The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hand milling as opposed to electric milling

Swadeshi's picture

Hand milling as opposed to electric milling

Does anyone know if there is any qualitative difference in the nutritional value of flour that has been ground by hand as opposed to flour which has been ground by an electric mill?

People who juice their own juices say that slower is better. The heat generated by a fast motor destroys nutrients from the vegetable.

Is this also true of milling flour?

If a small electric mill can grind 100 pounds of flour in one hour I imagine the heat generated must be significant. But then again, flour intended for bread gets cooked.


proth5's picture

I am sure that another source will understand all the theoretical implications of mill speeds/stone vs metal burrs and so on. I'm taking a practical view of this.

What most home millers who use stone burrs on electric mills find is that the temperature of the grain is not raised enough to result in nutrition loss.

Most electric mills for the home miller use stone burrs.  Even at higher outputs stone burrs will act as enough of a heat sink so that the nutritional value of the flour will be preserved.

High speed commercial roller mills will heat the flour to the point where there is nutrition loss.

As someone who hand mills with steel burrs, I would not undertake to do so for nutritional value - you will get similar nutritional results with any quality electric mill available for home milling - you should hand mill for other reasons, such as a desire not to depend on electricity or a need to build your upper body strength (or, as in my case - insanity.)  If you need large quantities of flour - hand milling is simply not viable unless you can harness some kind of draft animal to turn your mill for you.

Hope this helps.

Nim's picture


I am also contemplating the exact same question. And additionally, how much more work is it? Somebody had replied that it does take some hand cranking, so I am scared to take the plunge.

By the way, are you from India? 

LeadDog's picture

Hand cranking a mill is a lot of work so just use your legs.

Pedal Powered Mill

You can read about it at my website.

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

Exercise *before* making the carbohydrate-rich foods...

That could work.

suave's picture

You should also get a saddlestone to ensure your body gets comprehensive workout.

Yerffej's picture

Hand milling is far more that I would willingly choose to do on a regular basis...far, far more.


althetrainer's picture

I have a hand crank attachment to my electric stone mill but I have never tried it.  My friend loaned me a small hand crank one a couple of years ago.  After cranking a couple of cups of flour out of the little mill, I was beat!  I should consider converting an old bike into a leg crank mill.  Two birds with one stone.  What a great idea!

althetrainer's picture