A wise man once told me “You are what you eat”. At the time I ate whatever I wished and being in my mid- 20’s and healthy, I saw little need to change my eating habits. Nowadays I eat “healthy” which includes whole wheat bread and, noting the cost of 100% whole wheat bread and wishing to be as self-reliant as possible, I decided to venture down the bread making route.
Acquiring a whole wheat bread maker
First stop was a bread making machine (I could have tried hand kneading but I like machines) and my preference was for a good quality used machine. Craig’s list showed a make “zojirushi” and some research indicated this is a durable, well regarded but pricey item. I was able to buy, for a reasonable price, the model “BBCC-S15” which is at least 10 years old and was made in Japan (more recent models I believe are made in China). The manual included recipes for whole wheat bread so that closed the deal.
The machine worked fine except the battery, which keeps the date, had expired. From the internet I learned that the battery is soldered to the circuit board but can, with care, be replaced. This I was able to do.
Grinding whole wheat kernel/berry
The seller mentioned to me she also had a grain mill (brand name “Whisper Mill”) which I also purchased, and that she acquired her whole wheat and other ingredients and advice from Bread Beckers company, which fortuitously is located en route to my property.
The family members who operate the business are most knowledgeable and helpful, and I acquired hard red wheat, lecithin, gluten, flax seed and yeast. The Whisper Mill ground the red whole wheat well and I used a coffee grinder for the flax seed. I experimented with their Ezekiel bread mix, but the result was too dense for me. However, the whole wheat loaves are delicious. I include in the mix a free range egg, my harvested honey and 1/4 cup of unground sunflower seed.
There is one area for improvement – the top rises and then falls a little. I have experimented with increasing the gluten above the recommended amounts to compensate for moisture and will try out differing combinations to arrive at an unblemished loaf of whole wheat bread. In the meantime, the fallen top goes to the chicks.