crust, bread sticks, and banana bread…yum.
But eventually I had kids, and I didn’t really want them eating all that white flour. I wanted them to have something healthy! So I decided it was time for me to try wheat. I got out my Hand Grain Mill and a #10 can of red wheat (my mom had given me both for Christmas the year before) and started grinding away. It took me 1 1/2 hours to grind enough wheat for two loaves of bread. And when I made them, they were bitter, grainy, and crumbly. They didn’t raise right, and they didn’t look anything like my nice white breads. I tried again and again for weeks, and I did improve, but I never came up with anything I loved.
I gave up for a while.
Enter Whole White Wheat.
Changed my world. (Okay, that is a bit dramatic, but hey…)
Really, there is nothing wrong with red wheat flour, except the fact that it is different from white flour: very different. It works great in Artisan breads. But it is more bitter, less sweet, heavier, and hard to disguise in baked goods. When you eat something made with whole red wheat flour, you know.
If you are looking to make breads that look and taste and work more like white flour, then white wheat is your answer! It was only introduced to the US Agricultural system in 1990, so many people are unfamiliar with it: especially those that began food storage years ago.
If you are unfamiliar with it, I highly recommend you try it. It has the same nutritional benefits as the red wheat (just slightly less protein), only it is missing the genes for bran color. So yes, it is 100% whole wheat.
It is sweeter and less bitter than red wheat. It is amazing in pan loaves, rolls and other soft breads. Recipes that call for hard white wheat flour typically call for less sugar than those that call for red wheat flour. Finished breads look similar to 100% white bread but still have all the nutritional content of red wheat breads. It works well in cookies, cakes, breads, and you can even use soft white wheat (as opposed to the hard variety) as pastry flour!
Once I found it, I’ve never gone back. I bought an electric grinder (so it now takes just minutes to grind enough wheat for two loaves), and I use white wheat flour in everything.
How about you? Which type of whole wheat flour do you prefer?
I am an independent consultant for THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance); a company with a mission to empower others to become self reliant, prosperous and charitable. You can learn more about THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance), buying their products, earning free products, or selling their products on my THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) website.