One of my goals this year is to grind 100% of the flour we need. I figure we’ve got the wheat, we’ve got the grinder, why in the world should I buy a bag of flour, or pre-made bread/dough products, when I can (and should) do it myself?!
Not only is it much cheaper to grind your own, but the fresh whole wheat flours so much better for you too!
And there’s nothing like the taste of fresh sourdough bread or soft wheat bread right out of the oven when you’ve made it with your own fresh flour, either!
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that up until now we’ve still been buying flour and most bread products at the store. Cans of refrigerated biscuits, crescent rolls, sandwich bread, frozen pizzas, and tortillas are frequently on my grocery list. The problem really boiled down to one thing… procrastination.
Baking bread takes planning. Grinding flour takes time. Two things I am so bad with most days. I’d start my weekly menu with good intentions, really I did. I’d purposely leave off any bread products from the grocery list so that I’d be forced to make it myself.
But at the end of the day I’d always end up calling my husband and asking him to pick up this or that at the store on his way home, ’cause we were out and I didn’t have time to make more.
So, determined to really tighten our food budget belt this year, I’ve proposed in my heart that I would not, under any circumstances, fall back into my old habits of procrastination. Store bought flour is strictly forbidden. And I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking to this goal.
Hence, the need to use my flour mill and make my own flour with whole grains and wheat berry instead.
Here is my experience baking with freshly milled flour – and some tips for you to follow so you can do it, too!
Milled flour is flour that has been ground by a mill. The process of milling the flour helps to remove the bran and the germ from the wheat kernel, leaving only the endosperm.
This process also helps to break down the starches in the flour, making it more easily digestible.
Milled flour is typically whiter in color than un-milled flour, and it has a finer, softer texture. It is also less likely to contain contaminants such as pieces of wheat bran or wheat germ.
Milled flour is the most common type of flour used in baking, as it yields consistent results and is readily available in supermarkets.
However, un-milled or “whole wheat” flour can also be used in baking, and it may be preferred for its nutty flavor and higher nutritional content.
For many centuries, people have killed their own flour in order to bake bread. The process of milling flour involves grinding grains into a fine powder. This can be done using a traditional stone mill or a modern roller mill.
Although freshly milled flour does have some advantages, it is not necessarily better than store-bought flour.
One benefit of freshly milled flour is that it contains more nutrients (including vitamins and minerals) than store-bought flour. This is because the nutrients, like essential B vitamins, are still present in the bran and germ of the grain, which are removed during the milling process.
Freshly milled flour also has a higher protein content, which gives bread a richer flavor and firmer texture. It can be used to make any kind of baked good, from sourdough starter to muffins!
However, freshly milled flour can also be more difficult to work with, as it tends to be drier and coarser than store-bought flour.
In addition, freshly milled flour has a shorter shelf life and should be used within a few days of milling. For these reasons, many bakers prefer to use store-bought flour, which is more consistent in quality and easier to work with.
Ultimately, the choice of whether to use freshly milled or store-bought flour is a matter of personal preference.
Yes! Freshly milled flour has a number of advantages over store-bought flour. For one, it retains more nutrients.
The milling process breaks down the wheat germ and the bran, which contain most of the wheat’s nutrients. Store-bought flour has been stripped of these nutritious components in order to extend its shelf life. In addition, freshly milled flour contains more natural moisture, which gives baked goods a lighter, fluffier texture.
Finally, freshly milled flour has a richer flavor than store-bought flour. This is due to the fact that the oils in the wheat germ begin to go rancid as soon as they are exposed to air. For all these reasons, if you have access to a wheat grinder, it’s worth taking the time to mill your own flour.
There are many different types of flour available on the market today, and each type has its own unique characteristics.
All-purpose flour is the most versatile and can be used for a variety of baking projects.
Bread flour has a higher protein content, making it ideal for recipes that require a lot of rise, such as breads and pizza doughs.
Cake flour has a lower protein content, which gives baked goods a tender and delicate texture.
And finally, pastry flour falls somewhere in between all-purpose and cake flour, making it an excellent choice for pies, pastries, and other baked goods that require a flaky crust.
So, what about milled flour? Milled flour is simply all-purpose flour that has been milled to a finer consistency. As a result, milled flour can be used in place of all-purpose or pastry flour in any recipe.
Baking with freshly milled flour is a simple process that can yield impressive results.
