How to Grind Whole Wheat Flour At Home

How to Grind Flour, Step by Step

It's easy to grind flour and with an electric grinder (or flour mill) it only takes a few minutes. Here's how to do it. Remember that some manufacturer's will have different instructions and you should always follow the instructions for your particular appliance.

Step One

  1. Some people rinse their grains before grinding because they feel that the "dust" imparts a bitter flavor to the flour. I don't do this and have never had a problem. If you DO want to rinse the grains do so in a colander, drain them very well and pat dry. Allow them to air dry completely before grinding.
  2. Pick through and remove any small pebbles or debris.
  3. Measure out the amount of grain you need. You'll get better at estimating as you gain experience.
  4. Decide on how coarse or fine you want your flour to be.
  5. Set the grinder to the proper setting.

Step Two

  1. Make sure that your grinder is set up with the proper filters and any other fittings that the manufacturer suggests.
  2. Turn the grinder on and begin slowly pouring the grains into the grinder. Use a scoop to keep them from pour everywhere.
  3. The grains can occasionally pop out of the grinding thing. Keep your face away from the hopper (the part that the grains go in to be ground).
  4. When the last grain has gone through turn the grinder off.
  5. Let it completely stop and then remove the top and use the wheat as you normally would.
  6. Only grind what you need for the day.

Once you have used a wheat grinder and tasted the goodness of freshly ground wheat flour you should expect to be spoiled for life! It is very hard to go back to eating store bought, or commercially milled breads and flours after you have experienced grinding your own.

A good grinder will grind a variety of different grains and allow you to change the settings to get as fine or as coarse a grind as you want.

Source

Why Grind Your Own Flour?

With everything else that you have to do in a day, why would you want or need to take the time to grind flour?

Nutrition

Whole wheat is a nutritious food but the vitamins and minerals dissipate quickly once the wheat has been ground into flour. In fact within the first 24 hours the flour has lost 45% of it's nutrients and by the time 72 hours have passed the ground flour may have lost a whopping 90% of its natural nutrients! That is 90% of the nutritional value of this wholesome grain that does not make it in to your family's bodies.

Is it any wonder Americans have to take nutritional supplements?

Flavor

The taste of freshly ground flour is another reason to grind your own. Once you realize that the nutrition is so quickly lost you will understand that a comparable amount of the taste of the fresh grains must be lost as well.

Freshly ground wheat is delicious and nutritious.

The structure of a wheatberry
The structure of a wheatberry

The Structure of Whole Wheat Kernels

The whole wheat kernel or wheat berry is made up of three distinct parts, all of which contribute to the high quality nutritional value of the wheat. Wheat berries have high amounts of vitamins A, E and B which stay stable for long periods of time as long as the wheat kernel is intact. Wheat berries that have been found in the tombs of the pharaohs in Egypt were examined and found to still contain the full range of 26 vitamins and minerals - over 2000 years after it had been harvested!

Bran

The outside of the kernel is called the bran. Bran is good for the fiber that the body needs as well as helping to regulate cholesterol. It helps to detoxify the body which is an important function in our society where toxins assault us from every angle.

Wheat Germ

The wheat germ is the part of the kernel that sprouts. It holds the life of the wheat, the ability to produce plants like itself. It has the highest density of vitamins B and E in the wheat. This is where wheat germ oil is found, a healthy oil that helps the body absorb vitamins that are not water soluble.

Endosperm

Finally, the endosperm is the part of the wheat berry that holds the starch. This is the only part left in white flour. It is nothing more than the starch which breaks down into sugar in the body. It is meant as a food source for the plant as it grows giving it energy and nutrition before the leaves come out and photosynthesis begins.

A flour grinder, full of freshly ground flour
A flour grinder, full of freshly ground flour

Types of Grinders

There are many types of wheat grinders that can be used, both electric powered and hand cranked. The price ranges vary widely; it is important to understand what the differences are and to get the best grain mill that you can afford on your budget.

Hand Grinders

Hand grinders come in a variety of sizes and are powered by a human arm. There is a hopper where the grains are poured. From there they are fed into the burrs as you turn the handle. This is a slow way to grind flour but it is always available whether the electricity goes out or the whole power grid goes down. No matter what happens you will still be able to mill flour.

Electric Grinders

There are a variety of electric grinders on the market. Most of the time they sound like an airliner taking off. Most of the flour grinders are very loud but they get the job done fast.

You can grind enough wheat for up to 6 loaves of bread in about 10 minutes or less when you use an electric grinder. They also tend to be long lasting. My first grinder lasted over 10 years, grinding nearly 100 lbs of flour a month during that time.

