Baking with fresh milled flour you've ground at home is quite different than store bought flour. Grinding my own flour at home makes me feel like a real pioneer woman.
However, the first few weeks of baking with my fresh ground flour left me more than a little frustrated with dense breads and spread out pancake cookies. I've now been grinding my own flour and using fresh flour in all of our baking for almost two years and I've learned some tips to save you some time.
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Today's podcast is an entire episode dedicated to grinding your own flour at home, choosing which kind of wheat is best suited to for different types of baking, and tips for baking with fresh flour. After getting lots of questions about these topics, I decided an entire podcast was in order to help answer your questions.
Baking with Fresh Milled Flour
First thing we need to go over is the wheat berry. It doesn't look like a fruit berry but more a hard kernel (this totally perplexed me at first, I was picturing a golden squishy berry). The first part of the wheat berry is the bran, which is the hard outside where a lot of the fiber and nutrients are.
The second part is the germ. This is where the oil resides, filled with vitamins, proteins, and minerals. It's where the goods are ya'll.
The third part is the endosperm, a large part of the berry and where most of the starch is. This is what regular flour from the store is made out of.
Here's a fun picture and diagram of a wheat berry if you're a visual person. (That'd be me)
The other two parts of the wheat berry are not in store bought flour because the oil turns rancid quickly, meaning it wouldn't stay shelf stable. So whenever you see “enriched” on flour labels, it's because they have to put back in the vitamins and minerals they've taken out.
Grinding your own flour at home means you get all of the good parts of the wheat berry in your flour. No need to add anything back in because it's all there in the first place. This is one of the reasons we started grinding our own flour. The second is the storage life of wheat berries. They'll store for many many years, where as flour is only good for up to a year or so. I'm always looking for ways to increase our self-sufficiency and food storage. Can I get a high five?
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If you're wondering about wheat grinders, whether or not to go with a manual or electric and the pros and cons, I've got an entire article going over which grinder is right for you and your family in Why You Should Grind Your Own Flour and Choosing a Mill.
I've personally tried and owned both a Wondermill and Mockmill, both were sent to me for free to try for review, and after trying the Mockmill, I gave my Wondermill away. Yep, it's that much better. I do have a manual back up grinder for emergencies, out of power, etc.
There are two general types of wheat berries, hard and soft. Hard wheat has higher protein and more gluten, which is good for certain types of baking. Gluten is what gives bread it elasticity and soft texture. My family and I are not sensitive to gluten and enjoy our bread products.
I prefer hard white wheat to hard red wheat in my baking. I use hard red wheat for tortillas and crackers, but I like hard white wheat for breads and rolls. Hard white wheat is sweeter and lighter and what I use in my Whole Wheat Honey Buttermilk Sandwich Bread.
Soft wheat is preferred for pastry type items as it's lower in protein, and I used it until I discovered…. Spelt!
I actually prefer to use Spelt as my pastry flour. Spelt is a primitive ancient grain dating all the way back to Biblical times. I was reading in my Bible a few weeks back and Spelt was mentioned by name. I got kinda of giddy. Like looked for my husband to show him.
Spelt has a higher protein count and does contain gluten, though not the levels of regular hybridized wheat. I use spelt in biscuits, cookies, muffins, cakes, and quick breads. Some people who are sensitive to gluten (not celiacs) have been able to eat spelt in small amounts.
Tips for baking with fresh ground flour.
1. Fresh milled flour right out of the grinder is warm. This is great for yeast breads. This is not great for pastry items that require the cutting in of cold butter or lard. To get a flaky pastry you need the butter to melt when it's baking in the oven, not when it's being mixed together. When I need my flour to be cool for pastry needs, I'll grind it and pop it in the fridge for a while or in the freezer if I'm in a hurry. Let's face it, I'm in a hurry a lot… Want a fabulous flaky pie crust recipe? Click here for my Great Grandmother's Flaky Pastry Crust.
