How to Make Homemade Flour

Fresh, homemade flour is less expensive, more nutritious and more flavorful than store-bought flour. Learn how to make homemade flour, from choosing a grain mill to grinding technique, with these handy tips.


| February 2015



KoMo grain mill

If you plan to mill larger quantities of whole-grain flour, choose a grain mill designed specifically for that purpose, rather than a multipurpose appliance.


Photo courtesy Voyageur Press

Baking successfully with whole-grain flours requires putting them at the center of each recipe, rather than thinking of them as add-ons, and Tabitha Alterman shows you how to do just that in Whole Grain Baking Made Easy (Voyageur Press, 2014). From mainstays, such as wheat and rye, to less-common choices, such as amaranth and teff, learn how to craft more than 50 mouthwatering recipes by following the simple instructions and beautiful full-color photography throughout this guide. The following excerpt is from chapter 2, “Grain Mill Buyer’s Guide.”

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Whole Grain Baking Made Easy.

Why Make Homemade Flour?

Here are a few of the great reasons to try your hand at homemade flour:

Flavor. Freshness, which can be equated with both flavor and nutrition, is the No. 1 reason to mill flour. The moment after grains become flour is the moment of the flour’s maximum potential flavor, after which oxygen goes to work scavenging flavor molecules and degrading fatty acids. Some types of fresh flour, including buckwheat, corn, oats, and rye, are even more susceptible than wheat to fast degradation. This is no different than what happens to coffee beans once they’re ground. Many coffee aficionados wouldn’t think of brewing coffee with beans ground a week or more ago.

Variety. With more than thirty thousand varieties of wheat in existence, you’d think options for nutritious flours would be numerous. Sadly, this is not the case. Research conducted by Dr. Donald R. Davis, a former nutrition scientist at the University of Texas, demonstrates how wheat has declined nutritionally over the last 50 years as farms have become more industrial.

“Beginning about 1960,” Davis told me, “modern production methods have gradually increased wheat yields by about threefold. Unfortunately, this famous Green Revolution is accompanied by an almost unknown side effect of decreasing mineral concentrations in wheat. Dilution effects in the range of 20 percent to 50 percent have been documented in modern wheats for magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, phosphorus, and sulfur, and they probably apply to other minerals as well.”

carolyn
2/25/2015 7:36:58 PM

I grind my own brown rice flour using a VitaMix and a fine sieve. I sort the rice and then store it in a jar in the freezer until I need more flour. The frozen rice grinds thoroughly in one minute, and the flour doesn't get very hot -- a nutritional advantage. I store any leftover flour in the freezer, also. And the few bigger particles removed by the sieve go back into the jar to be ground with the next batch.


cm
2/25/2015 11:34:11 AM

There is a company called Retsel in Idaho (www.retsel.com) that makes several great mills, some powered, some manual that are very affordable. I am using one that my parents bought in the 1970's and I inherited when they passed. I grind enough wheat every week to make 4 - 36 oz loaves of bread, and it is working great. They deliberatley use a motor that turns the stones slowly to prevent destroying the nutrients in the flour. I love my Retsel mill. I am planning on buying one of their manual models so I can still grind flour when the electric grid goes down and we all have to go back to living like the Amish.


karenc
2/25/2015 8:08:00 AM

Where can I purchase Prairie Gold or Bronze Chief locally in Arkansas?


joni
2/21/2015 1:53:47 PM

In the last month I have been making quinoa and oat flour and using it in my oatmeal cookie recipe instead of white flour. I'd like to think that the cookies could be a bit better nutritionally and they still taste good.






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