Nearly two years ago I decided to take a small in-home cooking class by a local women who was teaching people how to easily incorporate whole grains into everyday cooking. Prior to taking that class, I thought people that made their own bread were people that really love baking and were super moms. I had only known one person that ground their own grain and that was over the top to me. I couldn't see wasting time and energy to grind my own grain when you can buy wheat flour pretty cheaply at the store. In the class I took, I began to learn that wheat loses its nutritional value pretty quickly and then it goes rancid. I also learned that there are many types of wheat (hard red, hard white, prairie gold, soft white, etc.) and that by grinding your own grain, you are able to have fresh wheat that has not lost its nutritional value, you can select the type of wheat that is appropriate to what you are baking (like soft white wheat to grind into pastry flour to use in cookies, muffins, pancakes, etc.) and you can make a tasty high quality baked good for much less than what you can purchase.
I then learned that with the appropriate equipment, making homemade bread is actually very easy and I could make several loaves at one time. I was inspired to give making my own bread a try because I could grind a very mild tasting wheat to produce a very mild tasting whole wheat bread that everyone in my family would eat. That is a challenging task with 4 children and a somewhat picky husband. So grinding my own wheat started with bread and now I use it in almost all of my baked goods, it has become one way way I can add more nutritional value to our food instead of using white flour. I am now learning to soak grains and even sprout them! Part 2, I will talk about the equipment that works great and makes my bread making so easy!