2. You have to alter the amount of fresh ground flour for your recipes using all-purpose flour.When working with flours other than spelt, you need to use less flour. Fresh flour absorbs liquid more than store bought flour. The first month of using fresh flour I couldn't make bread. It was sooo hard by the time I was supposed to punch it down, I couldn't make an indent in the dough with my first. Yeah, that dense. And I'd been baking bread my whole life! Hello, something was wrong. So that something was me as I wasn't altering my recipes. Generally, I use 3 Tablespoons less per cup of flour in a recipe.
For spelt flour, you need to use 2 to 4 Tablespoons more flour per cup.
3. You have to go by the feel and look of your dough, not the called for amounts. Start with a lesser amount of flour. You can add more in but you can't take it back out. Because the flour will absorb liquid wait before adding more flour. Mix until it sticks together, but is still tacky or sticky to the touch of your finger.
4. Don't over knead your fresh milled flour dough! Here's my rule for kneading with fresh flour. Knead dough for 4 minutes, let it rest for 1o to 15 minutes (or 20 if you get busy, don't set a timer, and totally forget…) Then come back and knead for 4 more minutes. You'll notice the dough has absorbed the liquid and isn't as sticky as it was before the rest period.
5. Don't add more flour when kneading. This was where I really went wrong. I kept adding flour wanting my dough to feel soft like it did with store bought flour. How do you knead without extra flour? Use a small amount of olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil on your counter and hands to knead without it sticking. If you're using a stand mixer to knead, then don't worry about the oil. My Kitchen Aid Pro does a bang up job and I heart it.
6. Having rising problems or flat bread? Spelt likes to rise out instead of up. Just the way it rolls- er rises. For free form baked goods like cookies, I do have a small bag of organic all-purpose flour and I'll use some of that for cookies, like 1 cup of all-purpose to 2 cups of spelt flour (the only thing I add it to, everything else is all home milled flour). I read you could use a percentage of barley flour with your spelt or soft wheat flour to create an all-purpose at home, but I haven't done it yet, so stay tuned…. For flat or deflated bread issues, try cutting back your rise time by 15 to 20 minutes. It sounds like the yeast is spent by the time it hits the oven.
This is my big bread tip. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, bake bread at this high temperature for 4 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees for the remainder of the time. This extra high heat will kick that bread up and make it rise baby, rise. I read this tip on a recipe review site somewhere and can't remember where, so if it was you, thanks a bunch!
You might not have enough gluten. You can add vital wheat gluten to help with the rise. I use 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten to 8 cups flour. It's a powder and available in the bulk food sections at most stores.
How much flour does one cup of wheat berries make?
I generally get about 1 and 1/4 cup flour from 1 cup wheat berries. I don't sift my flour. I'm a busy mamma. I grind it, measure, and go.
Where to purchase wheat berries?
I purchase my wheat berries in 50 pound bags from our local co-op. I get a 10% discount from purchasing in bulk. We use 50 lbs or organic hard white wheat and 50 pounds of organic Spelt berries in a year.
Don't have a co-op? No worries. You can purchase bulk bags on-line if you don't have a co-op or local grainery near you. The best deals I've found on-line are actually from our affiliate partner Amazon and is a Washington state company! Go home state, go home. This is Non-GMO verified, kosher, hard white wheat *affiliate link from Palouse available in 3, 5, and 25 lbs. bags. Bob's Red Mill has organic spelt wheat berries *affiliate link and you may be able to find it locally. I have found hard red wheat at almost all grocery stores, but spelt has been the hardest for me to find.
Do you grind your own wheat at home? What kind of wheat do you use the most? Do you have any tips to add?
How long have you had your mixer. I’m looking into getting a new one that mix everything not just multiple loafs of bread. I been told to stay away from a Kitchen Aid because the wheat we grind is to heavy and will burn the motor up faster. I’ve been looking at the Cruisinart 5 1/2 qt 12-speed mixer.
I’ve had my Kitchen Aid Pro Mixer for a year, but I don’t use it to grind my wheat, just knead my dough. I use the WonderMill to grind the wheat.
My mom and I both use the wonder mill to grind our wheat, too. I’m looking for a new mixer and don’t want to burn up a Kitchen Aid because my home ground wheat is too heavy to knead/mix with it.