Miscellanious Information-

1.The flour must be ground at cool temperatures. With some mills during the grinding process the flour can heat up giving it a rancid taste. The vitamix is one that, in my opinion, heats the grain up too much to be a good flour grinder.

2.Once it is ground do keep it in a dark place at a cool temperature until you are ready to use it in your recipes. This will ensure the freshest taste and the most nutrition.

3. Try not to grind more than you will need for a day. Remember the longer it has been ground the more nutrition it loses.

4. Expect to pay about 300.00 for a good grinder.

5. There are other things that you can grind with a mill. Certain beans, rye, oats, and many other beans and grains make it possible for you to have a wide variety of nutritional flours available at a moment's notice.

Great Grinders, MIlls, and Accessories

Some Grinders To Consider:

There are hundreds of flour mills and thousands of places to buy them. Here are some of the best, and most interesting of the mills I have seen on the Internet.

1.KoMo Fidibus Classic - Made of organic wood treated with organic oils, this grinder is beautiful. The noise level is 70dcb, and it uses 360 watts of power.

2.Nutrimill- Allows you to grind up to 20 cups of flour at once. Has the greatest range of grinds, from very fine to coarse. Comes with a lifetime warranty.

3. The K-Tec Kitchen Mill- This is what I have (in the picture above). I had the first one for well over 10 years and am very happy with the quality of the machine as well as the flour. According to the site it grinds one and a half pounds of flour a minute. This mill is VERY loud.

4. The Wonder Mill- Used to be called the Whisper Mill. It is supposedly very quiet.

5. Blend-tec is one of the most inexpensive mills, however it is limited in its' ability to grind many textures of flour.

Some Things to Consider About Wheat

When you have bought your mill take the time to learn about wheat. Hard red wheat is used for bread and bread products. It has more protein and is less delicate than the soft wheat used for pastry making. There is also a type of wheat known as Montana White. This wheat has a more delicate flavor and texture and is lighter in color than red wheat.

As you become more proficient in your flour grinding and bread baking experiment with many types of flours. It is one of the benefits of grinding your own.

Questions About Flour Losing Nutrition

There have been a few comments questioning whether or not flour really does lose nutrition within 72 hours. Generally I don't respond to comments like that because I have found that often no matter what I respond with will be rebutted.

Wheat germ is the part of the wheat berry or kernel that holds the majority of the nutrition. The oils in wheat germ decline rapidly when introduced to air (as in grinding). This is why raw wheat germ must be kept refrigerated. Whole wheat flour is made up of the starch, the germ, and the bran. It stands to reason that the flour would quickly lose nutrients once ground since the germ is not stable at room temperature. However...scientifically I admit I cannot prove that month old flour is less nutritious than hour old flour.

Personally, I prefer my way. To each his own. Some references are:

  • Walton Feed Last time I checked it was illegal for a compny to make claims that were not true. Walton has a lot of information about the nutrition of wheat berries.
  • Daily Bread

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Comments 66 comments

PenHitsTheFan profile image

PenHitsTheFan 4 years ago from Home

When I'm feeling lazy I use a simple coffee grinder. It's a lot cheaper than the expensive mills. You will need to use some white flour to compensate for the slightly coarser flour.


Brian 4 years ago

I have had a mill for years but have not been using it ... hey i am a lazy guy... but will now. i inherited mine form my grandmothers sisters. years ago my dad built a 60 ton hydrolic press and balancing fixtures to make stones. We kept some of the first stones which I would much rather have had because I think they were superior to the stones in the mill I have.

i do have a question about how fine I should be grinding my wheat. Anyone know an answer to this?


Gregorious profile image

Gregorious 4 years ago

I'm using a hand grinder, it's good exercise.


Krissyl. 4 years ago

I've learned at my holistic clinic that the wheat is not our original wheat. It is grown with a wild goose berry and maybe that's why a lot of people are allergic to wheat. Does anyone know where to get original wheat seeds?


louromano profile image

louromano 4 years ago

Grinding wheat berries to make flour is great, but have you ever considered growing your own? It is a rewarding experience, and doesn't take up as much space as you would think. You are used to driving by huge wheat fields, but all you really need is a ten by ten plot in the back yard (a size which will make over twenty loaves of bread worth of flour)...Just a suggestion.


Carol J 4 years ago

What an incredible amount of USABLE info here!!!

I just purchased a vitamix dry blade blender and am going to make my own flour. This site was very helpful in that endeavor. What I don't know anything about is the "soaking" of flour. How and why is this done? What if you don't?

i can't wait to try this!! Thanks everyone!!


