The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to grind your own all purpose flour - recipe

evmiashe's picture

How to grind your own all purpose flour - recipe

Since I have a wheat grinder and lots of wheatberries (hard red, white and soft), I want to grind my own all purpose flour - not buy it in the store.  I have been searching and searching for a real recipe on how to grind your own all purpose flour for baking (not bread baking).  So far I have found out that it is a mixture of soft wheat and hard winter white wheat.  Is it 50% / 50%???  Can someone share their recipe?  And do you then sift out the bran with a hand sifter to make a lighter flour for pastry and cake? 

Thank you so much!


BettyR's picture

Hi Evelyn,

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket here but if you grind whole wheat and then sift it you are going to have the exact same product that you get when you buy a bag of unbleached AP flour at the store. Why would you want to go to all that trouble? It's going to be expensive and a lot of work. You will have to buy several different grades of sifters to get all the bran out and your wheat berries cost more than a bag of AP flour to start with so you won't ever gain on cost. If it's just for fun then I can understand that, after all I buy yarn and then crochet it into an afghan, I could easily purchase a similar size throw at a cheaper price but it just wouldn't be the same.

Yerffej's picture

The creation of "white flour" in all of its various disguises and variations is no small undertaking and not suited to home production.  If you search the past posts you will find that some have gone to great lengths and even greater expense to create white flour at home.  What degree of success they had,  I do not know. The chances of creating this flour at home, even with tremendous expense, are rather small.  You can mill flour at home and the sift out the bran if you are using a stone or burr mill.  If you are using a high impact mill then the bran has already been ground into fine particles.  While this home sifted flour is not "white" flour it will be a flour that acts a bit more like white flour.

Pastry and cake flours come from soft wheat and are a result of that particular grain and often employ milling techniques unique to that type of flour.  Again you are not going to recreate this flour at home but you could stone mill soft white wheat and then sift that flour.

If you truly want these specific flours, I would suggest that you buy them.  If you want something remotely similar from home milled grain then use a sifter after milling.



evmiashe's picture

Thank you both for your comments.  I should say that I am asking the question because I am interested in grinding all my own organic flour - not so much to save money (although that's a consideration) but primarily for these nutrional reasons. 

  • Home milling uses 100% of the wheat berry (including the most nutritious part, the wheat germ which is removed in commercial milling so the flour won't go rancid) Fresh milled is best for quality, flavor and nutrition. 
  • Within 24 hours of grinding flour it loses 45% of its nutrients and within 72 hours, it loses 80 -90%.
  • Fresh milled flour is easier to digest.  It contains no additives, preservatives and has not been irradiated.

I use 100% whole wheat flours for my breads with great success but am having trouble when it comes to muffins, pastry and cakes.  I was just hoping for a simple recipe combination (of soft and hard wheat flour) and a trick (like sifting out some of the bran) on occassion when I am looking for a lighter baked good. 

I am not interested in re-creating white flour but instead finding a nutrious substitute that might perform more closely to all purpose flour. 

What did people do before all purpose flour existed at the grocery store? 

I appreciate your comments and I'm glad there is a site like this to go to for help.


subfuscpersona's picture

evmiashe on Aug 26, 2010 wrote:
I use 100% whole wheat flours for my breads with great success but am having trouble when it comes to muffins, pastry and cakes. I was just hoping for a simple recipe combination (of soft and hard wheat flour) and a trick (like sifting out some of the bran) on occassion when I am looking for a lighter baked good...I am not interested in re-creating white flour but instead finding a nutrious substitute that might perform more closely to all purpose flour.

I'm not going to deal with "pastry and cakes" since I use commercial white flour for both pastry and cakes in my own baking.

Your interest seems to be to migrate to the use of (home milled) whole grain flour in foods other than (yeast risen) bread in order to increase nutrition. Here are two suggestions ...


> muffins and quick breads - For the whole wheat flour, I suggest using soft white wheat. I would honestly suggest starting with a mix of 50% home milled whole wheat flour (from soft white wheat) and 50% commercial (unbleached) white flour, gradually reducing the percent of commercial flour until you can reliably produce muffins and/or quick breads that you and your family like.

> homemade pasta dough - for pasta dough you have more leeway in your choice of wheat - while I prefer soft white wheat you can try milling a stronger wheat such as hard winter wheat or even hard spring wheat. White wheat (rather than red) will give a more neutral taste to your pasta. It will be closer to store bought pasta and go well with a variety of sauces.


I routinely make pasta dough with 100% home milled wheat flour since my family enjoys pasta a lot. I don't make muffins or quick breads that often since my family eats homemade bread or rolls, so there's not a big demand for quick breads and muffins.

If you'd like to follow up on this, please feel free to PM me. I mill a variety of grains, use them extensively in cooking and would be happy to share tips or recipes.

evmiashe's picture

Thanks for your reply!  I haven't tried making pasta dough yet but will give it a go when I have the time.  For now, I'm working on the muffins.  Yesterday I made Banana Muffins using the recipe from Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book - A Guide to Whole-Grain Bread Baking.  It wasn't a 50/50 soft to hard wheat ratio but instead 75% soft wheat and 25% hard white wheat and then I sifted out some of the bran in a hand held sifter (as per the recipe).  The batter was a little wet and I ended up needing to add more flour and still had to cook them longer than the recipe called for, but they turned out great and my boys loved them.  As long as I can get away with not buying commercial flour, that would be my preference but the food has to taste good too.

I would LOVE any of your (whole grain fresh milled flour) favorite recipes for bread, muffins, cookies or whatever.  I bake bread twice a week and it has taken me nine months to finally come up with a sandwich bread recipe that I love.  Of course we've eaten all the loaves that came before, but I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of it.

Working with 100% whole wheat is definitely more challenging, but I think it's worth the effort.  How do I PM you for recipes??

Thanks so much!!!



momof5's picture

I just read today from a web site on sifting out the bran from fresh ground wheat. I am looking for a way to get the bran sifted out for a lighter baking flour for goodies.

I do understand the problems with that, extra work and lacking nutrition...but if in the end you decide to buy it anyway, then you lose in the sense that it was so long ago ground that there is no nutrition least if I do it myself, then I still have some of the nutrition left.

But this adding back the bran gives a great lift to your flour/dough as in using gluten or dough conditioner is a real boost to my bread making. Since moving from sea level to 2000 ft elevation I have had disastrous results with bread..nothing consistent for sure. This may be my boost for a great rise in my bread. Hope it helps you too.


Paddlers2's picture

I use no commercial flour in my breads or quick breads - it's all ground just before I use it.  I use mainly hard red winter mixed with spelt, oats, rye etc. -  sometimes a little soft white to moderate the dough.   For quick bread recipes, I simply substitute soft white wherever AP is called for.   Never had a problem, though sometimes you might find yourself adding or subtracting a tablespoon or so to get the consistency you want.   

naschol's picture

for cakes, muffins, quick breads, pastries, etc. and it works great.  Breads are risen with gluten, but other baked goods are leavened with baking soda, baking power and salt.  Therefore, you don't really need AP.  If you really want to, you can mix the hard and soft 50/50 or whatever percentage you choose.  I would keep the soft in equal or higher percentage, though, or you will end up with tough baked goods.