I have a Kitchen aid Artisen mixer that I have used for several years (4-5). I make 2 loaves of wheat bread a week and sometimes use it for other breads that contain wheat flour. All of my wheat flour is ground here at home. I have never had any trouble with the mixer struggling with the flour. Hope this is helpful. CJ
Bosch universal plus
Wanda I have the Bosch Universal Plus it is great!
Bosch is the best breadmaker there is in my opinion. Everything comes out light and fluffy.
I would love to know what you set your K.A. on to knead the dough,.. I assume low, like a 2, but I do not want to take any chances and ruin the dough? THANKS for the help!
I know this comment is over a year old, so I just want to say I got the 7 quart Kitchenaid about 6 months ago and it’s handling my home ground flour just fine. I bake all our baked goods so it really gets a workout. I think Kitchenaid has worked hard to get their products back up to the high standard they used to have.
Thanks for sharing Roma!
Also – there is a difference between the kitchen aid you buy at Walmart and other places to buy it. I read once that there are more plastic parts on the cheaper Walmart version. I bought a viking stand mixer years ago and love it but they don’t make it any more!
I’ve heard this too…..
Great tips. I, too had trouble making bread with my home ground wheat. I’m the “mixer” and husband does the kneading. Think he is adding too much flour as dough is sticky and he wants it to be the texture of his favorite white bread. Will try tip of leaving to rest for a few minutes and then finish kneading. Don’t have any problems using ww for tortillas or pizza dough. Thanks for the tips. I love my Wonder Mill!
This was great! Thanks for all of the information. I usually use hard white wheat, I need to get some more soft wheat for quick breads and such. It was such a learning curve getting started with fresh wheat but I eventually figured it out (mostly). I’m anxious to hear how the barley does for you. I have been using a little unbleached organic white flour with my wheat for the lighter texture and flavor. I’d love to remove all of the white flour from my baking as well. I do have a question for you. I recently started using sourdough with unbleached flour. I have been baking my bread using white flour as well. I have tried it with wheat twice but it has not turned out at all. I may need to adjust my souring times and amount of flour. Have you used fresh wheat with sourdough?
I use spelt and have made your as well (through painful losses of baked yummy goodness), but honestly, it’s so great to hear someone else say it because you can doubt yourself! Thanks!
Also #6 is what I’ve been still struggling through, keep thinking I’m doing something wrong when making cookies. Huge thanks!
*your discoveries as well
I use the Bosch Kitchen Mixer. It’s more powerful than the kitchen aid and can handle lots of cups of fresh ground wheat flour. You can use it with the blender, food processor, oat flaker and there are 3 different kinds of attachments for cookies, breads and whipping lighter things.
I have. I used the hard white wheat and found the single rise method worked best for me, but it did have a stronger sour flavor than my kids liked.
Wonderful tips & love reading everyone’s experiences with various appliances. I was getting spelt locally for a brief period, made the best sourdough ever! I read about it first in Hildegard von Bingen’s writings (Pope J-P II referred to her as St. Hildegard although never officially canonized) from 800 years ago regarding the benefits for certain health issues. After researching it a little, I read that it was nearly extinct but viable grains were found in one of the Egyptian pyramids, very interesting grain, I hope to find it again to use some of the tips.
This could not have come at a more appropriate time for me………..I have been using up the last of my store bought flour, DH bought my grinder, wheat berries (5 lb bag) and a 50 lb pail of red hard for my birthday this past year ♡………….As a newbie to this the information is priceless………..thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience………………
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Have you heard of the Bread Beckers? They have some excellent free video classes showing how to grind/bake with fresh flour. I’ve learned a TON from their classes! http://www.breadbeckers.com/store/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=201
I recently found your website and podcasts and have benefited greatly from all your information. I’ve been grinding my wheat (hard white) and making bread for about 5 years now. I’d like to try sourdough, based on info you shared on a podcast (maybe a response to a reader question…?). I do keep some commercial white four in the house but would like to eventually get away from using it altogether. What do you use for your sourdough bread? Likewise, do you only use the spelt when baking other than bread? It seems like there are some things for which I can only use commercial white flour (gravy thickening, etc). What has been your approach to these types of issues?
