The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

For those that grind your own flour

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Kitchen Witch's picture
Kitchen Witch

For those that grind your own flour

For those of you that grind your own flour is it posibile to make unbleached white flour at home? I am going to start grinding soon and would like to not have to buy any flour any more but I can't see cookies tasting that great with whole wheat.

GreyStone's picture
GreyStone

I hope this answers your question.

In addition to using fresh flour, you need to choose the right kinds of wheat. Each of the many wheats grown in the United States has its own identifiable flavor and baking personality. For best flavor and performance, an optimum wheat should be used for each type of baked goods. Fluffy, light-flavored, American-style breads produced in a quick four-hour process need hard red or hard white spring wheat. Heartier European-type artisan loaves that take much longer to develop benefit from a full-flavored hard red winter wheat and probably some rye. Delicious whole-wheat pasta requires the wheat preferred by the pasta-loving Italians, hard amber durum. Finally, desserts such as cookies, bars and cakes need the lower protein level of soft white or soft red winter wheats

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I mill my own flour and buy locally grown organic wheat. I'm sure that has been done for centuries - European flour was mainly "soft" and is fine for home baking. I think the harder, higher protein grains are needed for commercial, "fast" types of bread - home baking is much more traditional. So I wouodn't worry too much....

Andrew

martin's picture
martin

Dear Kitchen Witch,

I only just came across your posting. How did you get on with your Mill?

Are you sifting out the bran to make Unbleached flour?

I grind my own flours and use the whole flour for all kinds of baking, including cakes, sponges, biscuits and breads. I have never sifted anything out. I have sometimes thought of sifting to produce Unbleached Flour, but I guess it is easier to buy it. Once the flour is sifted, the enzymes are mostly removed anyway, so it has already lost most of its nutrional value. It just does not have the chemical residues from bleached commercial flours.

With the whole grain wheat, I mill it just before preparing the dough, with the understanding that the wheats natural enzymes are still 'alive'. Unless refrigerated, they die off with quite a short period of time (6hrs I believe).

My wife and I sell our bread at some Organic Shops and a small Farmers Market. Each week people return and say they love our breads. I think the taste from the whole grains really come through and the customers recognise that.

It is a specialised market though, it is difficult to sell it to people committed to soft white bread.

Regards,

Martin

www.bakerette-cafe.com

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Can each of you tell me what you use for a flour mill? I'm researching machines now -- stone, high impact, burr mills -- and am in a real quandry. Are stone mills the preferred equipment? Do the other types create that much more heat? (I've even read that the stone machines can create more heat, and, thereby, destroy more nutrients, than the more modern machines.) Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

Sylvia
In search of the perfect crust & crumb

breadbakin fool's picture
breadbakin fool

I use  the Komo Fidibus 21 also, and it does a fantastic job of grinding flour.  The other advantage to it is that it takes up very little space on the counter and looks great.  I leave it out all the time and use quite often for grinding  wheat and rye flour when I make bread.  I'm very impressed with the quality of construction and ease of use (incredibly easy to grind flour to any degree of fineness) and though it's my first mill, and therefore can't compare it directly based upon experience with the others, I would definitely suggest taking a look at it when you are deciding what mill to buy.   

loydb's picture
loydb

If you want true stone-ground, nothing beats a Retsel in my opinion. With the addition of the metal wheels, you can grind pretty much anything (blue corn cornbread is fantastic!). The flour never even gets warm to the touch.

 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

I make most of my doughs in my DLX, but do have a KA, also a Kenwood from UK that I have had for years and collected many attachments for, one being a grain mill, it does a very good job for all my needs. qahtan

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

qahtan,
Thanks for the quick reply. I've got a KA and didn't know if the milling attachment would do a good enough job. Are you able to produce a fine or coarse flour? Do you find that your KA attachment overheats the flour? Again, thanks for the information.
Sylvia
In search of the perfect crust & crumb

qahtan's picture
qahtan

Sylvia.... Ooops, the mill attachment I have is
for my Kenwood,,, Sorry about that, qahtan.

linder's picture
linder

I did not get a fine enough grind with the Kitchen Aid Grain Mill attachment.  It was too coarse to make good bread.  I have since purchased a Fidibus 21 KoMo grain mill and it does a terrific job, grinding the wheat berries finely.  I'm using hard red winter wheat berries organically and locally (Dixon, CA) grown.  The resulting bread has great flavor without any special handling (unless you consider making a sponge as a first step, special handling). 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I have a DeLonghi mixer, which I understand is the same as the Kenwood machine. Are you able to grind fine cake/pastry flour as well as bread flour? Since I can get the milling attachment for considerably less than a mill, it might make sense for me. I don't know that I would want a lot of the really coarse flour - I can always produce small amounts of it in my blender.

Btw, someone once told me that the attachments for the KA, Kenwood and several other mixers are made by the same company, and work presumably the same - though I would think the motor's power in different machines would make a difference as well.

martin's picture
martin

Dear Sylvia,

I had a whisper mill, but that was probably put together incorrectly and the flour leaked into the motor cavity and it just burned out after a few months. I also had a hand operated retsel mill. This one lasted about two years of very heavy use. I very soon motorised it after a few weeks of using it manually. I suppose I must have ground a ton with it. Probably far beyond its intended capability. The stones just wore out. Retsel in the US never did answer any of my emails, but Retsel Australia did but I considered the replacement stones too expensive compared to my next purchase.

I currently use a Mill from India with 12 inch stones. I am living in Malaysia so it was not so far to import it from India. Originally we were looking at a US Mill but they did not reply to our Emails. The Mill from India cost about 650 USD including freight by sea and I am very pleased with it. It is built like a tank and very simple to maintain. The stones however are composite stones.

Hope that helps

Martin

www.bakerette-cafe.com

Sylviambt's picture
Sylviambt

Martin,
Thanks for the info. A friend has a stone mill, so I'm going to ask her to grind some flour for me and to allow me to check out how the unit operates. Right now I'm leaning towards a Nutrimill unit. It's definitely not a stone mill, but according to the sellers it operates to a low enough temperature so as not to destroy the nutrients in the flour.
Sylvia

In search of the perfect crust & crumb

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I use a grain mill which attaches to my kenwood chef. It does an excellent job - and the flour comes out only slightly warm so I'm sure it doesn't lose any enzymes, vitamins etc.
Martin, I didn't realize the enzymes died after 6 hours! I've been milling enough to last for about 3 to 4 days - flavour is still excellent. All I was concerned about was that the natural oils begin to go rancid after about a week, so all commercially milled flour will be past it's absolute peak by the time it is possible to buy it. And the flavour of the the freshly milled flour is superb.

Andrew

qahtan's picture
qahtan

Yes that's what I use to mill my grain in, the Kenwood mill attachment.
But I only mill enough for what I want then, and do it as part of my bread making.
But I make my breads in DLX. qahtan

garyb59's picture
garyb59

Kitchen Witch, I use a Nutrimill. I grind red and white wheat berries and rye berries. I think the temperature gets to aroud 110 degrees. I've been using mine for about 2 years and unless I mess up the recipe, the flours work great. I got mine at Pleasant Hill Grain (0n line) for about 250.00. It really doesn't make mush of a mess and you can grind very fine flour, as well as course or in between.