My latest kitchen gadget is a Blendtec Kitchen Mill (or Millllllll, as the case may be).
Just tried it on some corn.
- It's noisy! The fuzzballs were most alarmed.
- Dumping a cup of dry corn kernels into the hopper doesn't work; they form a jam where they're meant to feed through the little hole into the actual grindy bit. Instead: start the thing running, and trickle the corn into the hopper.
- It's fast! Once I coaxed the corn past the bottleneck, it was converted into just under 2 cups of corn flour in nothing flat. (Well, under a minute, anyway.)
- The coarsest setting is quite fine. You'll note I mentioned "corn flour" above, not "corn meal." I was hoping for something a bit finer than the finest setting on the coffee mill that I'd been using for corn meal, but what I got was flour consistency. Oh, well: it made pretty good cornbread anyway.
Having ground the corn, I went looking for some wheat, but apparently I'd discarded the little bit of wheat that I'd had on the shelf for many years, and I wasn't about to break open the big nitrogen-packed bucket. So, I used ready-ground flour to add the gluten to the cornbread.
Anyway, I assume it'll work more smoothly with wheat, barley, millet, and so on, all of which are on the Approved List.
Now all I need is an acre of wheat....
(Looks up wheat yield per acre: no, I don't think I really need a ton of wheat per year. And, pondering wholesale prices, I don't think raising wheat for market at that scale is very useful, either.)
Update: Picked up a couple of pounds of red winter wheat berries at Sprouts on the way home from morning walkies. The mill quickly turned them into fine flour (on the medium setting, this time). Now to transform that into pizza dough... which takes some time, what with waiting for the yeast to do its thing.
Update 2: Yum. Pizza dough made with fresh, finely-ground whole-wheat flour... well, it takes a while to rise (especially in this cool weather), and doesn't have quite the elasticity of dough made with store-boughten refined bread flour... but it has quite adequate mechanical properties overall, and it's darn tasty.
Update 3: Ordered a modest quantity of hard white wheat from Amazon. Could probably get it cheaper locally, but, well, life's hectic, I'll be wanting to bake some bread this weekend, and any in-person shopping time between now and the weekend had better be spent looking for Xmas presents.