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Baking with Freshly Milled Flour (Home Flour Milling)

There is something truly special about grinding and baking with fresh home milled flour. Experiencing the unmatched aroma and flavor it adds to your favorite recipes brings a smile to my face. Use this guide to explore the joys and benefits of home flour milling, from the satisfaction of cracking grains to the control it gives you over the types of flour you use. Get ready to elevate your baking game with the wonders of freshly milled goodness!

NutriMill Grain mill on a kitchen counter with two glass bowls of grain and flour.

Why I Love Home Milled Flour

From the added nutritional value to the flavor profile, once you learn how to bake with home-milled flour, you’ll never go back. I also love that I can buy pantry staples in bulk (like wheat berries) and store them in food barrels long-term.

Making sourdough Parker House rolls, no knead artisan bread, fudgy sourdough brownies (or a DIY brownie mix) and even homemade pie crusts with freshly milled flour takes these recipes over the top.

Whole grain in the top of a NutriMill Grain mill.

Is It Worth Milling Your Own Flour?

Milling your own flour at home may seem like a daunting task, but the benefits it brings are well worth the effort. It allows you to create fresh, flavorful flour for your home-baked delicacies and provides a sense of satisfaction and a long-term investment in your health.

One of the joys of home milling is the process of cracking grains. As you transform whole grains into flour, you gain a deeper appreciation for these ingredients’ natural beauty and resilience. The rhythmic sound of the grain mill and the aroma that fills the air create a sensory experience that connects you to the rich history of bread-making. 

Grinding my own flour at home has not only elevated the taste and texture of my baked goods, but has also deepened my understanding and passion for the art of bread-making. The satisfaction of turning grains into nourishing flour is unparalleled.

Fresh loaf of sourdough bread coming out of a cast iron dutch oven.

Superior Flavor

If you are not a fan of whole wheat flour, then don’t worry. Store-bought flours often lack the aroma and flavor that freshly milled flour can offer. By milling your own flour, you can experience the full potential of your home-baked delicacies with a depth of flavor that is simply unmatched. Once you try the flavor of fresh home-milled flour, I’m confident you will see the difference.

A 55 gallon food barrel of white flour.

Nutrition

The oils in flour start to go rancid very quickly, which is why flour purchased from the store has parts removed to preserve the shelf life. However, those parts, such as the bran and the germ, hold much of the flour’s nutrition.

When you store your grains whole and mill them as needed, you can access that otherwise lost nutrition. Furthermore, whole grains are naturally protected by their outer coating to last an amazing amount of time. When properly stored dry and away from pests, whole grains can be stored for up to 10-15 years.

We do still purchase organic unbleached white flour for long-term storage. However, freshly milled flour doesn’t have a very long shelf-life and should be used quickly (more on this below).

A 55 gallon food barrel of wheat berries.

Health Benefits

As mentioned above, storing a grain whole is nature’s way of preserving all the vital nutrients packed inside. Once that grain is cracked open, the oxidation process begins, and within just hours of milling your flour, up to 25% of the nutrients can be lost.

While preserving as many nutrients as possible is important, we also need to consider the importance of fiber. Fiber is the basis of a healthy gut; fiber from healthy whole food sources can make all the difference in your health.

  • Power of Prebiotics – Fiber is a prebiotic, which, in layman’s terms, means that it is a food source for the probiotics in your system to flourish and thrive. Prebiotics are a crucial factor in maintaining proper digestive health. (Source)
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight – Fiber contributes to a feeling of satiety, allowing you to feel full and satisfied while eating less. (Source)
  • Support a Healthy Heart – Studies have shown that higher fiber intakes correlate with reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease. (Source)
  • Cancer Prevention – Increasing dietary fiber has been linked to protective effects from most cancers. (Source)
  • Type 2 Diabetes Management – Fiber has a powerful effect on glycemic control, blood lipids, body weight, and inflammation, all critical factors in managing type 2 diabetes. Increasing daily fiber intake by 15g-35g is recommended to reduce the risk of premature mortality due to type 2 diabetes. (Source)

Control to Customize Your Ingredients

Home-milled flour allows you to choose the types of flour that best suit your needs. Whether you prefer whole grain, white flour, or specialized flour, the choice is entirely up to you. This flexibility allows you to experiment with different flour combinations and create unique recipes that perfectly cater to your tastes.

Additionally, grinding your own flour gives you the power to adjust the protein content according to your baking requirements. Protein content plays a crucial role in determining the texture and structure of baked goods. With home milling, you can finely tune the protein content to achieve the desired results, whether a light and flaky pie crust or a hearty loaf of bread.

Wheat TypeProtein Content
Einkorn18.2%
Kamut14.7%
Spelt14.5%
Hard White11.3%
Soft White10.6%
Hard Red Winter13.6%
Hard Red Spring15.4%
Soft Red Winter10.3%
Durum13.6%
Sorghum11.3%
Millet11%
Rye10.3%
Oats16.8%

As seen in the table above, each type of flour has a different protein content. By milling your own flour, you can select the specific flour type or create flour blends (this is best for gluten-free flour blends) that align with your desired protein content, allowing you to achieve optimal results in your baking endeavors.

Convenient Online Options

When it comes to sourcing mills and grains, the internet has made it easier than ever to find a vast array of options. There is a large selection of home grain mills now available in our modern age. From electric grinders that provide quick and effortless grinding to manual mills that offer a more hands-on experience, there’s a machine that suits every preference and budget.

