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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Introducing Siciliano's new flour mill (video)

By Chris Siciliano

We at the Buzz are excited to announce that Siciliano's new flour mill arrived yesterday from Washington. Have a gander at the video below and tell us you're not as sold on the Country Living Grain Mill as we are.

Being the resident bread geek, this editor took it upon himself to test out the new mill with two pounds of hard red winter wheat berries, a portion of which I later used in my favorite pizza recipe. Results: I couldn't be happier. The wheat-meal was fine and pure, with a delicious, fresh, pungent aroma that I for one have never experienced with any pre-ground flour.

The resulting pizza, too, was better than expected. I used fresh-ground wheat for 40% of the total flour bill and, despite the flecks of bran, the dough came together beautifully. The crust baked up fragrant and nutty -- an excellent compliment to the mushrooms, onions, olives and spinach we piled on top. Or rather, the toppings were an excellent compliment to the crust, which, to be honest, definitely stole the show. Next up, sourdough!

Dough ball, close-up

Dough ball, a view from space

Pizza Siciliano

Final Notes
  • Even though our mill is motorized, it moves slower than you first expect -- in fact, it takes about 12 minutes to chew through one pound of grain. This is by design, in order to keep the flour from over-heating. Too much heat can damage gluten-producing proteins (bad for your bread) and degrade essential nutrients (bad for your health)*. Our mill is slow and steady and, best of all, it will give you plenty of time to pick out the right beer or six to wash down all that delicious bread and pizza.
  • Though the mill has arrived, our grain/flour order has not. We'll keep you updated as to when milling operations are scheduled to begin in earnest. (Sorry for the tease).
  • If our pizza looks funny, it's because I forgot to buy mozzarella. We used instead a liberal amount of good parmesan. It was a rather tasty accident, however, one I will surely make again.
*This according to "Flour Power: A guide to modern home grain milling" by Marleeta F. Basey

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