Country Living Grain Mill
Country Living Grain Mill
Country Living Grain Mill
Country Living Grain Mill

Hello Mr. Jenkins,

You kindly brought one of your mills to the Grain Gathering at WSU-Mount Vernon in August, where I picked it up.

Since then the mill has been out in the shop where my husband has been working on motorizing the mill and making a cart, so the mill can be portable. He worked very hard on this project, during his spare time!

I wanted to write and let you know how much I am enjoying the mill, and to send some pictures of what my husband built 🙂

Manly Milling-2

The motor (1725 RPM, 1/4 HP) was geared down so it turns in the mid-60’s for RPM.

A timer was wired in so the mill will automatically shut off after a set time.

It’s all welded out of 1/8″ aluminum, except for the top, which is 1/4″.

The belt guards are made out of some leftover checkerplate.

We sized it to hold three full-size sheet pans, for shelves, below.

Manly Milling-3

 

Thank you so much for bringing the mill to the Grain Gathering.

And thank you as well for the beautiful raspberry honey you brought to the bread-making class on Whidbey Island in early September (I was there, and was the lucky winner of this gorgeous honey!).

I am making some honey cookies with fresh-milled organic soft white spring flour.
Can I send you some cookies as a thank you?

Thanks again!!!
Best regards,
Meeghen Eaton

We received the following note from a Country Living Mill owner:

“Love our mill.  My father (90 years old) has adopted it — He’d grind flour every day I think!  We really do love it. Here’s a picture from one week in January, so you can see what we’re doing. All sourdough, no added yeast, fresh ground white wheat and rye flours.”

–Metra Christofferson

Buy a Country Living Grain Mill and get a Power Bar and Counter Clamp FREE!  November 27th thru 30th only, save $75.90 with this special bundle.

 

 

The Most Beautiful Thing in The World

I took a little, informal poll the other day.  The question wasn’t very controversial and the responses won’t change anybody’s foreign policy or campaign strategy.  But for me?  The answers made my day.

I was musing one day over the many lovely things that this old world has to offer, and I was feeling frankly thankful for them all.  As I pondered, my curiosity began to pique.  Surely, though my thankfulness covered a broad spectrum, there were things that I had overlooked.  Perhaps some other watchful and appreciative eye had perceived beauty in something I had not even considered. The question of my poll?  I asked people what they thought the most beautiful thing in the world was.

I got some marvelous answers.  I asked an old Idaho farmer what he thought.  With no hesitation he said, “Why, a newborn white-face calf.  When that calf first comes from the heifer there is no whiter white in the world.  It is absolutely beautiful.”

When early spring came I watched the fields for cattle- and he was right.

I asked a young mother the same question; after a moment she said, “The most beautiful thing in the world is when two people have a really good, considerate relationship.”  Of course, she is right too.

A broadcaster, a long time friend, replied, “Why flowers have to be the most beautiful.  That’s the only thing they are here for, just to bring beauty- God’s gift to man.”

My answer?  It has to be the look on children’s faces when you praise them.  An inner light dances through their eyes with the joy of being accepted and loved.  With so many things of beauty surrounding us you would think that sadness should be a rare commodity.

The Country Living Grain Mill has been around awhile, and we thought you’d enjoy a photo from our archives.  Flash back to 1981 and here is Jack Jenkins, designer of the mill, featured in an article which compared the output of two electric mills to the hand-powered Country Living Grain Mill.  It was no contest!  In two minutes of grinding, our mill had produced almost twice as much as each electric mill.

Just for fun, you can go to our website home page and see Jack today (just a short 33 years later!) grinding with our brand new Peanut Butter Plus Accessory.

 

1 ½ cups lukewarm water
1 ½ T dry yeast
4 cups finely-ground whole wheat flour (approx.)
4 T sugar
1 egg
5 T veg. oil
1 ÂĽ tsp salt

Bread Machine Method:  Put all ingredients into bread machine and set to “dough” cycle.  When dough is mixed and raised, punch down, flour hands, sprinkle a little flour on top of dough (to keep from sticking to hands) and form roll-sized balls. Continue to flour hands and dough lightly as needed until all dough is used. Place about two inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Let rise until doubled, bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned on top.  Brush tops with butter, if desired.

Mixer Method:  Put all ingredients into mixer bowl and mix on medium speed for 5 – 7 minutes.  Let dough rise until doubled, continue as above.

Note:  This dough should be soft, but hold its shape when rolls are formed.  If the dough is too soft, the rolls will not hold their shape; if too stiff, rolls will be dry.  Because flours vary, check the dough after the 4 cups of flour are incorporated, and adjust the flour and water as needed.

Recipe courtesy of the Country Living Kitchen

Protein—some proteins are difficult for humans to digest such as the gliadin proteins that make up the gluten molecules in wheat products. These are also the proteins that cause an immune response in people with Celiac Disease. Research is showing that the fungal and bacterial microbes in sourdough degrade gluten into smaller peptides, including these gliadin proteins, decreasing toxicity to people with Celiac Disease and perhaps decreasing exposure to the general public. This research is still quite young.

