The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why should we home mill?

Sherlock_Holmes's picture

Why should we home mill?

Hey all,

I'm just wondering what the benefits of milling one's own flour at home are.

In the UK one can already obtain organic stone ground flours, which I don't think are too expensive... so why do people bother? Is the flour nicer when its fresher?

I did read something about the fact that flour which you buy has the germ removed from it in order to give it a longer storage life. Is that all flours including 100% wholegrain? Is the germ beneficial to bread making or to our health?





Nickisafoodie's picture

Use the search box in the upper left corner under "home milling", and "milling" and you will see many posts that explain the difference...   Freshness and not having part of the flour being removed being one of many reasons... 

Sherlock_Holmes's picture

thanks, I may just be a rubbish detective... (not rlly worthy of the pseudonym of Sherlock Holmes!), but I haven't been able to find such a post. If you know one, would you be able to give me a link to it?

flourgirl51's picture

Two key benefits to home milling are that you can grind only the amount that you need and freshness. When you use freshly ground flour your bread stays fresher longer. You also are getting the true whole grain.

MangoChutney's picture

Whole grain keeps a long, long time.  Making the flour that you need, only when you need it, gives you the freshest flour possible without any worry about storing it.

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer tastes better to me.  I grind what I need when I'm ready to bake and use it right away.  The flavor is better to me.  There's a  ton of info about improved health benefits, too, but I just like the taste.  The germ is primarily for health reasons, I believe.


LeadDog's picture

For me it makes a richer more flavorful bread and I can make flours that I can't get in my local store.

Sherlock_Holmes's picture

Thanks for the info all,

That's given me the impetus to find more about it. Does anyone know any books that cover the topic of home milling?

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

There's more on the internet than I've found in books, but I may not be using the best key words. 

Here's one called Cooking and Baking with Fresh Ground Flour,

A number of books are listed on this site that sells a bunch of home mills:

"Laurel's Kitchen" is a good resource with great recipes and some discussion on milling; however, I use other techniques to make bread than long kneading as she recommends.

The best technique I've found is in Peter Reinhart's "Whole Grain Breads".  I find that the technique works extremely well with fresh ground grains.


proth5's picture

on home milling is rarer than one might think.  Unfortunately, many of the books that claim to be about home milling are really mostly about how good freshly ground grain is for one's health and/or baking with the whole grain flour - not milling it.

And, in fact, home milling can be very simple.  However, if you are up for adventure you can type "bwraith blog" or "proth5 blog" into the TFL search and find some very interesting discussions from maniac home millers.

Why do it? Because it is there....

Happy Milling!

flourgirl51's picture

Home milling really doesn't require a book. It is very simple. You place the grain in the hopper and grind it. You can use freshly ground flour in any recipe. Grain mills are another matter. Stone mills don't grind the bran as fine as an impact mill and sprouted grains are better ground in an impact mill as the sprouts can glaze the stones on a stone mill. Of course, you can always sift out some of the bran if you use a stone mill and don't like the larger bran pieces. Either way, you are still getting a true whole grain flour.

Janetcook's picture

I do it for freshness and health as others have mentioned.

 There is also a huge savings in price.  I can buy 50# of organic grain for about $35.00 and store it in my basement iindefinitely....doesn't usually hang around that long though. No 'stale' flour to toss out every few months.  

I can also mix and match whatever I want to in whatever amounts I want.....did I mention variety?  Yep, home milling allows me the ability to explore without waste.  :-)

Good Luck in your search.  

Sorry I have no references to pass on to you...I simply learned by doing.....

Take Care,


Sherlock_Holmes's picture

Thanks so much everyone! :) sorry for the late reply.

I've got Peter Reinhart's book on order, and after I have a read through some more of the info on this site on milling grains, I can decide for myself if home milling is for me. Cheers for the help. 

loydb's picture

Even if you ignore the health benefits, the taste benefits are amazing. I'm also a little disappointed in the available selection of books on whole grain milling.