Flour and cornmeal are used almost every day in our household. Baking wheat bread, or cornbread, whipping up a batch of pancakes, muffins, wheat cereal, you name it, we use it.
And since it is used so much, my husband and I decided to invest in a Golden Grain Grinder a long time ago. This grinder has different settings on the back, so you can make a coarse grind or very fine.
One function that made us decide to get this particular grinder is it can run on electricity or manually. Our power goes out often due to snow, winds, etc. so this option was perfect.
Different methods of grinding small grains and corn.
However, different people prefer different methods, and Lewis Legge of Valley City ND uses a “Corona corn mill and then a common window screen to sift out large pieces and unbroken germ which is ground fine in our flour mill. When mixed back together, the texture gives us what we are used to.”
Legge has “been growing 3 varieties, Bloody Butcher, Painted Mountain, and Glass Gem, of which I like the BB best. It’s very colorful cornmeal with red flakes. PM and GG have a slight blue hue, and all have their own flavor. All are organic, and yes, my hoe is shiny. I harvest as late as possible and finish drying inside as kernels must be dry for a good grind.”
Legge explains that “with most commercial meal the germ is sent off for oil processing. That is why commercial meal can be stored so long. No oil means it won’t go rancid but the overall product is not as flavorful.”
Storing small grains and cornmeal
There are different ways of storing ground wheat or cornmeal. We store it in glass gallon jars but Legge says his preferred method is “vacuum packing in 3/4 cup packets (most recipes) helps control oxidation and is premeasured.”
When asked which one he would suggest for others to use he said, “all varieties make tasty and colorful cornbread. I retrieved a cornmeal sugar cookie recipe off the internet which is very good but has enough butter in it to give newborn high cholesterol.” That being said if you make your own butter, you can’t go wrong ;).
With that, let’s get into grinding wheat and heritage corn. The pictures shown are from our last batch and the method we use; however, try whatever method works best for you.
- Your choice grinder
- 1 screen (optional depending on your method or grinder type)
- Glass gallon jars or vacuum packing supplies.
- A marker and tape to mark and date the jars or vacuum-packed bags.
- Step one you want to make sure you have your clean organic wheat, corn, or rye ready. This method is for any small grain.
- Once your corn or grain is ready, plugin or be ready to crank your grinder by hand.
- Now turn it on.
- Fill the hopper with your choice grain or corn, and make sure you have your setting right if using a grinder like the Golden Grain Grinder. We usually process one grain at a time and change the setting on the back of the grinder. This way, one jar gets filled with wheat cereal (a coarser grind) one with wheat flour, and one with cake flour, etc.
- If using the Golden Grain Grinder, it has a tray on the bottom. Take a peak in-between filling the hopper, so you don’t overflow the tray. Once it is full, pull it out and dump your cornmeal or flour into a glass gallon jar or vacuuming pack it.
- Continue with the grinding process until all of your grains or corn are ground. Label your jars or vacuum-packed bags.
That’s it for grinding wheat and heritage corn or other small grains.
The difference between homemade wheat and cornmeal versus store-bought is remarkable. Plus, when you make cornbread the color is fantastic. On Sunday we brought some cornbread into the church when they had a potluck; it was so colorful the ladies put it on the dessert table lol. Add a little butter, honey, or real maple syrup and it might as well be.
Enjoy you all, and remember to stay healthy and free!