Folks . . because I wash my wheat berries doesn’t mean you have to wash yours! Really, I just rinse them. Here’s why: When I first began reading about buying wheat and grinding my own flour, the most common recommended method for long term storage was:
- Freeze the wheat for at least 3 days.
- Bring it back to room temp.
- Put it in mylar (I think that’s the word — they look kinda like aluminum foil) bags.
- Add oxygen absorbers.
- Seal the bags.
- Place the bags in buckets and seal the buckets.
When questioned about why to freeze the wheat for 3 days, I was told it was to kill any larvae or bugs that might be in the wheat.
So, I freeze the wheat to kill the bugs. My thoughts are . . there must be some chance there’s bugs in the wheat and maybe those bugs did their business on my wheat so . . my wheat gets rinsed.
The wheat I buy is definitely food grade, fit for human consumption. Wheat Montana 50 pound bags are in big paper bags that are sealed. Those bags are shipped to the Amish store. How are they shipped? Could there be critters in the trucks or on other stuff being shipped at the same time? Then the bags are stored in the Amish store . . no air conditioning, no climate control at all.
Chances are it’s perfectly safe to use the wheat without rinsing it but I’d just rather be safe. Sometimes there’s a bit of dust or crumbles in the bottom of the bag and I’m just not sure what all that is. My wheat gets rinsed but I’m surely not saying it should be rinished.
Just for the record, I wash spinach that comes in the bag and says “ready to eat” and when I fly, all my clothes get washed as soon as I get home . . just in case someone else’s cooties crawled out of their luggage and got into mine.
Here’s my whole wheat bread recipe, based on the recipe provided by Pleasant Hill Grain. Anything that’s been mentioned on this blog can be found by typing in a few key words over in the “search” box near the top right.
There are quite a few dough enhancer recipes on the internet. You can find them by typing in something like “dough enhancer recipe” on google. I have made my own but I can’t get several of the ingredients so if I’m going to have to mail order anyway, I just get the dough enhancer.
Mary-Kay C. says
Now there’s a word I haven’t heard in years. “Cooties” That’s pretty funny! And I agree with the washing/rinsing thing. It can’t hurt.
Linda Steller says
I agree – you never know who or what has been crawling in you wheat berries, or any other sort of grain. Ah, how I wish I could eat bread. I can, if very well toasted, but it’s never worth it for me to have a whole loaf because it will mold before I manage to eat it. Maybe if I made baby loaves and froze the rest? You continue to amaze me, Judy with all you accomplish. Your family is blessed indeed to have you!
Julie H. says
We raise wheat and I’ve gone and filled my buckets right off the combine or truck. There are plenty of cooties when it’s that fresh. In our area, it’s mostly grasshoppers. I don’t rinse my wheat before grinding but I do pick out anything that doesn’t belong.
So, after rinsing do you dry the wheat before grinding it? I haven’t worried about dust (read DIRT) and I doubt you get any weevil type bug from the field but maybe it’s not such a bad idea. Rinsed or unrinsed, I’m certain it’s far superior than any “store bought” flour/bread.
P.S. I’ve seen a lot of grain storage facilities and any grain that was stored for any length of time has probably been subject to insect and rodent infestation. That does make a really good case for rinsing purchased wheat.
Bugs in food is a big problem at the grocery stores on Cape Cod… you see see the moths flying around the ceilings, yuck. You just know that there are very good chances of larvae in your flour/grains/even elbow macaroni. When buying on the Cape, I always freeze everything and really inspect it before using it – and I always sift my flour just to make sure. I bought a commercial vacume sealer machine and sealed everything after I had to throw away almost all my food on several occassions. The sealer was a deal compared to that.
LOL sorry, I didn’t mean to start anything. It just never occurred to me to wash my berries! Hahaha
Eileen Keane says
Do you make ALL of your bread? You don’t buy any at the store? I make some during the winter but I can’t stand having the kitchen get really hot during the summer.
I know it’s healthier to make your own. DD and I are always on diets so is it possible the homemade is lower in calories?
Hi Judy. I have to agree with you about washing bagged spinach etc. I wash all the greens that come in bags before I use it. Same with clothes after a trip.
Dough enhancer that I’ve just started using in the last 3 months: 3 ingredients- instant potato flakes, gluten, white vinegar.
1/3 cup potato flakes
1 Tablespoon gluten per cup of flour used
1 tablespoon white vinegar.
Add these to your dough and that’s it!
Judy, I’m with you about rinsing stuff. After cleaning fresh greens from our garden this year for freezing/eating and seeing all the stuff I rinsed away (I rinse greens 5-6 times…I know…a little OCD 🙂 I no longer eat greens that are commercially frozen or canned. I can’t bear the thought of what is left in that food.
I’m also thinking I can’t eat peas/beans/etc. that I don’t preserve myself! The older I get…the pickier I get. Now, if some of that pickiness would transfer to my housekeeping, I’d be in business. lol.
ruth anne shorter says
I can’t tell you how much I learn, forget, and relearn from your site. I love it, love it. Thanks so much for help in finding the bread recipe. I really love making my family more healthy and less dependent on stores. I also love learning about cooking items that I don’t have but now want. Thanks again for everything.
Julie Pieri says
I agree with freezing and washing. I freeze any flour I purchase for the same reason you freeze your berries.