Where to buy wheat? How to store..?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by illinoisguy, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. illinoisguy

    illinoisguy Well-Known Member

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    I have thought about getting into bread making. Obviously it will be a learning experience. However, where does one buy wheat..whole wheat I'm assuming. Feed Stores? Farmers?

    Also, how much does a 40 pound bag run? How long will it store?

    any help or direction would be helpful...

    thanks
     
  2. Timothy

    Timothy Well-Known Member

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    You can buy ground whole wheat in any grocery store. Buying the wheat berries will require that you have a grist mill, which is a bit of an investment. Lehman's (www.lehmans.com) sells both mills and buckets of wheat berries. Not cheap but it could give you an idea of what you're going to get into.

    Some local health food stores might also sell unground wheat (and maybe also freshly ground flour).

    Good luck with this. I got into bread baking some years back. Found I loved baking with ceresota and king arthur flours. But then got some fresh ground whole wheat (also freshly ground corn meal) from a farmer's market. Really good.

    Tim
     

  3. Timothy

    Timothy Well-Known Member

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    I should also have answered your question on storage. Ground flour will lose its freshness. However, unground wheat berries will store for a long time. If sealed in a bucket, etc., with a mylar bag, perhaps 20 or 30 years. I think without all that, at least several years in a bucket in good storage conditions.Look up storing wheat on google and you'll probably get a lot of stuff.


    tim
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  4. fatrat

    fatrat Well-Known Member

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    WalMart sells hard red and hard white spring wheat in 25 lb bags.
     
  5. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    Where is that at? I have never seen wheat at Wal mart
     
  6. Hagler's Farm

    Hagler's Farm Well-Known Member

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    I got wheat at the local feed store, it was $10/ 50lb bag. This was for animals though so it's probably not as clean as something from a regular store, though I personally wouldn't be afraid to use it.
     
  7. Horseyrider

    Horseyrider Well-Known Member

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    I've heard that about Walmart before; but unfortunately none of the ones in our area keep any. They don't even sell sugar in anything larger than a ten pound bag.

    I get my wheat from a Mennonite grocery. They sell it on the shelves, so I got to try some first. I didn't want to be stuck with fifty pounds of berries that make lead bread.

    The Montana white wheat berries I bought are fabulous! They have plenty of gluten for baking lofty loaves, and still, with light handling, can turn out a tender cookie with a bit of sandy crunch. I got a 50# bag and put it in half gallon and gallon jars, and store it in the laundry room.

    You *might* be able to find a farmer that sells bread quality wheat; but for me and mine, I wouldn't bother with a feed store. What's grown for feed isn't the same as what's grown for bread.
     
  8. fatrat

    fatrat Well-Known Member

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    Walmart has the wheat in the grocery section in the baking supplies isle near the bags of flour.
     
  9. Limon

    Limon Well-Known Member

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    Only in certain places. Same with LTS foods; Walmarts in the NW carry the 10# cans of stuff, but most of the ones in the rest of the country don't. It's very regional.
     
  10. jenG

    jenG Well-Known Member

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    I live in Texas and it took us some research to find a way to purchase Montana white wheat berries, but we purchase from the Holmestead heritage gritsmill.
    Here is the link to the web site for Montana wheat you can check out dealers and see if there is one near you. www.wheatmontana.com/dealer.php
    I have an electric grain mill and it is an absoulte MUST as we tried to hand grind and there is NO way by the time you have enough flour you are too tired to knead the dough!
    I have a nutrimill and LOVE IT! shop around for it though it can be pricy but worth it. http://www.lequip.com/product.php?prod_id=31&title=Nutrimill
    I have found that depending on how light you want your bread that you may need to add wheat gluten as well, but just depends on the method and personal taste. I am still breaking the family from the store bread so my picky ones require "fluffy" bread.:indif:
    Happy Baking and GOOD LUCK!
     
  11. fatrat

    fatrat Well-Known Member

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    Don't assume just because your Walmart doesn't have it on the shelf they "don't" carry it. If you don't see it ask them if they can start carrying it. After all many other Walmarts are already carying it. Most retailers are very happy to carry whatever they think they can sell. That's why they are in business to sell what people want. Wheat is not the sort of thing most people think of buying at a grocery store so most stores wouldn't carry it unless someone asked for it. If you can convince them people will buy it, they will probably order it in, especially since many Walmarts are carrying it already. JUST ASK AND BE PERSISTENT ABOUT IT but polite. They want your money don't they?
     
  12. Coloneldad5

    Coloneldad5 Well-Known Member

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    As has already been stated, wheat can store for many years as long as it's in the kernal form, once you grind it, it has a much shorter shelf life. One of the biggest problems people have with storing wheat for long periods is getting weevils in the grain. While this really isn't a serious problem (just added protein) most folks today can't quite stomach it and will throw it out. Nitrogen packets can help take the oxygen out and keep weevils from living in the wheat. I've had wheat stored in buckets without a lot of extra preparation that's lasted for 6-8 years with no problems. You can also get a system to put them in metal cans.

    There are several grinders/grist mills on the market, some good some not so good. You should figure out just how much you plan on using wheat and then get a mill that works for you. If you only plan on making a couple of loaves a week then you probably won't need a bit mill, but if you are going to make 6-10 a week or better you had better get a bigger mill that has a larger output or you'll be grinding for hours just to get ready to bake.

    Also keep in mind that baking with wheat has different properties than working with white flour. Such things as you'll need to knead the dough for roughly double the time of white flour and texture of the bread will be different. Most folks starting out making whole wheat bread tend to have one common occurance, too crumbly. The problem here tends to be not kneading it long enough and thus not activating the gluten which is the binder for the bread. Another difference is how course you make your flour. Some folks give up when the bread is too course instead of just setting the mill to a finer grind.