Phytic acid—the decrease in pH that occurs with sourdough ferment (due to production of lactic acid by bacteria in the sourdough) will activate wheat phytase enzymes (enzymes that break bonds in the phytic acid molecules and make micronutrients available to the human body) in the dough. I have seen reports of 70% reduction in phytic acid with a 4-hour ferment at pH of 5.2-5.6.

Glycemic index—sourdough fermentation has been shown to decrease the glycemic load of sourdough bread. The exact reason why, is not confirmed, but is likely to be due to a variety of reasons. One reason is again the production of lactic acid and other organic acids that decrease starch digestion in bread, making it take longer in our bodies to digest and therefore decreasing the glycemic index.

This valuable information comes from our friend, Bethany Econopouly, a doctorate student with Washington State University. She is studying wheat breeding and its affects on nutrition and baking quality.

Free shipping on the Peanut Butter + Accessory through the month of October!  See our store for details.

What can I grind with the Peanut Butter+ Accessory?

We’ve had the opportunity to test a few different nuts and beans and here are our findings thus far:

Almonds-roasted almonds tend to work better than raw almonds, though both can be ground. The paste comes out crumbly and moist and packs together when pinched.

Cashews– Because of their size, cashews need to be broken up so that they will feed into the auger. The cashews can easily be broken up with the pestle once they are in the hopper, which should only be partially filled.

Peanuts and macadamia nuts- These grind well.  It is not necessary to break up these nuts with a pestle prior to grinding.

Sunflower Seeds- These are not recommended for grinding. They are small and the auger forces too many through at a time, making grinding very difficult.

Walnuts and pecans- These grind well, but must be broken up prior to grinding so that they will feed into the auger well. They break up easily by using the pestle in a partially filled hopper.

Roasted coffee beans- Coarse grind goes through easily with no clogging. Medium to fine grind and espresso grinds are difficult to turn, unless beans are dribbled through a handful at a time while the mill is turned. In this case, the grinding is quite easy, and the production is still quite fast.

Cocoa beans- A coarse grind may be produced by dribbling beans through a handful at a time. They will need to be broken up prior to grinding. The outer grinding plate may need to be removed and cleaned periodically.  Anything finer than a coarse grind will clog.

 

Bread in America seems to be following in the footsteps of the bright orange, floppy slab of “food” that we call American cheese.  This “cheese” looks and feels to be made more from plastic than actual cheese.  And so it is with our pre-packaged bread – it contains many unnecessary ingredients and fillers.

Here’s an excerpt from a great article by Bethany Econopouly, PhD student and Dr. Stephen Jones, wheat breeder, Professor, and Director of the Washington State University-Mount Vernon Research Center and The Bread Lab.  They help us identify the true characteristics of real bread.

Redefining Bread

What then are the “basic identity” and “nutritional characteristics” of bread? Without a clear definition, just about any additive–questionable or not–can be used as an ingredient.


Bread in its simplest form can be made with ground grain and water. Leavened bread requires a rising agent, originally provided by naturally occurring yeast and bacteria. A small amount of salt enhances flavor and contributes to the functionality of the dough. Variations on these basic formulas–such as pita, challah, bagels, roti, and naan–differ by culture and geography. In the U.S., leavened breads are the most popular type, with the basic formulation of flour, water, leavening, and salt. As has been the case for millennia, these four ingredients alone are all that are needed to transform flour into an edible, appealing, and accessible food.

For the full article, click here.

 

What about making it good for you as well?  Here’s a Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe that will add nutrition and fantastic flavor to your Friday night dinner.

  • 5 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (A combination of hard red wheat and soft white wheat is great.)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey or 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water, lukewarm

Mix your flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Form a mound on the table and create a cavity in the middle.  Add the water to the middle and stir with your hand to incorporate the flour into the water. Continue to add water and incorporate your flour until you have mixed in all the water.  Now leave it alone for 20 minutes to allow for the flour to hydrate and absorb the water.  (This process is called autolyse and improves the development of the gluten.)

Once you finish the autolyse, you can add in your oil and begin the kneading process. Knead your dough for 10-14 minutes.  Then size your dough into 8-ounce balls and place in lightly oiled plastic containers and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

An hour before you are ready to make pizza, remove your dough containers from the refrigerator and allow them to warm.  Then hand stretch on a floured work table to a size that fits your pizza stone/pan.  Add sauce, cheese, toppings.

In a wood-fired oven the pizza will bake in between 90 seconds and three minutes.  In your home oven at 450 degrees, on a pizza stone, the pizza will take 5-8 minutes to cook.

This recipe is courtesy of our friends at Hot Rock Pizza in Oak Harbor, WA.