Additionally, online marketplaces and specialty stores offer a wide selection of organic, heirloom, and locally sourced grains. With just a few clicks, you can have high-quality grains delivered right to your doorstep, saving you time and effort.

A NutriMill grain mill with a glass bowl of grain on a kitchen counter.

What Types of Flour Can You Mill at Home?

Regarding home flour milling, the possibilities to tailor your baking to suit your taste and dietary preferences are numerous. Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular types of flours that you can mill at home:

  • Whole-Grain Flour – Whole-grain flour is made by grinding the entire grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. This type of flour retains all the nutrients and fiber present in the grain, making it a nutritious choice for your baking needs. Whole grain flour adds a hearty flavor and texture to your baked goods, making them more satisfying and wholesome.
  • White Flour – White flour is produced by removing the bran and germ from the wheat flour, resulting in a lighter and softer texture compared to whole-grain flour. While white flour may not have as many nutrients as whole grain flour, it is an excellent choice for baking lighter and fluffier bread, cakes, and pastries. You can make white flour by sifting your freshly ground whole-grain flour through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Other Grains – While wheat is the most common grain used to make flour, you can also mill other grains, such as rye and barley. Or, if you are looking for some gluten-free options, you can also try quinoa, buckwheat, oats, rice, millet, or even dry legumes.

How Long Does Home-Milled Flour Last?

It is best practice to grind only as much flour as you plan to use right away. However, it can be tricky to grind exactly the amount you need, and it is realistic to expect you may have some leftovers from time to time.

Furthermore, for us busy home cooks, it’s not always convenient to grind grain right when you need it. For this reason, we like to grind about a week’s worth of flour and store it in a container in the freezer.

If you do find yourself with extra flour, you can store your leftover flour at room temperature for up to three days. Bear in mind that you will lose some of the nutrient density of the flour, but it won’t be bad for you, and you will still have some of the nutrients remaining.

If you know it’s going to be stored for longer than three days, immediately transfer your flour into an air-tight container to store in the freezer. This will preserve the high-nutrient quality for up to about six months.

Homesteading Hack: It’s important to achieve a fine flour consistency when milling at home. Fine flour has a longer shelf life as it contains fewer bran particles, which can contribute to rancidity over time. By sifting or using a stone mill, you can achieve a finer texture that enhances the longevity of your home-milled flour.

Whole grain in the top of a NutriMill Grain mill.

How Much Flour Will Five Pounds of Wheat Berries Make?

When it comes to home flour milling, one of the most common questions is how much flour you can expect from a specific amount of wheat berries.

Understanding Flour Yield

The volume of flour you can yield from five pounds of wheat berries depends on various factors, such as the type of wheat berries and the milling process you use. Whether your wheat berries are whole or ground, they will always weigh the same. Five pounds of wheat berries will yield five pounds of flour.

However, this 1:1 ratio is not the same when measuring by volume. You will yield about 1 1/4 cups of flour for every cup of wheat berries you grind.

Homesteading Hack: A general rule of thumb is to assume a pound of grain will yield approximately 4 cups of flour. Remember, different grains and different grinds will produce different volumes, but this is a good place to start.

Maximizing Flour Yield

To maximize your flour yield, consider the following tips:

  • Choose High-Yielding Wheat Berries – Some varieties of wheat berries have a higher flour yield than others. Look for varieties that are known for their high-yielding properties. (These would be varieties that are larger in size, such as hard white, soft white and Khorasan.
  • Optimize Your Milling Equipment – Make sure your grinding equipment is properly calibrated and adjusted for optimal performance. Clean the milling components regularly to ensure efficient flour production.
  • Adjust Your Milling Technique – Experiment with different milling techniques to find the one that gives you the best flour yield. Factors such as the coarseness of the grind and the speed of the milling process can impact the amount of flour produced.

Home flour milling has been a game-changer on our homestead, which has led me to create my class, Baking With Home-Milled Flour, to teach you how to embrace the convenience, versatility, and quality that come with home flour milling and unlock a whole new world of incredible homemade baked goods.

In this class, you will learn:

  • The differences and features of home grain mills and how to choose the right one for your needs.
  • The differences in types of wheat and how to select the right grain for your recipes.
  • How to convert your favorite recipes to use fresh milled flour.
  • How to properly store your grains.
  • Equipment and supplies you will need to get started.
  • A printable workbook with easy beginner recipes to get you started.
  • And so much more!

Sign up and receive instant access to begin baking with home-milled flour today!

NutriMill Grain mill on a kitchen counter with two glass bowls of grain and flour.

FAQ

Is milling your own flour worth it?

Yes, milling your own flour has several benefits. It allows you to control the types of flour you use and adjust the protein content, resulting in home-baked delicacies with a unique aroma and flavor.

What types of flour can you mill at home?

You can mill various types of flour at home, including whole grain, white flour, and gluten-free flour. Each type has its own uses and can be customized to suit your baking needs.

How long does home-milled flour last?

For the most nutritional value, home-milled flour should be ground and used immediately. However, you can store freshly milled flour in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or stored in the freezer for up to six months.

How much flour can you get from five pounds of wheat berries?

The amount of flour yielded from five pounds of wheat berries will be five pounds of flour. However, the volume will vary depending on the moisture and protein content of the grains and how the grains were milled.

A woman adding flour to a bowl of dough.
A man and wife smiling.

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