Here is the outline I used to teach a class on using wheat last week. I have gone through and added some links to related articles in case you want more detail.
- Different kinds of wheat
- Hard red wheat
- Hard white wheat
- Soft wheat / winter wheat
- Storage life of wheat
i. Depending on temperature, storage method, etc.
ii. Loses some nutritional value but is still life-sustaining
- Storage life of flour
- About five years
- Whole wheat contains an oil (vitamin E) that goes rancid once exposed to oxygen, so once wheat is ground, its shelf life deteriorates rapidly.
i. Many people store their freshly ground whole wheat flour in the freezer to preserve nutrients.
- How to store wheat
- Cans (#10 can yields 17 cups flour)
i. Best for long-term storage, but more expensive
i. Soak first, optional
ii. Stove top or crock pot
iii. Add to chili or soup, sloppy joes, eat as cereal, etc.
i. Cooks much faster
ii. Breakfast cereal cooked with water 2:1
iii. Use instead of rice
- How to grind wheat
- Every wheat grinder is different; read the manual
- Never overfill
- Let flour cool off before you cover and store to prevent condensation
i. Try not to get the grinder wet. If it gets wet, don’t use it again until it’s dry.
- How to use your whole wheat flour
i. How much bread does your family eat? You can go through a lot of wheat if you make all your own bread.
ii. Bread takes time, but you aren’t active most of that time (rising/baking). Even kneading is fairly passive if you have a mixer.
iii. Bread takes practice. Consider learning from a friend or relative. Then practice, practice, practice.
iv. Consider learning first with white bread, then move on to whole wheat.
vi. Instant yeast is cheaper and very easy to use.
vii. When converting white breads to whole wheat, 1/3 whole wheat flour seems to be the magic number. Adding extra liquid can help.
viii. Wheat doughs tend to be softer and stickier; they’re harder to shape.
- Other breads
i. French bread
- Quick breads
ii. Banana bread, pumpkin bread, etc.
i. Strong flavors such as peanut butter, chocolate, and ginger are better for hiding the whole wheat flavor.
ii. Don’t tell your family. They probably won’t notice. Some cookies taste even better with whole wheat flour.
- Why bother?
- You don’t have to make all your bread just because you know how.
- Knowledge is power—keep in practice, and if you ever need to use your wheat, you will know what to do.
- It’s good for you
- Avoid wasting your food storage. It won’t last forever, so what are you going to do with it if you never have to use it? Have a plan, whether it’s to use one can a month, or to give it to someone who will use it.
- Questions and ideas