Project Week: From Wheat to Loaf

Project Week is what we do in lieu of final exams. It makes more sense to us to dive more rigorously into our studies to demonstrate mastery than to recite our facts back to our teachers. Projects can be individual or group oriented. This particular bunch asked, "Where does bread come from?" Some would say the kitchen. Deeper thinkers might say the grocery store. This group of Project Week investigators followed the wheat from our fields to the finished product, learning to thresh stalks, winnow husks, grind the resultant wheat berries into flour, and bake along the way. And the outcome was as delicious as it was educational. Here are a few glimpses of what they did:



Harvested wheat looks like this. This is one way to separate the wheat from the chaff. It's called "threshing."
Removing the husk from the wheat berries is call "winnowing," which can be done by hand in front of a fan, or... ...with a crazy loud device called, cleverly enough, a "winnowing machine."
The wheat berries are ground into flour, which can then be baked into bread in our wood-fired brick oven on the left. Compared to threshing and winnowing, creating successful bagettes requires more finesse.
Wheat berries are the tan part. The husks are grayish. Hard to believe you can make these from wheat berries. But you can.


The Putney School | Elm Lea Farm, 418 Houghton Brook Road, Putney, Vermont 05346-8675
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