The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Home-milled flour: is grit or small hard/stone-like parts normal?

Sweet_home's picture

Home-milled flour: is grit or small hard/stone-like parts normal?

Is it normal for there to be hard bits in home ground flour? I just received my nutrimill harvest mill. I immediately baked up a tray of focaccia and some whole wheat bread. In both, I noticed that my teeth hit on something hard on the odd bite, like a very small stone. It was nothing I could make out after examining the mouthful (a bit gross, sorry!).

I am now worried about whether the synthetic milling stone may be breaking down into the flour. I am considering returning the mill and purchasing an impact mill instead. I'd prefer to keep the stone mill though if that grit is normal in any home made bread flour. My two little ones will also be eating this bread, so I really want to be sure it is safe, including for their teeth!

Thank you for your help!

barryvabeach's picture

You shouldn't have hard bits in the flour after going through a mill.  I suggest you use a sifter and sift through the flour the next time you mill something and see if you see anything.  Generally, if you set it for a fine flour, it should feel like flour you buy at the store - a very fine powder. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

That when I buy whole rye grains I often find these other accompanying hard small ball like grit things. Not sure what they are but I sift through them and try to pick them out. Are you sure this grit is little pieces of unground wheat grain?

HansB's picture

In addition to the suggestions above, check that there are no tiny pebbles/grit in your wheat berries before milling.

charbono's picture

it is recommended to grind and discard a few cups of grain.

TopBun's picture

It's unlikely to be the milling stone - they're very hard. As suggested above, it's more likely to be small debris in the wheat berries, or possibly some one-time manufacturing debris. This is not uncommon, especially if you are sourcing grain from other than large scale commercial producers. For the wheat from my grain share CSA from regional farms, I've learned to quickly pick through it before milling - spreading handfuls on a white dinner plate allows for a quick inspection and with practice it's faster than you'd think. I generally don't have to do it with grains I get from my local Whole Foods and health foods Co-op, as they source from a large commercial distributor. 

Sweet_home's picture

Thank you all for the helpful comments and reassurance on the milling stones. I bought the wheat berries in bulk from winco but did not look carefully for debris before milling. I ran 2 cups of barley and split peas (the oldest items in my pantry) through before milling the flour, per the manual, but perhaps more was needed. As long as it's not the milling stones, sounds like I should be able to troubleshoot with your suggestions to get a pebble-free flour!

maryann's picture

I also just bought a NutriMill Harvest grain mill last 1-2 weeks. I was taking the top stone apart to clean, then I discovered there were some little small stone are missing here and there on the top and bottom stones.

Is this normal?