The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Advice on milling my own flour

Justkneadit's picture
Justkneadit

Advice on milling my own flour

When I return from this dismal country I would like to begin milling my own flour to bake my loaves. I have zero knowledge of milling and am humbly requesting the knowledge of my fellow TFLer's to point me in the right direction as far as books to read or videos to watch, or even what brand would be good to start out with.

Apart from growing the wheat myself, a feat I will soon accomplish once I have land, it would be a great accomplishment to nearly make a loaf of bread from scratch.

Thanks everyone!

Lane

proth5's picture
proth5

Number 1, Lane - stay safe.  I think about that little corner of the world every day  - for far more personal reasons than I wish to state. - so, stay safe.

Anyway, there is precious little written on the subject of home milling.  The book "Flour Power: A Guide To Modern Home Grain Milling" by Marleeta F. Basey (which is now back in print) claims to be the only book on home milling and that is a mostly accurate claim.  If you can order from Amazon, that might be a good place to start.  I own and have read this book and frankly it is mostly an overview of mills, some information on the wheat berry itself, and then a very long sermon on the virtues of whole wheat.  But it will give you some of the basics.

Frankly, I feel better about the information in Mr Hamelman's "Bread, etc..." on grains, flour, and flour rheology - which is another place to gain knowledge.

The blogs written by myself, bwraith, and others on this site are in some ways far more informative than the "Flour Power..." book and have taken home milling a bit further than the author of that book.

But you may wish to contemplate the whys of your milling so that you will know what your proper mill setup should be like.  What kind of flour do you want to mill?  What is the milling experience that you want to have? (What?  For example, I wanted a very hands on experience, that led to my interest in hand turned mills - which despite the common clamor of "you'll never keep it up" I have kept up, because that's the milling experience that I wanted.) What is your budget? How will milling fit with your life, your esthetic, your budget, your available time, and  your living space?

In essence home milling can be as simple as putting grains in the hopper of an electric mill, setting the grind fineness and hitting the "on" button - or as complex as getting tempering equipment, multiple mills, and eccentric sifters.  You must know where your passion lies and follow it.

Stay safe.

Happy Milling!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I second what Pat has just written so eloquently.  Dream on but ground your dreams with some practical expectations.  

Good to give this thought now so you don't end up like I did.  When I took up baking again a couple of years ago I bought one mill (a Nutramill) based on how I use to bake...but my baking all changed radically once I began using sd and I had to relegate that mill to my basement storage area to make way for a different mill that fitted my needs better. (a KoMo)  An expensive lesson.

How long will you be in Afghanistan?  I imagine it is quite the culture shock - on top of everything else.  I will toss in a bit of 'motherly' advice that has been passed on to me....'try to see some beauty wherever you are everyday'......(Sorry, I am a mother and these things do just slip out...part of the job description :-)

Take Good Care of Yourself,

Janet

nhtom's picture
nhtom

I put the wheat berries through the grinder 3 times - tightening the stones a little each interation.

It works for me.

cjc's picture
cjc

Is there any way to obtain "white or unbleached" flour with a home grinder?

proth5's picture
proth5

a way to do that - search on "proth5" and look at some of the older blogs - I have done it, but it is not easy.

There is also little advantage to it (except for the pride that comes from "doing it yourself") - frankly, I would leave the pure white flours to the big boys with roller mills.  What can become a fascinating hobby is "less than whole grain" or "nearly white" flours - this is a little more suited for home millers.

Happy Milling!

ryebreadasap's picture
ryebreadasap

I am trying to research this but short on ttime unfortunately.  I have a nutribullet . And a blendtec blender but haven't tried it. 

I dont think I want to buy a more expensive mill. I was told I had to sift out hard bits to feed my starter. I want to do hard red wheat, rye, spelt. My mill seems powdery  enough to me but I am a brand new baker.    I am trying to find out sifting info.  Or if its neccessary. Maybe my bread will still be edible but just not rise if my milling amd sifting isnt good enough?    I think I read that I must handmill afterwards instead of sift. I will try to do more research.  If I bake with flour not fine enough, is the shelf life much shorter because it will still be wet inside from too many hard bits? 

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Grains and milling forum - If you are into milling at home, this is the place for you.Whole Grains forum - Whole grain and multi-grain breadsOr use the search box in the upper left of the site.Reach out and explore the site.Best of luck to you in your baking education. Have fun.

 

arydberg's picture
arydberg

My nutramill is one year old an twice i have had to disassemble it for cleaning.   My last attempt was simply  to use compressed air into the outlet port & seemed to work.    I have given up with the filter as when this clogs up bad things happen.    Best advice i can give is leave filter out.    

PattiFoote's picture
PattiFoote

Hi everyone, I’m a newbie to milling flour, just get my “Grainmaker” mill and made my first loaf a Honey Whole Wheat Buttermilk Sandwick Bread. It turned out awesome and am now looking for easy recipes and milling friends to help me through this journey. With the help of my husband who did most of the grinding we ground 5 lbs in 30 minutes. These berries where pre soaked and dehydrated and the flour was only milled once, they were hard white and soft mixed together. I have dough conditioner on hand, but no gluten yet, that is why I picked the recipe I did for I had everything else. 

  I wanted to introduce myself to you all and will hope for new friends. My friends a confused as to why I’m doing this at my age of 65 this year. I just told them I didn’t have the time before or the money to invest in this life changing way of life.  Thanks for reading 😊

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Welcome Patti. You must be proud of that mill. It’s a classic beauty!

I have been Milling for years, but am no expert.  You may be ahead of me. I never soaked berries, dehydrated and ground. So, you are making sprouted flour?

I noticed you ground 5 pounds of berries. Will they be used soon? I ask because most of us on the site grind on demand, that way the flour is as fresh as possible.

There are plenty of avid millers that will reply with much more help. I look forward to hearing more about your Milling journey!

Dan

 

PattiFoote's picture
PattiFoote

Hi Dan,  thanks for the welcome. I ended up with 5 lbs of a mixture of hard and soft white wheat flour and have already used 8 cups for it on two loaves of bread 🥖. The rest of it is in the freezer so it won’t go rancid. That was my first bread from my grinder and I gave half of it to friends, it’s time to make more this weekend. I only soaked the berries for 24 hrs to soften them and then dried them in my Dehydrater. They hadn’t sprouted so it wasn’t sprouted flour. I just soaked more berries and forgot to add about a 2Tbs of apple cider vinegar to about 14 cup of berries 😢. I just pour berries into 2-1/2 gallon mason jars and then add water & apple cider vinegar. Sure hope it doesn’t make a difference, I won’t forget again. I watch “Rain Country” on YouTube and have learned a lot.

Thanks for the message

Patti

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Was curious about wheat berries, water and vinegar. Went to YouTube and searched Rain Country and didn’t find anything. Do you have a link?

Dan

PattiFoote's picture
PattiFoote

Hi Dan, ok, on YouTube, type in Rain Country Homestead. When Heidi’s page comes up I typed in “wheat berries, soaking, drying and more. That should help you, I don’t know how to send you a link, only how I do it😊.