The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

help with grain milling

robkaro's picture

help with grain milling

I am new to this site and didn't realize when I posted the following in a blog that I really need to post in a forum. Sorry for the double post. Here goes......

I am really new to grinding my own grain at home. I purchased the Family Grain Mill and at this point have not successfully ground any grain. I am using a good quality organic spelt and soft white wheat berry grain. I have tried baking several different things...tortillas, artisan bread, and crackers. At this point I cannot get the grain fine enough. Everything is turning out tough and chewy.

Should I sift the grain after milling? If so, doesn't this defeat the purpose of going "whole grain"? I have tried grinding my grain several times....up to 5 times without much more success. Am I expecting too much from my grain mill? I had envisioned being able to use the mill for all my flour needs.....but gave in yesterday and bought flour at the health food store.

I would welcome any suggestions on milling and any recipes that work. I have always been able to successfully bake practically anything at home with commercial flour so am feeling a little defeated.

Yerffej's picture

The first thing to do would be to post your recipe and techniques desrcibing exactly what you have done to create this bread.  I suspect that your problem is compound involving your expectations from the mill, your recipe and your technique.  It would also help to know your level of experience in the bread world as this will also help in identifying where things have gone awry.


proth5's picture

to reconsider the grains that you are milling. 

Soft white wheat is not suitable for bread baking.  Although I am no tortilla expert - I've made a few and I have made them with hard wheat flour.

I also have little acquaintance with the mill you are using, but when milling whole grains, the endosperm will mill more finely than the bran.  When I want really silk whole grain flour, I will sift out the bran and remill it alone - then mix it back.  This will result in a very fine whole wheat flour.  You also do not describe how finely you have set the mill to grind.  5 passes with the same setting will not result in finer flour, you must "tighten" the setting so that the mill creates finer flour. The mill will be harder to turn at finer settings - even if you are remilling the grain.

I just looked up reviews of grain mills here: - this tends to be a reliable site - and there are some mentions of the ability of you mill to grind really finely.

I don't know what your flour needs are, but you may be expecting too much from your relatively small/slow mill.

Hope this helps.

Maryann279's picture

Are you presoaking the milled grain before adding it to the dough?  I agree with Jeff that posting your recipe and method would help in trying to figure out what's wrong.

robkaro's picture

No....I have not soaked the milled grain. I have been attempting to make the dough from the fresh milled grain. If you will check out my blog I did post the recipe that I have used. I didn't realize at first that the blog and forum were different so ended up with threads going in two places. Thanks for your suggestion. Please give me more info on soaking the grain.