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Good stuff. I wish I had a Whole Foods near me.


Tony Leap 4 years ago

I have heard that wheat germ will get rancid if left out. The only real way to keep that from happening is to freeze it which I do. Also if you buy wheat germ in a jar freeze it after opening it. I left a jar of it out once and it bacame rancid. My nose told me.


Roddy 4 years ago

How much flour do you get out of a fifty pound sack of wheat?


Honey Eastman profile image

Honey Eastman 5 years ago

Marye, you are right about the wheat losing 80-90% of it's nutrients within 72 hours. I have the same info from my cousins' mother in law. She showed me yesterday how she grinds the wheat and makes the bread. They are Amish and she learned from another Amish about the nutrient part. I loved it and will now be making my own. She used Prairie Gold wheat and it is available at Walmart. I prefer Organic will be buying mine at the closest health food store.


Dr Rockpile profile image

Dr Rockpile 5 years ago from USA

I have never given the structure of a wheatberry any thought. Nice explanation, and info on grinding your own flour.

(A note: you'll want to update that link to Walton Feed. The page must have moved.)


Amber Capell 5 years ago

I LOVE my nutrimill. I've had it about 2 years, and it's been used at least weekly in that time. My children (one and three) don't really know the difference between white flour and wheat flour. We LOVE the hard white wheat the best, but hard red wheat is awesome too. We use it in bread, cookies, brownies, pie crusts, etc. You have to be a little more patient. I do my bread 100% whole wheat, but I have found that if you add either dough enhancer (usually made with whey), or vital wheat gluten or both, dough rises a little better and gets less crumbly the next day.

And to answer a question, wheat grinds to flour exactly pound for pound, but volume-wise 1 cup of wheat berries is almost 2 cups of flour. My nutrimill has the ratio worked out so if you fill the top with hard wheat it will completely fill the flour container with flour at the bottom.


Caroline A. 5 years ago

I can get winter wheat (red or white), spring wheat and wheatberries from my co-op. Anyone know of any resources describing how they compare for flour grinding and basic bread making? All leads appreciated. Thank you.


Michelle Bradford 5 years ago

Does anyone know how quickly the freshly ground wheat flour nutrients oxidize once baked into bread?


Farmer dude 5 years ago

I need to know what kind of wheat to grow on my farm that will make the best whole wheat bread


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 5 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

Nan, I am not sure. Many blenders like the Vitamix will grind it but it gets too hot and the flour loses some of its nutrients and can take on a bad flavor.


nan davis 5 years ago

Your info is really great. As far as the nutritional matter goes, I'd rather have fresh ground wheat without the additives that come in a loaf of store-bought bread. I just purchased an 1100 ninja kitchen blender etc. and was wondering if it will grind wheat? This is how I got to your site. If it will, I could avoid another large purchase. Does anyone know? Thanks!


LaurenLL profile image

LaurenLL 5 years ago

Thanks for the information.


irenemaria profile image

irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

This is a lovely hub! I remember my uncles farm and how we did all the grinding always.


ktowers profile image

ktowers 5 years ago from England

great thanks for the info :)


jtrader profile image

jtrader 5 years ago

I would most definitely be using an electric grinder if I tried this.


medor profile image

medor 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

excellent article... thank you for your time and insight into the virtues of grinding your own wheat... have done this during several seasons in my life and love the results with breads, quick breads and even as thickners for sauces... you rock, can't wait to read all your hubs.


membersa profile image

membersa 5 years ago from USA

I love baking, but I have always used store bought flour. Next time I do some baking I will follow your instructions. Great hub!


Tim 6 years ago

So what is the difference between the KitchenAid KGM and GMA attachments? They look like two different designs from the same company that do the exact same thing. Am I missing something?


Dan 6 years ago

Thinking about making waffle mix. Great reading ur info very interesting. Any suggestions for making waffle mix. How can I get that aroma I'm looking for!


TurtleDog profile image

TurtleDog 6 years ago

Cool article with great diagrams. You make even wheat grains sound interesting! Voted this hub up. Thanks!


parkersarah8415 profile image

parkersarah8415 6 years ago from USA

This is a really interesting method, thank you. Cheers!


Rushdy Abaza 6 years ago

Effect of how grinding affect the nutritional value of flower may be found in the following article. Although long material, but very informative. Recommended.

http://eap.mcgill.ca/publications/EAP35.htm


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

you can make them with just the whole wheat flour but you will need to knead the dough much longer or the loaf will be heavy.


redrose 6 years ago

can i make whole wheat bread with just my fresh ground wheat -- without adding other flours?? we just harvested and ground the wheat, but all the recipes i see say to mix it with bread flour. seems a shame to ruin that good fresh wheat flour


kims3003 6 years ago

Very neat and well written hub. I think I can actually do this and I am going to give it a try. A++! material


Wheat Grinder 6 years ago

I found your hub very informative & I do agree with you that it's better to grind your wheat by yourself as it'll definitely help to keep the nutrients level not below the specified limit as you've mentioned.

