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Grinding Your Own Flours and Using Whole Grains

Guest Posts, Healthy Eating, Kitchen Tips & Tricks | 21 comments

I’m taking off this week for a quick trip to Mexico. This tutorial on grinding flours from
whole grains is written by Allison of Some the Wiser. Welcome, Allison!

It is such a good idea to grind your own flours. But as someone who once thought microwavable rice packets were a “good” meal (it was college, forgive me), I know it may seem like an unnecessary step. I can tell you, however, that it is well worth the small amount of extra effort it requires.

Although grinding whole grains into flour can sound daunting, it is really quite simple and very rewarding. Grinding your own flour opens new doors in the kitchen and will elevate all of your grain recipes to a new level of delicious.

grinding your own flour from whole grains

5 Reasons You Should Grind Your Own Flour from Whole Grains

  • Flavor: Freshly ground flour is lighter, more moist, and has a fresh nutty flavor that commercially milled flours lack.  The homemade breads, muffins, and pastries I make with freshly ground flours are always less dense and more flavorful.  Even freshly ground wheat tastes sweeter and lighter than its commercial counterpart.
  • Variety: The grain possibilities are endless when you grind your own flours!  Instead of just Wheat, alternative whole grains like Spelt and Triticale become more affordable and tasty options.
  • Availability: Grains like Kamut and Teff can be difficult to find in flour form, but it’s easy to grind your own. Even Popcorn kernels and Steel Cut Oats can be easily ground into flour and used in all your baking recipes.  It is fun to experiment and add new grains into favorite recipes for new flavors and textures.
  • Cost: Whole grains store well and can be bought in bulk.  Buying grains in bulk and grinding them as you need them saves money, especially when buying specialty grains.
  • Nutrition: To extend their shelf life, commercially milled flours have the germ removed.  The germ is the part of the grain that contains all the nutritious oils, vitamins (B and E), and minerals.  When you grind your own fresh flours, you use the germ and bran and can reap all the taste and health benefits that they offer.

grinding your own flour from whole grains

How to Grind Your Own Flour from Whole Grains:

Grinding your own flour is as simple as purchasing a grain mill.   With a good electric grain mill in your kitchen, grinding flour from whole grains takes just minutes.

There are a number of high quality grain mills on the market to choose from (see the Good Life Eat’s review of the Nutrimill here).  The most important thing when purchasing a grain mill is to pick one that is tough, preferably one with a good long warranty.

A Few Whole Grain + Grinding Tips:

  • Grind only what you can use. Once a grain has been ground into flour it begins to lose its nutritional value very quickly.  If you do grind a little extra, store it in a tightly sealed container in the freezer and use within a few days time.
  • Whole grains store well and for long amounts of time. To keep it free of bugs, store it in a tightly sealed container in a cool dark place.  You can place a few bay leaves in with the grain to help repel bugs naturally.  When buying grains in bulk, 50 lb food grade buckets work well for long term storage.

grinding your own flour from whole grains

Recipes Using Whole Grain Flours

Have you tried grinding your own flours?  What are some of your favorite whole grains?

About the Author:

Allison Ruth is mama to three hungry girls. She blogs at Some the Wiser where she takes life as it comes and tries to learn a little something as she goes. Whether she’s baking bread, sewing, or contemplating the fate of socks gone missing in the laundry, she looks for the peace and creativity life offers to everyone who is paying attention. Living life deliberately isn’t easy, she admits, but it helps when you have good things to eat. You can also find her at Allison Ruth Photography.

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21
RESPONSES - LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW
  • 1
    Bev Weidner - August 25, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    So interesting! I love this!

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  • 2
    Sues - August 25, 2011 @ 10:48 am

    What an awesome tutorial… Have a blast in Mexico!! :)

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  • 3
    Peggy - August 26, 2011 @ 5:50 am

    Great piece! Definitely going to look into a grain mill =)

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  • 4
    Kati Mora - August 27, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    This is such an interesting post! Incorporating whole grains into your day is so important for health. I especially love the high fiber content whole grain foods often have. Most people don’t get enough fiber into their day so finding new ways to incorporate it is such a good thing.

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  • 5
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - August 27, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

    What a great idea… I have to try this! :)

    [Reply]

  • 6
    Pam - August 28, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    When I was young, I had a hand grinder clamped to the kitchen counter and always made my own flour. As the years progressed and time seemed to be of some importance, I ended up not doing that anymore. Your post made me remember how wonderful things do taste when hand ground… Thanks.

    [Reply]

  • 7
    Amanda - August 29, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    My confession: I have always WANTED to, but never knew how!! Thanks so much for this informative post Katie!

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  • 8
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories. - August 29, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    This is something I should be doing more often, you’re right. I’ve ground whole grains in a Vitamix before – I wonder how it compares with the grain mill.

    [Reply]

  • 9
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - August 29, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try grinding my own flours, it’s wonderful to see how easy it can be. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  • 10
    Robyn | Add a Pinch - August 30, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    Love this post! Such great information.

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  • 11
    Taposh - August 30, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    These are amazing pics

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  • 12
    Sneh | Cook Republic - August 30, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    Very nice indeed. Reminds me of childhood, we used to take our own mix of grains to the mill. I wonder if grain mills are available in Australia. Need to check out what options we have. Thanks!

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  • 13
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - September 05, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    Great guest post – I’ve always been curious about this process. These photos are gorgeous!

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  • 14
    Glenda - November 17, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    I love grinding my own wheat’s, grains, and beans, to use in cooking and baking, I use my coffee grinder to grind most of the time I do have a hand grinder however the coffee grinder works just fine…..I also put about a 1/2 cup of diatomacious earth (food grade) into each 4 gallon bucket of grain to keep bugs out.

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  • 15
    Rae - November 25, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    In recipes and on packages of store bought whole grain flour I always see recommendations to replace only 1/4 to 1/2 the flour in the recipe with the whole grain flour. Whenever I try replacing more than that my baked goods become dense and heavy. You said that cooking with freshly ground whole grains gives you less dense bread products; is there a special trick to using only whole grain in a recipe that calls for all purpose or bread flour, or does using freshly ground grains instead of pre-packaged make that much of a difference? Also, can you recommend where to purchase whole grain wheat in bulk? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    • Rae replied: — November 25th, 2012 @ 5:26 PM

      Oh, and could you please give me an idea of how much whole grain wheat you would grind to make a pound of flour? Thanks!

  • 16
    Charlie Passacantando - October 04, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    Could you a good coffee grinder to grind the whole grain?

    [Reply]

  • 17
    Deana Tankersley - October 20, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

    So excited about this as we r planting oats, and I was wondering if I could grind them into flour. Thank you so much and your recipes look so yummy, as well was delighted to see g-f ones as well.. =))

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  • 18
    Rachel Hollerich - November 08, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    Fresh ground flour makes a world of difference! If you like to bake, changing your flour is one of the easiest ways to dramatically improve your baking.

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  • 19
    Elena - January 20, 2014 @ 8:24 pm

    Where would be good places to purchase whole grains?

    [Reply]

  • 20
    Christalee - April 08, 2014 @ 11:07 am

    Thank you for this article. we recently inherited a Nutrimill from my husbands Grandparents home/ farm we just bought. I had no idea how to use it but now I am excited.

    [Reply]

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