Love the site and podcast! Keep up the good work and God bless!
I love sourdough! I use both hard white wheat and spelt with my sourdough, depending upon which I have ground up at the moment. When I’m baking sourdough bread I use the hard white wheat. I primarily use spelt for all other baking other than bread. I use spelt flour whenever I make gravy or a roux and it does just fine. I used it Christmas morning when I made biscuits and gravy for my extended family. I do have a small bag of organic all-purpose flour I use when making chocolate chip cookies. I use half spelt flour and half all-purpose for the cookies as my family is super picky. They’ve liked everything else with my home ground flour, but the cookies I can only do half and half on to keep them happy. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoy the podcasts and site! Here’s the link to my sourdough info and a free video on getting started with the starter https://melissaknorris.com/starter/
Excellent! Thanks so much for the information. I actually had a bit of spelt in my freezer that I ground up last night for pizza crust. My hubby declared it “the best crust EVER!” Wow. Guess I’ll be buying more spelt berries. 🙂
I’ve got sourdough on my “goals” list for 2015. Thanks so much for sharing the link and all the information, I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Have a blessed New Year!
Can’t wait to hear about it. Spelt is my favorite flour and we love our sourdough!
I always use spelt for sourdugh but I add about 50 grams of rye. Rye can be very sticky but 50 grams in a 500 gram recipe seems to be the right amount. It adds such a great flavor to the bread. But with sourdough everyone’s kitchen, hands, temperatures, flours are different. Just try adding a little rye and see what happens.
I am still experimenting with grinding my own wheat. I grew 1/8th of an acre this past year but had too much trouble harvesting. (That’s what happens when you teach yourself.) I use the wheat berries from my coop but I don’t recall if they are red or white.
I found that it is very gritty and so I sift out the grit when I make breads, cookies and pastry dough. I had the grit to my bran muffins.
My mill is a Grain Maker. Here is their website. http://grainmaker.com/
They are awesome folks. Met them at the MotherEarthNews Fair several years ago.
Grinding your own grain is a good workout.
Pam, I”ve not grown my own wheat yet, so nice work!
I have never tried baking with spelt, I may have to give it a whirl after reading this. =) I have tried baking with freshly ground emmer and einkorn, though and I actually had to add more of the freshly ground than I would with all purpose and I noticed you had to add less with spelt. I take it spelt is a heavier grain? I bought a kitchen scale to help me out when I first started baking with freshly ground flour so I could go by weight instead of cups.
Sorry if that was confusing, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose I use 1 and 1/4 cups of spelt. A scale is a great way to go with measuring flour.
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So glad to find this information. I’ve been searching blogs for tips and have just been getting more frustrated. I felt like I was doing something wrong, as I can’t find any tips from people that have had the issues I’ve had.
I just started grinding my own wheat flour. The few recipes I have tried have come out much wetter with the fresh flour. Is that more of an issue with soft white wheat, as when making muffins?
Thank you for posting the tips.
It may be the soft white wheat. You can try letting the dough sit for about 15 minutes before pouring into the muffin tins. If it still feels too wet after sitting and having time to absorb liquid, then add another 1/4 cup flour. I’ve found I have to go buy the “feel” of the dough more than exact measurements with the fresh flour.
Thanks! For my pizza dough, I had to add some extra flour (with hard wheat), but with the muffins, I added maybe 2 extra cups. Thanks again for posting these tips. Now I know it just takes some learning and adjusting.
I have the same problem! I find I’m having to add extra flour when I use my fresh milked.
Thank you for the tips! I’m just starting to make bread with my own flour (ordered the grinder today). I prefer savory bread rather than sweet wheat bread. I’m wondering if you have any good recipes for wheat bread without a ton of sugar in it.