Your tips on grinding procedure is really unique,I never thought that grinding wheat for more than required time will also reduce the nutrients level.I'll take care of it in future while grinding wheat.Thanks again to you.


blackduck 6 years ago

I grow a fair amount of wheat each year as food for wildlife, quail, doves, etc. I got to thinking last night that there is no reason not to save some of it for grinding. I have no idea what kind of wheat it is. Are there any kinds which are totally unaceptable for human comsumption. If you want some I will send you some when it ripens if you tell me where to send it.


Julie 6 years ago

I just got my mom's old mill (had when we were growing up to make our own flour from the wheat my dad grew on our 20acres) and am looking forward to making my whole wheat bread from freshly milled flour. I've read about the nutritional loss from several sources and have 2 questions I just can't seem to find addressed anywhere (one is my husband's). Not to be argumentative at all (I believe the info, I just want to learn more). 1) does the finished product need to be EATEN before 72 hrs to garner the additional nutrition? Eg. If I bake 3 loaves of bread, but freeze 2 until we get to them (we eat about a loaf every couple days), are the latter 2 loaves nutritiously deficient because they were not eaten w/in 72hrs of being ground? 2) does the heating involved in baking do anything to these additional nutrients?

Thanks so much for any info you might have! I've also started soaking my flour for that additional nutrition, but am hoping that I don't have to somehow find time to make bread every day, as currently with homeschooling 4 little ones I can only manage bread baking once a week! :)


Mike 6 years ago

I am certainly going to buy a mill and grind my own flour after reading this article. I think my kids will get a kick out of it.

There is a lot of disinformation regarding nutrition. Some of the lipid soluble vitamins are oxidized rapidly when exposed to air, but this will happen when baked regardless of the source. Protein and starch content are not affected by milling.

Many people buy white bread. If they make their own flour and bake their own bread, they will be eating whole wheat bread. This is the main benefit, in addition to the taste!


Glenda Grosjean profile image

Glenda Grosjean 6 years ago from Wayne, MI

I'm fascinated by this topic, and was considering grinding my own wheat this year. Do you know anything about growing your own wheat? Is it hard to do? Is it just easier to buy it? Thanks for the information. I love that your hub is FULL of USEFUL info. Great job!


Rayezor 7 years ago

That's why hot out of the oven was always best.


Unique Kids Stuff profile image

Unique Kids Stuff 7 years ago

That is an amazing stat that it loses 90% of it's nutritional value by the time I get to eat it.


Rex Means 7 years ago

I purchased a golden grain grinder. I just purchased 50lbs. of wheat at grain mill. It says 99.4 % pure on bag.

my family says grain bought from store is sterilized and do not want to eat my flour. Is this True?


Artemus Gordon profile image

Artemus Gordon 7 years ago

The bread in 5 minutes a day book is an excellent read for those who want great bread but do not have a lot of time.


Kim 7 years ago

Thanks for the information. I'm thinking I'd like to try this but don't want to invest in a specialty grinder at this time. Will a food processor work to turn the wheat berries into flour?


Sexy jonty profile image

Sexy jonty 7 years ago from India

Very well written hub .....

very much informative ......

Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.


Chris Lea 7 years ago

I am also curious about the nutrient loss. I can't find a single scientific source for this. Seems to be circular information that cycles from the places that sell mills to the blogs that advocate milling. I'm really interested in this, and it would go a long way toward promoting milling if you were able to cite a source. Otherwise, focus on taste alone.


Sara W. Harding profile image

Sara W. Harding 7 years ago from South Carolina

I have a K-tec too. It is noisy, sounds like an airplane engine, but gets the job done. Nothing beats the taste of bread or pancakes from freshly milled grain. I've also ground popcorn in it, though you have to turn it on first before dumping the kernals in the hopper (I found that out the hard way), and made some yummy cornbread.


SRM 7 years ago

We are researching getting our own grinder and growing our own wheat this year. I'm looking for the reference data for the loss of nutritional value. Can someone kindly point me to the correct link? Thank you!


Wheat Grower 7 years ago

Grinding wheat berries to make flour is great, but have you ever considered growing your own? It is a rewarding experience, and doesn't take up as much space as you would think. You are used to driving by huge wheat fields, but all you really need is a ten by ten plot in the back yard (a size which will make over twenty loaves of bread worth of flour)...Just a suggestion.


