Saturday, August 21, 2010

100 loaves of bread

It takes about 1 pound of flour to make a loaf of bread. I just got in another 100 pounds of wheat berries. That should make another 100 loaves of bread, but will it?

My bread is basic, flour, water, yeast and salt. Of course, I have the wheat, but can I make flour?
I've been using an electric grinder to make my flour. (more detail in an earlier blog post) It's been working flawlessly for a couple years now with no signs of slowing down. It does require electricity, but my solar electric system is pretty reliable. Really should have a good hand grinder as backup, but there's always been someplace else to spend the money.

Water? My well has never gone dry. In fact, it constantly overflows. It doesn't take anything more complicated than a bucket to gather water. The water part of the bread equation is covered.

Yeast? That's a bit of a weak spot. Usually there's only a jar or two of yeast at the house. However, in a pinch I could make my own sourdough. It's not that hard to make starter. Plenty of info on that out there. In fact, I could always cultivate wild yeast from the skins of apples. That would work too. Yeast is everywhere.

Salt? It's cheap and readily available. I should pick up another 4 or 5 pounds to add to my storage.

Then there's the little matter of baking the bread. I've got all the pans I need. In the summer bread is baked using either the propane oven or electric toaster oven. The toaster oven only works for small amounts. It is handy for hot summer days when the big oven would heat the house up too much. The electric toaster oven draws a surprisingly large amount of power for baking bread. The solar electric system gets taxed. However, since I only do that in the summer when the sun's out, it's not too big a deal. In the winter, I can bake bread in my old wood fired cookstove. It's tricky, but I've got it mastered. When camping, I've baked bread in my cast iron Dutch ovens. There's nothing to stop me from doing the same in the fireplace in my yard.

Of course, I don't have to actually make yeast bread. There's things like waffles, pancakes, and biscuits. For that I buy baking powder in 5 pound containers. It goes a long way.

Should the grinder break, the wheat berries can still be turned into food. The berries can soaked until they soften, then cooked into a type of porridge. I've a hemp sprouting bag for making wheat sprouts, a good source of vitamins -pretty tasty in salads.

It's not just having stored wheat berries, it's being about to do something with them.


1 comment:

  1. You’re right SixBears! When long term storing wheat grain for bread and other baked items there’s a lot more that’s needed. I read about many preppers who talk about the grain they’ve stored but no mention of all the other required ingredients needed let alone the options for baking it if your primary oven has no fuel to run on. The same scenario applies to all long term store grains like beans for example. Who would want to just soak and cook plain beans in plain water with no sauces or spices to make pork and beans or BBQ baked beans? Without the other necessary ingredients stored an emergency meal plan would be pretty ugly!