You can just omit the sugar/honey. If the recipe calls for honey, add a bit more water or oil to make up for the moisture or add an egg. If you don’t have milk, you can also use all water. This is the recipe I use with fresh ground flour for bread https://melissaknorris.com/2014/03/honey-whole-wheat-buttermilk-sandwich-bread/
I just purchased a Vitamix. It came with the liquid canister and I purchased the dry canister for grinding wheat. I haven’t used it yet, since it just arrived this week. I’m reading blogs about grinding wheat and making my own bread products. I have also researched where I can purchase grain locally.
How fun! I purchase some locally (and believe in doing that as much as possible) but I don’t have a local source for Spelt berries, so those I order online.
Talked to a local baker and did some research on wheat flour. Both sources mentioned allowing flour to rest and oxidize for a short period of time after milling. Your method is right from the grinder into the dough. What are your thoughts on allowing flour to oxidize?
I just use mine straight from grinding. The longer it’s exposed to air the fewer vitamins it retains and the nutritional content goes down from my research. But you could try both and see which flour, aged or not aged, turns out the best loaf or bread. One of the benefits of grinding it ourselves is getting to play with it.
i’ve been milling my own flour for about a year now. My family loves the breads and pancakes. As far as recipes, I’ve tweaked them all for home milled flour. For example, in breads a add extra butter and one egg. Enjoy.
Adding butter is always a good thing, right?! Thanks for sharing your tip
Hi there. My family and I live in Asia as ‘harvest workers’. We’ve recently been trying to eat better and switch completely to whole wheat. I bought some from a villager the other day on the street. I was so excited to try it out. I had no idea you needed to adjust anything and I have no idea the difference between berries. Every time I’ve cooked with it- bread, pancakes, pizza crust- the center is moist and it doesn’t rise well. Any simple advice or tips? Thanks so much!
Hmmm, it sounds like you need to add some vital wheat gluten if possible to get a better rise. If not, try letting it rise longer, don’t over knead, and try baking it in a hotter oven.
Been trying to bake with fresh ground flours for about a year. No luck. After reading your website I realize I was doing everything wrong. Thanks for posting.
I’m going to look at your available books. Very excited.
I hope this helps you master the fresh ground flour baking!
Hello! I grind my own einkorn flour and barely sift it. My Komo mill grinds it so fine though that I never need to sift anyway. In any case, I loved your tips on using less flour when I grind up my hard white wheat berries and use them in a recipe calling for regular flour, and to use more of the freshly ground spelt or einkorn. Does the use more freshly ground rule still apply when you are using freshly ground wheat berries when a recipe calls for whole wheat instead of all purpose?
Just another question though. Does the use more freshly ground spelt or einkorn flour only apply to recipes calling for all purpose or whole wheat flour? Or does this only apply to recipes already calling for spelt and einkorn flout? I just wanted to know because I use a lot of recipes from blogs and websites that use Jovial’s all purpose flour and sometimes the whole grain flour. However, since I use freshly ground einkorn, would there also be a difference in the amount of flour I used in those recipes as well?
I hope that made sense. I have a hard time making einkorn rise at all or not stay dense. All the quick breads (like pancakes, waffles) are fine but loaf breads and getting hamburger buns to rise and not taste like bricks are still causing me problems (I have been using Jovial’s recipe and I even tried active dry yeast just to see if my sourdough was the problem and not the actual dough mixture, but they still look like frisbees!). Thanks for any help you can give me.
If the recipe calls for regular whole wheat, I start with a little less and test the texture of the dough after letting it sit for 10 minutes. Fresh will always absorb more liquid than store bought so I start with a tad bit less and work my way up.
If the recipe already called for spelt or einkorn then I’d use what it called for and see how it turns out. The reason you’re having more trouble with the einkorn not rising or being dense is because it doesn’t have as much gluten in it (neither does spelt) as the other whole wheat and all-purpose flour. You can try adding vital wheat gluten or actually try a little bit less flour (if they hamburger buns are tasting like bricks). Another trick for getting the rolls to rise up (as spelt and einkorn tends to rise out) is to put them in a cast iron skillet, fairly close together, this will make them rise up instead of out.
Any tips for using a bread machine with fresh ground wheat?
