Flour has not been easy to find in our local grocers. Pre-pandemic, we baked a lot – and we’ve been baking even more since the onset. Seems everyone else is, too.

Early on, we were able to score a 25 pound bag of flour from Adluh in Columbia, SC., but it’s a soft wheat flour. It’s perfect for cakes, cookies, crusts, muffins, biscuits and all of the dessertish-type things, but it’s not a great yeast bread flour.

I will mix it with whole wheat or other flours to bulk it up, but… when it comes to bread, I’m particular. We were finally able to order bread flour from King Arthur – limited to two five-pound bags – and I got some white whole wheat and whole wheat bread flours from Palouse in Washington.

In the meantime, we had almost six pounds of wheatberries I had bought from Palouse many months ago. I like cooking them up and using them in salads, dropping a few handfuls into soups… they’re fun and versatile – and also what one would grind into flour – if one had a grinder.


We don’t have a flour mill, per se, but we do have a KitchenAid burr coffee grinder. We’ve had it for years – and years.

coffee Grinder

I decided to give it a try. It’s pandemic time, we’re staying at home… It’s not like I don’t have the time, ya know?!? I cleaned it out well, ran a few grains through to get rid of the last of the coffee, and went to town.

Whole Wheat Flour

It pretty much, more-or-less, worked.

Whole Wheat Flour

It’s not quite as finely-powdered as a commercially milled flour, but it’s very reminiscent of the flours from places like Anson Mills. It’s definitely flour.

First thing to make was a banana bread. We have a plethora of bananas, right now, so we’re getting creative…

I think everyone probably has a favorite banana bread recipe. This one is based on mark Bittman’s from the NY Times. I add chocolate chips and Heath Bar chips to the batter just for grins and giggles. It came out great.

Banana Bread


  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter brickle pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated dried unsweetened coconut


Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together the dry ingredients. Cream the butter and beat in the eggs and bananas. Add vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients. Gently stir in chocolate chips, brickle pieces, nuts, and coconut.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 60 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bread should come out fairly clean when it is done. Do not overcook. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Banana Bread

Moist, not too sweet… a really good loaf.

And speaking of loaves… next was my favorite Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread!

This has become my go-to sandwich bread. It is just too easy to make. I usually have buttermilk powder on hand, so I use it with regular milk, but if you don’t have the powder or buttermilk, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the milk.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread

  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour

Dissolve yeast in the sugar and a bit of the buttermilk. Blend flours and salt together.

Add remaining milk to yeast mixture. Add butter. Mix in flour.

Knead by machine for about 8 minutes or by hand for 10 – until dough is smooth.

Roll into a ball and proof until double in size – about an hour.

On a lightly floured board, form dough into a loaf and place into a well-greased standard bread pan.

Lightly cover and proof, again, until double in size.

Bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes – until top is nicely browned.

Immediately remove from pan and cool before slicing.

I usually put the bread in a store-bought bread bag because it’s easier than wrapping/unwrapping, but this loaf rose too much – it won’t fit!

Everyone should have such problems!

Tonight’s dinner will be pizza using my favorite 2-day rise pizza dough.

Pizza Dough

This really is the perfect pizza dough. It develops a great flavor with the slow refrigerated rise. This is a take on a pizza dough from La Cucina Italiana, but it’s also pretty darn close to the dough I used to make at Pirro’s in San Francisco back in the ’60s and early ’70s.

2-Day Rise Pizza Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (100º to 105º)
  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 4 cups “00” flour or unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • olive oil for bowl

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in bowl of mixer fitted with dough hook. Let proof about 5 minutes.

Mix together flour and salt. Add to yeast mixture. Mix on low speed about 4 minutes or until dough forms a coarse ball. Stop mixer and cover bowl with a towel. Let dough rest about 5 minutes, then remove towel and continue mixing another 2 minutes or so.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Form dough into a ball, transfer to bowl and turn to lightly coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

Punch down dough, re-roll, and return to bowl. Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Divide dough into 2 pieces; shape pieces into balls and place on a lightly floured work surface. Loosely cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise at warm room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours.

More on this, later…