    Also keep in mind what you want to bake as different wheats work better or worse than others for baked products. This comes into play when you are baking bread versus cinnamon rolls or cakes. You will also need to grind your flour much finer for the backed goods versus the basic breads.

    Good luck and enjoy.

    Nothings more delicious than fresh backed whole wheat bread still hot from the oven with real butter and fresh honey.:D
     
  13. kalamos23

    kalamos23 Member

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    Fresh bread made with freshly ground wheat is heavenly good...*drools* I am waiting on my mill to get here and picking up some wheat tomorrow!

    Sent from my T-Mobile G2 using Tapatalk
     
  14. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

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    the cheapest place to buy wheat is at a LDS Family & Home Storage center. Or order it from their website - ldscatalog.org. I think. It will come packed in gallon cans. Postage is included in the price. Right now, I believe a 25 lb bag at the storage centers is running $7. That's hard red and white wheat both.

    If you decide on a hand grinder, it's much easier if you run it through once to crack the wheat and then again to grind it. Much easier.

    You might try making your wheat 1/2 and 1/2 to start with. Add some vital wheat gluten to the dough will also help. if you decide to go with no white flour, I find that doubling the amount of yeast and letting it get a headstart by mixing it with the liquid and sweetener for 15 minutes ( rather than just dumping it in with the rest of the ingredients) helps the bread rise better. sometimes the yeast needs a reason to get going. I've also had good results with soaking the wheat flour in water water over night or at least 4 hours before mixing the bread dough. It gives the bread a much wheatier taste.
     
  15. JWK

    JWK Well-Known Member

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    I have been doing this for over a year. I will tell you what I have found.

    1. Buy a good grain mill. If electric, go nutrimill. Manual go Grainmaker or Country Living. These are expensive. I looked at it as something I would never have to buy again for the rest of my life. I bought the Grainmaker 14 months ago and am very satisfied.

    2. Find a source for Wheat Montana or any other high quality, high gluten wheat. Forget ordering from Wheat Montana direct. The shipping will kill you. I found a 50 lb. bag at a local store for almost half of what it would cost from Wheat Montana direct.

    3. Read Coloneldad5's post again. Everything he said is Oh So True. His advice will save you time and frustration.

    4. Don't buy little packages of yeast. Buy the double packs of bricks they sell at Costco, BJ's Warehouse, places like that. It's the same stuff as the little jar of "bread machine yeast" and such. Instant dry yeast. It's all the same. Much, much cheaper.

    Home made bread gets expensive when you don't buy your wheat berries and yeast in bulk. Get some books, go on the freshloaf.com, make good bread. You don't have to get fancy to get your everyday bread. Wheat, water, yeast and salt makes a really good loaf IF PREPARED PROPERLY and will save you money and get you better food.

    My 13 year old daughter and 11 year old son now complain on the few occasions we have to buy whole wheat bread from the store when I don't have enough time (because of work) to make bread for that week. The best $4.00 store bought loaf now tastes lousy to us.

    I make three loaves on the weekend, then slice them up when they have cooled completely (2 - 3 hours), wrap them up in plastic bags and freeze them. Fresh bread through the week for lunches.
     
  16. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    Whole grains will store for many decades if kept dry, dark and cool.

    Moisture or light or heat will destroy them.

    O2 absorbers are for steel [which can rust] and fats/oils [which can go rancid].
    Desiccant is for grain.

    I pay between $8 and $10 for 50-pounds.
     
  17. Coloneldad5

    Coloneldad5 Well-Known Member

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    JWK, 11 and 13 are old enough to learn to cook bread themselves.:thumb: That'll save you some work and also teach them good skills. I'm a guy and I was taught as a teen to cook bread and other things. I have found that those are good skills that most kids today do not have. My wife certainly enjoyed it when I baked some pies on our first date. As she says: "I was already trained" whatever that means. ;)

    I enjoy baking bread as it's a good way to work out some frustrations (kneading the bread) and pays in dividends in the end with fresh hot bread.:banana:

    For others: I do not recommend adding gluten to whole wheat bread as it has plenty there. The biggest problem is that folks do not knead it long enough to release it. As I said before you need to knead it (pun? ;) ) a lot, about twice what you normally do for white bread. Most folks bake wheat bread and find it very crumbly and dry and then think it doesn't have enough gluten and add more instead of working what is already there out.

    I would not recommend a hand grinder unless you are only going to do 1 loaf a week or less. It's a lot of work to grind more than that. It is possible to get a good grinder which has a 'hand crank' ability (my mother had one when I was young). I would recommend a good one of those. Now if your kids need some extra work to keep them from fighting and bickering as siblings do, put on the hand crank and put them to work. :D Otherwise if you are ingenious enough it wouldn't be too difficult to rig up a means of working it with a bicycle for times when the power may go out.

    Again don't scrimp on your grinder it is well worth getting a good one that will last decades versus a cheap one that'll burn out on you when you need it most. And like anything else, figure out what you need and then get the next size larger.

    Good luck and heavenly eatings. :thumb:
     
  18. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can see most posters know what kind of wheat should be used to make good bread flour.
    The winter wheat grown here in Indiana and much of the surrounding states is soft red wheat. Not the best choice for baking flour.
     
  19. Coloneldad5

    Coloneldad5 Well-Known Member

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    I must admit that I can't quite remember the pros and cons of the different brands of wheat (red, white, etc.) as I now only use Spelt. Spelt is an older wheat and is not so hybridized. We use it exclusively at this point due primarily to dietary issues with my wife.