I think it would be the same, but I haven’t used a bread machine in over 12 years so I’m not sure.
I love making bread for my family. I always mixed bread flour with my freshely ground wheat flour due to not being able to get the bread to rise properly. One thing I tried, was letting the yeast get a head start in rising. Long ago, we used to proof our yeast in a bit of water, then mix it into the dough. With today’s instant yeasts, we don’t have to do that. But when I make 100% freshly ground whole wheat bread, if I let the yeast get started then mix in the rest of the ingredients, I get a great rise from it – with NO white flour!!
Thanks for all these tips. I am going to try spelt!
shirley j dolgin
im still trying to make bread that rises,but have had no luck so far.im going to try your method and see how your little tips work.I’ve ordered organic wheat (redand white) in bulk(25lbs) from Azure Standard.Im hoping i can learn to make a loaf of bread that rises above the pan like the pictures isee before i waste the whole lot of it.Wish me luck.Ill let you know how i do
Do you use gluten flour with your home ground?
Jann, any wheat has gluten in it, though it varies depending upon the kind. My family is not sensitive to gluten so yes, we do primarily Spelt (an ancient grain but it still has gluten in it) and hard white wheat, but I also use oat flour too.
I’m milling my own flour for the first time this weekend! I purchased my wheat berries from Purcell Mountain Farms out of Idaho. Prices are great and they ship to Alaska at a very reasonable rate. Have you ever tried durham wheat berries for baking artisan bread or pizza dough? If so, is there anything different about it that I should know?
I’ve used durham flour before but I haven’t ground it myself. It should work similar to fresh ground white or red wheat flour and I bet it will taste amazing!
I grind my own flour occasionally and did today before reading/finding your site. My recipe calls for 4 cups of flour, but I had to use at least 6 cups before it looked right in my kitchen aid mixer. It was wayyy too wet with just 4 cups of flour. You say to use less fresh flour, this seems like it would just give me a batter. PS-I keep my berries in the freezer so they don’t overheat when grinding, they just get a little warm.
I keep the dough more on the wet side when using fresh ground because it absorbs more water as it sits. For bread, after about 20 minutes the flour will have absorbed more of the water than regular, so if you went by the texture right at the time of mixing, it will be too dry and created a dense product for me. However, even when using the same recipe, I always go by how the dough feels and looks. Good luck!
Thank you, for the information you pass on to those of use who have no idea where to begin to simplify our lives. I am learning much. But I do have a question – I recently purchased a Wonder Mill Junior manual grain mill, expect to use the mill for both wheat flour and seeds/nuts. It has 2 sets of grinding burrs, stone and steel. Just to try it out I used hard white wheat berries with the stone burr expecting to get “flour” What I got is a little “grainy” and not much like flour. My question – which set of grinding burrs to you recommend? Or, should I run the “flour” through a second grinding? The plan is to grind both spelt and hard white berries on an as needed basis. Thank You , Kathlene
Hi Kathleen, for the first pass through, you discard the flour (on first initial use only). From their manual, you can adjust the knob while turning to get a finer texture. I’d try that on your next go.
Your comment about not kneading bread dough too long might be the answer to my dough issue. I make a wetter dough but don’t get a good rise. It’s as if the gluten strands aren’t developed enough. That’s why I’ve been kneading longer in my Ankarsrum mixer. Any thoughts?
What type of wheat berry are you using?
I’m using Canadian organic hard wheat bought from the Grain Process Enterprises in Toronto.
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Thank you very much for your website! I’m brand new to the whole grind your own flour and when I read an article about “the whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead!” I knew changes had to be made. Just wanted to let you know that all the information you can give on grinding, sift or not, step by step, walkthroughs are greatly appreciated!!! I fear making those doorstops, lol.. Thanks again!!!
I am new to cooking with home milled flour. How do you replace home milled flour (hard white) when the recipe calls for store bought whole wheat. I can only find conversions from white flour to home milled, but I have recipes for store bought whole wheat that I would now like to make with home milled flour. TIA!
