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Freshly Ground Flour

July 13th, 2010

I’ve been grinding my own flour for several years now. Up until last week I was using a hand-me-down KitchenAid Grain Mill Attachment. It’s a oldie, and has been passed around through many hands. My dad’s cousin bought it back a long time ago and after she quit using it she gave it to my mom who used it for a while. My sister borrowed it and used it until she bought a NutriMill Grain Mill. Back to my mom it went. She used it for grinding up lentils and other grains to make her own dog food, but never used it for homemade flour. When I bought some grain with my sister, I borrowed it from my mom and started using it to make flour for baking. I had an old Kitchenaid that I attached it to and that one finally died, so it was time to upgrade to a real mill.

After doing a lot of research, I decided to purchase a Komo Grain mill, or a Tribest Grain Mill. I chose this one because of it’s quality, it’s made in Germany, has a powerful motor and ceramic grinding stones. It’s housed in a beautiful beech wood case, not plastic like most grain mills. It’s powerful, quiet and very quick.

After making a few loaves of bread, a few batch of pancakes and a few batches of scones, I must say I’m very impressed with the quality of flour this mill creates. It’s very fine and very evenly ground, unlike the Kitchenaid grinder which produced a very uneven grind that contained fine flour with lots of large flakes of bran in it. My scones are so delicious, you can’t even tell they’re made with 100% whole grain flour. Grinding the flour fresh means that there’s no bitterness with the whole grain as there often is with preground whole grains.

I’m quite excited, especially since I also just received my copy of Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. I made the basic bread yesterday and was very impressed with the texture and flavor of the bread. I have never been able to get the right level of gluten development with my 100% whole grain bread to get the kind of crumb I wanted. Yesterday my dough passed the windowpane test perfectly and it baked up into the most beautiful loaf of 100% whole grain sourdough sandwich bread!
Baking 100% whole grain bread from Peter Reinhart's Whoel Grain Bread Cookbook.
I’ve been using three different kinds of wheat for my baked goods, soft white, hard red winter, and white winter wheat. I’m looking forward to experimenting with other kinds of grains as well, like barley, spelt, buckwheat, millet and more. I found a local farm that grows wheat and a few other grains, hopefully it’s good for bread. I’m looking forward to making my diet a little more local and healthy with my new grain mill!

Are you a whole grain bread person, or do you prefer white?

50 Comments to “Freshly Ground Flour”
  1. Kay on July 13, 2010 at 5:12 am

    We grind our own wheat as well. We purchased a country living grain mill, and added a motor to it, so in case of a power outage, we can hand crank it as well. It works great.

    Reply to Kay's comment

    • Susy on July 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

      I considered a Country Living Grain Mill, but I really wanted one with ceramic grinding elements instead of metal. Being able to hand grind would be a nice option.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Freshly Ground Flour #makeyourown #baking #bread #cooking […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Buying a Home Mill | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  3. Jeff on July 13, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Homemade dog food with lentils? Is there anyway you can share that recipe?

    Reply to Jeff's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 7:26 am

      I’ll have to see if my mom has it, she still makes food for her dogs often.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Mom on July 15, 2010 at 8:15 am

        Homemade Dog Food

        1 pound cooked meat* or fish or chicken (ground)
        2 cups brown rice
        2 cups pureed pumpkin (or sqash) or grated carrots
        1 cup lentils or split peas
        1/3 cup flaxseed (whole)
        1 cup lard or vegetable oil
        12 cups water (more may be necessary)

        Put everything in a large cooking pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for an hour.

        *For “meat” I use cooked venison heart and liver or ground venison once I use up the hearts and livers. My husband is a deer hunter so we have plenty of venison in our freezer to use for dog food. The dogs love it!

        to Mom's comment

      • Jeff on September 1, 2010 at 9:17 am

        Thank you so much. I have been away from the computer for a while but am very happy to see this. This is the best.

        to Jeff's comment

  4. Ken Toney on July 13, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I bet your bread is delicious. I love to bake our bread and would love to grind my own flour someday. It’s so much fun and a lot healthier for my family. I haven’t found a local source for whole grains, though, not even a store that will order bags of whole grains. Buying 50 lb bags of whole grains from the internet and having them shipped is way to expensive. So, I’ll have to wait and enjoy baking from store bought flour.

    Reply to Ken Toney's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 7:23 am

      You should search out a local co-op. This last time I shared a 50lb bag with my sister, she goes together with a bunch of people and they buy a pallet. For my other grains I don’t use much of I buy them in bulk at my small local health food store.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Wanda on July 13, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Grinding your own flour–that’s awesome! I love the thought of how fresh the taste of that would be–makes me want one. Nice!