Flour is made up of three main components: the germ, the endosperm, and the bran. The germ is the innermost part of the grain and contains the majority of the nutrients, while the endosperm makes up the bulk of the grain.
The bran is the outermost layer and is rich in fiber. During milling, the germ and bran are removed from the grain, leaving only the endosperm. This process increases the shelf life of flour by preventing rancidity, but it also means that flour lacks some of the nutrition of whole grains.
Over time, flour will gradually lose its freshness and become less suited for baking. As flour ages, the gluten proteins that give dough its structure begin to break down, making baked goods less resilient. The fats in flour can also go rancid, resulting in an unpleasant taste.
For these reasons, it’s best to use freshly milled flour whenever possible. However, if you do need to use older flour, simply sifting it before use will help to aerate it and improve its performance.
For those who love to bake, there’s nothing quite like using freshly milled flour. The dough is thirstier, fermentation occurs faster, and the loaf has a tighter crumb – but the taste is unbeatable. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your freshly milled flour:
1. Be prepared to add more water. The dough will absorb considerably more moisture than usual, so keep a bowl of water handy and be prepared to add more as needed.
2. Fermentation will happen fast. Keep an eye on your dough and be ready to shape it into a loaf sooner than you might think.
3. The crumb structure will be tight. This is due to the bran and germ particles in the flour, but it doesn’t affect the taste. In fact, many people say freshly milled flour makes the best-tasting bread around.
4. Slice and serve straight from the loaf – or toast with butter and jam for an even tastier treat!
When grinding your own flour, it’s important to keep in mind that the flour will be warm from the grinder. This is fine for yeast breads, as the warmth will actually help to activate the yeast.
However, for pastry items like cookies or pie crusts, you’ll want to use cold flour. The warmth from the freshly ground flour can cause the butter or lard to melt, which will make for a less flaky pastry.
If you need your flour to be cool for pastry making, simply grind it and then pop it in the fridge or freezer for a while. By taking this extra step, you’ll ensure that your pastry comes out perfectly flaky every time.
Flour is the key ingredient in many recipes, from pancakes to bread to cake. However, not all flour is created equal. All-purpose flour, for example, is a type of flour that is designed to work well in a variety of recipes.
However, if you’re using a different type of flour, such as spelt flour, you may need to adjust the amount of flour you use.
Generally, you’ll need to use 3 tablespoons less per cup of flour when using a different type of flour. However, for spelt flour specifically, you may need to use 2-4 tablespoons more per cup.
By keeping these simple tips in mind, you can ensure that your recipes turn out just the way you want them to.
Baking is often seen as a science, and with good reason. Baking is all about precision; too much or too little of an ingredient can lead to disaster. However, even the most experienced baker knows that there is always some room for experimentation in the kitchen.
When it comes to measuring freshly milled flour, it is often best to go by look and feel rather than following a recipe to the letter. If a dough feels too dry, it is likely that it needs more flour.
On the other hand, if the dough is too sticky, it may be time to add a bit more liquid. Trusting your instincts (and your sense of touch) can help to create delicious baked goods that are perfectly tailored to your taste.
When making dough, it is important not to over-knead. Knead dough for 4 minutes, then let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Then come back and knead for 4 more minutes. The dough should be less sticky after the rest period. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
Too much flour will make the dough hard and difficult to work with. Kneading is an important step in making dough, as it helps to form the gluten network that gives bread its structure. When kneading, use a light touch and be careful not to add too much flour.
Spelt flour is a great alternative to all-purpose flour, but it can be tricky to work with. If you find that your spelt dough is rising out instead of up, just add some all-purpose flour to the mix.
This will help to keep the dough in place and prevent it from spreading too thin. In general, you should use 1 cup of all-purpose flour for every 2 cups of spelt flour. This ratio can vary depending on the recipe, so be sure to adjust as needed.
Sifting helps to remove any large pieces or clumps that might have formed during the milling process, resulting in a smoother, more consistent flour.
It also helps to aerate the flour, making it lighter and easier to work with. Sifting is particularly important if you’re planning on using the flour for baking, as it will result in a lighter, more evenly baked final product.
So if you’re taking the time to mill your own flour, be sure to take an extra minute or two to sift it before using it.
There is some debate among baking enthusiasts as to whether freshly milled flour needs to age before being used in recipes. Proponents of aging argue that it gives the flour time to settle and allows the gluten to develop properly.
Freshly milled flour, they say, can be unpredictable and may result in baked goods that are tough or dense. On the other hand, those who don’t believe in aging argue that the process is unnecessary and that freshly milled flour tastes just as good as aged flour.
