Do you ever wondered about the flour you purchase from the store? While I’ve been baking our own bread for almost a year and a half now, I’ve been using store bought flour. I know our bread is now preservative free, but what about the flour, the main ingredient.
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My desire is to be as self-sustainable as possible. I also believe it’s the healthiest way to live. I started researching the benefits of grinding your own flour.
When you grind it at home, you’re leaving in all the nutrition. It will store for one to two weeks, or you can store the ground flour in the freezer. I borrowed a friend’s electric Blendtec mill to try out for myself this week.
When you grind a whole wheat berry (it looks like a piece of grain, not a berry), you are grinding the bran and germ into your flour. Because the germ has oil in it, the flour can turn rancid, so it’s removed in commercial flour. But most of your fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are in the bran and germ.
Disclosure: Some of the below links are affiliate links. My family and I thank you for your support of this website. I received my Wondermill for free, regardless, this is my honest opinion of both mills.
Best manual flour mill for ease of use and output plus upping your preparedness level–> Wondermill Deluxe Hand Grain Mill
Best back up manual flour mill when using an electric mill as a primary–> Victorio Hand Operated Mill
Best electric flour mill. I’ve used mine daily for two years (thank you to Wondermill for giving me this mill after reading my review of the Blendtch) and it still grinds 6 cups of flour in less than a minute and doesn’t spit flour all over the counter–> Wondermill Grain Mill
Free guide on learning how to bake with fresh flour –> 6 Tips for Baking with Freshly Milled Flour
Manual Flour Mill
From my research, this mill from our affiliate partner Amazon Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain / Flour Mill by Wondermill is the best manual flour mill according to many customer reviews and users.
1. No electricity. You won’t be using any electricity or upping your power bill. If the power goes out due to a storm or unforeseen major catastrophe, you can still grind your own flour.
2. Toned arms. Turning the handle creates a toned upper body. I’m a girl who likes to multitask. How about you?
3. Ability to grind oily products. A manual mill allows you to grind oily grains, nuts, and seeds. Homemade peanut or almond butter?
4. Nostalgia. I love vintage and antique things in my home. A hand turned flour mill definitely says homesteading.
1. Mounting to a solid surface. A manual flour mill must be mounted to a table or counter top.
2. Time. It takes much longer to grind up your flour with a manual mill than an electric one, especially if you need to grind up a large amount at one sitting.
3. Weight. Some manual flour mills weigh up to 20 pounds. Moving around a piece of equipment at that weight may become cumbersome.
Update: I purchased this manual wheat grinder to have on hand for emergency situations, power outages, etc. I did a lot of research on reviews, as I wanted something that would work well when I needed to use it, so there were a few others that were cheaper, but I wanted quality as well. This manual mill from our affiliate partner Amazon a Victorio Hand Operated Grain Mill is still on the less expensive side, as it’s not the one I use daily, but keep in reserve. I’d go with the WonderMill Manual if you’re wanting it to be your exclusive grinder.
Electric Flour Mills (From our affiliate partner Amazon)
1. Ease of use. You simple plug it in, flip the switch, and pour in your wheat berries. No clamping down to anything.
2. Fast. I ground up 6 and 1/2 cups of fresh flour in less than 3 minutes.
3. Adjusting the grind. Adjusting the grind on an electric flour mill is as simple as turning a switch. The grinder I borrowed had 5 different settings for setting the fineness of the grind.
1. Noisy. It sounds like a vacuum cleaner.
2. Dependency on electricity. It does require a power source.
I’m going to be ordering an electric flour mill. While I love the idea of the manual grinder, I don’t have the counter space or a good spot to clamp it down, nor do I have the time to use it. I need at least 10 to 14 cups of flour every week and time is of the essence. I can grind up extra flour to store in the freezer in case of an emergency. After trying the (affilaite link) Blendtec 52-601-FLP Kitchen Mill, White
and reading reviews, I’m leaning towards the (affiliate link) L’EQUIP Nutrimill Grain Mill
due to it being quieter, 20 cup capacity, and lifetime warranty.
UPDATE: I’m now the proud owner of a WonderMill Grain Mill *affiliate link It is very quite in comparison to the Blendtec. I love that it comes with a canister to hold the flour. It has stainless steel parts and a lifetime warranty. Plus, it doesn’t shoot flour all over my counter top like the Blendtec did.
The initial price of a home flour mill isn’t cheap, but I’m viewing it as an investment. I’ll use it every week and it’s hard to put a price on something that improves the health of your family. Second, I’m guessing it will almost pay for itself in a year. Third, I can store the wheat berries much longer than bags of flour, increasing our food storage. I purchased organic red hard wheat berries for just $.85 a pound at our local co-op. I used 4 and 1/2 cups of wheat berries and got 6 and 1/2 cups of flour.
I now prefer hard white wheat for bread baking, it’s not quite as dense as the red. For delicate or baked items, Spelt is a wonderful flour. It has a higher protein count, but lower gluten, and it is a primitive non-hybridized wheat. I use it for cakes, muffins, cookies, and pie crusts.
Which is right for you? Do you use a flour mill or grind your own flour? Do you have any recommendations on which flour mill is the best?
Be sure to check out our 6 Tips to Baking with Fresh Flour.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.