Hi Ellen, converting from a store bought whole wheat to fresh milled will still use the same principles as from white to home milled. You’ll have to go by the feel of the dough and leave it on the “wet” side and give it a rest time as it absorbs moisture differently than store bought.
I bought a nutrimill grinder and love it. I am new to grinding my own flour and making bread. Still haven’t actually succeeded with the bread making. I do not want to add vital gluten. I use prairie gold from wheat mo tana. My issue is that it will not fully rise. I get a little rise initially and it stops not the nice fluffy rise over the loaf pan. Any suggestions?
One would be to shorten the first rise time, second to check the temperature (maybe it’s too cool), third make sure you’re keeping the dough on the wetter side so it’s not too dense. I haven’t used vital wheat gluten for over 5 years and just made fresh ground loaves last night for the week. Is the prairie gold a hard wheat (hard wheat is best for bread making).
I just got myself a Bosch Universal Plus mixer and LOVE it. It’s amazing and has 800HP. There are videos on youtube comparing it with the Kitchen Aid. Highly recommend!
I have a question, just purchased a mill. Been baking for 30 years, lots of recipes. Can I use fresh milled flour using these recipes, or do I need to modify recipes?
You do need to modify the recipes by adjusting the liquid levels.
I have a question, just purchased a mill. Been baking for 30 years, lots of recipes. Can I use fresh milled flour using these recipes, or do I need to modify recipes?
Thanks for all the tips – I’ve fallen off the bandwagon lately, and am inspired to get back into grinding my own wheat again. Perhaps I’ll even try spelt! One tip I’d add is regarding mixers. After my husband repaired my Kitchenaid motor for the third time, I gave up using it for kneading bread – it just can’t handle it. Not sure why – and I know people who have no trouble – but mine just doesn’t have the guts to knead ww bread. I switched to using a bread machine on the dough cycle, and have never looked back! I love that thing – and they’re easy to find in thrift stores for just a few bucks. A caution, though – I learned the hard way that you can’t use fresh ground, warm flour, or you’ll kill your yeast. They have a heating element that warms the dough, even while mixing, so if you start with anything over room temperature, you’ll end up with rocks. 🙂
I’m so new at this, it’s disgusting 🙂 I milled hard red wheat berries and was so excited as it really looked like store bought flour. I chuckled so hard when I read your comment about the dough being so dense! Oh, yes, that was me too. It was like a brick. So, I went right to the internet and found you. I’m looking forward to trying it again using your tips. Thank you!
Let me know how they help and keep at it, I promise, it get’s easier. 🙂
How much flour do you get from a pound of spelt berries? Is it pretty much equal like wheat berries?
Thank you so much I am just getting started with this new chapter of my life. I am so excited about milling my own flour and baking with no preservatives. I am in my 60’s and have always tried to do as much as I had time to do that was natural, i.e. organic gardening, making my own body and face lotions. I even tried making almond milk before you could buy it in the store, total disaster.
You have saved me time and frustration, thank you again
Azure Standard is a good place to get organic spelt, wheat, etc at affordable prices.
any reason you do not use weight measures for your flour? I mill my own flour and always use grams when baking. Cups are prone to mismeasure, weight is always the same
Not everyone has a scale (I do now but when I first started I didn’t) so I provide cups as many people when they’re first starting are using volume only and not weight.
I really loved reading your article. I plan to listen to the podcast and subscribe and all that jazz…
I have a question. How I found you is, I am trying to find out if soft white wheat will make croissants well. You didn’t mention them, so I just thought I’d check and see if you’ve ever tried them or know I someone who has?
Thanks, Audrey (from Mississippi.)
I haven’t done croissants with soft white, I’ve used all-purpose or a hard white wheat, it’s a bread dough, so I wouldn’t go with a full pastry flour like soft, you could start with a mixture of soft and hard and play with it but I”d start with a hard white myself when going with fresh ground.
Have you made bread using a bread maker? I have started milling my own flour recently and normally use a bread maker to make bread but have had problems with the bread rising since milling my own.
I don’t use a bread machine, I bake more by reading the dough than specific times.
This is a very good article. I have been grinding all hard red winter wheat. I do have white winter wheat but have not used and will certainly try.
