Milling Flour

eggplantladyJuly 24, 2011

I am interested in hearing from anyone who mills their own flour. I would like to know if there is a substantial savings over purchased flour (I only use King Arthur's - pricier but I have found the taste and final product to be worth it). Also, what kind of mill do you have? I have looked at the manual mills, but can't find good reviews to go with the products.

Thank you!

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I'm a long-time home miller of grains/seeds/beans and own a bevy of mills that do an assortment of tasks - including fine flour (which is necessary for breads and cakes), coarse grinding (for meals and cereal blends) and a flaker for milling flakes. I also teach classes on whole grains and milling and make all our breads and baked goods, so these mills are in use all the time.


Nutrimill, and formerly a Whisper Mill (which now goes by the name Wonder Mill). The Nutrimill has a few more features than a Wonder Mill. Both mill a large variety of grains/seeds/beans, but the Nutrimill will not only mill a beautiful fine flour, but also a coarser grind than the Wonder Mill. So you can make a fine-grind of cornmeal - you will need another mill if you like medium or coarse grind of cornmeal. I also use this coarse setting for milling durum wheat and kamut for making whole-grain semolina for making pasta. I can heartily recommend both of these mills as excellent impact mills.

My back-up mills: Family Grain Mill (hand or electric power - I have the electric motor for it) and a Wonder Mill Junior Deluxe (hand-powered). Both are very versatile mills. There IS a down-side to milling by hand. It will take you as much time to mill enough flour by hand as it takes to make the bread. It sounds so darn "romantic" or "back-to-nature" while it's really nothing but a lot of work to mill by hand.

Corona Corn Mill - (hand mill) for coarse grinding only.

Porkert Seed Mill - (hand mill) for milling tiny or oily seeds. (Amaranth, teff, sesame, flax, poppy, etc.)

Marga Molino Flaker Mill - flattens grains into flakes or does coarse grinding. You can get a flaker attachment for the Family Grain Mill.

If you use King Arthur's White Whole Wheat Flour, I purchase the same wheat from a local mill that mills that particular flour for this region for King Arthur. Fifty pounds of wheat for $19.99. It comes in bags - and is more expensive if you want it in buckets ($25.99/45-pound bucket) or gamma-lid buckets ($35.99/45-pound bucket). I store over a thousand of pounds of grains/seeds/beans and most of it is vacuum-sealed in FoodSaver bags. After doing this process since the mid-1980's, I've never had an infestation of pantry pests. Oxygen-free storage will destroy any bugs/eggs that may be in your grain. Actually, if you purchase triple-cleaned grain, it's rare that there are any pests in it. Most people bring pantry pests into their homes via boxed foods from the grocery store, as well as in dry pet food.

KA White Whole Wheat Flour is 100% extraction, which means they mill the entire grain, which is what I do at home, so I get 50-pounds of flour for $19.99 (plus tax). Technically, you can get a little more extraction from white wheat varieties than red wheat varieties, but that's just a bit of technical mumbo-jumbo.

Another great wheat product: Wheat Montana Wheat (Prairie Gold - hard white spring and Bronze Chief - hard red spring), which I purchase at Wal-Mart - $13.98/25-pounds. It's very close to being organic and chemical-free - which is another plus for this grain - but makes it a premium price. I was purchasing this same wheat three years ago for $5/25# and at the time it was the most expensive wheat I'd ever purchased, but well worth it because it's an excellent wheat for bread. So you see you will have to do the math based on the price you pay for grain.

I store a variety of wheat varieties.
--Naturally-leavened and yeast-raised breads (where you need a lot of gluten-development): hard red and white spring wheat, hard red and white winter wheat
--For pastry, quick-breads, cookies (things where you don't want a lot of gluten-development) - soft white wheat, spelt, and einkorn
--For pasta - durum wheat and kamut

Pleasant Hill Grain - (and click on mills)

You can find all kinds of reviews on the Wonder Mill Junior Deluxe. It's the newest mill I've purchased and I would highly recommend this mill if you could only have ONE, and didn't mind the workout from milling by hand.

The best reason for milling your own flour is so you get the most nutrition possible from the grain. If I had to stop milling and buy whole wheat flour from the store, I wouldn't use it. The nutrients and healthy oils begin to degrade within 3-hours of milling. The healthy oils, once the grain is cracked open, are exposed to oxygen and that causes the oils to quickly go rancid and become free-radicles which are harmful to your body. When you purchase commercial whole wheat flour, all you are getting is additional fiber, and little else because it has long sense degraded during storage and on the shelf at the store. The only way to get all the nutrition possible from grain is to mill your own flour and to use it as soon as possible after milling.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 11:40AM
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