Grinding Fresh Flour

I’ll begin this post by stating that I am far from perfect.  I set goals, and sometimes I’m too tired or busy or lazy to accomplish them.  This is definitely one of them!

About a year ago we saved up and purchased a Grain Mill.  I had done some reading that made me feel like fresh flour was worth the time and effort of grinding myself.  (I’ll also add that there are many electric grain mills that make grinding flour fast and require minimal effort.)

First of all, grinding your own flour saves money.  Wheat berries can be bought for anywhere from .39 to .69 cents per pound in our area, and can be stored almost indefinitely, if kept sealed in a cool, dry place.  This also helps with your food storage goals!

Secondly, and most importantly, fresh flour is substantially more nutritious than store-bought flour.  When you purchase enriched all-purpose flour at the store, the bran and germ are taken out, so the flour can be preserved longer on the store shelf.  (It’s also usually bleached to make it look even whiter…yuck.)  The bran and germ are where most of the nutrients are!  All-purpose flour is virtually devoid of all the good stuff found in wheat.  Store-bought wheat flour is definitely a big step up from all-purpose flour.  However, just like with vegetables, the longer it takes to get to you, the more the nutrients deteriorate.  Freshly ground flour preserves all of the nutrients of the wheat berry, giving you the maximum amount of nutrients in your flour.

Lastly, fresh just tastes better!  Isn’t that always the case?  Nothing beats the taste of fresh bread warm from the oven, from flour that you just ground yourself!

Now with all of those great reasons to grind our flour fresh, I still haven’t converted 100%.  It takes time and energy, sometimes that I don’t have!  I do try to grind flour for most of our bread and rolls.  But I still haven’t learned to bake cookies and cakes perfectly with fresh flour, so many times I cop-out and use all-purpose flour, because I know it’ll turn out the way the recipe intends.  But we’re on a journey, right?  We can’t regain all these skills without practice, and I count any step we make towards healthier cooking and self-sufficiency to be a good one!

Check back Friday for some yummy bread recipes!

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9 thoughts on “Grinding Fresh Flour

  1. Pingback: Food Fridays – Sourdough English Muffin Recipe « A Hopeful Homestead

  2. Pingback: Food Fridays – Making Mozzarella Cheese! « A Hopeful Homestead

  3. We are on the same journey. You’re making better progress than a lot of us, so keep your chin up. Your post here inspires me to keep working toward that goal.

    I was reading Michael Pollen’s book In Defense of Food the other day and learned another important reason to grind it fresh. The symbiotic relationship that exists between germ, bran and flour cannot be re-introduced by adding back the germ and bran while mixing into a processed, bleached flour. Freshly ground flour containing germ and bran maintains the important relationship, which in turn, makes the entire product more nutritious.

    Thank you for sharing this GREAT post on The Country Homemaker Hop and I look forward to your next post.

    • Thank you! We have made a lot of progress in the past year and a half since we started homesteading, but sometimes it’s hard to not look at how far we still have to go! I’m going to have to look up that book at my local library…that’s one I haven’t read yet. Thanks for the information!

  4. I’ve been grinding my own wheat with a whisper mill for almost 15 years now. I pretty much use winter white berries (also known as “golden” wheat or “golden 96”) for pretty much everything. It bakes up very nicely and lighter than the red wheat.

    • That is fantastic! Before I had done a lot of research on wheat berries, I bought a whole bunch of hard red and soft white wheat, figuring that those would cover all my needs for bread and baked goods. I’ve since learned that the white wheat has the same nutrients as the red, but is lighter in texture. I plan to get that when I run out of my current supply and use it for all of my baking.

      And I didn’t realize the the golden wheat was the same as the winter white…thank you for writing that! I saw golden on a website when I was pricing out a bulk purchase, but couldn’t find the white. Now I know!

  5. You are not alone when it comes to grinding your wheat… we grind, and also buy the white bread that isn’t good for us…basically, I love to use the white bread when I make “eggs in a birds nest” ..in case you’ve never heard of that, you take out the center of the bread, and fry an egg in the middle (I like to put some butter on the bread before I drop it in the pan/ and cook the eggs over easy.) The wheat bread just isn’t the same. I’ve also been experimenting w/ wheat hard tack, and wheat sour dough pancakes..now they both rock…also whipped up something w/ the wheat and honey/ sort of a sweet cracker/ depending on how long you bake them and how thin you roll them out. it is fun experimenting w/ the fresh whole wheat flour/ you know it’s got to be good for you.

    • It’s definitely a journey we’re all on! We make “eggs in a birds nest” too, but call it “toad in a hole” (although I know it’s not the traditional english toad in a hole!). I haven’t made wheat crackers yet, but have a friend who made some and gave them to me. They were fantastic. I would love to do that, as I buy crackers a lot for my son to snack on.

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