Once you start baking your own bread and enjoying the benefits of healthy, homemade loaves, you’ll want to try home milling your own grains into flour using a manual or electric grain mill.
When you mill your own flour, what you get is nutritious whole wheat flour where nothing has been removed. The flour retains the complete endosperm, meaning the bran and germ have not been sifted out as with white flour.
As you watch the grains go into the hopper and come out again as powdery flour, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting because you know what you put in it. You can be confident that you’re baking and feeding your family with nutritious flour with no fillers or additives.
Why should you mill your own flour?
- Grinding your own flour is a unique and satisfying experience
- Freshly milled flour is sweeter than store-bought whole wheat flour.
- Home milled flour tastes better and is better for you.
- And, most importantly, when you mill your own flour, you know exactly what is in it, no hidden or unwanted ingredients.
What grains can be ground into flour using a grain mill?
A wide variety of grains, beans, seeds, and nuts can be ground into flour using your home grain mill. These include: wheat, rye, corn, rice, barley, oats, buckwheat, millet, kamut, quinoa, peas, mung beans, garbanzos, and lentils.
Raw wheat berries are the hulled whole kernels. You can use these to make home milled flours, or cook or sprout them to make breads. Grains can be white, russet, purple, or amber in color. You can also find Spelt, Kamut, Emmer and Einkorn as whole grains.
You can even grind popcorn to use in bread. It provides a very interesting texture and flavor.
When you mill your own flour, the possibilities are endless! Just keep in mind that the quality of grains you use determines the quality of flour you’ll end up with. So start with a good quality grain, preferably organic.
Selecting a Grain Mill for home milling your own flour:
We have hand cranked and electric wheat grinders for grinding wheat into flour. Click on the image below to view the mills.
Tips for purchasing a Grain Mill:
- Buy a bread mill based on your intended usage.
- If you are looking for a more hands-on experience, buy a manual grinder.
- If you want the grinder to do the work, then an electric bread mill is a better choice.
- Look for one that is easy to take apart and clean.
Decide what type of grains or beans you want to mill into flour:
Hard red winter wheat and hard red spring wheat are the classic wheats for yeast bread. However, you might want to try some of the ancient grains that are becoming popular again. Spelt, Emmer and Einkorn grains are much healthier than modern wheats. You can substitute these grains 1 x 1 for whole wheat flour in bread recipes.
You might try some of these whole grains for home milling your own flour.
Tips for home milling your own flour:
- Only grind as much flour as you plan to use — freshly ground whole-grains get rancid very quickly.
- Whole grain kernels will keep at room temperature indefinitely.
- 1 cup of wheat berries produces a scant 1 3/4 cups flour.
- One pound of wheat berries equals approximately 4 1/2 cups flour.
You might enjoy some of these whole grain bread recipes:
- Einkorn Bread Recipes
- Spelt Bread Recipes
- Sprouted Breads
- Whole Grain Bread Recipes
- Whole Wheat Bread using freshly milled flour
Learn more about whole grains & flours:
Types of Wheat – There are six main types of wheat grown in the United States. Within these different types of wheat, there are many varieties and substrains that offer an array of possibilities for millers as well as bakers.
Types of Flour – Flour is the primary ingredient in bread. The kind of flour used will determine the nature of the loaf. The better the flour, the better your bread will taste. In this section, we list the main types of flour that can be used to make bread.
Wheat Flours – Wheat flours are the main ingredient in most bread products. Wheat is rich in gluten, a protein that gives dough its elasticity and strength. Learn more about wheat flours in this section.
Wheat Grains – By-products of milling white flours are unprocessed wheat bran and wheat germ. They add color, nutrition, and fiber to breads. Learn about other types of wheat grains that can be used in breads.
Non-Wheat Flours – There are a number of non-wheat flours that can be used as substitutes for wheat flour in breads. Wheat-free (gluten-free) flour can also be used in breads made with wheat flour to enhance the flavor and provide unique texture.
Organic Bread Flour – If you don’t want to get into home milling your own flour, try organic bread flour. It costs a little more than non-organic flour, but it is worth it! The bread baked with organic flour is better for you than most non-organic flour.
Try some of these whole grains for home milling your own flour.
Hensperger, Beth. The Pleasure of Whole Grain Breads. 2000. Chronicle Books.
Ingram, Christine and Shapter, Jennie. Bread: The breads of the world and how to bake them at home. Hermes House 2006.
Rehberg, Linda and Conway, Lois. The Bread Machine Magic Book of Helpful Hints. Second St. Martin’s Griffin Edition: November 1999.
Yutzy, Ray and Melinda. Wholesome Sugarfree Cooking. 2004. Carlisle Printing.