    Reply to Wanda's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 7:24 am

      The smell is amazing, so wheaty, nothing like store-bought wheat flour. I’ve made brownies with it and no one realized they were made with soft whole wheat.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. megan on July 13, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I have to admit that I prefer white…but I think it is probably because I have been so unsuccessful baking with wheat. It always feels so dense and flat. When we lived in Dallas, I could buy great WW bread all of the time. I can’t find any that I like here, so I resort to white flour to make successful loaves. Maybe it’s just that I’m using preground flour? I have read that it can make a huge difference.

    That’s a nice mill! I’d like to get one someday and try baking with the local wheat sold through our coop.

    Reply to megan's comment

  7. hillwards on July 13, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Great post, with lovely pictures. I bake my own bread sometimes, and love whole grain breads (although I also love a fresh white fluffy loaf). I’ve never tried grinding my own flour, but your post is rather inspiring. The sourdough looks amazing, makes me hungry at the thought!

    Reply to hillwards's comment

  8. MAYBELLINE on July 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Where do you get your energy?!

    For flavor, I love white bread and butter. If health wasn’t an issue I would have that for every meal.

    Your house must smell terrific.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      Well, you know I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to sit still. I like to be doing something all the time.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Dave on July 13, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I like a variety, sometimes white sometimes wheat. We usually eat wheat though. How does the price of grinding your own compare to buying already ground flour?

    Reply to Dave's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

      I get organic wheat berries for various prices depending on where I buy them and how much I buy. I think the ones I’m using now was less than $1 per pound. Some of the ones at the health food store are $1.29/lb.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Sense of Home on July 13, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Do you blend the grains as you grind? So that all three grains are used in baking the same loaf? Does that work better than using one kind of grain? Or do you use different grains for different flour purposes?

    We are still thinking about buying a grinder and making our own flour, I will look into the brand you bought, sounds like it works well.


    Reply to Sense of Home's comment

  11. Shannon on July 13, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I love the look of that grain mill. A few years back we purchased a hand crank grain mill in order to avoid the use of electricity. I love it, our boys love it, and it becomes a family affair to hand crank that grain. Just like growing your own food, milling your own flour by hand really gives you a respect and gratitude for what you put in your mouth.

    Reply to Shannon's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      I thought and thought about buying a hand crank one, but finally decided on this one.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. kristin @ going country on July 13, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Depends. Generally, whole grain breads are better. But the best bread for grilled cheese and French toast will always be white. Can’t be helped.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      I’m partial to sourdough for fresh toast – MMMMM

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Turling on July 13, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I prefer bacon. But, if I have to choose a bread, it would be pumpernickel, which I’m sure I just spelled incorrectly. I’m not sure if that’s a whole wheat bread, but it’s definitely not a white!!

    Reply to Turling's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      I’m with you on the bacon.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Miranda on July 13, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Oh MAN that bread looks delicious. Baking is still that one major activity that is lacking in my kitchen – i think i’m scared of failure.
    Wouldn’t it be so great to have a small patch of wheat growing, little helpers to magically thresh and winnow it, and a beautiful grain grinder like yours to grind it into flour to be baked into deliciousness? It would be great.
    Whole grain all the way!

    Reply to Miranda's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      Yes, if I had room I’m grow some experimental grain. It’s quite beautiful in the garden!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. Tree on July 13, 2010 at 10:42 am

    pumpernickel, rye, sourdough, multigrain….. fresh bread…. too hot to contemplate cooking, off to contemplate starter.

    Reply to Tree's comment

  16. 1916home on July 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I have been following along with your blog since shortly after you began and I must say, you have one of the best home and garden blogs out on the internet! Filled with so much color, beautiful photographs and great tips and inspirations, you should really win some sort of award!!

    Kudos for all your efforts!

    1916home :)

    Reply to 1916home's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I love to blog to encourage others to grow their own food, garden, cook from scratch, etc.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. Amy on July 13, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I prefer wheat too…..I also grind and have enjoyed pastry wheat and spelt(breadbeckers)……We bake everyday here and I can hardly stand bought bread… tastes like chewy air:) James Beard has some wonderful recipes as does Karey Swan……Her Hearth and Home cookbook is never far from my side…..You would enjoy her immensely if you don’t already know about her……She lives a “simple life”…….but a very wonderfully full one. She is also on the web:)

    Reply to Amy's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have to look up Karey Swan.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. Louise on July 13, 2010 at 11:56 am

    That is a beautifully designed grain mill. I would love to mill my own flour, but have not yet gotten to it. I enjoy both white and wheat bread, especially right out of the oven. Warm and crispy with butter.

