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Grinding Your Own Flour

April 11th, 2011

Have you ever thought about grinding your own grains into flour? There is an article in today’s LA Times about the joy of grinding your own, and it got me thinking.

I often do grind my own flours. I find home ground flour so incredibly fresh and silky, there’s really nothing like it. And, not only do you have the freshness factor going on, but you can also grind flours that are more difficult to find. Imagine grinding your own white wheat pastry flour, red lentil flour, yellow pea flour, green pea flour, chickpea flour, black bean flour, black rice flour, sweet brown rice flour, corn flour and meal, whole spelt flour, quinoa flour… Really, the list is endless, because you can grind just about any grain or bean into a beautifully silky fine flour. It give you so many more choices, as well as more control over your ingredients.

I have used both the Wonder Mill and the Nutrimill, which are both fantastic machines. Honestly, with about 10 minutes of work, you can grind yourself a good 5 pounds of flour, ready to throw into your next batch of bread. Of course you can also just grind a little flour, giving you plenty of flexibility depending on your needs.

There are still a few flours that I buy, like my favorite superfine brown rice flour from Authentic Foods. That flour is double milled, something that home mills are not designed to do. But for most of the other flours that I use, I’m good to go with my home mill.

You’ll often find me perusing the aisles of Bob’s Red Mill, buying whole oats, spelt, white wheat and whatever other grains happen to strike my fancy. I then store the grains in big glass canisters or Cambro buckets (something that restaurants and bakeries often use for storing foods). Then I either grind the grain as I need it, or I’ll grind up a couple of pounds that are good to go the next time I need them. Honestly, if you’ve never had bread made with freshly ground wheat, your really missing out on something special.

I’m curious to know how many others are grinding their own flour. I’d love to hear. I’m truly a cooking nerd at heart, so I can get quite giddy about kitchen DIY. I must thank my mom for that. When I was growing up, my mom ground her own flour for baking and shared the sweet joy of homemade bread hot from the oven.