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Making your homemade flour is a great way to save money, be self-reliant, and add variety to your baked goods.

Freshly ground flour adds unique textures and flavors to bread. You can also vary the texture of your ground flour to add a toothsome punch to muffins or scones.

Why Grind Your Own Flour?

Grinding your own flour has its benefits. Here are three reasons to consider:

1. A Wider Variety of Grains

Various grains range from hard red wheat and soft white wheat to oat groats, rye, and buckwheat. When choosing to grind flour at home, you get your pick.

Grinding your flours means you can create your own blends based on texture and flavor, experimenting over time to find combinations you love.

You can start with a variety pack from Palouse Brand or unique heritage varieties you wouldn’t find in your local store.

2. Fresh Ground Grains are Healthier

Baking with whole grains enhances the health benefits of your final products. Making whole grains at home further preserves essential nutrients. When wheat’s hull is removed, the protective barrier that safeguards valuable nutrients is eliminated.

Studies indicate that a significant loss of these nutrients occurs within a few weeks. Grinding at home involves using the grain immediately after processing, ensuring the retention of as many nutrients as possible.

3. It Will Save You Money

Buying in bulk offers cost savings over buying processed flour, especially if you buy large amounts to keep in long-term storage. When we first purchased our grain mill, we analyzed the return on investment and determined that we could grind 5 lbs of ORGANIC grain for the same cost as buying 5 lbs of non-organic flour from the grocery store. Considering freshly ground grain’s added health benefits and flavors, this was a win for us!

How to Grind Flour

When it comes to tools for grinding flour, you have a spectrum of choices. It all depends on how much flour you intend to grind and how much money you will spend. Here are a few ways you can grind flour, including the pros and cons of each.

In a Blender

A regular low to mid-priced blender will likely not be able to produce the kind of fine grain you’ll need for all of your baking. You will, however, be able to grind berries into a coarse mixture that would add texture and flavor as a complement to a more finely grain flour in your recipe. For example, you could add one cup of ground oat groats to a bread recipe otherwise made with traditional all-purpose or whole wheat flour.

Vitamix Flour 1
Flour ground in our Vitamix is surprisingly fine and great for any baking application.

To grind flour regularly and into a finer texture, you’d want to invest in a higher quality, more powerful blender, such as a Vitamix. With a high-powered blender, you can blend the flour you need for a recipe in less than a minute.

You can also control the texture by stopping the blender sooner if you want a more coarse grind. Our Vitamix does a pretty impressive job making well-ground, soft flour that works in almost any recipe.

Pro: A blender is a multi-tasking appliance, so you can use it for more than just grinding grains; you may already have a blender that will work for this purpose and won’t have to make a new investment.

Cons: A low-mid-cost blender will not get you fine-grain flour; grinding it in a cheap blender could burn it out faster. Since a blender is not made specifically for grinding grain, you won’t have as many options for texture as with a machine built specifically for this purpose.

Grain Mill Attachment

mockmill grain mill attachment on a kitchen aid
A grain mill attachment for your kitchen aid can be a nice compromise between at-home methods and an expensive countertop grain mill.

A grain mill attachment is just what it sounds like – it is a mill for grinding grain, but it gets its power from the tool to which you attach it. Mockmill is a German company that makes a Kitchen Aid grain mill attachment that attaches to your mixer.

The Mockmill Grain Mill Attachment allows you to grind berries to various textures and sizes with its adjustable stone. Once you attach it to your mixer, you turn it on and add grains to the top bowl. It uses the speed of your mixer to turn and grind the grain. The spout on the bottom of the grain mill funnels the grains directly into your mixing bowl.

We think this attachment is a great option for those who want to grind a medium level of grains – not all the time and not as their primary source of flour – but regularly. It is comparable to a higher-quality blender, but if you don’t spend the money on that one, this is another route.

Grind your own Flour Cover 1
Flour ground in our attachment grain mill is a fine texture,
but not quite as soft as with our blender.

Pros: The Grain Mill Attachment is small and fits in your cabinet easily; it can be taken out only when needed and doesn’t take up counter space. The ability to direct ground grains directly into your mixing bowl means you can add them right to your bread as it is mixing.

The Attachment is more affordable than countertop models and thus may offer a great entry-level option for those who want to start grinding their own grains.

Cons: using the Grain Mill Attachment with your mixer means your mixer is working a little bit harder and more frequently, so you will put more wear on your mixer.

The Attachment is also a smaller tool and does not grind as quickly as a countertop model (Breadtopia estimates it grinds at about 70% the speed and capacity of a countertop model). Thus, it may not be as effective for someone who wants to grind a lot of flour for daily use.

Stand-Alone Electric Home Grain Mill

Once you decide that you truly want to grind your own flour for frequent or everyday use, you may want to invest in an electric grain mill. These countertop models are self-contained, meaning they are an appliance in and of themselves.

They are single purpose units, built specifically for this purpose, thus they offer a finer, more nuanced touch on the grinding process. They also work faster than the Attachment grain mill. In short, you can grind more flour in less time without taxing your other appliances.

Most electric grain mills work the same way – you put your berries or groats in the top, and your ground grain or flour comes out of a spout (you place a bowl underneath to capture it).

Some grain mills offer a “flaking” option to make more of a flat grain (like you might want with oats). You can also get grain mills with a sifting attachment (or buy a separate sifter). Those will sift out the larger, coarser bran to end up with an even finer flour that is best for pastries.

Pros: Stand-alone electric grain mills are a great choice if you want to grind a lot of flour regularly. They have options regarding settings; they work faster and more efficiently and can grind/sift to a more fine flour that works well for pastries.

Cons: A stand-alone grain mill is an investment; they range in price from $200 – $600 depending on features; they are also a “single function” appliance, so they only do this one thing, and you may not want to take up more space with a single use appliance.

Manual Grain Mill

A manual grain mill is like a meat grinder or a pasta maker. It has a metal bowl into which you put your grains, a grinding mechanism that you operate with a handle, and a spout where the ground grains come out. Most models have a clamp that can stabilize the mill to your countertop.

A manual grain mill is a step above the mortar and pestle method mentioned above and allows you to finish more in less time. It does require your own elbow grease. Just remember that it will take some work to do large amounts of grain, and you may come to a point when you need something more powerful and faster.

Pros: A manual grain mill is an inexpensive investment to get you started. It doesn’t take up a lot of room, and it can be fun to try. If you like using your body to produce your food (instead of electricity), this is your option!

Cons: A manual grain mill requires more labor than other options. If you have concerns about being able to grind enough flour for what you need, you may want to skip to one of the next options. Manual grain mills may also not get your flour as soft and fine as you would like since the options for grain sizes may be limited.

Regardless of your choice, grinding your own flour at home is a truly satisfying (and delicious) experience. Regarding self-reliance, it is a great step in the right direction!

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Carrie Williams Howe is an educational leader by day and an aspiring homesteader by night and weekend. She lives on a small homestead in Vermont with her husband, two children, and a rambunctious border collie. She blogs about her family's homestead life at The Happy Hive.

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One Comment

  1. This was a nice survey of my options. I have a decent blender (actually, two of them), and a KitchenAid mixer. Given that, at this time, I’m going to pass on another appliance. I think I can find access to one, if needed (there are Amish in OH that I could check with).
    But, it gave me some ideas of how I could handle food storage and accessibility in a crisis.

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