Everybody loves fresh bread, right? It tastes amazing. Now imagine really fresh bread made with freshly ground flour – flour that you grind yourself. And imagine it being easier than you ever dreamed of.
I was offered a Mockmill to work with – and of course I said YES, and I’m going to tell you all about it. I’ve got a special offer, too: a Mockmill, book, and 8 pounds of grain at an $80 discount! Scroll to the bottom for details. OMG, the bread. I promise you there will be more freshly-milled flour recipes on this blog.
So what’s a Mockmill? It grinds grain into flour, using stones. Think about that: stone-ground flour in your very own kitchen.
The inventor is Wolfgang Mock, so the mill and the company carry his name. It attaches to a stand mixer (mine’s a KitchenAid, but it works with AEG, Electrolux, and Kenmore too) and is quite easy to use. You might like to check out the Wolfgang Mock website.
The Mockmill is easy to use. It attaches to the mixer in the same way as all the other attachments: loosen a thumbscrew, remove a plate, stick in the Mockmill, tighten the thumbscrew, plop the hopper on top. Easy peasy. There’s a dial so that you can choose how finely or coarsely the grain is ground. It dumps the flour right into the mixer bowl.
The Mockmill doesn’t take up much space in my cupboard, either – in fact, it takes less than some of my other mixer attachments. You can see both units in the photo: the hopper detaches, and the mill unit is nice and compact. Easy to use, easy to clean, neat to store – what’s not to like?
why grind your own flour?
So why should you bother grinding your own flour? Some folks claim there are health reasons, but I’m not at all qualified to speak to that topic. I can say with authority, though, bread made with freshly ground flour tastes terrific. To me, the flour seems a bit easier to work with, and after the first rise, the dough becomes positively silky, which is unusual for wholemeal bread.
If you’re interested in grains other than wheat, the Mockmill is your friend. Have you ever tried to find rye flour, or maybe spelt flour, or barley flour? I have, and it’s not easy. Now I can grind grain as I wish, when I wish, just as much as I need. Are you avoiding gluten? You can grind teff, rice, flint corn, or buckwheat. Grains keep better than flour, too: you just have to keep them dry and away from pests, and they’ll keep 6 months to a year in a cool place. Glass jars work well, and a quart mason jar will hold about a pound of rye or wheat berries. For larger quantities, I just use regular kitchen plastic containers with lids.
Let’s talk about the bread. In the recipe I give, pictured here, I adapted a recipe for Pain de Campagne (Country-style French Bread) that I’ve often used. It ends up with a bit more than 50% whole grains, using unbleached bread flour as well.
Many recipes for french bread use a bit of rye in the mix both for flavor and to help the bread keep longer. Since I had rye berries, I was happy to add some into the blend; I simply mixed the two kinds of grains in the hopper, and the Mockmill ground them together. I wanted to avoid the fuss of sourdough or a long drawn out pre-ferment process, so this recipe makes a starter and lets it sit on the counter for a while before mixing the dough.
Usually whole-wheat breads require more water, but this does not. Does freshly-milled flour have more moisture? Maybe it does; I don’t have the equipment to determine that. But if you make my recipe with store-bought whole wheat flour, you may need to add a bit more water; you’ll know when you have your hands in the dough.
The result? This bread is a winner! This bread is full of flavor. My family devoured it in a day and has been clamoring for more. You bet I’ll be making more bread with the Mockmill.
full disclosure details
Get the Good Stuff received both a Mockmill and the book Flour Power for review purposes. All the opinions expressed are my own; I took all the photos of bread included, and that was the bread I made with the linked recipe.