The truth is that there is no right or wrong answer – it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
The truth is, there is no definitive answer. It really depends on the type of flour you’re using and how it was milled. In general, though, freshly milled flour does tend to be more absorbent than store-bought flour.
This means that you may need to add a bit more water when you’re using it in recipes. Just start with a little extra water and add more as needed until you get the consistency you’re looking for.
The best option is to mill your own flour, of course. But what if that’s not an option for you?
The best place to purchase freshly milled flour is at a local mill. Local mills usually sell their flour directly to customers, and they often have a wide variety of flours to choose from. In addition, local mills typically use traditional methods of milling, which results in a fresher-tasting flour.
Another good option for buying freshly milled flour is online. There are a number of online retailers that sell freshly milled flour, and they often have a wider selection than local stores.
However, it is important to make sure that the retailer you choose ships the flour fresh and has a good reputation. Freshly milled flour can also be found at some specialty food stores. These stores typically have a small selection of flours, but they are more likely to be fresh than those found at regular grocery stores.
Freshly milled flour has a short shelf life and will only last for a few weeks before it starts to turn rancid. This is because the oils in the germ start to oxidize and go bad when exposed to oxygen and moisture.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important to store freshly milled flour in the freezer.
This will help to prolong its shelf life and keep it fresh for longer. If you’re not planning on using the flour right away, you can also store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to six months.
Either way, be sure to use your flour before it starts to smell sour or look discolored. These food storage tips will help you be successful each and every time!
My Results and Final Thoughts
Okay, so it’s only been 11 days since the New Year. But hey, I’ve made a lot of progress!
My first attempt didn’t turn out so great though. My husband is an avid breakfast biscuit eater. Every morning he has to have a turkey bacon and cheese biscuit.
I hate making biscuits.
Biscuits are my enemy.
Every time I try to make them I end up with so much dough stuck to my hands that it quickly becomes impossible to function, let alone try to knead the mound of glue-like goop, and I just wanna throw the whole globe across the kitchen and scream!
This is why we bought several cans of biscuit dough weekly. So that the children never have to witness their mother freaking out. However, I am determined to beat this. I will master the fine art of biscuit making.
I think I know what my problem was this time though. I used pastry wheat, soft white wheat, instead of hard wheat. It didn’t rise at all, and the biscuits ended up being dry and crumbly. No good. At least the chickens enjoyed them.
But I was not to be discouraged.
My next attempt was whole wheat crescent rolls for our favorite chicken roll-ups. Again, I used the pastry wheat. They turned out pretty good though!
You could definitely taste the “whole wheat-ness” of them, but surprisingly the kids gobbled them up as usual. I think I’ll try hard white wheat next and see how they turn out.
For breakfast this morning I made whole wheat pancakes. (Sorry no pics… they didn’t last long enough!) I mixed the pastry wheat half-and-half with hard white wheat. You could taste the whole wheat flavor, but they weren’t hard to get used to.
For lunch we had homemade pizza. I used hard white wheat and pizza dough yeast. It turned out SO yummy!! Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, beef pepperoni, baked in a cast iron pizza pan… so much better than a frozen grocery store pizza!
Next on my list was whole wheat tortillas for the burrito bake I made for dinner. Again, I used the hard white wheat. They came out good… though I think maybe I rolled them too thin this time, they weren’t quite as soft as usual.
And last but not least, I made a loaf of bread for sandwiches tomorrow. I used my mother-in-law’s delicious dinner roll recipe. But instead of pinching off the dough to make individual rolls, I made one big loaf in my cast iron bread pan. I also used the hard white wheat in place of the bread dough.
Normally, I would have added vital wheat gluten to make it softer, but I totally forgot. When I realized my mistake I was afraid the bread would be hard or too dense.
We were all very pleased though to find this loaf absolutely perfect!! Even the dog had to sample it. (Bad dog! )
This explains why two sides of the loaf are cut off. At least she only got a nibble.) I was relieved that it was soft, fluffy, and super good.
The kids could hardly wait for it to cool before they dug in and wanted more. And I felt really good knowing that the bread they were eating was made from fresh, wholesome flour.
So you see… I’m really, fervently trying! Now, if only I can get my hands on an electric wheat grinder!! Thank goodness Jerry was home today and helped me grind all of this wheat. It would have taken me FOR-EV-ER.
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.