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 7 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

http://www.byui.edu/ce/assets/documents/conference...

Gus, I don't have time to read and find the exact data again. Once ground, wheat loses much of the nutrition in a short period of time... If you find different data that's great. I prefer to err on the side of fresh and wholesome.


Gus 7 years ago

I have just started grinding my own grain for bread. I read with interest your citation above regarding the loss of nutritional value shortly after milling. Um. It does not seem to say what you say it says. Can you provide a reference that does substantiate your claim?


ebourne profile image

ebourne 7 years ago from Washington, D.C.

What a fabylous hub! When I was growing up we had a hand grinder to grind our own wheat flour for baking. (Later, thank God, mom retrofitted the hand grinder with a motor) Is there anything more yummy than whole wheat bread made from freshly ground flour right out of the oven with melted butter and a little bit of honey. Mmmm.


oti 7 years ago

Wondering what the source of the information is for the amount of nutritional value lost from wheat once it is ground into flour. What chemical changes occur?


foodstorage profile image

foodstorage 8 years ago from Utah

I have the back to basics hand grinder but am DYING to get the wondermill electric grinder for Christmas. I better be good this year :) Wheat grinding was one of the things that really intimidated me in getting strated with food storage but once I figured out that it wasn't REALLY that hard everything else fell into place for me.


Angela Mundt 8 years ago

I am starting to get my food storage together. I've never ground wheat before so I have A LOT of questions. How much ground flour do you get from wheat? I'm trying to determine how much wheat to buy - to grind to flour - to make bread. I'm not sure what the ratio is.


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

Marye,

I personally have two different grinders, one that is electric and one that is hand operated. I have done this so that if an emergency were to occur where we had no electricity, we could still use the wheat that I have a supply of. I loved your comparison of the different grinders. There is nothing quite as comforting as a warm slice of homemade wheat bread! Perfect comfort food! lol Great Hub.


Angela 8 years ago

Hey there Marye!!

This is a great resource! I will send people here whenever they ask me about grinding their own wheat. Love ya! --a


Jan Mosbacher profile image

Jan Mosbacher 8 years ago from Devon

Grinding my own flour has always been something I wanted to do. This has inspired me to prioritise it.

Thanks


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

it works, it is a little more rustic....but good.


Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa

Mary, I just keep thinking about this!!! How does the texture/taste go over in things like white sauce?


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

Nutritionally- you will be getting about 90% more B vitamins than in pre ground..

flavor??..about 250%

Cost? You can grind organic flour for about 50 cents a pound or 2.50 for 5 lbs If you decide you dont like it you should be able to sell your grinder on ebay for about what you paid for it...people who grind their own are freaks about it!


Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa

Mary - now that you have introduced this idea, even my husband is inclined to buy a grinder! We are wondering about the nutritional value - what exactly will we be saving nutritionally if we grind our own wheat?


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

Ah~! There's the problem.

You can get whole wheat at most markets like Whole Foods. I like to get it by the 50 lb bag, and I like the montanta white. I USED to get it from a bakery supply but am having torouble finding it locally and the shipping is outrageous.

Check n eStore called Amish ALLey on eBay.


Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa

Thanks, Mary! The picture makes it seem like it's quite large.

Where are some good places to buy the whole wheat?


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

Kat- It does make a taste difference. I fyou are going ot bake pastires and such you want to sift first, probably, unless you like the whole wheat heaviness.

The mills are countertop sized, made for home grinders. Mine (pictured) is about 16 inches tall..


Kat07 profile image

Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa

This is amazing, Mary, as are you. How does the whole wheat fresh flour taste in desserts? (I'm thinking brownies!) Do some of the mills come in a counter-top size? I'm intrigued!


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

This is extensive information, however there are others that put the nutrient loss begining within hours after milling. This is, however, the most scientific that I have

http://eap.mcgill.ca/Publications/EAP35.htm


chabrenas profile image

chabrenas 8 years ago from middle of France

Interesting. I know that conventional milling systems can lose up to 45% of nutrient during the milling process, but hadn't heard that flour itself detoriorated so rapidly. can you tell me the source(s) of your information?

In the UK I was lucky neough to be able to buy stoneground wholemeal flour from a local mill. I haven't found anything similar near my current home in France, but I'll keep looking - and maybe look for home miling machinery thanks to yourhub.


caspar profile image

caspar 9 years ago from UK

Great hub Marye! I love baking my own bread, but I didn't realise that home flour mills were available. Sounds like a great idea.

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