I buy my wheat from an LDS store in Greensboro, $10 for 25 lb of hard red, $12 for 25 lb of hard white.
I have bought soft white but it was at a feed store but it was for planting. As such, it had extraneous organic matter, probably other stuff, for all I know.
Thanks, Melissa. This article was just what I needed.
Glad you found it helpful!
Just wanted to thank you for your help… Your information about baking with freshly milled flour helped me a great deal. I recently purchased Hard Red Wheat Berries, ground them and used the flour in an Artisan Bread recipe I’ve used for years. I made the adjustments you noted, and it came out really good, other than being a bit too dense and not having risen completely. I think I can fix that the next time. Not ever having baked/eaten bread with freshly milled flour it was gratifying AND delicious! I need to get going on a sourdough starter now as yeast is increasingly difficult to find in the stores here.
Fantastic site! My first visit really looking into your philosophy and practice and I am hooked! Keep it up, as I feel a kindred spirit connection!
Hi! I enjoyed your podcast! I am new to grinding my own wheat and making sourdough and came across your site because I’ve been having a problem getting it to work like store bought flour. My problem is the opposite of yours though – I am using hard white wheat and it isn’t making a brick it is actually too wet. I can slop it into my pan but it doesn’t rise much. I would prefer not to add gleuten as some recipes I’ve seen suggest. Any ideas? .
I have this recipe for bread using hard white wheat that’s fabulous (maybe try it in place of the recipe you’re using) https://melissaknorris.com/honey-whole-wheat-bread-easy-sandwich-bread-recipe/ you definitely have to go by how the dough is acting, so in case of the current recipe you’re using, try adding a little bit more flour but still allow it the rest period between kneading.
I have ordered Spelt and Einkorn berries with my Mockmill100. Do you use oat flour and where do you purchase organic Oat Groats?
I just mill up my steel cut organic oats, I’ve gotten them from Costco and Bob’s Red Mill
Hi Melissa, thanks for your articles and recipes. I thought I would share this source for grains at https://www.azurestandard.com/. They deliver to drop points across the country with no shipping cost.
I had been driving to Honeyville in Chandler, AZ. Their prices for hard white or red wheat are excellent at $19 for a 50 pound bag. If you order online from Honeyville, it is almost $50. They don’t stock soft white wheat at their Chandler location and I still needed a source for it. A friend recommended the Azure site.
The price for 50 pounds of soft white wheat from Azure is $26.95. I ordered 2 bags and can pick them up at a drop site about 40 minutes away. Yeah! No more driving for 3 hours! You have to be patient about receiving the order because of their distribution system, but it will be worth it. I have family in Georgia that are using Azure now as well.
When baking with soft white do you add more (like with spelt) or less like the hard white?
Have you ever used your fresh milled wheat flour to make cake?
Yes, spelt or soft white wheat works wonderful
Hi there! I noticed you said you buy these in 50 lb bags at your local co-op. I know you mention your homestead is in the foothills of the North Cascades, is that co-op by chance the community food co-op in Bellingham? I am just outside Bellingham and have been looking for places to find bulk grain that aren’t all the way in Winthrop.
Hi great article! I have a Nutrimill . I have too regrind it a couple of times. I use a little powdered ginger I with the flour . Makes it rise and leaves no taste of ginger. I will have to try spelt . I have a local grain source here in Wyoming. Also you can get grains from Joseph’s kitchen ie prophecy club with Stan Johnson . They ship
Hello! I know this post is quite old, but I’m an avid listener of your podcast and am going to try freshly milled flour again. You mention taking out 3 Tbsp per one cup of flour — can you explain how that translates when weighing flour? Or, is there no adjustment because the flour will have more weight but less volume? Thank you! Love the show!
Weight out 120 g per cup of flour. This is across the board for all flour bought or freshly milled.
I have been grinding my flour for a year now. Great tips in your article. A lot of my baked goods have been rock hard due to using too much fresh ground whole wheat flour. Thank you! I was about to give up. We grow wheat, so my wheat is “free”!