    Susy, when you mill your flour, how long can you store it before using it for baking?

    Reply to Louise's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      I usually mill it right as I’m using it. Sometimes I mill a little extra to have around, but generally as I need it. I bake with weight instead of measuring cups, so it’s easy to measure out how much grain I need for each recipe.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  19. sarah on July 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Ok now that’s pretty awesome. Again, great post and wonderful pictures!

    Reply to sarah's comment

  20. mamaraby on July 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Color me jealous. I’ve always wanted a grain mill, but it’s always at the bottom of the list. Peter Reinhart’s book is my most favorite. Like you, I was never able to get a decent loaf of 100% whole wheat bread until I checked his book out from the library.

    Reply to mamaraby's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      I’ve been “getting by” with my kitchenaid mill for a while without great results. I’m so happy to finally have been able to purchase this, this is why I stick to my budget each month.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  21. warren on July 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Whole grain for me! I trade fresh flour for honey with a friend of mine

    Reply to warren's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      What a great system, I love bartering!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  22. Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog on July 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Wow, totally inspirational. So this is going to sound kind of weird, but since recently re-reading the Little House on the Prairie series–The Long Winter in particular, where they have to resort to grinding wheat around the clock in a coffee mill, in order to survive–I’ve been wondering how big of a deal it would be to get a big bag of wheat and then grind it up. I think I just got one step closer to finding out.

    Reply to Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      I thought about that as I was reading the Long Winter. My parents have an old coffee mill like the one they used, I always thought of borrowing it to grind up some grain to see what it would be like.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  23. nic @ nipitinthebud on July 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    wholegrain in small measures – I prefer a fluffy white but it doesn’t prefer me! I can’t each much bread without it piling on the pounds so I’ve learned to love and saviour smaller portions of better quality bread.
    I wouldn’t have been able to say no to one of your scones that’s for sure!

    Reply to nic @ nipitinthebud's comment

    • Susy on July 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Well, no worries on the scones, no sugar added. I use an old Socttish recipe from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads it’s so good because it’s not sweet, more biscuit like. The only sweetness is the type of fruit I add, right now fresh blueberries from the garden, in winter, often cherries or black raspberries!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  24. kitsapFG on July 14, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I have that same kitchenaid grinder and used it for years before moving up to a Nutrimill which produces a beautiful finely ground flour. I do a variation of the no knead on a regular basis but will have to check out the book featured in this post.

    Reply to kitsapFG's comment

  25. Jaspenelle on July 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

    My mother-in-law gave me a grinder the first Christmas my husband and I were together (showing how well she knows me!) and a #10 can of red wheat. I haven’t looked back since. I buy my wheat from the local LDS cannery (they sell to non-members!)

    We do buy a a few loaves of whole wheat bread a couple times a month from Costco, I do not have time to make it every week but I grind my own wheat in almost all my baking. I grind rice, barley and oat flour as well as flaxseed (but I have to do flax in my blender since it is too oily for my grinder.)

    Reply to Jaspenelle's comment

  26. Amy @ Homestead Revival on July 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve been grinding my own grain for almost 10 years now, but I got really serious about it 3 years ago. Now I never buy store bought bread unless I need something special and I don’t have time (about once a year!). I like it all, but my husband is partial to the hard white wheat. Try spelt next. It is very similar and a good transition into other grains.

    I LOVE that mill you bought. I’m off to google it and see more! That one looks so nice, I’d leave that one out on the counter every day.

    Reply to Amy @ Homestead Revival's comment

  27. […] certainly been enjoying a lot of freshly baked ciabatta bread, made with freshly ground flour. I think this is my favorite kind of bread, great any way you want to eat it crusty on the outside, […]

    Reply to bread baking quote by M.F.K. Fisher | Chiot’s Run's comment

  28. Peggy on August 22, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Ah, we are a whole grain family but I’ve not been baking much since our move. Things have begun to settle so I hope to once again resume the weekly baking schedule. Do you grind other grains as well? I was wondering how your new mill handles corn… We have a Nutrimill that was purchased many years ago but recently replaced (for free) due to a manufacturing defect in the plastic. I know my husband has mentioned looking for a different mill when this one goes. One of the biggest criteria is it must be able to grind corn, rice, and beans as well as wheat.

    Reply to Peggy's comment

  29. […] […]

    Reply to Bake oven, Murray Bay, QC, 1898 | Baking Parchment Paper's comment

  30. Nice Whole Grains photos | Food Blog Online on April 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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